CAPE TOWN UNIVERSITY RESEARCHERS HAVE FOUND THAT PF HAS LOST A LOT OF SUPPORT IN ITS STRONGHOLDS SINCE 2016
Read this full report done by Cape Town University and it’s partners and compare it with the other one released by PF cadres yesterday:
Afrobarometer survey data collected at the end of 2020 suggest that there has been some erosion of support for incumbent President Edgar Lungu and the governing Patriotic Front since the 2016 elections and the previous Afrobarometer survey, conducted in April 2017. This erosion of support seems to be widespread, among both urban and rural voters. A large minority of voters – much larger than in previous surveys – declined to declare who they would vote for if elections were held. Most of these ‘undeclared’ voters are dissatisfied with the country’s economic performance under the present government. In the absence of a shift in voters’ attitudes and preferences during the election campaign, it seems likely that Lungu and the Patriotic Front will perform much more weakly in the elections scheduled for August 2021 than in preceding elections. In 2016 the government sought to tilt the election results in its favour. If the incumbent and his governing party are defeated, and they leave office, this will mark the third turnover in government in Zambia, following previous turnovers in 1991 and 2011.
Afrobameter’s 2017 survey confirmed that these provinces were PF strongholds in 2017 (as in the 2016 elections). Most respondents declared themselves to be supporters of the PF. Most undeclared voters shared the characteristics of PF supporters.
By 2020, however, the picture had changed. Figure 2.4 shows that the 2020 Afrobarometer data suggests modest change in Luapula and Northern Provinces: Declared support for the PF had shrunk, declared support for the UPND had grown somewhat, and the proportion of undeclared voters had grown. Moreover, the distribution of voters shifted leftwards, i.e. the proportion of respondents in these provinces who were satisfied with the government’s performance and positive about the president had shrunk, even though many of these voters were Bemba speakers. The fourth column had shrunk. Nonetheless, the largest block of undeclared voters in these two provinces was in this fourth column. These voters constitute an obvious pool of support for the PF.
The Afrobarometer survey conducted at the end of 2020 found that declared support for the incumbent PF dropped in its rural strongholds as former supporters became undeclared voters, refusing to declare their preferences or apparently unsure of them. Analysis of responses on other questions suggests that support for the PF in its former rural strongholds has softened, moderately in Luapula and Northern Provinces and dramatically in Muchinga and Eastern Provinces. This has been driven primarily by deteriorating economic conditions and dissatisfaction with the government’s performance. The PF retains the support of some dissatisfied voters, perhaps because of ethnic loyalty or allegiance to the president.
Read the full report here