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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:A comparative case study of the voting behaviour of poor people in three selected South African communities
Authors:Sadie, YolandaISNI
Patel, LeilaISNI
Baldry, Kim
Periodical:Journal of African Elections (ISSN 1609-4700)
Geographic term:South Africa
Abstract:Despite the growing speculation about the electoral power of poor voters, little is known about what influences them to vote the way they do and why. Poor communities are often considered a homogeneous group, with little appreciation for their agency in making electoral choices. In this paper, comparative data are shared from a quantitative study undertaken in two selected poor communities during 2013 in Johannesburg (Riverlea and Doornkop) and a rural community in the Limpopo province in 2014. Two key factors were explored that might explain voter preferences, namely identification and loyalty on the one hand, and on the other clientelism, social grants and vote-buying. Firstly, it was found that long-term party loyalty and party performance are the main predictors of voter preferences, irrespective of geographic location. Secondly, in all three areas, it is unlikely that the majority of poor voters will be persuaded to vote for a particular party on the basis of receiving food parcels before elections. Finally, the study showed that one in six voters would consider voting for a party that provides a social grant, with this trend being most prevalent in the African communities of Doornkop and Limpopo. Therefore, it could be argued that social grants can be used as a campaign strategy of gaining (or retaining) support from grant-holders and could influence the floating vote. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]