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Latest Zimbabwean poll says Chamisa and the opposition should win next month’s elections

Latest Zimbabwean poll says Chamisa and the opposition should win next month’s elections
Zimbabwe's main opposition leader Nelson Chamisa in Harare on 26 November 2018. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Aaron Ufumeli) | Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa in Cape Town on 5 September 2019. (Photo: Waldo Swiegers / Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The poll found a large majority of Zimbabweans think the country is on the wrong path and that the economy is getting worse.

Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa and his Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party would win next month’s Zimbabwean elections by a margin of between 8% and 9% – if the elections are free and fair – a new poll suggests.

The poll of 2,000 registered voters, conducted by Elite Africa Research in June, found that if the elections were held then, 47.6% of respondents would vote for Chamisa in the presidential poll, while 38.7% would vote for President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Similarly, the poll found that 47.7 % of respondents would vote for Chamisa’s CCC while 39.6% would vote for Mnangagwa’s ruling Zanu-PF party in the parliamentary elections.

The presidential, parliamentary and local council elections are all scheduled to be held on 23 August.

Even if these poll results suggest Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF would lose a fair contest, they are still quite flattering to the ruling party and president.

The poll also found, by much wider margins, that Zimbabweans believe their country is heading in the wrong direction and that the economy is getting worse.

A large majority of 69.4% said they thought the country was heading in the wrong direction, while only 27.3% felt it was heading in the right direction. Their views of the economy were even more critical, as more than three-quarters – 77.5% – said they believed the economy was getting worse while fewer than one-fifth – 19.6% – felt it was getting better. 

A total of 59.8% of the 2,000 citizens polled said they hoped for a new government after the elections, while only 37% said they hoped for the same government.

Also revealing were the answers to the question of whether the respondents felt strongly favourable, somewhat favourable, somewhat unfavourable or strongly unfavourable towards a list of political leaders and parties.

Chamisa emerged with a net positive score of 29.6%, while Mnangagwa’s score was a net negative of 2.6%.

Similarly, the CCC registered a net positive score of 28.6% while Zanu-PF scored a net negative of 2.7%. The net scores were derived by subtracting the unfavourable responses from the favourable responses for each leader or party.

These results taken together suggest a high level of discontent among Zimbabweans towards Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF, but also some reluctance, possibly anxiety, about replacing them with Chamisa and the CCC.

Oscar Mutinda, the founder and CEO of Elite Africa Research which did the survey, confirmed this. He said that in conversations with people during the survey, it emerged many felt that even if the current government was doing a bad job, they were not confident the opposition could do much better.

The survey results, if replicated on 23 August, would mean Zimbabweans would have to go to the polls again soon after, as no presidential candidate would have won more than 50% of votes in the first round. In that case, a second round of voting would have to be held between the top two candidates to ensure the winner gets more than 50% of the votes.

Mutinda explained that the sample of 2,000 was selected to replicate national demographics such as the proportions of urban and rural voters as well as the proportions of voters in the country’s provinces. DM

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  • Chris VZ says:

    The day there are free and fair elections in Zimbabwe is the day pigs and Thabo Mbeki sprout wings.

    • Francois Smith says:

      Indeed, Ramaphosa cannot afford to have ZanuPF lose, as then people may believe that a liberation party cannot govern and he also sang the praises of one Robert Gabriel Mugabe as a beacon of light on the continent. (I just wonder how Ramaphosa justified the billions he received from capitalists?)

  • Celeste Bortz says:

    He will win if the present government allows a free and fair election. Read Glory by NoViolet Bulawayo and you may feel very nervous about the situation.

  • Max Ozinsky says:

    Are these the same pollsters who also tell you that Ukraine will win?

    • Philip Machanick says:

      Ukraine has an active and competent military. If that is what it takes to win, the opposition in Zimbabwe is in trouble.

  • Dennis Bailey says:

    If it’s a true reflection of the people, it’s good news. God knows we need some. If democracy can oust Zanu, then maybe, just maybe SA’s shambles can oust the crooks running the country.

  • John Forbes says:

    As stated at the beginning of the article ” …….. if the elections are free and fair ………”! Poor Zimbabwe, nearly 40 years of advancing in reverse. Thabo Mbheki must carry some of the responsibility for not standing up to Robert Mugabe, but instead walking hand-in-hand!

  • Jane Crankshaw says:

    There is nothing “free” or “fair” in Zimbabwe!

  • Egmont Rohwer says:

    “Free and Fair” – In Zimbabwe, or South Africa. On that day pigs WILL fly.

  • Alan Jeffrey says:

    The truly scary part is that as with the ANC in SA, one wonders why anyone of sound mind and education would vote for the truly rotten Zanu-PF! Yet some still do! Inexplicable!

  • Ann Werner says:

    Regarding Sports Highlights in shorts below:
    Indeed, the match between Rublev and Djokovic was an outstanding display of tennis mastery and it was thrilling to watch.
    The match and the wildcard win of Svitolina over Swiatek was sensational and the hard-hitting tactical play was inspiring to watch.
    Furthermore, that fact that Svitolina only returned to tennis 3 months ago, after delivering her first child and then beat the world’s number 1, is truly remarkable.
    Hey, DM, surely, women’s matches are worthy of commentary too? Even in the shorts?
    My tuppence worth towards an equality which we all seek.

  • Grenville Wilson says:

    Dream on! From this Journo’s lips to the makers ears. What drivel!

  • Kevin Potgieter says:

    Unfortunately Chamisa might be only another President who has to guta.

  • Terry Hodson says:

    Manangagwa will never let the opposition come into power.

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