More than 80% of the trade union Solidarity’s members indicated that they will vote in the election on 7 May. According to a survey conducted by the Solidarity Research Institute (SRI), approximately 17% of the union’s members have decided that they will definitely not vote. Less than 3% of the union’s members indicated that they were not yet sure whether they are going to vote.
The survey is an output of the working group on accountability within the SRI. The working group was established as a result of Solidarity’s growing concern regarding the overall lack of accountability within the government.
Eugene Brink, senior researcher at the SRI, says it appears that the union’s members have made a definite choice whether they will vote or not. ‘The group who indicated that they will definitely vote is significantly smaller than the almost 90% who indicated in a similar survey done before the 2011 local government elections that they would definitely vote. Most of those who indicated that they definitely will not vote, said that no party deserved their vote. This does not necessarily indicate that they have lost faith in the voting process; it rather indicates that a breach of trust has developed between them and the existing political parties.’
Brink says the respondents who indicated that they will vote were asked about the issues influencing their decision. ‘As could be expected, crime and corruption are their main concerns. Affirmative action, the economy, education, deterioration of the public sector, agriculture and land reforms are also important issues for Solidarity’s members.’
Solidarity earlier called on its members to vote and to make an informed choice. For this reason, the SRI also conducted an analysis of the voting patterns in the national and provincial elections of 1994 and 2009.
Click here to view the Solidarity Research Institute’s Election Report for 2014.