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Toward Performance-based Politics: Swing Voters in South Africa's 2016 Local Elections

Harris, A; (2020) Toward Performance-based Politics: Swing Voters in South Africa's 2016 Local Elections. Politikon , 47 (2) pp. 196-214. 10.1080/02589346.2020.1715161. Green open access

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Abstract

Who are the swing voters in South Africa’s elections? This study is among the first to systematically investigate the correlates of the swing vote in South Africa. The paper argues that race, cohort, performance, and partisan networks influence the likelihood that an individual is a swing voter. To investigate these arguments, this study uses original exit poll survey data from South Africa’s 2016 local elections. The results indicate that swing voters are those who have weaker racial identities, weaker attachments to their racial group’s party, are ‘born free’, have lower assessments of ANC performance, and have fewer friends and family who support their preferred party. The paper also predicts what drives swing voters to support a certain party. The results present key implications for race and identity-based voting in South Africa and dominant regimes across the continent and suggests that South Africa’s elections are not clearly a racial census.

Type: Article
Title: Toward Performance-based Politics: Swing Voters in South Africa's 2016 Local Elections
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/02589346.2020.1715161
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/02589346.2020.1715161
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10081572
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