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Postliberation Politics: Evidence from Demographic Determinants of South Africa Voting Behaviour in the 2009 National Election

31 January 2017
Publication Type: Working Paper
JEL Code: D72

In this paper we examine demographic drivers of South African voting behavior in the 2009 national election. We use a novel data set, which combines census and voting data at the ward level, representing the highest level of disaggregation of South African elections to date. Unsurprisingly, blacks are more likely to vote for the ANC, whites more likely to vote for the DA, and rising incomes and greater security in the labor market predict a switch in allegiance from the ANC to the DA. Allowing for an interaction between income and race, reduces the impact of racial identity for the major parties. A striking finding is that DA voter support is disproportionately strong amongst poor black (and other race group) voters – a result that is present for every province. The result is consistent for the findings we report for the impact of income and the nature of labor force participation.

Series title: Working paper 660
1 January 2017
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