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Survey shows electoral continuity

Swapo continues to dominate the political scene in Namibia, with strong levels of public trust and voter preference, but public tolerance of opposition parties may also be on the increase, according to the latest Afrobarometer survey.
Opposition parties continue to survive and scramble for the minor places, with the DTA and the Rally for Democracy and Progress in a close race for a distant second place behind Swapo.
The survey, conducted in the run-up to the November 28 presidential and parliamentary elections, confirms continuity of party identification and voting preferences.
Key findings: 53% of respondents identify themselves as “close to” Swapo and 65% saying they would “vote for” the party.
Party attachment has increased from previous rounds of the Afrobarometer survey, with 76% of respondents saying they are “close to” a political party, a 7 percentage point increase from 2012.
Trust in both Swapo (72% indicating they trust the party “somewhat” or “a lot”) and the opposition parties (46% indicating “somewhat” or “a lot”) has continued to grow since previous surveys.
A change in attitudes toward the opposition parties indicates that Namibians are becoming more tolerant of other parties. Trust in opposition parties rose 14% in the “somewhat /a lot” categories (from 32 to 46% from 2012 to 2014).
Most Namibians (59%) say the controversial Third Constitutional Amendment was passed without adequate public consultation.
By an overwhelming majority, eight of 10 survey respondents say that changing the Constitution should be preceded by extensive public consultation and that this did not occur for the recent amendment.
Afrobarometer is an African-led, non-partisan research project that has measured countries’ social, political, and economic atmosphere since 1999. In its sixth survey round (2014-15), it is covering 35 countries.
The Afrobarometer team in Namibia, led by the Institute for Public Policy Research and Survey Warehouse, interviewed 1,200 adult Namibians in August and September 2014. A sample of this size yields results with a margin of error of +/-3% at a 95% confidence level. Previous surveys have been conducted in Namibia in 1999, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2008, and 2012. Pictured: Afrobarometer coordinator for Namibia, Prof Bill Lindeke, presents the survey findings on October 28 2014.

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Election Watch is a project of the Institute for Public Policy Research in Windhoek, Namibia. Election Watch is funded by the European Union and the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives.