SUPPORT for President Robert Mugabe has plunged since the formation of a unity government six months ago, according to two polls, the results of which have only now been revealed.
Less than 10% of adults would vote for him or Zanu PF if elections were held now, the surveys suggests.
Mugabe has lost 20% of his support since the March 2008 elections in which Morgan Tsvangirai beat him.
However, after a campaign of Zanu PF violence, Tsvangirai was forced to withdraw from a presidential run-off and Mugabe won the one-man race and was sworn into five more years in office.
But Sadc persuaded the two to form a unity government.
Information leaked from the results of two recent public opinion surveys shows that Mugabeâ€™s Zanu PF would be reduced to a small opposition party if elections were held now.
A survey conducted by the Mass Public Opinion Institute (MPOI), which accurately predicted election results over the past 10 years, sent interviewers for the first time deep into Mugabeâ€™s rural strongholds.
A second survey, commissioned a month later in May, confirmed the results.
Eldred Masunungure, director of the MPOI, and a senior lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe, said he could not comment on the findings.
â€œThe survey covers a wide range of opinion about many subjects and until analysis is complete we cannot release partial information,â€ he said.
Nevertheless, key information about Mugabeâ€™s drop in popularity has been leaked from various sources.
It shows that Mugabe and Zanu PF are indivisible in the votersâ€™ minds and both would be lucky to score between 8% and 10 %; Tsvangirai and his Movement for Democratic Change would get 57%, while between 31% and 33% are still undecided; â€œEven if all the â€˜donâ€™t knowsâ€™ voted for Mugabe, Tsvangirai and the MDC would easily win any election,â€ one senior researcher said this week.
Close to Mugabeâ€™s rural home in Mashonaland West province, many voters formerly employed on white-owned farms, say they would vote for Tsvangirai and his MDC in a â€œfree and fairâ€ poll.
Political analyst Brian Raftopoulos said the results of the survey â€œconfirm the continuing deep erosion and breakdown of Zanu PF and Mugabeâ€™s support as the party of liberation.
â€œIf Zanu PF is aware of this, this makes them even more dangerous as Zanu PFâ€™s only power is state power, from the presidency, and they are fighting desperately to hold on to that power,â€ Raftopoulos said.
He added that if the unity government collapsed Mugabeâ€™s clique would cause a â€œbloodbathâ€. â€” The Daily News (South Africa).