You’re probably tired of hearing about the upcoming elections, but just remember that it gets you a day off work next week.
That, and a chance to exercise your democratic right to vote.
Polling giants Ipsos has published the results of its final poll, and the Daily Maverick reckons it’s about as close to an accurate prediction as we will get ahead of May 8.
In short, if seven in 10 voters turn out, then this is the likely distribution of votes nationally…
According to Ipsos director and pollster Mari Harris, a voter turnout of about 70% is a fair shout, although that’s quite a marked decrease from previous elections:
In 1999, the voter turnout was 87.92%; in 2004, 75.52%; in 2009, 77.3% and in 2014, 73.4%.
But the official opposition DA says Ipsos undercounts its support and the party says its own figures and feedback from the ground show it can still beat its 2014 outcome when the party won 22.23% of the vote.
Given how well the DA just polled in Gauteng, albeit an internal poll, perhaps they have a point.
The Daily Maverick also put together short profiles on the top five personalities who will shape the election results, and how they will do so.
We’ll start with the incumbent president, Cyril Ramaphosa:
If the ANC had not begun a path of reform under Ramaphosa, then it’s likely the party would not have even smelt 60% and struggled to achieve 50% of a national vote. Now, the ANC has run a campaign that has used its new president as a drawcard.
Ramaphosa is, by various measured surveys, the most popular and trusted of all South African politicians. He has been the key figure of the party’s campaign, which has been the toughest in its democratic era history. Ramaphosa is facing an internal fightback against his reform agenda which is bedevilling the final stages of the party’s campaign.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane:
Maimane got his campaign out of the blocks with a massive first launch in 2018 at the Mary Fitzgerald Square and then led a manifesto launch at Rand Stadium that dwarfed the other parties in verve. Both were held in Gauteng and he even moved the party headquarters to Bruma in Johannesburg as a symbol of the party’s ambition to win the province that is the electoral pot of gold…
Gauteng has the country’s highest number of registered voters and the party is struggling to get into pole position. Harris says a DA win is unlikely.
“I think the ANC will win Gauteng but not with a massive majority.”
DA election campaign manager Jonathan Moakes disagrees.
“Gauteng is (still) up for grabs. We are seeing great movement in the polls. More broadly, things are looking up for us. Our aim (in Gauteng) is to bring the ANC below 50%, (but that) depends on every DA voter turning out.”
Even in the Western Cape, the DA is fighting to hold a majority as the ANC has fought to get back support in a province long regarded as lost to the governing party.
EFF leader Julius Malema:
Julius Malema is shaping as the biggest winner of the election with polls suggesting the party will double its support from its 2014 maiden poll when it took six percent nationally.
The EFF is likely to get 11% or more and it has run a campaign that has seen it go toe-to-toe with the ANC and DA. The party mortgaged its property in Johannesburg to fund a fully national campaign and to hold rallies across the country…
In the Western Cape and in Gauteng, Malema could be kingmaker, giving him a position of even greater leverage than the period of deal-making after the 2016 local government when the EFF wins put it in a position to decide who would govern Johannesburg and Pretoria (Tshwane council).
If that doesn’t scare you, nothing will.
DA Western Cape premier candidate Alan Winde:
Will Alan Winde be South Africa’s only opposition party premier? It looks like the only province the DA is clear to win is the Western Cape and even that is not clear-cut. Either way, Winde is a shaper of the election campaign…
…there remained a “danger” of the Western Cape falling into a coalition between the ANC and the EFF. The two parties are flirting with each other like mad as the election campaign reaches its final push and the lines of power begin to clarify.
Two things – perhaps all those ‘Alan Winde for Premier’ posters are working, and make sure you get out and vote.
Finally, it’s Aunty Pat, as her posters state, or GOOD leader Patricia de Lille:
After going to war with her former party, the DA, former Cape Town mayor launched her movement as a political party in December 2018. She launched the For Good movement a month before.
A single personality party, De Lille is one of Daily Maverick’s Top 5 characters of the campaign because her battle with the DA has shaped that party’s poll outcome. The DA is fighting as hard as it is for the Western Cape because its battle with De Lille has cost it votes.
The Good party has got posters and election material as feisty as its founder and this has seen the newcomer party make a mark.
I’ve seen the posters, and I feel like she should have gone with ‘Auntie’, not ‘Aunty’. Anybody else feeling that vibe?
Eight days and counting. If you think your vote doesn’t matter, just remember that only 70% of eligible voters are likely to bother turning up, so hauling your arse out of bed does make a difference.
Plus, opt to skip out of voting and you forfeit the right to bitch and moan for the next five years.
You can see a more in-depth breakdown of Ipsos’ latest poll on Politicsweb.
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