Sadly, today is not a public holiday, although at least the elections have come and gone.
Let’s leave that (mostly) behind, though, and look at the election post-mortem conducted by News24’s Dawie Scholtz, who was responsible for their election stats prediction model.
He’s a self-proclaimed election nerd, and he dug deep to offer some incredible insight into how, and why, South Africa voted as they did.
To start, we’ll look at the demographics – here are those numbers (the movement from 2014 is in brackets):
2019 suburban voters nationally
The DA clearly took massive losses in the suburban electorate, with the lion’s share moving to the FF+. There were also minor improvements for the ANC, indicating that there was a small “Thuma Mina” effect, with a slightly higher percentage of white voters voting ANC than usual.
When you split those suburban voters into coastal provinces (WC, EC, KZN) versus inland provinces (LM, MP, NW, GP, FS and NC), another interesting trend develops:
2019 suburban voters inland provinces (national ballot)
2019 suburban voters coastal provinces (national ballot)
You’ll notice the DA’s massive drop in suburban inland voters;
At this stage, my working hypothesis is that the suburban electorate in the inland provinces is much more Afrikaans and much more conservative than the coastal suburban electorate, making it more susceptible to the FF+.
Pretty interesting stuff.
Scholtz has also taken a closer look at the 2019 national black electorate:
Digging deeper, Scholtz adds:
This is an extraordinary result and confirms two key points. Firstly, that the ANC vote total in this portion of the electorate got severely deflated by two forces: Lower turnout and lower share of the vote. And secondly, that the ANC bleed-off went almost exclusively to the EFF, with the DA achieving only very marginal growth in the black electorate.
Ah yes, the DA’s age-old problem rears its head once more.
There are plenty more stats to digest in that piece (read it in full here), but I’ll skip ahead to the disengaged hold the keys to the future:
Roughly 9.3 million registered voters did not vote in this election. There’s another 9 million South Africans that are of voting age who are not registered to vote. That’s a full 18 million people who chose not to participate in the electoral process.
They potentially hold the keys to the future. If a party can understand who these people are, why they’re disengaged and get them engaged the electoral impact could be explosive. The alternative is also important: If the disengaged portion of the population continues growing and remains disengaged, it could have significantly negative consequences for governance and democracy in South Africa.
Those of you who didn’t vote have another few years to find a party that speaks to you. If the big three aren’t doing it, there are plenty of other options.
As long as you stay away from Hlaudi – please, you’re better than that.
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