Election results are trickling in as excitement and anxiety
follow in the wake of yesterday’s watershed vote.
Hoping to jump the gun, many news agencies have employed statistical projection programs intended to predict both national and provincial outcomes. Accurate algorithm models, which extrapolate data from the Electoral Commission’s official results centre in comparison with previous election results, are beginning to show signs of life.
Dr Oloff de Wet is a leading statistician and mathematician with a keen penchant for crunching meaningful numbers. Together with other experts in the field, de Wet has developed an accurate projection program. You can read more about the man himself and his prediction model, here.
Projection program begins to churn
The Electoral Commission (IEC) has begun the arduous counting process, releasing election results in real time, with the official verdict likely to be announced on Saturday. You can follow the live updates here.
Shortly after 8:00 on Thursday morning, less than 12 hours after voting stations closed, de Wett, along with his team, crunched some numbers and released an early national projection. Jan Jan Joubert, a seasoned journalist working in conjunction with de Wett, noted that these projections were subject to change but, already, they exemplified South Africa’s tumultuous political playing field.
Early election results: Big national losses for ANC and DA
According to the national projections, the national tally
will be represented as follows:
- African National Congress (ANC): 54.98%
- Democratic Alliance (DA): 20.36%
- Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF): 9.77%
- Freedom Front Plus (VF): 2.62%
- Other: 12.27%
These projections paint a grim picture for both the ANC and
the DA – the former, more severely so. The ANC garnered 62.15% of the national
vote in 2014. Latest predictions show a drop of almost 8%.
The DA is also expected to take a knock of about 2%, after achieving
22.23% of the vote in 2014.
The EFF is the only party in the top three which is expected to increase its voter share. Predictions put this gain at more than 3%, after the Red Berets managed to get a total of 6.33% in the 2014 elections.
In relative terms, the VF is expected to make a strong showing. Considering that in 2014 the party only managed to get 0.90% of the national vote, a jump to 2.62% would be momentous.
Joubert added that the initial projection relied on a number of factors, explaining:
“This is our initial projection and it may change as more results are announced, especially if indications of extremely low turnout in the ANC and EFF rural heartland are borne out. Keep checking for updates!”