The capturing of election results is entering the final phase, with South Africans, from all walks, anxiously anticipating the outcome.
It’s been an exciting week for South Africans. While the political playing field has experienced a flurry of tremendous transformations since 1994, the excitement surrounding this sacrosanct democratic process still inspires a similar sense of hope. A certain disposition has, for a moment in time, drowned out the usual misanthropic monotony.
All feelings are, however, fleeting, and, depending on your
personal political preference, emotions attached to the ever-nearing outcome of
South Africa’s sixth democratic election, are likely to fall either side of the
fence of indifference. This result will, undoubtedly, impact every South
African – for better, or for worse.
The Electoral Commission (IEC), tasked with overseeing the entire voting process, has had a torrid time. From the impermanence of indelible ink, to a dire shortage of ballot boxes; the complaints lodged against the commission are many and varied. Unfortunately, issues of incompetence and electoral fraud have left a bitter taste in the mouths of the electorate and political parties alike.
Has the integrity of this year’s ballot been compromised? Has the IEC broken its solemn promise of a ‘free and fair election’? Many are saying it has. The Commission, acutely aware of the fallout, has promised to investigate every complaint. Until these investigations are complete, hypothesis regarding Electoral Law and its rank within the judiciary, serve as a spurious reactionary discourse or simply socio-political pillow talk.
Election results and prediction programs
The IEC’s result rollout has been tedious, forcing South Africa to the edge of an already well-worn seat. The Commission promised to have 90% of all results completed for public consumption, before 22:00 on Thursday evening. This isn’t going to happen.
Instead, we’re left in limbo. It’s likely that results will
edge closer to the 100% mark on Friday, after which, court challenges, audits
and a host of other delays will push an official announcement out until
Saturday. It’s a journey.
Luckily, finely tuned projection programs, developed by people with a penchant for numbers, promise accurate final tallies ahead of the time. Dr Oloff de Wet is one such mathematician, who, together with Pretoria FM, has developed an early outcomes system. Veteran journalist, Jan Jan Joubert, who is working together with De Wett and his team, offered his views on the projection model, which, admittedly, is not infallible:
“We are satisfied that the current results are feeding into our projected model ever more smoothly. It does, however, depend on the predictability of human nature, which is not an exact science.”
Still, even to the untrained eye, the predictions, in
comparison to the current tallies, seem to be within reason.
The projected election results, nationally:
Predictions versus actual results and current standings
Before we get into the controversial gains and losses, let’s
compare the above predictions with where the results currently stand as the
finish line draws near. At 21:15 on Thursday night the results stood as follows:
ANC – 56.66%
DA – 22.61%
EFF – 9.80%
IFP – 2.70%
VF – 2.62%
ANC – 68.11%
DA – 16.58%
EFF – 7.59%
ANC – 62.47%
DA – 17.12%
EFF – 11.68%
ANC – 51.06%
DA – 26.98%
EFF – 14.24%
ANC – 53.90%
IFP – 18.97%
DA – 12.78%
ANC – 76.05%
EFF – 13.04%
DA – 5.77%
ANC – 68.79%
EFF – 12.89
DA – 10.96%
ANC – 63.18%
EFF – 18.15%
DA – 10.40%
DA – 55.30%
ANC – 28.64%
EFF – 3.84%
ANC – 57.12%
DA – 26.09%
EFF – 9.47%
Certain provincial results lagging behind
It’s important to note that election results emanating from KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo have been slow. Currently, KZN has 49.72% of votes captured and Limpopo 43.49%.
This is of specific significance when considering that these
regions are ANC strongholds, promising to deliver a flurry of votes in the
Nationally, the tally is 65.17% complete, with results in
areas like the Western Cape, Northern Cape and Eastern Cape almost officially
What does this mean for the Big Three?
While we’ll need to wait for the final announcement from the IEC, some poignant deductions can already be made with the information at our disposal.
It makes sense to start with the ruling party, the African
National Congress (ANC), which will undoubtedly hold onto its seat of national
power. Its grip, however, is loosening. In 2014, the party garnered 62.15% of
the national vote. Current results put the party 6% lower, making the prospects
of the lowest ever voter share quite likely.
The situation on a provincial level is also intriguing. In Gauteng, talk of a coalition government has been doing the rounds. If the ANC fails to achieve a majority, then a coalition seems inevitable. The party is currently holding on by a thread, with its provincial voter share sitting at 51%.
The party has also lost ground in the Western Cape, where it
currently stands at 28.71%, compared to its 2014 total of 32.89%
In the Eastern Cape, the IEC has held onto its majority,
comfortably, garnering 68.11% of the provincial vote.
It’s the national losses which will worry the ruling party. At one time, the ANC enjoyed a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly. But the Zuma-years were cruel, and President Cyril Ramaphosa, despite his business acumen and call for unity, has failed to pull the party of its self-inflicted quagmire.
The Democratic Alliance (DA), which should be rejoicing at the ANC’s losses, has been left perplexed and perturbed by stagnation. On a national level, the party achieved 22.23% of the vote in 2014. The Official Opposition currently sits, uneasy, with 22.61%
Still, the party has, most likely, managed to retain control
of the Western Cape and has made valuable inroads in Gauteng. It has, however,
failed to penetrate the North, namely, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the North West
Losses incurred by the DA and the ANC have been snapped up
by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF); the only ‘top-three’ party showing any
real signs of growth on both a national and provincial level.
On the national ballot, the EFF currently sits at 9.8% after achieving only 6.3% in the 2014 elections. More importantly, the Red Berets seem likely to grip the title of official opposition in the following provinces.
- North West
The most impressive showing, however, belongs to the Freedom Front Plus (VF), who in 2014 only managed to secure 0.90% of the national vote. The party currently sits with a relatively powerful tally of 2.62%, putting them firmly in fifth place on the national leader board.