South African Election Results: 2014 vs 2019 Predictions

By Joburg Post

The Institute of Race Relations has published its final pre-election poll for the 2019 election season, bringing the total number of polls published this year to nine.

Pre-election polls are not a prediction for election outcomes, but rather provide a snapshot for how the electorate is swinging over the survey period.

However, previous election results have shown that these polls can be fairly accurate – with Ipsos’ poll results in 2016 coming  within a percentage point of the final results for all parties.

Between January and May 2019, several research and data analytic groups have conducted elections polls, including those from Ipsos and the IRR.

While the methodologies of these polls vary greatly, they all paint similar pictures of what is happening among the local electorate – an apparent drop in support for the ANC, flat to negative support for the DA, and a sharp gain for the EFF.

EFF's Julius Malema and DA's Mmusi Maimane

There also appears to be a marked sense of apathy among voters, particularly young voters, leading to concerns over a low turnout, which can potentially distort the overall picture, leading to big jumps or declines in the proportions of the vote won nationally and provincially.

The graphs below outline how the 2019 predictions for the elections differ from 2014. The data deals with raw numbers, ie not adjusted for voter turnout scenarios, or registered voters that took part in the various polls.

Further insights into the data are provided below.


The IRR has conducted polls since 2018, but only the 2019 surveys are presented above.

Overall, the group’s raw data shows that voters are likely to punish the ANC in the coming election, with support levels expected to drop significantly.

The IRR’s findings are optimistic about the DA’s prospects, showing the lowest declines, and the most recent poll even pointing to a gain in party support. On trend, however, the polls show a large jump in support for the EFF.

According to the IRR, using historic voter turnout figures, the most likely turnout in the 2019 elections will be around 70%. This is also the number touted by many of the other research groups.

In a 70% turnout scenario, ANC support would improve to 53%, with the DA at 24%. However, with a lower turnout, the EFF would decline to 14%.


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