Dawie Scholtz: The IRR's bombshell election poll results are mind-blowing

2019-04-30 12:28
dawie scholtz, elections 2019
Independent analyst Dawie Scholtz has built a mathematical projection model for News24 which we will use to project the most likely results of the election.

The latest polling numbers by the Institute of Race Relations have delivered a bombshell, with the think-tank's research showing the governing party could be in danger of losing its outright majority.

News24's elections analyst Dawie Scholtz says the ANC should be worried about what could happen next week when South Africa goes to the polls, but that ultimately voting patterns remain very difficult to predict.


- The ANC currently stands on 49,5% support nationally, with support increasing to 51% on a 72% voter turnout and 50% on a 69% voter turnout.

- DA support nationally on 21,3% and stable on 24% on higher voter turnout.

- EFF support nationally on 14,9% and decreasing to 14% on higher voter turnout.


-  If these numbers hold true South Africa will be in for a major shock next week.

- The only way this makes sense is if ANC support is collapsing under black voters.

- It is way off from News24's projections and out of kilter with both Ipsos and MarkData, the other two credible pollsters.

-  Field-workers – as used by the IRR – may very well pick up trends that telephone polling does not.

- It is possible that these enormous shifts are taking place, but it is not congruent with patterns in recent by-elections. They are also way beyond historical voting patterns.

-  It could however be accurate because of the lack of recent election data.

- The ANC have the ability to squeeze out extra percentage points out of the electorate in the last days before the election.

- Their last chances remain the May Day rallies on Wednesday and the final Siyanqoba rally on Saturday.

- However, the party is now competing with both the DA and the EFF for support and attention on the weekend.


- There are three polls – Ipsos, MarkData and the IRR – with the former at the higher end of the range for the ANC and the IRR at the lower end.

- Ipsos and MarkData believe the ANC could end up between with 59% and 61%, the IRR a full 10 percentage points lower.

- It is impossible to determine who is right and who is wrong – or who may be in the middle.

- Crucially, the two largest pollsters in the country have very different views of how this election is going. One will be right and one will be wrong. Or we'll end up somewhere in the middle.

- And we should keep that in mind when we assess the credibility of the pollsters in future.

Find everything you need to know about the 2019 National and Provincial Government Elections at our News24 Elections site, including the latest news and detailed, interactive maps for how South Africa has voted over the past 3 elections. Make sure your News24 app is updated to access all our elections coverage in one place. 

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