Polling firm Ipsos put the cat among the pigeons this weekend by releasing a poll that appears to show the ANC currently has around 42% support. This greatly upset the ANC, prematurely delighted the other parties, and greatly upset the politicians. It is clear.

Polling is a fascinating subject, and there is a link to how the markets work, but we’ll get to that in a second. The big problem with this poll is that Ipsos, as always, simply asked people, “If an election were held today, who would you vote for?” He then tabulated the results.

Sounds reasonable, right? The problem is that in this particular poll, a huge number of people refused to answer, said they were not registered, or said they would not vote. This eliminated 26% of respondents from the equation.

Ipsos needs a turnout algorithm that predicts who the non-respondent group will end up voting for. And of course it’s not a simple thing because it will change over time.

In the meantime, we can look at the proportions of votes that parties receive if we exclude respondents who are not registered, don’t know, and won’t vote. I did a miniature version of this calculation and what I got was that the ANC rose to 56%, the DA from 11% to 14.6%, the EFF from 9% to 12% and ActionSA from 3% to 4%, with the rest taking the remaining 13%. These numbers are starting to look closer to the numbers we would expect in a real election.

Read more at Daily Maverick: The collapse of the ANC as South Africa’s majority party is predicted in a new poll

Compare this with a previous Ipsos poll conducted before the local government elections in November 2021 as a methodological check. The survey was conducted in roughly the same format in September 2021 — not so long ago. At the time, according to Ipsos’ methodology, the ANC was trailing at 50%, the DA at 17.9%, the EFF at 14.5%, and the rest at less than 2%. At that time, the minor indicators were much, much lower and made up 7.4% of the amount.

Take them out of the proportional numbers and recalculate, and the results of that poll and the next will be similar. The ANC jumps to 53%, the DA to 19%, the EFF to 15.5% and the rest at around 13%. Note how close these numbers are to the reconfigured poll that Ipsos just released.

Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations

So how do these numbers compare to the actual election results? Well, unfortunately, even the reset numbers are very, very far. I mean very badly, and in ways that are very hard to understand. The ANC got 45.6% of the vote, the DA 22% and the EFF 10.3%, just look at the top three. In other words, the poll significantly overestimated the ANC and EFF by 50% wrong! And the prosecutor was wrongly polled the other way, getting more than the poll suggested, but not by much.

How can you read these numbers with such gloss? To be honest, it is very difficult to draw any significant conclusions. For the record, here’s mine; by no means disagree, because the ANC is far from being in a terrible state, and in fact may be occupying a much weakened position. And that makes sense when you think about it, since Covid-19 is largely behind us and the economy is more or less holding up. Prosecutors should really be worried because, even with the poll’s historical understatement, that’s a big drop. It also makes sense because the DA’s seeming abandonment of the goal of winning the black vote would naturally mean a fall. The EFF also has a problem with these numbers.

Small batches that have all grown will win. The exact proportions may be in doubt, but one thing is not: this is the winter of our discontent. Support for the party has widened and the number of people saying they will not vote or refusing to say has increased significantly, suggesting that voters are looking for options and not finding them. Unsurprisingly, another part of the Ipsos poll found this very specifically.

One more thing must be said. SA serves his survey abominably. It’s just awful and we have to do better than that. The survey is anyway skewed by the fact that when you ask people questions, they make things up. They just do.

You can see it in these results. I guess DA supporters don’t like to tell pollsters who they’re voting for, which accounts for the undercount. And voters like to say very openly that they support the EFF, but when they actually cast their vote, they choose a more subdued option. People tend to answer pollsters’ questions not only with what they think, but also with what they think the pollsters would like them to think, or what they would like their friends to think.

And when you think about it, that’s what makes the financial markets so powerful: when you buy stocks, you’re only rewarded to the extent that you’re actually right; how you look to an outsider doesn’t matter. DM/BM

Source by [author_name]

Previous articleSAMIC president expresses shock at untimely death of TKZee Tokollo member ‘Magesh Tshabalala – SABC News
Next articleSome delegates threaten legal action over 9th ANC North West Conference – SABC News