Will you be casting your vote tomorrow for the National elections?

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Walking up to the voting booth, we all get a sense of belonging and pride. Standing in the sun for hours just to make your mark, to see who runs our country is without question, your South African duty.

Being a part of the greater picture gives you a sense of purpose, knowing that in some small way, you made a difference. You possibly changed the future for South Africa.

But what lies in store for us tomorrow, May 8, when scores of South Africans prepare to cast their vote?

Looking at the national elections, the Institute of Race Relations (IRR) recently published its final pre-election poll for the 2019 election period.

While pre-election polls do not predict an outcome for the elections, they do paint a clear image of how the electorate is going during the survey period. In fact, previous election results show these polls can be rather accurate, with Ipsos’ poll results coming within a percentage point of the final results for the respective parties.

Research and data analytic groups have also conducted election polls, including those from Ipsos and the IRR, between January and May. Each group using very different methodologies, but all painting a similar picture of what is happening with the electorate.

What does this picture reflect?

There is an apparent drop in support for the African National Congress (ANC), with flat to negative support shown towards the Democratic Alliance (DA) and a rather sharp gain for the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

Furthermore, these polls show a rather bleak picture when it comes to voters. According to the surveys, there seems to be a sense of apathy among voters. Especially among younger voters. This is causing concerns over a low turnout, which can potentially distort the overall picture, causing big jumps or declines in the proportions of the votes won both nationally and provincially.

The IRR’s raw data shows there is likely to be a substantial drop for the ANC, while the DA’s prospects look better with only a slight decline. The polls further show there is a large improvement of support for the EFF.

However, what happens if there is a drop of voters this year?

The IRR claims the most likely turn out for the 2019 elections will be approximately 70%. If this happens, ANC support can improve by 53%, and the DA following at 24%. With a lower turnout, the EFF can possibly decline by 14%.

The Newcastillian asked residents a series of questions on their thoughts about tomorrow’s election. This is what they have to say:

Lorraine Moodley:

Did you register to vote?

“I am initially from Johannesburg and I have not yet registered to vote here in Newcastle.”

Do you think it is important to vote?

“Most definitely, yes. It gives you a chance to have your say.”

Which political party or parties would you say has been the most visible over the past few months?

“I would say the ANC. They seem to be everywhere.”

Do you think the older generation of politicians has the best interests of the youth at heart?

“Not really. We still don’t have free education and we have to pay the full school fees. What are we actually fighting for?”

Do you think the respective political parties will bring about change after the elections? Or do you think it is all just talk?

“I honestly think it is all talk.”

Have you ever thought about leaving the country?

“Yes, I have and I would go to London.”

Xola Mthembu:

Did you register to vote?

“Yes, I have.”

Do you think it is important to vote?

“It is important, as you can make a difference by voting.”

Which political party or parties would you say has been the most visible over the past few months?

“For me, I would say the most visible parties have been the ANC, DA and EFF.”

Do you think the older generation of politicians has the best interests of the youth at heart?

“Not really. Despite the obstacles faced by the youth, the government is more of a business and the only time they show concern about the younger generation is during the elections.

Do you think the respective political parties will bring about change after the elections? Or do you think it is all just talk?

“There is a chance for change being brought about, but politicians need to come up with specific plans and actually do it.”

Have you ever thought about leaving South Africa?

“Not at all. I love South Africa.”

Ronald Majola:

Did you register to vote?

“I have registered.”

Do you think it is important to vote?

“It is extremely important to vote, as you are able to make a difference within the country and its leadership.”

Which political party or parties would you say has been the most visible over the past few months?

“The ANC, DA and EFF have definitely been the most active over recent months.”

Do you think the older generation of politicians has the best interests of the youth at heart?

“No, they don’t. The younger generation is facing so many issues and they are leading lives where they sit in clubs and party. There is no constructive activities or programmes for them.”

Do you think the respective political parties will bring about change after the elections? Or do you think it is all just talk?

“I believe there is a chance for change and if we do not see the necessary change, maybe we should change those who are in power.”

Have you ever thought about leaving the country?

“Yes, I have. I would go to China, as they are one of the fastest growing economies in the world. I would go so I can learn about machinery and various industries, so I can eventually come back to South Africa and help develop our country.”

Zola Gumede:

Did you register to vote?

“Yes, I have registered to vote.”

Do you think it is important to vote?

“Personally, I feel it is important as it is my right to vote.”

Which political party or parties would you say has been the most visible over the past few months?

“I would have to say the EFF and ANC have been the most active.

Do you think the older generation of politicians has the best interests of the youth at heart?

“They only think about themselves and don’t worry about the younger generation. They have promised us jobs, but we still don’t have them.”

Do you think the respective political parties will bring about change after the elections? Or do you think it is all just talk?

“I must say the ANC does deliver, we have more clinics and hospitals than before. It is just the job sector that is lacking.”

Have you ever thought about leaving the country?

“Never, I love my country.”

With the elections taking place tomorrow, be sure to practice your democratic right and cast your vote.

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