If just about no one tries to understand what most voters think and feel, election results will often be a nasty disappointment. Observers of the election campaign might notice an oddity that has become a feature of politics in SA. If we rely on social and regular media we would expect the ANC to win no votes at all. Even before load-shedding resumed, social media, radio talk shows and newspaper pages were filled with anger and scorn, all directed at the governing party. The air is thick with predictions that it will no longer govern after the results are in. But both by-election results and polls predict that the ANC will be re-elected with a working national majority and will govern at least seven provinces. The debate is about how big its majority will be, not whether it will achieve one. Why this gap? Because the ANC has lost the support of the black middle-class, it will be re-elected largely by poor and working-class voters. But only middle-class voices are heard in social and...

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