Carol Paton Writer at Large

In the end, none of the pollsters got it right, and some did more badly than others. With such widely varying predictions for the election and vastly different methodology, it was always going to come down to a race between the pollsters. Least wrong was Ipsos, one SA’s oldest market-research companies, which incidentally does some of the fieldwork for the ANC’s internal polling. Ipsos’s result in its last poll done in April came within range of the final result, taking the margin of error into account. On a turnout of 71% — generally assumed to be most likely — on the national ballot Ipsos predicted 61% for the ANC; 19% for the DA and 11% for the EFF. With a margin of error of 2% this put it in the ballpark of the final outcome, which was ANC 57.5%, DA 20.77% and EFF 10.79%. Ipsos has by far the most resources in the market to conduct research. It has a larger sample than other pollsters (2,834) randomly drawn from all eligible voters in which every adult has an equal chance of ...

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