Conventional thought has it that the ANC is in an electoral crisis. The opposition is predicting that the ruling party stands a real chance of losing national power in 2019. Likewise, that suggestion has proven to be a helpful stick for those alienated from the ANC to beat President Jacob Zuma with. The assumption has found some currency in the press too, and speculation to this end is now common. However, when it comes to quantifying electoral trends, SA generally operates as an evidence-free zone. The media and civil society do not conduct regular polling in the way the US or UK do and, for the most part, we rely on sentiment to guide our political prognostication. The truth is, no-one can say with any certainty what the current electoral landscape actually looks like. Only that there is consensus the ANC is in serious trouble.It is helpful to play devil’s advocate in these kinds of environments, where hope and fear, more than surveys and data, tend to drive analysis. It forces on...

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