South Africa: Curiouser and Curiouser - the Strange Case of the 2019 Elections

The Electoral Commission of South Africa's Twitter page on May 6, 2019.

This has, by any standards, been a rather strange election campaign by the major parties. The ANC is riven with factionalism, the DA spends its time attacking other parties rather than putting its own message across, and the EFF is beginning to emerge as a force bigger than just one man, Julius Malema.

While the elections are now just two days away (and the results perhaps three or four), predictions are flying thick and fast. And the result itself will give good indications of how the country has changed, and in which direction it is likely to be going.

It is now becoming possible to examine the campaigns themselves, and how they have been received. This can give us some early clues as to the mood of the nation. A close examination of the campaigns, how they have landed, and how they are different from those in previous elections, may give important insights into what has changed in the country, even if the election results turn out to be well within current predictions.

The first point to make is that this might well be the last election between only a few "big tent" parties.

It is becoming more and more...

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