As of noon UTC on the 2nd June the results of the South African election have not been officially announced but are expected imminently. The vote proportions are being reported to 3 significant figures with 99.91% reporting and my understanding no surprises are expected.

After looking through many of the results of a google news search for "South Africa elections projected parliament" and variations I can find no estimate of how these results are likely to end up being represented by seats in parliament. For example, the vote share of the ANC plus the EFF is really close but not quite 50% (9.51+40.2=49.71%). What that means in seats seems like a question that people will want to know, but I cannot find this.

I am more used to following UK and US elections, where every poll prior to and announcement during election night is projected onto a model of the overall seat count.

Why is the projected composition of the South African parliament not being report upon when the results are known to such detail?

  • According to the IEC website, the pronouncement of seat allocations seems even only to happen next Thursday.
    – ccprog
    Commented Jun 2 at 13:47

1 Answer 1


Note that contrary to the systems in use in the UK or the US where elections are held in a constituency basis, so the number of seats for each party is not necessarily aligned with the national vote, in South Africa they use a proportional system.

It’s made a bit more complex because half is done on a national basis and the other half is done in a regional basis, but the end result is that it should be very close to the percentages, with possible offsets of 1 seat more or less due to rounding here and there. So the ANC will probably get 160 or 161 seats, and the EFF probably 38.

So there’s no need to make separate estimates by tallying results in each constituency separately and counting seats won in each one, the percentages are enough, just multiply by 4 and you won’t be far off.

The exact figures will be given once the full results are available, as a small change here or there may switch a seat or another from one list to another.

  • 1
    In most PR systems there is a cutoff, frequently 5%, under which parties get no seats. About 14% of the vote went to parties with less than 5% of the vote, so are you sure the seat totals will match the vote totals so well?
    – User65535
    Commented Jun 2 at 14:37
  • 3
    @User65535 see the results from the last election. ANC got exactly that (57.5% -> 230). The next two got rounded up (20.77% -> 83.08 -> 84 and 10.89 -> 43.2 -> 44). I didn’t check further, but yes, it seems there’s at most a 1-seat difference. The list with the smallest share of the vote which got one seat was at 0.18% so the cut-off is extremely low.
    – jcaron
    Commented Jun 2 at 14:52
  • 1
    But again, there’s always that 1-seat possible deviation, so they could get 161+39, which is still not a majority. Unless of course some votes are invalidated and the percentages (and seats) change accordingly. We won’t know the exact number until official results.
    – jcaron
    Commented Jun 2 at 14:55
  • 1
    That comment adds useful information. I think it would be better added to the answer.
    – User65535
    Commented Jun 2 at 15:13

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .