President Jacob Zuma is dogged with scandal. Liberation icons such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former ANC minister Ronnie Kasrils have abandoned the party. These are also the first national elections in which the “Born Frees”–those born after 1994–can vote. The official opposition, the Democratic Alliance (DA) is energized, and for the first time there is left-wing alternative, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF). All this makes for a crowded playing field.
Yet polling data, such as it is, suggests that little will change. The ANC currently holds about two-thirds of the seats in Parliament. It is likely to retain a huge majority, even if not two thirds of the seats. The DA may increase its number of seats, and the EFF may enter Parliament. If it does, it will be the first time there has been a genuinely left wing party in Parliament.