Letters to the editor: May 10 to 16

‘Election research ‘a mighty effort’

It’s worth recalling for the historical record that the election research for the ANC in 1994, which Professor David Everatt illustrated in the The fine art of polling (May 3), was a mighty effort among five teams.

The contract mentioned was between the ANC and Case (Community Agency for Social Enquiry), a nongovernmental organisation that had conducted decade-long research for the ANC. Case employed Everatt.

Other members of the Case core team were Dr Ros Hirschowitz, Derek Schrier (a volunteer from the United States) and myself (Dr Mark Orkin) as project leader and Case director.

A consortium, including Susan Booysen (now a professor at the Wits School of Governance), had put a similar proposal to the ANC, which had arranged for us all to collaborate. Case’s fieldwork was done by Research Surveys of Cape Town, including a market research technique devised by University of Cape Town academic Jannie Hofmeyr. The ANC’s own election team was formidable, led by Pallo Jordan and including Gill Marcus and Tony Trew, with Ketso Gordhan as executive.

We were basically social scientists. Polling is a specific genre. The ANC imported Bill Clinton’s pollster Stan Greenberg and his partner, Frank Greer. They applied their wizardry and advised the ANC team on design and strategy, using the results we produced. (In a subsequent election Greenberg advised the Democratic Alliance.) — Mark Orkin, Case director, 1985-1995; Ros Hirschowitz, Case senior researcher, 1992-1995; and John Aitchison, Case board member, 1985-2015.

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

One Movie, Two Takes: Hustle

You don’t have to be a basketball fan to enjoy this new Netflix sports drama

WATCH LIVE: 200 Young South Africans 2022

M&G will showcase SA’s most versatile, innovative young professionals to inspire, ignite and prepare upcoming youth for a new world

Banning abortion criminalises femininity as it does race and poverty

Unpacking the reversal of Roe v Wade and the ruling in Dobbs v Jackson reveals a pushback against gains made by women

Flying the flag for the youth

Emmy-nominated actress Thuso Mbedu credits inclusivity, equality, and sustainability to getting her career to where it is today. As a Mail & Guardian Top 200 Young South African, the actress encourages the youth to collaborate for a better future
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×