Krutham will be offering a subscription based private polling product into the 2024 elections

Large sample frequent polling followed by six week pre-election tracker

There has already been much talk about why 2024 will be a watershed election in South Africa. Considering developments such as the recent by-election results and a focus on coalitions as support for the ANC continues to decline, the upcoming election promises to be crucial for the country’s direction.

Business leaders and investors will increasingly need insights into the ebb and flow of support for political parties. They will also require information about the likely scenarios that will emerge from national voting results and key provincial outcomes, such as in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

Unprecedented times call for dependable data and insights

From the firm that has provided actionable political insights for 15 years, supporting investors and corporate decision-makers to anticipate major political events and their consequences, we bring you a South African first. 

Krutham (previously Intellidex) is launching what we expect to be the country’s first major private polling election product in recent times. Through expansive data collection efforts, we will track shifts in voting intentions as we lead up to election day, delivering the largest subscriber product of its kind to businesses and investors. 

For investors seeking actionable insights, private polling is a vital tool in the lead-up to the upcoming election. We will leverage the scale of this undertaking to narrow margins of error and ensure the integrity and robustness of our product. This includes committing to plough additional income from subscriptions back into increased sample sizes and added weeks of polling before the election. As such, we guarantee a baseline product with possible add-ons as time progresses.

As South Africa stands on the brink of an electoral season that could potentially reshape its trajectory, decision makers’ need for accurate, nuanced, detailed and timely polling data is critical. The landscape of South African politics is transforming, reflecting new alliances, changing voter preferences, likely lower turnout, coalitions and a significant shift in the political discourse. Our polling tracker offers a window into these shifts, enabling you to respond promptly and appropriately.

  • An interactive detail-orientated product from a respected provider
    Krutham is renowned for independent, incisive research that challenges the status quo. Our reputation is built on delivering hard-hitting, uncompromising insights that are not swayed by the transient or the convenient. This product will uphold these standards to provide unvarnished insights into voter behaviour.

  • Align strategies with the changing political landscape
    Political shifts often have a direct impact on the economy. That is why you need data driven insights to inform your strategies. Accurate and detailed polling helps understand voter sentiments and policy preferences, allowing for more informed and strategic decision making to give your business a competitive edge and help you mitigate potential risks.

  • Predict economic and policy change
    With the ANC potentially facing challenges to its majority status for the first time since 1994, it is vital to monitor how voter preferences evolve but moreover how these reflect in likely seat allocations and coalition makeup. Uncertainty can lead to market volatility, influencing stock markets and local and foreign investment decisions. Polling insights might uncover socioeconomic trends influencing consumer behaviour and investment patterns.

  • See unexpected events in real-time
    There is a significant risk – even if it is not most people’s baseline – that the youth vote could suddenly turn out, that new proto-parties could suddenly gain major support in a ‘Macron moment’, or that tactical voting starts as voters look to strengthen potential coalition partners’ hands. These trends will be difficult to pick up from other sources.

Our polling insights are designed to help subscribers understand voting intentions at the national and provincial level, voter turnout and the interplay between the two. The product will provide regular six-weekly and later weekly insights into voter sentiments, allowing you to stay ahead of emerging trends to make informed decisions based on the current political climate.

Regular insights

We will cover the entire electoral cycle, providing insights from November 2023 to election day 2024. This includes a minimum of four polls (around six weeks apart) and weekly tracker poll updates for at least six weeks before election day. This comprehensive coverage includes the meticulous reporting of results with a detailed emailed report after each poll and a follow up question and answer session with the team on the available results.

Each report will provide the following insights:

  • Voting intentions per party across various turnout assumptions in both national and provincial ballots, with a particular focus on Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provincial ballots.
  • Turnout likelihood based on script questions to registered voters.
  • A breakdown of results by various demographics as well as insights into the margin of error, trends and strength of voter intentions.
  • Key insights into changes in the polls related to events such as voter registration drives.
  • Implied seat allocation scenarios at provincial and national levels with corresponding coalition options presented.

We will also host several webinars and events around the results for subscribers.

Early subscription benefits

To maximise the value of our polling tracker, we encourage clients to subscribe as early as possible. An early subscription guarantees a more favourable pricing structure but also ensures a richer data experience, as you will have access to a broader swath of trend data over time. As we move closer to the election, the pricing per poll will increase. This pricing strategy is designed to reward early engagement, offering our early subscribers notable savings.

While this product does not include our in-depth political economy advisory services, this can be added at a reduced fee. The same is true for existing clients of our c-suite retainer and capital markets subscriptions, who will receive a discount for adding our polling product to current subscriptions.

Striving for more

We are committed to providing our subscribers with a baseline number of polls at a fixed price. However, as we garner more subscribers, we plan to extend the product beyond this baseline. Our goal is to enhance the quality and scope of our polling continuously. Therefore, as subscriptions increase, we will expand our offerings by adding extra weeks of tracker polling. At the same time, we will strategically boost our sample sizes, especially in the crucial weeks leading up to election day, ensuring even narrower margins of error.

Subscription model
When subscribing, clients secure access to all upcoming polls from subscription date through to election day. It is important to note that the subscription price will be adjusted after the release of each poll. This new rate remains valid until the next poll is released.

Payment options
You have the flexibility to settle your subscription in one upfront payment or split it into two lump sums. We accommodate invoicing in ZAR, USD, EUR or GBP. All invoices are payable immediately upon receipt. Your subscription access begins once your payment has been verified and confirmed by us.

We offer full subscription packages. This means we do not provide subscriptions for individual polls or grant access to previous reports for an extra fee.

    We will utilise mobile phone polling, a method ideally suited for South Africa, given its high mobile penetration. This approach allows for larger sample sizes, ensures high levels of interview script completeness and enhances accuracy through overweighting minorities in demographics. While face-to-face polling can achieve similar results, it comes with unwieldy costs and extended timelines. We will be working with Victory Research to undertake the polling, while an overseeing advisory panel will ensure methodological robustness and accountability of our processes.

    We ensure the integrity and reliability of our polling data through:

    • Large sample sizes. Our methodology is grounded in utilising a large and diverse sample size. We anticipate the sample will be bigger than the major political polls that are typically undertaken. This substantial base allows us to capture a comprehensive snapshot of the electorate’s sentiment, offering deep and wide-ranging insights.

    • Overweighting of minorities, rural and hard-to-reach peri-urban areas, as well as overweighting Gauteng and KZN for additional insights on key provincial ballots. Whilst the polling is all reported as representatively weighted samples, it is essential to ensure there is full coverage of all key minorities, including geographic, demographic and class. It is hard to achieve this with face-to-face polling.

    • Advisory panel collaboration. We collaborate closely with an academic advisory panel comprising experts with a rich political science, sociology and data analytics background. This panel plays a critical role in ensuring our approach remains scientifically sound. Their expertise brings a level of scrutiny and depth to our analysis, ensuring more nuanced and reliable insights.

    • A commitment to independence and neutrality. Our operations and analyses are completely independent and untied to any political party or advocacy group. This independence safeguards the objectivity of our data, allowing us to provide you with unbiased insights that truly reflect the ground realities. Our neutrality is not just a principle but a promise to our clients to deliver data that is both authentic and unprejudiced.

    Our 10 points of quality control

    1. Interviewer training
      Our interviewers are recruited for their excellent language skills and ability to talk to a wide variety of people. They receive intensive training in quantitative research techniques with a strong emphasis on question standardisation.

    2. Continuous assessment
      There is a continuous regime of quality assurance in place. Every call is recorded and quality assurers are able to listen in to live interviews. A daily minimum of 10% of each interviewer’s recordings are put through the quality assurance (QA) process.

    3. Assurance scoring
      Interviewers are scored on their interviewing technique, manner, tone, accuracy of follow up probes, as well as the accuracy with which answers were recorded.

    4. Benchmarking
      Interviewers must maintain a QA score of at least 95% across all survey items. If scores drop below this level, or problematic data collection occurs, a full audit of that interviewer’s work is conducted.

    5. Interviewer effect
      We minimise the interviewer effect by placing strong emphasis on standardisation in the way our interviewers ask questions and probe for further information.

    6. Measurement error
      We insist on high-quality translations into all eleven official languages, which are reviewed by our interviewers and supervisors before fielding starts.

    7. Call dispositions
      Every call attempted receives a disposition code. These conform to those set out by the American Association of Public Opinion Research.

    8. Non-response error
      We minimise non-response errors through good fieldwork practices – principally by making sufficient call back attempts. Response rates can be measured, giving an accurate idea of the possible extent of the nonresponse error.

    9. Calling occasions
      To further minimise non-response rates, each number is called no fewer than eight times over the course of two days.

    10. Weighting
      Data is post-stratified, calibrated on population group, age, language, gender, province, level of education and residential area using a raking algorithm, ensuring data matches population totals.

    We understand the high stakes of political results and precision’s importance. While this product is designed to map turning points and ongoing shifts in voter behaviour, ultimately, the end result matters most. Below, we outline our partner, Victory Research’s track record in the 2016 and 2021 local elections (ward vote) and 2019 national South African election outcomes. These outcomes were well within the margin for error in each case.

    About our research partner

    Victory Research is a leading South African opinion research company. They are experts in quantitative and qualitative research, analytics and statistics and have extensive experience in political, social and consumer research. The team has over 60 years of combined experience through their backgrounds in political campaigning and leading scientific methods and systems. Some of their clients include Business Leadership South Africa, Uber, Populus, FirstRand, KPMG, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and the South African Institute of Race Relations.

    Building on a 15-year commitment to South Africa
    With more than 15 years of experience researching the most complex issues in emerging markets, we provide clients with insights that stand up to scrutiny. Krutham is a research-led consulting firm specialising in developing economy capital markets and financial services. Our experience spans various industries, with a strong focus on the financial services sector, and our projects typically involve complex data-gathering exercises, demonstrating our capability to conduct in-depth diagnostic research and provide strategic advice. In particular, we are deeply experienced in working at the intersection of politics, policy and finance and on contentious and important strategic issues within the political economy in South Africa.

    A multi-disciplinary approach
    The team consists of over 30 highly qualified professionals, including those with PhDs, MBAs and CFA charterholders with decades of financial services and research experience between them. In addition, we draw on a network of 40 associates with relevant experience in understanding region-specific opportunities and challenges. This expertise allows us to follow a multi-disciplinary approach, adapting to the specific problems our clients are trying to solve.

    Evidence-based and data-driven advice
    We exist to help our clients solve complex issues. That is why our work is evidence-based and recommendations are data-driven. With a proven track record in political analysis, we help governments, corporate South Africa, political parties, international organisations, and the media better understand public opinion, voting intentions and trends.

    1. What is Krutham Polling?
      Krutham Polling is a regular and detailed tool designed to provide in-depth insights into voting intentions and voter sentiments in the lead-up to the 2024 South African elections. Leveraging a large sample size, it aims to help decision makers make informed decisions within a complex political climate. It is a private polling exercise with a robust methodology.

    2. What do Krutham Polling subscribers receive?
      Subscribers will receive a thorough analysis spanning the entire electoral cycle, from November 2023 to election day in 2024 (which is likely to be at the end of April). There will be a minimum of four monthly polls and a dedicated six-week tracker poll in the run-up to the elections. Subscribers receive a report with the results after each poll, including party voting intentions, election day turnout indications, turnout scenario modelling and methodological data. The report will also include projected seats and coalition scenario analysis. The report will cover national voting intentions but also provincial votes (allowing vote split analysis) of all provinces though we are overweighting the sample in Gauteng and KZN. Webinars and events will also be scheduled with subscribers. We will not release raw data to subscribers, although more disaggregated data will be available on request.

    3. Why should I subscribe early?
      Subscribing early to our polling not only secures a more favourable pricing structure (there are significant discounts per poll when subscribing earlier) but also ensures a richer data experience, granting you access to a broader spectrum of trend data over time. As we approach the election, the cost per poll will increase, making early subscription a more economical choice.

    4. What makes your data reliable?
      Our data reliability stems from the large and diverse sample size we will utilise, coupled with the expertise of an advisory panel that guides our research. We will overweight the sample to minorities to ensure the accuracy of the final weighted sample results. We also are structuring the questionnaires to ensure there is no bias for larger parties and against smaller and particularly new parties. The polling is also focused on looking at turnout intentions to give richer colour and modelling ability of turnout-adjusted scenarios. Additionally, our independence from any political party or larger corporate entity ensures the objectivity and authenticity of our insights.

    5. How can I trust the neutrality of the polling tracker?
      We uphold a strict policy of independence and neutrality in our operations and analyses at Krutham. We apply the CFA Handbook to staff and have internal policies on conflicts and independence in place. We are not affiliated with any political party or political-related group, and no Krutham staff involved in this project are members of or donate to political parties in South Africa or related entities.

    6. How frequently will the data be updated?
      We will be undertaking a minimum of four monthly polls and six weeks of weekly tracker polls before the elections. More will be added if budgets and time allow. Subscribers will receive the data soon after it is received and computed.

    7. Can the data be customised to focus on specific regions or demographics? Can various questions be inserted by subscribers?
      We are offering a standardised product which has a Gauteng and KZN focus on the sub-national level (though there will be data on all provinces for both national and provincial ballots). Our focus is on voting intentions and turnout, so we will be loading questions in the script to extract maximum accuracy on these points – we will not be adding policy or similar questions to the polls.

    8. What kind of support and assistance can subscribers expect
      Subscribers will benefit from webinars where they can engage directly with our team and discuss the latest insights. The team will also be available for any technical assistance or data interpretation queries, ensuring that subscribers can leverage the full value of the product seamlessly. Should a subscriber require deeper insight into the results, we offer an additional political economy analysis product that can be availed at an extra fee as part of Krutham’s broader client offering, granting access to deeper analysis and insights to complement the polling tracker data.

    9. Will you be providing commentary on policy issues and insights on the political parties and their campaigns in this subscription?
      No, this product is only a polling product and is kept separate from Krutham’s broader client subscription and retainer advisory products. Our broader client subscription and retainer advisory products are available to decision makers at banks, companies, governments, IFIs and investors. This broader subscription includes the publishing of regular deep dives on policy issues and political parties and their campaigns and strategies, as well as coalition issues at national and sub-national levels in the run-up to the elections. This service maintains a ‘forecast’ for the election and a series of scenarios that will not be presented with the polling product. The separation is due to the additional cost of running polling but also to keep this type of analysis completely separate from the need for impartiality on results and analysis from polling. Please talk to us if you would like to subscribe to our in-depth political service, as a combined product discount is available.

    10. I already subscribe to Krutham’s research. Does this automatically give me access to polling data?
      No, our polling service is a separate product due to the significant cost associated with its execution. However, we do offer discounts to existing c-suite retainer and capital markets subscription clients. Please reach out to us for more details.

    11. Can I subscribe to an individual poll or a subset?
      No, we are only offering a full subscription for all polls between the moment of subscription and election day.

    12. Can polling predict the election?
      Yes, within a margin of error and with professional judgment on turnout and various other factors. However, raw polling data is challenging to interpret, which is why we will be providing guidance on turnout modelling and scenarios. Our product aims to detect trend changes and a general sense of vote shares (for instance, distinguishing whether the ANC is trending closer to 50% or 45%). However, determining coalition seats becomes crucial in close elections. This is why we are committing to invest more in increasing sample sizes, as we have the subscriptions available to do so.

    13. If you increase the number of polls or sample sizes, does my subscription cost change?
      No, we will do this by investing new subscriber income into the project. You will pay for access to all polling between the date of subscription and election day – and we commit to a minimum number.

    14. How will it work, given that we do not know the election day yet?
      The government is already briefing that they want the elections in early May or late April, which allows us a significant degree of planning clarity. If the election proves to be exceptionally early, we will compress the space between the large initial polls before we start the weekly trackers, and if the election is much later, we will widen the space between the large initial polls. The weekly trackers will always be a minimum of six weeks before election day, regardless of timing. Assuming we have enough subscribers, if the election is delayed, an option will be to introduce additional large polls before the start of the six-week tracker.
    Peter Attard Montalto

    Global Lead: Political Economy

    Nduduzo Langa

    Political Analyst