Election Timing – Note from John Cairns

Election Timing – Note from John Cairns

Estimates on election timings - John Cairns

Bottom line: Results will likely generate market volatility on Thursday 30th May between 11:00 and 17:00. Negotiations on coalitions etc. have no defined start or end date, although parliament convening on Monday 17 June is an obvious potential stress date.


29 May (Wednesday): Voting closes at 9pm. The first indications that we will get is on turnout, with that leading to speculation on implications for the result. There may also be some exit polls (e.g. from the DA), which typically only get released after the polls have closed. I would treat turnout numbers and exit polls as only vaguely indicative.


30 May (Thursday): Results will start to be announced from early in the morning. Various bodies, e.g., ENCA, will use models to extrapolate the early numbers to try and get a sense of the final result. I wouldn’t put much faith in these until we have 25-30% of the results in, and even then I would be very careful. By the afternoon, enough results should have been released to let us get a very good idea of the likely final result. In 2019, by 16:00, 75% of the results were counted, and the final result was almost exactly the same as the results at that time. My best guess is that the period 11:00-17:00 will see the most market volatility.


31 May (Friday): Results will keep tricking in. In 2019, by 06:00, 90% of the results were in. Speculation should start switching from the expected result to the expected implication. We should start to hear in more detail from politicians on the results and their positions on coalitions etc.


1 June (Saturday): Final results should be released. This then triggers the dates for parliament to convene 14 days later. Negotiations on coalitions should start in earnest. There may be a violence over this weekend if parties are unhappy with the results.


17 June (Monday): Expected date for parliament to convene to elect a new speaker and President. My understanding of the constitution is that this is not a limiting date: i.e., there is nothing to stop parties from negotiating coalitions beyond this date. However, this date could still prove important is that there could be an initial or final vote. 

This article has been published by courtesy of Verisha Singh – Customer Dealer, Foreign Exchange – FNB and RMB.

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