Opinion polls and the media

Type Book Section - Opinion Polls and the Media in South Africa
Title Opinion polls and the media
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2012
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
City London
When millions of South Africans lined up to vote in the country’s historic founding 1994 election, public opinion polling seemed set to become a regular and important part of South Africa’s new democratic system. Under apartheid, a flourishing private research sector had emerged and the state had developed a strong opinion research facility to monitor popular views towards political change, though both were usually prevented by a range of political and technical factors from surveying the majority of black South Africans. During the country’s dramatic transition period between 1990 and 1994, a plethora of different organizations sponsored or conducted a wide range of surveys that were also widely covered by the news media. The country’s main liberation movement, the African National Congress (ANC), also became increasingly acquainted with the art of survey research as part of its own transition into a modern political party. Indeed, both published polls and private polls had a number of important political impacts on South Africa’s constitutional negotiations, as well as on the campaign for the crucial 1994 founding election.

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