The Predictive Power of listening247 in the South African Elections
DMR in the Press

The Predictive Power of listening247 in the South African Elections


DMR In The Press


The Predictive Power of listening247 in the South African Elections



The recent South African elections have underscored the role of digital analytics. listening247 has emerged as a solution for forecasting election results.


LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, June 18, 2024 / -- Social media platforms serve not only as spaces for networking but also as arenas for political discussion and voter engagement, the recent South African elections on 29 May 2024 have underscored the transformative role of digital analytics. Developed by DigitalMR Ltd.listening247 has emerged as a crucial solution in decoding voter sentiments and forecasting election results, marking a significant evolution in how political campaigns and analysts understand voter interactions. This project was carried out in partnership with Rich Rewards.


Predictive Precision of listening247

Utilising more than 100 custom machine learning models, listening247 processes unstructured data from diverse sources including social media, forums, blogs, and news outlets. During the run-up to the South African elections, from February to May 2024, listening247 meticulously analysed posts from platforms such as X, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, news and forums focusing on six major political parties and numerous political issues.

The standout feature of listening247 is its accuracy in relevance, sentiment analysis and conversation drivers. listening247 successfully predicted the ranking of the six political parties based on social media engagement and sentiment. This was achieved despite only analysing English-language data, which speaks volumes about its sophisticated algorithmic capabilities.


Executive Insights

Data revealed the African National Congress (ANC) as the winning party in both the volume of social media posts and positive sentiment, closely followed by the Democratic Alliance (DA) and MK. Notably, MK clinched third place due to its significant following and engagement on social media, challenging traditional poll predictions. EFF, Action SA and Rise occupied the 4th, 5th and 6th positions of the six parties included. This outcome was accurately predicted by ranking the six parties using the total volume of positive sentiment posts.

The political parties in South Africa and sentiment score via listening247


Key issues that resonated with voters included infrastructure, corruption, employment, education and crime, reflecting the electorate's core concerns. Interestingly, all six parties analysed exhibited a negative net sentiment score on these pivotal issues, yet listening247's detailed analysis allowed for a deeper understanding of voter concerns and party strengths.


Methodological Excellence and Language Capabilities

The methodology behind listening247 is a testament to DigitalMR’s commitment to innovation and precision. listening247 is capable of analysing data across any language, enhancing its versatility. For the South African elections, the focus was on English-language data due to its prevalent use and status as a lingua franca among the diverse linguistic groups in South Africa.

Despite not including other major local languages such as Zulu, Xhosa, and Afrikaans, listening247 accurately predicted the political parties' rankings. This achievement highlights its ability to effectively interpret key trends and sentiments from the English-speaking segments of the population, showcasing its robust algorithmic design.

DigitalMR’s AI technology is engineered to handle data from any language with high accuracy, ensuring that listening247 can be adapted for a broader linguistic analysis in future projects. This potential for expansion promises even more detailed insights into voter sentiment across different linguistic demographics.


The Role and Reach of Social Media

*With 45 million internet users and 26 million social media users in South Africa, platforms like X, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube have become integral to political campaigning. The analysis demonstrated that the ANC, DA, and MK had the most substantial online presence and engagement, correlating with their top rankings in both social media discussions and predicted electoral outcomes.


Future Prospects and Continuous Improvement

As DigitalMR continues to refine listening247, the focus remains on enhancing its predictive accuracy and expanding the scope of data analytics in political forecasting. The success seen in the 2024 South African elections serves as a powerful example of the potential of AI-driven analytics to revolutionise political campaigns and the understanding of voter dynamics.

The South African elections have illustrated a significant shift towards digital analytics in the political sphere. Solutions like listening247 are becoming indispensable in deciphering the complex landscape of voter behaviour and sentiment. As technology progresses, the convergence of AI, data analytics, and political science is set to offer deeper insights, potentially altering the traditional approaches to political engagement worldwide.

The journey of enhancing these predictive models continues, aiming to provide increasingly precise and actionable insights into voter sentiments and electoral outcomes. With its spirit of innovation, authenticity, and empowerment, DigitalMR is committed to providing invaluable solutions that empower analysts around the globe.

*Source: Stats SA figures allow one to estimate that there were 37.8 million people aged 18 years and older living in South Africa in mid-year 2018.



Original Source: United Kingdom Political Times



The Social Listening Revolution: How African Banks Can Leverage Social Intelligence for Success