A look at South Africa's election background before the polls

A look at South Africa's election background before the polls

- South Africa's fifth democratic general election is hours away

- In the election, voters will cast their ballots for parties who will then win a proportion of the seats in the National Assembly

- The National Assembly will then elect the president

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The May 8 elections are mere hours away.

Months of campaigning and polling will culminate in South Africa's fifth democratic general election, which is expected to see 70% of eligible voters turning out.

With a day to go until votes are cast, here is some important background information about the election.

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South Africa's Constitution lays out a proportional system of parliamentary representation. What this means is that voters cast their ballots for parties rather than individual candidates. 

As a result, parties create ranked lists of candidates for the National Assembly, which is made up of 400 seats. Then, after the election, each party will win a proportion of seats equal to the proportion of the vote they receive.

Additionally, the president is elected by the National Assembly. If one party wins a majority of seats in the National Assembly, it will elect the number one candidate on its election list as the president, Briefly.co.za has gathered.

READ ALSO: Ace Magashule says South Africa still needs former president Jacob Zuma

There has been significant speculation as to how this election will play out, with several institutions putting forward polls.

However, the polls have been inconsistent and in some cases have varied in their predictions by over 10%.

At this point, however, a likely result according to the Council of Foreign Relations is 56% for the ANC, 23% for the DA and 11% for the EFF.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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