DURBAN - On 8 May South Africans will again get the chance to exercise their democratic right and vote for the country’s leadership.
As long as you’re registered, you get to go to your polling station and have your say. Right? Well, as any South African will tell you, things are a little more challenging than that.
For example, deciding who to vote for is proving complicated.
South Africans have been asking Google ‘who to vote for in SA elections 2019’ every week for the past six. Other trending questions on Google Search in the run-up to voting day include ‘where to vote for elections’ and ‘who will win the 2019 elections?’
While Google search can’t tell South Africans who to vote for, it can help them find the party manifestos online as well as YouTube videos of the various leaders in action, which may serve to narrow it down a bit.
For live updates on the day, South Africans can also turn to YouTube, which will have dedicated elections content from national broadcasters and other media such as News24 and Times Media.
South Africans take their vote seriously, and search trends data shows high volumes of searches across the country’s larger parties as well as their leadership over the past six weeks.
Last week the top three most searched parties where the ANC, EFF and DA (in that order) and party leaders Julius Malema, Cyril Ramaphosa and Mmusi Maimane (in that order).
Google Maps live traffic data will show you where there’s congestion and when it’s quiet at your registered polling station. And if you’re picking up a friend after for a braai, Google can help you find them.
South Africans looking to keep up with the news on the day can refer to the live feed on the Google App, which will show you news results based on your reading preferences once you’ve plugged those into the app (it is also the perfect spot to find the final results, later this week). If you prefer email, you can set up news alerts to get the latest online updates on your party in your Gmail inbox, as it suits you.
Trending search terms can be found on the Google Search Trends website for those who like to keep their fingers on the pulse in near real time. Updated hourly, the site shows what South Africans are searching for and where, in near real time.
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