589 Political parties have gone out to place their poster all over Soweto. Here ANC, EFF and ACDP posters are seen along Soweto Highway as the elections draw closer. 070414. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

Of course the ANC will romp home, but there’s still plenty at stake next week, says Mike Wills.

Cape Town - Just seven more sleeps. Okay, out there in the real world you probably aren’t that excited about the election but I love the damn things.

Of course the ANC will romp home and it’s a given they will get in the 62-66 percent range nationally (they got 65 percent in 2009) but there’s still plenty at stake next week so here is your cut-out-and-keep “Idiot’s Guide To What Matters In This Election” – and in this case it’s the idiot who’s doing the guiding.

The number of voters matters as much as the percentage and any serious drop on the 11.6 million the ANC got last time will ring alarm bells. And where those votes come from is also important.

The party will be worried if the overall ANC support is only made to look good by growth in “KwaZuma-Natal” at the expense of the fast-fading IFP.

Turnout is an important benchmark. The four elections have registered 86 percent (1994), 89 percent (1999), 76 percent (2004) and 77 percent (2009) which are robustly healthy numbers in a voluntary voting system but if it drops into the low 70s then the ANC has short-term and long-term problems.

As for the DA, they’ve backed away from any bullish claims of 30 percent nationally but they need to stay on an upward curve. They got 16 percent in 2009 and 24 percent in the municipal elections three years ago.

The latter figure is not statistically comparable to a national poll in lots of ways but, fairly or unfairly, that’s what Helen Zille has to out-perform if she is to claim a significant gain. My punt is on 25 percent.

The EFF number is being closely watched this time like Cope’s was five years ago. Most guesstimates are in the 3-7 percent range for Malema’s mob and I tend to the lower end of that.

Provincially there’s plenty of sport to be had.

The ANC won’t lose Gauteng but a close-run thing in that province could cost Zuma big time.

The ANC won’t win the Western Cape but if they can’t improve significantly on the paltry 31 percent they got in 2009 (especially with Cope now effectively awol) then expect more blood on the provincial party tracks.

The DA are urging us to get excited about the Eastern Cape on the basis of the 2011 local elections which saw the ANC almost lose their majority in the Nelson Mandela Metropole, but in 2009 the DA got less than 10 percent in the province so they have a monumental leap to make.

The Northern Cape is interesting. The combined DA/Cope vote there in 2009 was just under 30 percent and that’s a strong base of disaffection with the ANC who, curiously, have deployed Grant Pascoe to the thinly populated province.

Pascoe’s defection from the DA was trumpeted as a big drawcard in Mitchells Plain but he’s been packed off to the distant Kalahari for reasons that are being wildly rumoured about. It would probably help the ANC’s cause in Cape Town if they sent Marius Fransman and Tony Ehrenreich that far away as well.

Locally, Kenny Kunene and Gayton McKenzie’s Patriotic Alliance is worth checking out, their posters are everywhere in the Overberg shouting about their connection to god.

The only surprise about the PA is that Badih Chaaban hasn’t joined this skelm gang.

However, you do have to credit McKenzie with the take down of the campaign – his Open Letter to Julius Malema was an absolute gem of the bubble-bursting genre especially when he described the EFF leader as “The Con-mander-in-Thief”.

I wish I’d come up with that line.

* Mike Wills’ column Open Mike appears in the Cape Agus every Wednesday.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Newspapers.

Cape Argus