National wins and losses of the three major parties

With 95% of the vote counted, it is now possible to determine each of the three major parties’ gains and losses across the country, writes Sithembile Mbete.


Source: Electoral Commission of South Africa – *With 95% of the vote counted

The numbers show that the ANC has haemorrhaged support throughout the country falling from 61.95% to 54.45% of the total national vote. This is a loss of 7.5 percentage points.

The DA has gained 2.28 percentage points to receive 26.22% of the vote compared to the 23.94 it won in 2011. Where did the ANC lose the most votes? And which parties have scored the most from its losses? What does this mean for the ANC’s chances in the 2019 national and provincial polls?

The ANC lost votes in eight provinces in the country. KwaZulu-Natal is the only province in which it made a marginal improvement of 1.58%. The party’s greatest losses were in Gauteng (-14.32%), Limpopo (-13.71%) and North West (16.17). These are also the provinces in which the EFF has consolidated support.

North West has become one of the ANC’s strongholds under the leadership of Premier Supra Mahumapelo, a member of the so-called ‘premier league’ faction in the party. The ANC suffered significant losses in the provinces led by the other two members of the premier league, Premier Ace Magashule (Free State) and Premier David Mabuza (Mpumalanga). The party lost 8.84% and 8.15% in Free State and Mpumalanga respectively.

In a major upset, the ANC lost control of Nelson Mandela Bay municipality to the DA. It lost 6.7% across the Eastern Cape province. The party declined even further in the Western Cape (-7.17%), which has been governed by the DA since 2009. In the Northern Cape the ANC lost 4.75%.

 The EFF

It appears that the EFF has benefited the most from the ANC’s decline as it has doubled its share of the vote compared to 2014 and has made in-roads in ANC strongholds. While it didn’t win many wards from the ANC, it managed to reduce the proportion of the vote won by the ruling party in certain areas, which contributed to reducing the ANC’s overall share of the vote. This was noteworthy the case in wards in certain townships like New Brighton and KwaZakhele in Nelson Mandela Bay.

In 2014 the EFF won a total of 1,169 259 of the national vote. This amounts to 6.35% nationwide. EFF leaders have expressed their satisfaction with doubling their total number of votes in the 2016 election to 2,282, 385. This amounts to 8.03%, a 1.71% increase. In addition the party increased its proportion of the vote in all provinces.

The bulk of the EFF’s support was in Gauteng, Limpopo and North-West where it won 10.26%, 10.27% and 12.53% respectively. In the 2016 elections the party improved by 0.77% in Gauteng to win 11.03%, 6.32% to win 16.59% in Limpopo and 2.79% to win 15.32% in North-West. This improvement consolidates the status of these provinces as the party’s stronghold.

The DA

The DA increased its share of the vote in every province except Mpumalanga and North West where it lost -0.99 and -1.13 respectively. It won 26.54% of the national vote in 2016, an increase of 2.59%. The party’s performance improved significantly in the Eastern Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Northern Cape where it won 30-40% more of the vote than it did in 2011. Western Cape was consolidated as the party’s stronghold as it increased its share of the vote by 5.15 percentage points, giving it 62.49%.

While the DA did not win as many ANC wards as it may have expected, it made in-roads in black townships where it doubled or tripled its support in some wards. It appears that much of this support was gained from Cope and other small opposition parties more than the ANC. Nevertheless this improvement in townships indicates that the party has broken through the psychological barrier of black voters viewing it as a white party, which provides it a foundation from which to grow its black support base before the 2019 election.

From calls on radio stations and social media posts it appears that the grievance that led erstwhile ANC voters to abandon the party is a sense that its leadership has grown arrogant and is not listening to ordinary voters. How well the ANC overcomes these perceptions will determine whether it can stem its decline in the 2019 elections.


SABC © 2016