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The ANC set to win Nkandla from the IFP

In 2011 the IFP got more votes in the local government elections in Nkandla (KwaZulu-Natal) than any other party. In that election it won 46% of the PR votes cast.

As the biggest party the IFP had a dominant position in the municipality, whose name has become synonymous with the president of both the country and the ANC. In the national election of 2014 that proportion had fallen to 37%. While the election had no bearing on local government it signalled the ascendency of the ANC in the area. Projecting changes in voting patterns to August indicates that the ANC will get more votes than any other party and the IFP may become the official opposition.

The actual power balance in the municipality will depend on the ward component of votes but the projections are that the ANC will get more than 53% of the votes. With a clear majority the ANC will be in a position to form the government for Nkandla.

Should the PR projections be correct this election marks a turnaround in the fortunes of the IFP in municipal elections as several other KwaZulu-Natal municipalities are in a position similar to Nkandla. The IFP seems set to lose its prominent position in what was once its powerbase, KwaZulu-Natal. In 2011, the IFP received 22% of the PR vote in the non-metropolitan municipalities of KwaZulu-Natal. By 2014 that had dropped to 14%.

Unfortunately for the IFP it is unlikely to benefit from the exclusion of the NFP from the elections. On one hand in 2014 the NFP only got 5% of the votes in Nkandla. On the other hand, the NFP originally splintered from the IFP and draws on the same constituency. In 2014 the NFP got 2% of votes nationally. Rewinning this support would not sufficently benefit the IFP to dislodge the ANC. It is also more likely that many NFP supporters will just abstain from voting in August.

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