Cape Town - Western Cape voters appear to have given the DA their cross of approval with the party looking set to keep its hold on the Western Cape, and even increase its majority in the province.
At 8.30am on Thursday morning the party had a 62 percent majority, up 11 percent from what they got in 2009. The Western Cape is the only province currently not held by the ANC.
Professor Robert Mattes, director of the Democracy in Africa Research Unit at the University of Cape Town, said the party’s percentages would drop as areas where they were less popular, such as Khayelitsha, were counted. However, they were still likely to hold about 54 or 55 percent majority in the province.
He said that even in a number of municipalities that were not DA strongholds they had increased their numbers by between one and four percent, and in some municipalities had gained as much as 10 percent.
At 8.30am when just over a quarter of the national vote had been counted the DA was holding 26 percent while the ANC was holding 60 percent and the EFF 4.5 percent.
The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has predicted that once all votes are counted the national results will end up with the ANC on 63 percent, the DA on 22 percent, the EFF on 4.5 percent. But Mattes questioned where that extra 11 percent would be attributed to, as South Africans have moved away from supporting smaller parties.
Mattes said that with there being such a large majority party, people started to abandon smaller parties and cast their vote strategically to get a bigger proportion of votes to larger opposition parties. He said he thought it was unlikely that small opposition parties would garner as much as 11 percent of the vote. But some of this percentage will go to spoilt votes.
At 8.30am spoilt ballots sat at about 1.5 percent of the national vote. Mattes said if this jumped to four or five percent of the vote, ironically it would aid the ANC and larger parties. For example if 10 votes are cast and one party receives five of the votes, they would get fifty percent of the vote. But if one vote is spoilt, instead of receiving 5 out of ten votes, they now received five out of nine votes and a higher percentage.
Mattes said any result over 20 percent for the DA would be a historical one as no party other than the ANC had achieved this since the National Party got 20 percent in 1994.