Some DA voters ditch Mmusi for Cyril
The difference in Western Cape voter support for the DA in a Provincial Legislature capacity versus a lower number of National Assembly votes, has been attributed to galvanising “Ramaphoria”.
Of the 2057212 votes cast in the province, the DA garnered 55.45% (1140647 votes) in Provincial Legislature support, while only 52.41% (1107065) were cast for the party in the National Assembly, showing more than 33500 people voted for the DA provincially, and voted for another party, nationally.
Votes for the ANC in the province showed the opposite.
The ANC garnered 28.63% (589055 votes) in Provincial Legislature support, but 31.23% (659548 votes) support in National Assembly votes.
This means that the DA has 24 seats in the Western Cape Legislature, and the ANC, 12. The ANC will have 230 seats in the National Assembly, and the DA, 84.
UWC political analyst Keith Gottschalk said the numbers reflected support for President Cyril Ramaphosa.
“A vote for the ANC nationally could be a vote for Cyril. He is more popular than the provincial leaders of the party,” Gottschalk said, adding that, overall, the DA lost votes to the FF+ and GOOD, with the ANC losing votes to the EFF.
“What we have seen this year is the polarisation of elections from the two big political parties. That the DA lost votes is surprising. The DA had embarked on big campaigns in the Western Cape, Northern Cape and Gauteng. While they have support in the Western Cape, the party failed to lead the other two,” Gottschalk said.
The DA will now face major strategic decisions regarding issues of affirmative action and land reform, which had lost the party votes, Gottschalk said.
If the party turned its back on these issues, they risked losing black voters, Gottschalk added.
The DA’s performance has meanwhile fuelled reports that Mmusi Maimane’s leadership will come under the spotlight when the party’s top brass meets today. Knives were reportedly out for Maimane after what some considered a surprise drop in electoral support. The party’s support nationally decreased by about 2% since the 2014 elections.
Azola Mboniswa from Maimane’s office said the DA leader was unavailable for comment yesterday.
DA national spokesperson Solly Malatsi said Provincial Legislature support was as a result of voters happy with progress made in the province, in terms of service delivery and good governance.
Malatsi denied the “Cyril effect” had anything to do with a lack of support for the DA in the National Assembly.
“This is an indication that the people of the Western Cape have a strong belief in the government in the Western Cape. At the end of the day, it is Cyril Ramaphosa that is the head of a government responsible for corruption and failures,” Malatsi said, adding it was telling that the ANC lost support nationally.
ANC provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs said he believed Ramaphosa had a huge impact on voter support for the ANC, even in the Western Cape.
“It’s clear his integrity, charisma and endorsement by sections of the media and international publications such as The Economist, galvanised voters. His message of a new dawn also resonated deeply,” Jacobs said.
But much to the party’s disappointment, Western Cape voters did not support the ANC as enthusiastically as those in other provinces did.
“We are disappointed that the DA’s divisive message resonated here. We stand for non-racialism, non-sexism, social cohesion, a united, undivided South Africa that belongs to all its citizens. We will persevere and will return to govern the Western Cape. Getting back means we will have to do some thorough soul searching on our performance. That process has started,” Jacobs said.
Other parties with seats in the Provincial Legislature are: Al-jamah, The Vryheidsfront Plus, ACDP, and GOOD, with one seat each. The EFF has two seats.