Johannesburg - The Democratic Alliance performance in last week's national election was impacted by a rise in nationalism to the left and the right of the political spectrum, the party's federal chairman Athol Trollip said in Johannesburg on Monday.
"We were faced with internal challenges and significant changes in the political landscape, the rise of nationalism on both the left and the right. In short, both internally and externally there were matters we had to grapple with," Trollip told reporters at Nkulukelo House, the Johannesburg headquarters of the official opposition party.
"We will be the first to state that these factors had a role to play in our electoral fortunes. As the DA we are holding the moderate non-racial centre ground; an important position in the rise of populism."
The DA's vote share shrank to 20.7 percent in last week's elections, while the far left Economic Freedom Fighters improved theirs to 10.79 percent and the far right Freedom Front Plus also saw a surge in support, securing 2.38 percent to become the fifth biggest party in Parliament.
James Selfe, the chairman of the DA's federal executive was at Trollip's side, but party leader Mmusi Maimane was absent from the briefing.