A number of small political parties have contended that the elections were not free and fair. Picture: Bongani Shilubane /African News Agency (ANA)

Mahikeng - Small parties are becoming more important in the electoral process, an analyst said on Friday. 

"We have seen in this election that small parties are becoming more and more important in terms of the electoral process.

"I am expecting up to ten political parties to be represented in parliament and in terms of coalition politics, low support base of the ANC - coalition politics is becoming more and more prominent," said Professor Andre Duvenhage from the North West University in Potchefstroom.

He said the performance of small parties such as the  Freedom Front Plus have been good. 

"The Freedom Front Plus have triple their support based, the  IFP [Inkatha Freedom Party] also performing very well especially in KwaZulu-Natal, the Good Party and new party like the African Transformation Movement but, on the other side we have parties that are performing not so well.

"I think Cope [Congress of the People] as a party is in trouble, the UDM [United Democratic Movement] has lost their support in a significant way over the decade or more and we are also looking at some of the smaller parties who just did not perform like the BLF [Black First Land First] and there is number of others."

He said the election irregularities were not sever to affect the election in general. "I think at this point in time there is a lot of irregularities identified and at the moment the IEC [Electoral Commission] is giving attention to things like double voting and irregularities.

"I do not think it is of such a nature that the election will not be declared free and fair but I think there will be investigation, there will be elements of misconduct.

"Generally speaking I think the election was a success, some parties make inroads I think the ANC in some ways are very lucky for what they did receive given their background. 

"I think the Democratic Alliance also performed relatively well given all their internal conflict and the EFF performed basically so well that they more or less have doubled their previous support."

African News Agency/ANA