My take on the elections this far …

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By Carl Niehaus

The PR system favors parties like the EFF. In terms of the of the number votes brought out for the EFF they have not really grown that much… So far they have only gotten plus minus a 100 000 votes more than in the 2014 elections, but this has translated into almost doubling their percentage of the vote to approximately 10%. We must remember that the number of voters in the last election, compared to this election is not the same, and the percentage of votes garnered by any party is obviously proportional to the performance of other political parties.

The final election results will give the #ANC somewhere between 56% – 58% of the vote, which means that we will loose between 20 – 25 seats in the National Assembly. However we look at it, this is quiet a substantial loss.

The DA projected to garner approximately 22% of the vote will loose 1 or 2 seats.

At a projected 10% of the vote, the EFF will gain approximately 15 seats. (As I have indicated more as a consequence of the PR system, than the number of actual votes that they gained).

The Freedom Front Plus (FF+) surprisingly, or perhaps not so surprisingly taking into consideration the racists and reactionary general profile of whites in South Africa, attracted more voters. In 2014 they attracted only 165 715 votes, but they have now already surpassed 180 366. On the basis of this performance the FF+ seems likely to at least double its seats in the National Assembly. The growth of the FF+ seems to be mainly at the cost of the DA, with reactionary white voters having found it a ‘bridge too far’ to vote for a black leader and presidential candidate, and having abandoned the DA for the FF+. This despite Mmusi Maimane’s lack luster leadership, and dismal failure to challenge white domination in the DA and white privilege and economic domination, in general, in any significant way.

In my own home province of KZN the ANC has up to now, obviously with vote counting still continuing, not done well with 53, 22%, compared to 64, 52% in 2014. Roughly a 11% – 12% loss.

Gauteng remains on a knife’s edge with the ANC right now on 49,61% of the vote, the DA on 28, 38%, the EFF 13, 93% and the FF+ on 3, 96% …

All in the all the status quo in terms of the balance of power compared to the 2014 elections is roughly maintained. This has turned out not to be a watershed election, despite some media predictions that it would have been.

The new small parties that entered the election fray, such as BLF, ATM and the SRWP, to mention only three myriad of parties that mushroomed, have hardly made any impact. In fact across the board they have done even worse than predicted, this despite the fact that the PR system favors small parties.

Perhaps the most significant development of this election is that parties holding radical positions on issues are the ones that gained the most because of the manner in which the PR system favors any growth of voter support in smaller established parties. Thus, the ‘left-wing’ EFF and the right wing FF+ have turned out to be the biggest winners in this election. Despite having said this, it must be noted that the vast majority of South African voters still remain in the center.

*Carl Niehaus, is an NEC Member of MKMVA and National Spokesperson of MKMVA.