With 48 political parties contesting for the upcoming 2019 elections, we see an increase of 19 more political parties than there were in the last elections in 2014. The names of 8043 candidates contesting for the 400 seats available to become members of parliament have been submitted to the Independent Electoral Commission by their political parties. A great deal depends on the three main contenders for the much anticipated May elections. In the Northern Cape 21 political parties will be contesting for the valuable vote of the electorate. While only 30 seats are up for grabs at the provincial legislature, 367 candidates have been registered with the IEC, each hoping that his or her party does well at the polls to secure a seat.
We have seen members reverting back to their old political parties and some joining new ones with hopes of receiving stability and growth.
Based on the latest poll results from the Institute of Race Relations (IRR), the African National Congress (ANC) currently stands on 54.7% of South African citizens voting in their favour. This is down by 1.3% from December 2018 while the Democratic Alliance (DA) is at a 21.8% voter percentage with 3.1% increase. The EFF is looking at a current voter percentage of 12.2% thanks to a gain of 1.2%.
ANC’s general decline from 2014 can almost exclusively be attributed to the growth of the EFF, as the parties are now locked in a battle for between 5% and 10% of alienated black ANC voters.
The DA won just over four million votes nationally in 2014. This can also be translated as 89 seats in parliament even though they battled to control their own internal narrative in 2017. While Patricia de Lillie has now left and started her own political party, issues around diversity and quotas in the party are unlikely to end.
The 2019 elections will be the first opportunity for the EFF to prepare for elections with sufficient time – unlike in 2014, when the party had eight months to get ready. It appears that the provinces that delivered the bulk of the EFF’s votes in both the 2014 general elections and the 2016 municipal polls are set to become the focus of the EFF’s current campaigning strategy.
As the years went by, the ticked ballot papers decreased for COPE resulting in the party only having a representation of three MPs in parliament. They have however, maintained a vocal presence on the national stage although party leader, Mosiua Lekota has recently raised eyebrows through unexpected expressions of support for racist singer Steve Hofmeyr and alt-right group AfriForum.
With the National elections a mere 27 days away, the question that we all would like answered is, who will take the votes this time around? And will they actually deliver on all the promises that we have so endlessly been hearing about?