The Eastern Cape has emerged as a crucial support base for any party because it offers an increasing pool of potential voters.

This is likely to work in favour of the ANC because it is one of the party’s traditional strongholds. The ANC is likely to benefit nationally from the sheer numbers of partisan supporters that this province will provide.

First, the Eastern Cape has the third largest registered voter population after Gauteng and KZN. Parties that dominate in provinces with large registered populations effectively impact positively on their overall national vote share.

Second, the Eastern Cape now has the highest number of registered eligible voters (87%) of all the provinces. In other words, it has registered the highest proportion of its voting age population. It is also the only province (except Limpopo) that actually increased the proportion of its registered voting age population since the 2014 election. Again this widens the potential pool of voters.

With 92% of voting stations declared, the province is expected to settle on 59% turnout, which is lower than the national average (65%). However, all provinces are likely to see a turnout decrease in this election, but the Eastern Cape is expected to have one of the smallest decreases, again another factor likely to help the ANC in the province.

The ANC is leading with 68.5%, the DA lags behind with 15.9% and the EFF has secured 7.7%. – Collette Schulz Herzenberg