2019 proved to be a busy year for South African political parties. Various formations contested the 6th democratic elections with the African National Congress (ANC) still maintaining power as the governing party.
Even in its worst election performance since the dawn of democracy, the ANC remained the governing party with 57% of the national vote.
A record number of 48 political parties contested in the 6th national elections, 19 more than the 2014 elections. And of course, the bigger political parties pulled out all the stops in electioneering.
The ANC wasn’t going to lose the elections, but it was the numbers that would reveal how South Africans feel about the liberation movement.
The gap between the ANC and the official opposition party remains wide.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) bagged a little over 20% of the vote, a poor performance for the blue party which led to some leadership change.
Former DA leader Mmusi Maimane says, “Democrats I want to say to you, this is our moment, this is our time, it is now or never!”
Some political analysts dubbed the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) the fastest growing political party. While its number three on the electoral scoreboard, it made a significant gain in the 2019 poll with 10.7%.
EFF president Julius Malema says: “They know that Mandela has handed over the baton to a younger generation and that generation is in the EFF.”
The election surprise came from the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and the FF Plus.
The IFP’s electorate grew from 2.40% to 3.38% and the Freedom Front Plus followed in a similar trend from 0.9% to 2.38%.
The United Democratic Movement (UDM) was rather disappointed by the party’s decline in the Eastern Cape Province, the party’s stronghold.
To fill up the seats in Parliament, smaller parties including Mosiuoa Lekota’s Congress of the People (COPE) got enough votes to be part of the sixth parliament.
The focus will turn to local government elections when the New Year starts. It will be one big scramble for votes after the 2016 election upset, especially for the ANC.
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