2014 election results: Moslty bad, some good – what can we learn from it?

Ok, so here are the 2014 general election results (Source: news24.com):

2014 South African general election results

And here are the results again, also showing changes from the 2009 general election (source: wikipedia.org):

2009-2014 South African election change

And now for the good, the bad, and the ugly:

The good:

  1. There are only three parties that increased their voter-share from 2009. The DA, the UDM and the FF+. So the FF+ is one of the only three established growing parties in South Africa. Well done for them. We saw a slight change in voter sentiment towards the FF+ in opinion polling before the election, and I mentioned that it will be great if they can somehow keep the momentum going. It seems they have. Not only have they increased their share of the vote since 2009, they almost doubled in their vote-share from the 2011 municipal elections. So on the books, they will have to be considered the conservative’s strong suit in South Africa at the moment.
  2. Even though the ACDP lost a considerable (proportionate) part of their voter share, they still managed to retain their three seats in parliament. So on the books, the loss will not be felt. But if they don’t tidy this up soon, they might end up fading from existence come next election.
  3. The ANC has lost 3.75% of its support since 2009, and did not make the dreaded two thirds majority required to change the constitution. Any loss for the ANC can be considered good for South Africa at this stage.

The bad:

  1. The combined conservative vote has decreased a lot. From very small to minute. The IFP lost half it’s support, the UCDP has disappeared and lost their seat in parliament, and the ACDP is shrinking. The conservatives lost a combined 10 seats in parliament (roughly 2.5%).
  2. The EFF has exceeded all expectations, and are sitting comfortably on 6.35%. They have more than a million votes and 25 seats. This extremist far-left party can only be bad for South Africa. They are going to be a thorn in the flesh in parliament, and unfortunately, might spur the other lefties in parliament on to become more extreme.

The ugly:

  1. Compared to 2009, the ANC has shrunk, and the DA has grown. But if you compare it to the 2011 municipal elections, you will see that not much has changed. The ANC has stopped shrinking for the most part. Even though more than 50% of South Africans don’t trust our president (according to opinion polling), still more than 60% vote for the ANC. This just shows that democracy is failing in South Africa. The opinion polling last year led us to believe that finally after 20 years, the people were ready to move on, but unfortunately it seems like that time has not yet come. We have 5 more years to go until our next reality check. Let’s hope for the best.
  2. Everyone thought that the EFF will steal a chunk of the ANC vote, but it seems like they are actually stealing the opposition vote, so this does not help South Africa at all. At this stage we should hope that the EFF goes the way of COPE, even though they had 7% of the vote in 2009, internal politics ripped the party apart, and now they have less than 1%. Will the EFF follow suit?

Some thoughts:

To all the conservative parties still alive I would ask this:

Is now not the time for a merger?

We lost one of the conservative parties in this election, who will follow next? I still hold to the idea that the conservatives will be stronger together than alone. All the conservative parties are shrinking, or barely growing. We have well known, respected leaders in the parties, that people look up to. If they were to combine forces, and stand together, will they not be seen as a more credible opponent? If we have Kenneth Meshoe, Mangosuthu Buthelezi and Pieter Mulder on the same poster, will that not spurt voter confidence? If we can move away from the “Christian party”, the “Zulu party” and the “Afrikaner party”, and have just the Conservative party? Honestly I don’t know the answer to that question, and would like to hear some of your thoughts on it?

Other than that, I would say this to all party members of the above-mentioned:

Put away your champagne glasses (or tissues). 2014 elections have passed, and 2016 municipal elections have began. Start working for your votes today! At this stage in our history, resting is a convenience that the conservative voice does not have.

I dare not fall into despair at this stage, in spite of the results. The conservatives are squashed, but we’re still here. The voters are still here, still looking for someone to convince them that the conservative parties deserve their votes. So come on IFP, FF+ and ACDP, make it happen.

 

 

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