By-elections return ANC candidates

Staff Writer | Jun 27, 2019
Two recent by-elections did not have any surprises but Julius Malema will be pleased.

Two by-elections were held on Wednesday, one in Polokwane in Limpopo and the other in Emakhazeni (Belfast) in Mpumalanga. The governing African National Congress (ANC) retained both seats with comfortable majorities, although the growth in of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) will hearten that party.

In the local government elections held in 2016 the ANC had won Ward 40 in Polokwane fairly comfortably, with 60.6% of the vote. In the by-election held this past week, the party saw its majority inch up slightly, to 63.2%. In the 2016 local government election the EFF had been the only other party to win more than 20% of the vote, with 22.6%. In the by-election, the EFF saw its share of the vote jump to 35%. The African Transformation Movement (ATM) managed one percent of the vote in the by-election.

There was a similar result in Emakhazeni’s Ward 3. In the 2016 result the ANC had managed 84% of the vote. In the by-election its share dropped to 78%. The EFF again saw a fairly significant increase in its vote share. It managed nine percent in 2016, jumping to 22% in the recent by-election.

The ANC’s vote share remained fairly steady in the two wards, and the EFF saw a healthy jump. However, the number of parties contesting in the by-elections was much lower than in the local elections, which is something that must be taken into account.

In just under a fortnight there are three more by-elections. Two are safe ANC seats in Mpumalanga, while the other is a seat held by the Democratic Alliance (DA) in Stilfontein in North West. The Freedom Front Plus will be hoping that its poaching of DA voters continues.

 

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