You will recall, in my previous post on the Nelson Mandela Bay metro, that we looked at the 2011 voting results in the ward elections, down to the ward level. The map from that post is reproduced below with some of the ANC strongholds labeled:
Since 2011 we’ve had a round of national/provincial elections. The EFF participated in these elections and came third overall in the metro. The table shows the number of votes for each party and the party’s share of the total national vote:
We all know by now that the ANC failed to get above 50 per cent of the vote in the metro. The smart money is on the metro being governed in a coalition after next year’s elections. What effect could the EFF have on the ANC’s chances in the metro?
To answer this question I looked at the 2014 results down to the voting district (VD) level. The results are shown in the map below:
The EFF averaged about 4 per cent of the vote in 2014, but the party polled anywhere between 0 and 15 per cent of the vote at the VD level. The EFF did best in the VDs where the ANC also polls the highest.
Comparing ward results to VD results is a big like comparing grape clusters to individual grapes, but the underlying patterns are pretty clear. Look at the two maps again, side by side:
The EFF is growing at the expense of the ANC, not the DA. It’s likely that the party will concentrate its efforts for 2016 in the areas where it polls highest. This will only put more pressure on the ANC as it fights to retain the metro.
Based on the 2014 results, the EFF isn’t threatening to win any wards from the ANC, or even to split the vote in favour of the DA. As things stand the EFF is taking between 5 per cent and 15 percent of the vote in areas where the ANC enjoys more than 85 per cent of the vote.
Maybe the EFF will improve on its share of the vote in the wards where it has a small following. It’s certainly been campaigning hard enough. But it doesn’t have to remotely threaten even one ANC ward and it still remains a grave threat to that party’s control of the metro.
Control of a municipality ultimately comes down to some measure of proportional representation, as I’ve argued in this post and this one. It will be the percentage points lost in the overall tally that decide the municipality’s fate, not the number of wards.
The EFF is eating the ANC’s lunch, not the DA’s. It’s as simple as that.