DA likely to remain as official opposition - analysts

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Pretoria - Analysts are confident that the Democratic Alliance (DA) will beat the Congress of the People (Cope) with a landslide victory, to remain the official opposition party in the country.

Independent election analyst, Elmon Mahlangu, told BuaNews he cannot see any tight race between the DA and Cope at the national level.

"The DA will remain as the official opposition. They seem to have gone an extra mile by winning votes in the traditional strong-holds of other political parties," he said, adding that they are also not new in the political scene.

Senior Research Specialist at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) Dr Mpilo Pearl Sithole told BuaNews since the DA is clearly ahead of Cope with a huge gap, it confirms that it will remain the official opposition.

"We are also eagerly waiting to see whether the DA and Cope will form a coalition to make a formidable voice against the ANC.

"Since we've seen that there is no tight race between the ANC and Cope in the Eastern Cape, Cope might emerge as the new official opposition in the province which was traditionally a strong-hold of the ANC," she said.

She said while Cope might be ahead of the DA in the Northern Cape, the DA will continue to lead ahead of Cope in Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Limpopo.

Professor Adam Habib from the University of Johannesburg told BuaNews that many people thought Cope would relatively get more votes, but the DA appears to be proving them wrong.

"If the DA is 70 percent ahead of Cope now, it clearly shows that it will be ahead of Cope in the final results. However, Cope might be the official opposition in Limpopo and the Eastern Cape provinces."