Vote counting rate impresses

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Political analysts scrutinising the 2019 National and Provincial Election results have heaped praise at the rate at which votes are being processed.

This, they said, was apparent as results were steadily streaming in from voting stations across the country.

Political analyst Sthembile Mbete spoke to SAnews at the National Results Operation Centre in Pretoria on Thursday.

“The results have been fascinating. I think we should not be projecting too much from the results that are in so far. The results that have come in so far are predominately from the Northern Cape and Western Cape and some parts of the Eastern Cape so that will skew and sway which parties are doing well,” she said.

Despite this, she said, a certain trend was emerging from the results as they streamed in.

“We can see from the results that have come in so far that the ANC, DA and EFF will remain the three biggest parties. It seems to have been a drop for the ANC and DA. The EFF seems to have increased in its support base in Parliament but not as much as people were expecting it to. We don’t have the results for the EFF’s heartland, which is Gauteng, Limpopo and North West, so when those ballots come in, it may sway things a bit,” she said.

Mbete said initial results have suggested that the Freedom Front Plus has appeared to have taken a lot of support from the DA.

“One of the other things to think about is that there seems to have been a low voter turnout than anticipated. That is what always makes the difference in the overall performance of parties. And which people in society turn out, makes a big difference about which parties are stronger,” she said.

The biggest surprise, she added, has been how well the smaller parties seem to be doing compared to what was predicted.

“One prediction was that the smaller parties would share between six to eight percent of the total vote. It is becoming clear that they will share between 10 to 12 percent of the vote,” Mbete said.

Political analyst Nkosikhulule Nyembezi commended the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) for the quick rate at which it was releasing results.

“Smaller voting stations are declaring. What we are seeing now is what we would expect if it was a local government election. It has to be commended that the IEC has improved the system in such that the sorting and the counting is happening quite quickly.

“The big question that one is expecting to see at the end of it all is: do we end up with 13 political parties, less or more? In the national legislature we had 13 parties since 1994,” he said.

Once result counting surpasses the 50% point mark, the country will be able to see who is staying on and who is not.

“Right now it shows that all the parties that have contested have received some sort of support,” he said.

This, he added, means there was value in having 48 contesting parties in the election. –