Party leaders pleased by percentages, but actual numbers tell a truer story

The three biggest parties all lost sizeable chunks of voters, raising concerns about electoral legitimacy

07 November 2021 - 00:00

The outcome of the election is told, and understood, mainly in percentage terms. Yes, almost everyone knows the ANC received less than 50% of the vote. Everyone knows that the DA attained a somewhat impressive 21.83%. 

Let’s park here for a second. The DA’s performance is worse than the 26.9% it received in 2016. It will be sending 1,484 councillors to municipalities — fewer than the 1,782 it sent in 2016. Disregarding hung councils, it now directly controls 23 municipalities against the 24 it secured in the previous election. And the DA’s total vote count this week was 3-million lower than in 2016, when it got 8-million...

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