Elections 2019: Over 4.9mil votes counted, Cope has hope


Over 4.97-million votes had been counted just after noon on Thursday.

Almost 27-million South Africans registered to vote to elect the country’s sixth democratic administration, with many heading to the polls on Wednesday in a day marred by bad weather, protests and worrying potential irregularities.

Only 35% of voting stations are in.

While it is too early to determine the final performance of each party, the ANC is on top the leader-board at the Electoral Commission of South Africa’s results operation centre (ROC) in Tshwane, with 55.75, the Democratic Alliance (DA) with 24.97% and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on 8.85%.

The EFF was followed by the Freedom Front Plus, with 2.97% of the vote and the IFP with 1.76%.

In 2014, the DA won 22.23% of the vote, with the EFF winning 6.35%. The voter turnout in 2014 was 73.48%.

Meanwhile the Mail & Guardian caught up with the Congress of the People (Cope), which as its stands is struggling to hold onto the last spot in the top ten parties, with 0.35%.

Vanita Coetzee, the party’s secretary for governance and administration, said they are “hopeful”.

“We were much more focused on smaller groups of people and we were running quite a strong social media campaign. So that was our biggest strategy: to talk to people in smaller pockets and not doing the big rallies,” Coetzee said of the party’s campaign strategy.

In April the M&G reported that smaller parties like Cope are losing votes hand over fist.

The biggest loser thus far has been the Cope, which was established in 2008 by former members of the ANC. The party was quite popular, landing 30 seats in the first election it contested in 2009.

But, after the 2014 general election, which followed wrangling over the party leadership, it was left with just three seats.

Coetzee said the party has been hurt by negative campaigning from other parties and not by any of the party’s key positions.

“I think there is a more individualistic type of voting now and not a mass vote. People think for themselves,” she said.

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Sarah Smit
Sarah Smit
Sarah Smit is a general news reporter at the Mail & Guardian. She covers topics relating to labour, corruption and the law.

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