ANC support drops in Bay

[caption id="attachment_27268" align="alignnone" width="300"] Voters queue at the polling station at Chatty Community Centre in Port Elizabeth. Picture: Brian Witbooi[/caption]

WHILE the ANC celebrated its landslide victory nationally and in the Eastern Cape, results in Nelson Mandela Bay painted a picture of a party that is slowly losing its support base.

It obtained  49% of the votes cast in the metro for the national and provincial elections on Wednesday, down almost three percentage points from the 2011 local government elections.

Only the results for Arcadia –  a DA stronghold –  were still outstanding last night. A recount, caused by a missing results slip, will be carried out at 6am today. It could potentially add a further 1% to the DA’s final tally.

The Bay result is a massive blow to the ANC, which launched an aggressive campaign in the region, with party heavyweights Jacob Zuma, Cyril Ramaphosa and Gwede Mantashe  all  visiting the city in a desperate bid to woo voters.

The ANC’s drop in support  has given the DA confidence that it will take control of the city in the 2016 local government elections. The ANC must obtain 51% in these to  retain control.

The outcome of this week’s vote could be a consequence of  the withdrawal of Numsa’s support for the ANC. The metalworkers’ union, which is predominant in the Bay, boasts about 300000 members.

The DA increased its share of the vote in the Bay by about 12 percentage points compared to 2009,  but not against the 2011 municipal elections when it received 40.24%. The DA’s tally last night was about 40%. - Rochelle de Kock, Thulani Gqirana and Mkhululi Ndamase

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