There’s hope for independent candidates despite by-elections blow: Analyst

SABC News by elections 1 - There’s hope for independent candidates despite by-elections blow: Analyst

One analyst says last week’s by-elections were a big blow to independent candidates as they didn’t win any of the wards they were contesting. However, the political pundit believes that they will do better in next year’s local government elections.

In the previous elections, independents did not fare too poorly. In the 2011, and 2016 local government elections 45 and 27 independent candidates won, respectively.

Election analyst with Daily Maverick, Wayne Sussman, believes the results of last week’s polls should not rule out independent candidates, as they are still polling better than other parties.

Sussman believes there is a range of dynamics voters consider when choosing an independent.

“When one considers this latest round of by-elections, you can say that the independent candidates didn’t succeed because they didn’t win any wards. Yes, this is true, but if one looks at a case by case basis, you could still argue that the independents had a successful night, and not all is lost if they had to contest around the country in 2021. We are still trying to work out what is the perfect recipe for an independent. For example, historically if you come out of the ANC, and run as an independent you have more chance of success than coming from the DA or IFP.”

Announcement of the November 11 by-election results: 

Meanwhile, the ANC has taken the lion’s share of the 95 municipal wards that were contested in the by-election. The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on Thursday announced the election results at its headquarters in Centurion.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has proven to be the biggest loser with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), which had nothing to lose, failing to secure a single ward. A handful of smaller parties did, however, manage to make inroads into a number of wards.

“The ANC retained 64 wards, lost two wards and won six new wards. The DA retained 14 wards lost nine wards and won two new wards. The IFP retained four wards, won one new ward; the Patriotic Alliance won one new ward; the Good Party won one new ward; AlJama won one new ward; the VF Plus won one new ward,” said IEC vice chairperson Janet Love, giving an overview of the results.

Looking at the performance of smaller parties: 

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