Mzansi Afrika

From Johannesburg South Africa, a window on the world

Saturday, April 10, 2004

Opposition Parties

Commentary.co.za has been speculating about how much of the vote the DA and the ID are likely to get.

"The ID is claiming that they will get 10% of the vote and replace the DA as the official opposition. Well, let's wait six days and see what happens, but for now this strikes me as being highly over-optimistic. I'm guessing the ID will get about 4% at the most, and even that may be a bit much. I guess we'll find out soon enough."

I agree that the ID is being more than a little optimistic in saying that they will replace the DA as the official opposition, delusional is probably a more appropriate description. According to most analysts, media reports and opinion polls, the DA is set to be the official opposition in most provinces. The exceptions are the Western Cape where the DA is expected to poll second to the ANC, but will fail to find partners to form a coalition government and lose out to an ANC/NNP led coalition. In KZN the DA will probably bring the necessary majority to the IFP and rule as part of the DA/IFP "Coalition of Hope". The DA may however run into trouble in the Eastern Cape where the UDM is popular enough to provide a serious challenge and become the official opposition in that province. In a lot of voting districts the DA will be getting the NNP vote as well as to a much smaller extent votes from dissaffected ANC supporters.The DA have been confidently boasting of winning 30%, but last week released a statement saying they expected 17%.

As far as the ID goes, they might be more of a thorn in the DA's side in the Western Cape and Gauteng, but I would be surprised if they actually do better than the DA in those two provinces. They may get some support, but very low, definitely under 5% in some of the other provinces, especially in the Northern Cape where they've had the resourses to campaign more visibly. I think all in all the DA will be lucky to get 4% of the national vote.

As for the NNP, it seems that other than in the Western Cape, they are breathing their last, even in the Free State they are losing out to the DA in the urban areas and to the FF+ in the rural areas. I think for the most part it's really only their alliance with the ANC that's keeping them afloat.