Where to now ANC; the Board or the Narrow path?
(This analysis is based upon the preliminary results available on News24 election website.)
So the election is over and all the usual rhetoric is being unleashed by the politicians. There indeed seems to be nothing new under the sun as the spin doctors are trying furiously to make us forget all the promises the politicians made to convince you to put your cross next to their party.
However, this has to be the most interesting election since 1994 and it is likely to have huge consequences for the ANC. They literally must choose their path forward; I would suggest to you that they have a broad path and a narrow path and as the bible says; ‘wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in there at;’
In order to come to this conclusion I had a cursory look at the election results and this forced me to ask ‘where did the additional 1 169 004 EFF and 1 130 444 DA votes come from in excess to those garnered in 2009?’
That is an additional 2.4 million votes for these two parties which were somewhere else in 2009. The total number of votes increased by 716 000 so it is clear that, in addition to the new voters, there were many who switched allegiances.
In my analysis, I escalated all the votes received in 1994 proportionally by the additional 716 000 votes and the big discrepancies became as follows:
ANC lost 681k
DA gained 1012k
Eff gained 1170k
COPE lost 1240k
IFP lost 105k (if you add IFP to NFP)
ID lost 169k
And everyone else changed by less than 100k so I will ignore them for the sake of simplicity in this analysis.
I then made some assumptions. I put all the lost ID votes into DA as these parties integrated. I then had to allocate a percentage split for the IFP cotes, the ANC votes and COPE vote.
The net change of IFP+NFP is small enough to ignore. Any change in the percentage you allocated to the DA or EFF is swamped by the COPE and the ANC numbers. Also if you add all the PAC, AZAPO & APO change in votes to EFF, they are still small numbers.
So essentially the question is how much of the ANC lost votes and the COPE lost votes went to the EFF and the DA respectively, either directly or displacing votes from other parties and having a net effect on these two parties. I made a guess based on my own worldview that two thirds of the lost ANC votes went to EFF and one third to DA.
I then assumed that the many lost COPE votes were split evenly between these two parties. These two assumptions, accurate or inaccurate, balanced the figures nicely.
If my assumptions were right (which I almost guarantee they would not be) this means that the EFF vote came from 450 000 ANC votes and 620 000 COPE votes. The DA votes would have come from 150 000 ANC votes and 620 000 COPE votes. Remember COPE votes were always as much as ‘not voting for the ANC’ as they were about voting for Lekota.
So, what is the conclusion? The ANC has had a wonderful result (at least from their perspective). Despite problems within Cosatu and all the eTolls and Nkandla noise, they still had a spectacular win. They have lost much of their more militant support to EFF and now have the opportunity to pursue more business friendly policies that will benefit the economy and generate jobs.
In doing so they will stem the vote leakage to the DA. This is the narrow path and it will require the ANC to reinvent themselves in the mould of Trevor Manuel, Cyril Ramaphosa and Mbeki.
They can woe back the militants from Julius-come-lately. In doing so they must rely on their popularity with the working class and implement policies which would be anti-capitalistic in nature. They will be forced to out-shout Malema and drive more voters into the hands of the DA. This is the broad path….they know how to garner this sort of support; sing struggle songs, hand out T-shirts and sell Mandela and Hani. The problem is that this will truly cause our beloved country to cry.
So ANC, congratulations on your win. Now, what is it to be, the broad or the narrow path?
‘Broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in there at: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.’