GOOD leader Patricia de Lille. (File, News24)
For much of Thursday afternoon and early evening, it seemed as if the political dye had been cast in the Western Cape.
From when about 75% of the votes on the provincial ballots were captured, the DA hovered around 55%, the ANC was flirting with 30%, the EFF was reaching for 4% and GOOD remained steady at just over 3%.
At 20:30, with 88.47% of the provincial votes captured, the DA had 55.12%, the ANC 28.8%, the EFF 3.85%, GOOD 3.09%, the ACDP 2.62% and FF Plus 1.71%.
"If the dye has been cast, and these are the results, then I think we will be very satisfied," GOOD secretary-general Brett Herron said about at about 18:45.
At that stage, it was unclear which of the voting districts in the Cape Town metro had been declared, and he said it could affect the results. As it turned out, it didn't.
"But if what we are seeing now, which really has been the trend since I got here at five o'clock this morning, there really hasn't been a shift in our voting percentage or where we perform compared to other parties, if that sustains I think we should be satisfied with our results given that we had, really, a four-month campaign," said Herron.
He said the party founded by former Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille after her acrimonious split with the DA, worked hard at getting a suitable base upon which they can build for the 2021 municipal elections and 2024 general elections.
"Today and these elections were about establishing the GOOD movement as an alternative, with public representatives, from which we can build," said Herron, a former councillor in Cape Town who followed De Lille in leaving the DA towards the end of last year.
"And I think what is encouraging is there have been a lot of new parties that were launched in this election campaign – I mean the ballot paper was almost twice as long as it usually is – and it seems as if we are the only new party that has managed to break through and to achieve enough votes to get elected public reps and even outperform some of the old parties."
He suspects a combination of new and former DA voters have put their crosses behind Aunty Pat's picture on the ballot paper, based on people who have joined GOOD.
"There has been a shift from the DA. There is obviously some disillusionment and I think they are under pressure across the country."
He said they have also reached out to people who have been expressing disappointment and disillusionment in politics in general and the sense that they didn't want to participate in this election because they didn't see the point.
"And we tried to reach out to those people who were losing faith in our politics, and we were saying God forbid they lose faith in our democracy, it is only 25 years old. So I think we have attracted a lot of new voters. We've had a lot of young, young activists that were involved and who are on our candidate lists, so hopefully, we've attracted some young people too."
Earlier on Thursday, with the percentages looking pretty much the same as it did at around 20:30, DA provincial leaders hinted that there might be some introspection as it seemed unlikely that they would reach the highs of 2014 when the obtained about 59% of the provincial vote.
The FF Plus' outcome is also significant, as it did not hold a seat in the provincial legislature, and now seems likely to be represented there.
The EFF's nationwide trend of growing support is also set to continue in the province, with the possibility of obtaining about 4% of the provincial vote. In 2014 they obtained 1% in the Western Cape and had one seat in the legislature.
A further trend emerging from the Western Cape is that the DA's percentage of votes from the province is slightly lower on the national ballot than for the provincial ballot, with the ANC's being vice-versa, suggesting that some Western Cape voters split their votes to go with the ANC nationally, and with the DA provincially, possibly in support of President Cyril Ramaphosa.
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