By-elections: Patriotic Alliance scores convincing victory over DA in Eldorado Park

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Members of the Patriotic Alliance outside one of the voting stations in Eldoraldo Park. (Photo: Sharon Seretlo/Gallo Images)
Members of the Patriotic Alliance outside one of the voting stations in Eldoraldo Park. (Photo: Sharon Seretlo/Gallo Images)
  • The ANC was once again the biggest winner in by-elections, holding onto a number of wards.
  • The DA lost two key wards to the Patriotic Alliance in Eldorado Park, Johannesburg.
  • The elections took place in 40 wards and across 25 municipalities.

The Patriotic Alliance (PA) took two big wards off the Democratic Alliance in Wednesday's by-elections in what could be described as a big gain for the small party founded by businessman Gayton McKenzie.

The PA scored 62% of the vote in ward 18 in Eldorado Park, Johannesburg, up from 3% in 2016. The DA's votes dropped from 81% to 22%.

The PA also won in neighbouring ward 17.

The DA also lost support in a safe ward in Tshwane – this time to the Freedom Front Plus. The DA managed to hold onto the ward with a still convincing 65% of the vote, but dropped by 24 percentage points with most of those votes apparently going to the Freedom Front Plus, which had 31% of the votes – up by 27%.

However, the party managed to strengthen its grip in Tshwane's wards 92 and 23.

The party, in a statement published by its spokesperson Siviwe Garube, described its performance as one of "stabilising and moving towards a trajectory of growth".

The three wards it retained in Tshwane showed that voters reject "the chaos and corruption of the ANC and instead endorsing the DA-led government as led by Mayor Randall Williams," she said.

She described the party's losses in Johannesburg as a result that was "influenced by our previous coalition government" and said the party took this message from its voters seriously.

It is set to kick off its local government elections campaign with a virtual #TimeForChange rally on Saturday.

The ANC has had another strong showing in the by-elections with 29 out of the 40 wards going to the party.

It managed to hold onto ward 25 in the Maluti-a-Phofung Municipality, where a former ANC councillor ran for the MAPsixteen Civil Movement after being booted from the ANC for voting with the opposition to oust a former ANC mayor.

In KwaZulu-Natal, it managed to take ward 110 in eThekwini off the DA but shed ward 14 in uPhongolo to the IFP. 

The ANC in a statement by its elections party head Fikile Mbalula said it welcomed the by-election results. 

"The outcomes of recently-held by-elections clearly demonstrate that the ANC continues to grow its support across the country," he said.

Mbalula said the ANC retained 26 wards.

He said the party would continue to ensure that our campaign is grounded on humility, commitment to making a better life for all a lived reality and selecting candidates that are rooted among their communities," he said.

The Economic Freedom Fighters had a lukewarm showing in the by-elections. It faced a strong challenge from the Middelburg & Hendrina Residents Front (MHRF) in ward 22 in Mpumalanga's Steve Tshwete's municipality.

It's still an ANC seat, but the newly formed MHRF – comprising former ANC members – got 21% of the vote, while the EFF got 12%, three percentage points down from 2016.

By-elections were held in 40 wards across 25 municipalities, and served as a good indicator of possible trends in the local government elections on 27 October.

READ | DA, dogged by infighting, to watch its back in Johannesburg in today's by-elections

The Electoral Commission of South Africa did not report any glitches relating to the by-elections, although the results were only published in the morning and not in real-time overnight. 

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