By Mia Slabbert
With only a few hours until all the ballots in the 2019 election are counted, it is the smaller parties in this year’s national election that have caused the most eyebrows to raise from the word go.
According to Dawie Roodt, chief economist at the Efficient Group, he was totally surprised by a few things in particular.
“One of the things that surprised me the most was that certain smaller parties either won a lot or lost a lot. I was surprised by the fact that COPE received almost no votes. I was also surprised by the GOOD Party that actually received much more support than I would have thought, and the fact that the Freedom Front Plus received way, way more support was a big surprise to me,” Roodt said.
With the Freedom Front Plus receiving way more votes than in 2014 and emerging as the fourth strongest party, the spotlight now once again falls on the power of the smaller vote.
“At this stage it seems as if the voters gave the ANC only a slight rap on the knuckles for the years of looting and corruption. When one looks at the DA, it seems as if the voters said, ‘Oh, so-so.’ I am worried about too many hate votes being cast – again for the EFF and a bit weaker than expected, but still far too many. Finally, it seems to me as if the farmers are angry and as if that is the reason why the Freedom Front Plus fared so well,” Dr Dirk Hermann, Solidarity’s Chief Operations Officer, said.
According to Wouter Wessels of the Freedom Front Plus, they are cautiously optimistic and very excited about the party’s growth in this year’s election.
“In 2014, we won the majority of votes at only five polling stations across the country. Currently we already won the majority vote at more than 77 polling stations. Therefore, we are experiencing tremendous growth. At many polling stations, especially here in Gauteng where we received 6% in the past, we are now close to 40%, so we are doing extremely well. We have grown and we are optimistic that we will have better representation. It also proves that voters have chosen us as an alternative,” Wessels said.
Roodt believes that up to now, the results are favourable for the financial markets.
“The results don’t vary much from what we expected, and that is probably the best type of scenario for the financial markets. This will lead to greater stability, and although there are some changes on the political front, they are not radical changes. This means that policies will remain approximately the same in South Africa, perhaps with some changes here and there, but not big and dramatic changes. Under the circumstances, it’s probably the best result we could hope for,” Roodt said at the National Results Centre in Pretoria West.
The chief electoral officer of the Electoral Commission, Mr Sy Mamabolo, said at a media conference yesterday that the IEC was investigating allegations of people voting more than once at some polling stations in the country.
About 20 people were arrested in KwaZulu-Natal after allegations of double-voting. The sample test will be done at polls where irregularities have been reported, as well as at polls where the process went smoothly.
Mamabolo also said investigations would be conducted into allegations that some voters easily removed the ink applied to their left thumb. He said 200 000 pens were used during this year’s election and that these pens were specifically purchased because they contained 20% silver nitrate, as opposed to the pens used in the previous election that contained only 15% silver nitrate.
With 77% of the votes counted on Friday morning at 09:00, the party results FOR THE TOP 5 looks like follows:
VF PLUS 2.45%