Ramaphoria boosts ANC national vote

President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: SIMPHIWE NKWALI
President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: SIMPHIWE NKWALI

The “Cyril Ramaphosa effect” has bolstered ANC support in the national assembly across all nine provinces as opposition voters split their vote to support the ANC, retaining provincial votes for their own parties.

As results stream in, the trend of the split ballot is evident across the board with both the DA and EFF supporters sacrificing their national vote to the ANC. The DA also bled votes to the Freedom Front-Plus (FF+) nationally in some provinces, although the effect is not as marked.

The ANC’s Fikile Mbalula also said on Thursday that had it not been for Ramaphosa the party would have dropped as low as 40%. It also appears from trends emerging from the townships, especially in Gauteng, that black voters turned out strongly for Ramaphosa, reversing the party’s losses in 2016.

The count has been completed in the Western Cape, the North West, the Northern Cape and Mpumalanga. Gauteng still hangs in the balance as the ANC holds on by thread, at just less than 51% of the vote so far.

The split ballot in the Western Cape saw the ANC take 2.5 percentage points from the DA. While the DA won 55.47% of the provincial vote, it only received 52.35% of the province’s contribution to the national assembly. The DA also lost to the FF+, which received 1.57% of the support to the provincial legislature while it received 2.81% of the Western Cape’s contribution to the national assembly.

A similar trend was seen in the Northern Cape where the DA lost support to the ANC and the FF+ nationally.

The trend of EFF voters splitting their ballot and giving the national vote to the ANC was seen in the North West and Mpumalanga, where the party is now the new official opposition. In the North West, the ANC provincially received 61.87% in comparison to the 63.69% nationally. The EFF received 18.64% on the provincial ballot, while the party's supporters in the North West gave it a reduced 17.08% of support on the national ballot. 

In Mpumalanga, the ANC received 70.85% on the provincial ballot and 72.23% on the national one. The losers were the EFF, which fell almost 1 percentage point and the DA which fell 0.65 of a percentage point.

In Gauteng, vote counting is still underway but with 79% of voting districts declared the trend shows clearly that the DA lost national votes to the ANC worth about 2.7 percentage points.

On Friday, ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule denied that the ANC’s election result was due to Ramaphoria, saying, “That is nonsense. People are electing the ANC. Its not about any individual.” Magashule is seen as aligned to the Jacob Zuma camp, which is opposed to Ramaphosa.