On paper, a by-election in the Central Karoo doesn’t seem like a seismic political battleground. But the results from yesterday’s vote in Ward 4 of Prince Albert paint an intriguing picture, as we edge closer towards the 2024 Elections.
DA pull-off shock by-election victory in Prince Albert
The DA, largely unfancied at the start of proceedings on Wednesday, stormed to a stunning victory in this part of the Western Cape. The Blues saw their support base DOUBLE, and they increased their share of the public vote by more than 20%.
Indeed, the opposition was a tough nut to crack for the DA, who had to go up against the much-fancied KGP. This is who the ANC and Patriotic Alliance decided to endorse and step aside for – but the tripartite alliance ultimately failed to overcome a swell of support for the opposition.
By-election result: DA defeat KGP, ANC, and PA
Two local political heavyweights did battle, and it was former mayor Margy Jaftha who ended up winning her seat back. She fought against another former mayor in longtime KGP leader Goliat Lottering, emerging victorious overnight.
With 51% of the vote, the DA now controls four of the seven council seats in Prince Albert. The KGP, ANC, and PA all have a seat each. Needless to say, party officials are buoyed by this blue wave – and leader John Steenhuisen is certainly in a jovial mood:
“Super proud of the Blue Machine, our campaign team and activists for this stunning and historic victory for the DA in Prince Albert. We will now, for the first time, govern a Central Karoo Municipality with our own outright majority. Bring on 2024!” | John Steenhuisen
DA officials revel in unlikely victory
Shadow Trade Minister Dean Macpherson also took his celebrations online, and hit back at some of the DA’s staunchest critics. The senior politician says that work on the ground – rather than campaigning on Twitter – was integral to their success…
“The media, commentators, ‘pollsters’, and everyone in between keeps trying to write off the DA. And yet we keep turning up, talking to voters (they aren’t on Twitter by the way), and winning seats in by-elections. 2024 here we come!”Dean Macpherson
Can we call it a surge? Outsiders aren’t so sure…
Dawie Scholtz is one of the ‘pollsters’ mentioned by Macpherson. The electoral expert has been reflecting on the by-election result. He believes that coloured voters have flocked BACK to the DA from the PA, after Gayton McKenzie’s party agreed to several electoral pacts with the ANC.
However, Mr. Scholtz isn’t quite sold on the idea that support is ‘surging’ for the DA – and nor is McKenzie himself…
2/ Personally, I don't fully buy the 'DA recovery' narrative. We haven't seen electoral evidence of that in the white or black electorate (90% of voters…).— Dawie Scholtz (@DawieScholtz) September 15, 2022
However, I do buy that the DA is recovering with coloured voters as electoral evidence is starting to mount for that.
The DA wins one ward and majestically sections of the media talk about the DA rise at the expense of the PA, in the last 40 days the DA were booted out of power by the PA in Cederberg & Knysna Municipalities.— Gayton McKenzie (@GaytonMcK) September 15, 2022
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