Election 2014 and the ANC’s duet of Dominance and Decline

The African National Congress (ANC) result in South Africa’s national
and provincial elections of 2014 sings in two voices – ‘extraordinary
repeat victory’ and ‘monolith in gradual decline’. The fact that the party
continued to dominate, with 62% of the national vote, was a significant
achievement in this fifth set of national-provincial elections in democratic
South Africa. In none of these elections has the ANC polled below 60%. Yet,
from whatever angle its result is analysed, decline and decay are evident.
The national result trend is one of serial decline over the last three elections.
The opposition challenge came from both left and right and the ANC took
losses on both flanks; turnout was down, as many of its supporters chose
abstention over vote-switching; the ANC became more dependent on rural
votes in an urbanising South Africa and results in the metropoles suggest
further degeneration, unless the party invents turnarounds. A trend reversal
remains possible, yet would be exceedingly difficult given the extraordinary
campaign that was required to bring in the 62% in 2014.

File Type: pdf
Categories: Journal of African Elections
Tags: 2014 General Elections, COPE, IEC, Jacob Zuma, KwaZulu-Natal, two-thirds majority
journal of african elections vol14 number 1 transparent democratic governance in africa