Early election results show ANC leading

Voters queue outside a voting station in Joburg.

Early national voting numbers on 8 May revealed that the ANC was leading the polls with over two million votes.

After 6:45am on 8 May, 3 733 556 votes equating to 30,32 percent of votes had been counted and of these the ANC had secured 2 345 113 votes.

According to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), 6 937 of 22263 voting districts had been counted thus far.

The DA received 1 107 535, the Economic Freedom Fighters 167 227 votes, the Inkatha Freedom Party 81 751 votes, the National Freedom Party 58 519 and the Freedom Front Plus 47 064 votes.

The United Democratic Movement 39 428 had votes, the Congress of the People 33 653 votes, the African Christian Democratic Party 25 415 votes, the African Independent Congress 22 331 votes and Agang SA 8 659 votes.

Of the votes counted thus far, the IEC noted that 57 317 votes were spoilt votes.

Representatives of the various political parties remained at the IEC’s Results Operations Centre to  monitor the results as they continued to be updated.

ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said the ANC’s lead was indicative of the confidence that people had in the party brand due to its track record.

However, he acknowledged that nothing was yet certain because the numbers were constantly changing but was confident that the ANC would maintain its lead when the final results were released.

“It’s still early days… because only about 30 percent of the votes have been declared; we need another 70 percent before we can pop out the campaign.”

Despite the IEC statements that the election proceeded smoothly, the commission conceded that it had difficulty dealing with the high voter turnout.

“The most pressing challenge we are facing at the moment is an extremely high turnout at voting stations, especially those in urban and metro areas where long queues continue to be experienced at a number of voting stations,” IEC chairperson Pansy Tlakula told reporters at the its results centre in Pretoria.

“It should be remembered that we have the highest number of voters registered in South Africa’s history for this national and provincial election – 25.39 million.”

This was about 2.2 million more than those registered in 2009.

The high turnout at some stations and the long queues resulted in some voters seeking to vote at voting stations where they were not registered, which put pressure on the IEC’s planning and logistics, she said.

Simone Samuels

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