A Democratic Alliance-led coalition is almost inevitable in Gauteng, as none of the parties in the province would win an outright majority due to the high contest among all major players, political analysts say.
The experts say even with assistance from founding leader Tony Leon, the party wouldn’t be able to win the province alone and had to align itself with other parties to outnumber the ANC.
Various analysts yesterday told The Citizen a coalition government was the likely outcome in Gauteng and that the ANC would lose the province.
The ruling party received only 53% of the vote in the 2014 election in Gauteng and lost both Johannesburg and Tshwane metros to a DA-led coalition in the 2016 local government polls.
Both the DA and the ANC this week deployed their former leaders in the province to outdo each other at the stakes.
The ANC brought back former president Thabo Mbeki, the ruling party’s previous vote trump card, while the DA deployed Leon.
During his reign, Mbeki increased ANC votes to 66% in 1999, and 69% in 2004, outperforming even icon Nelson Mandela, who managed 62% in 1994.
Analyst Ralph Mathekga said the significance of the Gauteng situation was not the DA winning, but the ANC losing.
“The ANC will lose Gauteng, that is a reality, but whether the DA will form a coalition government is another story.
“The ANC was most likely to lose to a coalition of parties because there was no single party that would take over in Gauteng,” Mathekga said.
Both Susan Booysen, research director at Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection, and Unisa’s professor of politics, Dirk Kotze, maintained the Leon campaign was meant to revive old white voter support.
Booysen said by bringing back Leon, the DA might have received feedback that Maimane was not being accepted by white voters.
“The DA is scrambling to consolidate the old support of whites coming from the old DP and NP. Leon’s profile would quite match them, he can consolidate that base, which cannot be taken for granted,” she said.
Kotze said Leon was deployed to lure back old white supporters. Leon represented the old tradition of the DA.
“He is trying to consolidate the old white constituency that will remember his fight-back campaign. He fought for a strong opposition rather than becoming a government,” Kotze said.
Gauteng is the second-biggest province for the DA’s support base.
“It looks inevitable that there is going to be a coalition led by the DA, as opinion surveys show. But if the ANC got 45% and above, it could emerge as a leader in a coalition with the smaller parties,” Kotze said.
But Booysen said there was a possibility that the ANC could lose in Gauteng.