n Journal of African Elections - Election 2014 and the ANC's duet of dominance and decline

Volume 14, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1609-4700



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.

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