Vision 2029

The Democratic Alliance (le DA), is currently punting “Vision 2029”. Where they want you to believe, that in 2029 (a National Election year), with your support, the DA can be in National Government.

So I thought: We know how much support (in number of votes) they had in 2014 (a National Election year), so to win in 2029, what would be the “average” growth needed to become the Majority Party?

By “average”, I don’t actually mean mean-average. Just a uniform percentage increase to their current support per province.

What follows is not rigorous, and I don’t know if it represents an upper or lower bound on the real growth needed (say per voting district). But I think it’s an interesting though experiment.

Below is the support (by vote count) the DA and Other – which is just everyone else – received in the 2014 National Election.

Province DA Other Total
Eastern Cape 356,050 1,887,447 2,243,497
Free State 167,972 886,365 1,034,337
Gauteng 1,309,862 3,282,357 4,592,219
KwaZulu-Natal 517,461 3,357,372 3,874,833
Limpopo 100,562 1,422,607 1,523,169
Mpumalanga 139,158 1,246,249 1,385,407
North West 141,902 984,789 1,126,691
Northern Cape 101,882 334,183 436,065
Western Cape 1,241,424 926,723 2,168,147
Total 4,076,273 14,308,092 18,384,365

If the DA wished to “win” the Eastern Cape, that is, have >50% of the votes, they would need to increase their vote count by more than 430%. This would produce the following results:

Old New New Percentage Share
DA 356,050 1,887,447 50%
Other 1,887,447 1,887,477 50%

It’s a tie, but anything above 430% would secure a win. Obviously, for different provinces the required increase is different. In Gauteng, the minimum increase needed is 150%, whereas in the Western Cape, the minimum is -25%, so they actually have room to lose some support.

In the above, we have assumed that the support for Other remains constant. This is naturally unrealistic. (But what is ‘real’ anyways?)

Now, imagine we applied a blanket increase to DA support across all provinces – again, not realistic, it’s a thought experiment – and a blanket decrease to Other across all provinces. We ask ourselves, what would this increase and decrease need to be, in order for the DA to win, on a national level, more than 50% of votes?

Turns out, that the DA would have to increase it’s support by 200% and Other would need to decrease by 15%, by 2029, for the DA to be the Majority Party in the National Assembly (by the skin of their teeth)

So let us “imagine 2029”, and see what the support would be like with the 200% increase “everywhere the light touches”:

Province DA Other
Eastern Cape 39.97% 60.03%
Free State 40.63% 59.37%
Gauteng 58.48% 41.52%
KwaZulu-Natal 35.23% 64.77%
Limpopo 19.97% 80.03%
Mpumalanga 28.27% 71.73%
North West 33.71% 71.73%
Northern Cape 51.83% 48.17%
Western Cape 82.54% 48.17%
National 50.14% 49.86%

If the DA received this 200% increase, and assuming the Provincial Ballot X matches the National, they would not only be National Government, but they would win 2 new provinces (bolded).

The DA increasing by 200% by 2029, is basically an 8% increase year-on-year from now till then. How likely is that to happen? Well, the DA at some stage believed we could grow the economy by 8% per year. So there’s that. A decrease in Other of 15% is about 1% per year. How likely is that? I don’t know.

The numbers aside, I have doubts about the effectiveness of a political campaign that spans such a long time frame. I don’t know anyone that can budget till the end of the month, never mind think about 14 years from now. If we go back 14 years, who would have thought we’d be here then? 14 years is a very long time. I mean, 14 years ago, who even was Julius Malema?

In closing, who knows, but 8% growth per year for a political party seems very unlikely to me. Lets for a second say it did happen, we mustn’t forget, that Parliament has two “houses”. The National Assembly, which the DA would win, and the National Council of Provinces, of which the DA would only control 30%. Since each province is allocated 10 seats equally. Maybe they get the other 15 seats needed from the other provinces? I don’t know. But it would be very interesting to see the NCOP finally act as a balance of power.

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