In May 2019 South Africa held its sixth democratic election. Millions queued to make their mark on a longer than usual ballot paper.
The dust is slowly settling with both parliament and the president sworn in, but how did the final poll numbers play out? (Note: The official results of the election can be found here.)
How many parties threw their hat in the ring?
48: The number of political parties who contested the election. This is a 65% increase from the 29 parties in the 2014 general election.
Newcomers included the church-backed African Transformation Movement, the Good party led by former Democratic Alliance mayor Patricia De Lille, and the Capitalist Party of South Africa, popularly known as “the Purple Cow” because of the striking logo that inspired a host of headlines heavy on cow idioms.
Lengthy ballot paper? No problem
An election satisfaction survey conducted for the Electoral Commission (IEC) by the Human Sciences Research Council showed that 95% of voters were satisfied with the ballot papers used in the election and had no difficulty finding their party of choice.
18%: People in the survey with suggestions to improve the ballot paper. Nearly half (46%) of them thought the size of the party logos should be bigger.
How many people did not vote?
35.9 million: The number of people eligible to vote. Based on the latest voting age population estimates from Statistics South Africa, the country’s data agency, this means only 74.5% of those who could vote registered to do so, the IEC said.
How was turn out in the provinces?
|South Africa’s voter turnout by province in 2019 election|
|Province||Registered voters||Voter turnout||Share|
If ‘spoiled votes’ were for a party…
235,472: The number of spoiled votes. Voting for more than one party or writing anything on the ballot paper results in a spoilt vote. It can’t be counted because the voter’s intention is unclear.
But there’s no information on how many votes were spoiled on purpose or in error as the IEC does not research this, Tsile Maswanganyi, a spokesperson, told Africa Check.
If spoiled votes had been for a party, they would have elected at least five representatives to the National Assembly.
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