Friday, March 27, 2009

THE DA ROCKS THE WESTERN CAPE (winning by a landslide in the by elections)

The Democratic Alliance won landslide victories in two by-elections held in Cape Town on Wednesday, a sign, the party says, that it is on track to win the Western Cape in the national election on April 22.

"If all our voters turn out on election day, we could win the province with an outright majority," DA leader Helen Zille said on Thursday.

The result of ward 79 in the mainly coloured area of Mitchells Plain, where the DA captured the seat previously held by the Independent Democrats (ID), is particularly significant, she said.

The DA polled 79,4% -- up from 37,8% in 2006 -- while the ID polled 8% -- down from 38,7% in 2006.

"The resounding victory in Mitchells Plain is an endorsement of the DA's commitment to non-racialism and to improving the circumstances of all through our governance in Cape Town," Zille said.

"The Mitchells Plain by-election result also indicates that the ID is haemorrhaging support in its former Cape Town strongholds. Opposition voters are consolidating their forces within the DA."

In ward two in Parow, the DA won 96,5% of the vote -- an increase from 83,1% in 2006. The ANC and the Congress of the People (Cope) received 1,3% and 2,2% of the vote respectively.

"The DA is retaining the support of long-standing DA voters and, contrary to the perception of some analysts, Cope is not a factor in the Western Cape," Zille said.

This sentiment was echoed by DA chief executive Ryan Coetzee, who said: "Cope did disastrously in both Mitchells Plain and Parow and is not a factor in the city of Cape Town. It cannot hope to come more than a distant third in the Western Cape."

- article from the mail and guardian online

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