In their first-ever ward by-election in George, the GOOD nearly toppled the DA, losing ward 20 by a mere 8 votes, and pushing the DA to a historic low.
During the 2011 local elections, the DA won the ward with 47% of the vote, pushing that number higher to 50% in 2016.
The ANC followed closely with 43% in 2011, but lost a large share of its vote to smaller parties like ICOSA and PBI. It only got 30% in 2016.
This result bodes well for GOOD in the Western Cape, given the interesting demographics of the ward.
From a national statistical perspective, voters generally vote along racial lines. This voting pattern is entirely consistent with the persistent structural divisions created by apartheid.
Ward 20, where 90% of its residents are Coloured, does not however have a history of racialized voting.
If it can be assumed that the ward did follow the same national patterns of racialized voting, then it simply means that GOOD has a ‘good’ chance of beating the DA in the Western Cape, by taking a large chunk of its Coloured vote.
The ward also has a diverse income demographic and age pattern that is similar to the Western Cape’s.
Given all these factors, the party can appeal to persons with diverse ideological and political views as well as within different socio-economic enclaves.
In pure numbers, GOOD is likely to have taken up to 40% and 50% of the DA and ANC’s Coloured vote, respectively.
It should be noted however that given the hype around its launch, GOOD generally underperformed during the last election, garnering only 3% of the Western Cape provincial vote.
This could be indicative of the party’s unrealistic and unachievable goals; and an overall strategy that lacks focus and structure.
If it is to do well, it has to be realistic in identifying its base, identifying the concerns of that base and running a campaign that addresses those concerns.