Paul Berkowitz | 18 March 2016
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(This article first appeared on paulberkowitz.co.za on 18 March 2016)
The Municipal Demarcation Board released the new boundary demarcations (district municipalities, local municipalities and municipal wards). These boundaries are available as shape files, so we can now map the old boundaries onto the new. Specifically, we can see how the changes in ward boundaries might affect 2016 seats won by the various parties.
This blog will look at the Nelson Mandela Bay metro municipality, comparing the 2011 ward boundaries to the 2016 boundaries. There are 60 wards in both cases, meaning that the total number of council seats in the metro will remain unchanged at 120 seats.
Here's a map of the Nelson Mandela Bay metro with the wards identified by the winning parties:
Nelson Mandela Bay – 2011 ward results
Here's a map of the Nelson Mandela Bay metro with the 2011 wards labelled:
Nelson Mandela Bay metro: 2011 ward boundaries
All of the wards were won in 2011 by either the ANC (34 wards) or the DA (26 wards), and the majority of these were won with overwhelming majorities (70 per cent or more of the vote), as can be seen in the first map.
In subsequent by-elections, the DA lost Ward 40 to the ANC. The ANC lost Ward 42 to an independent candidate and Ward 30 to the UDM in a surprise upset. Other wards that may have been liable to upsets (under the 2011 ward boundaries) are
– Ward 31 where the DA won with 66 per cent in 2011 to the ANC's 27 per cent,
– Ward 32 where the DA won with 61 per cent to the ANC's 36 per cent,
– Ward 37 where the DA won with just 53 per cent to the ANC's 26 per cent and an independent's 15 per cent,
– Ward 38 where the DA won with just 49 per cent to the ANC's 46 per cent,
– Ward 46 where the ANC won with 65 per cent to the DA's 22 per cent,
– Ward 48 where the DA won with 65 per cent to the ANC's 27 per cent,
– Ward 50 where the ANC won with 69 per cent to the DA's 24 per cent,
– Ward 52 where the DA won with 57 per cent to the ANC's 38 per cent, and
– Ward 60 where the ANC won with 61 per cent to the DA's 29 per cent.
Here's a map of the 2011 ward votes, down to the voting district (VD) level, with support for the ANC shown:
Voter support for the ANC in Nelson Mandela Bay metro (2011 ward vote)
There's a lot going on in the map so we will need to zoom in on specific areas and wards to see how ward boundary changes might affect the fortunes of the various parties. Below I have juxtaposed the 2011 ward boundaries with the 2016 ward boundaries, focusing on the eastern side of the metro and Wards 30, 31, 32, 37, 38, and 60:
2011 ward boundaries versus 2016 ward boundaries: Wards 30, 31, 32, 37, 38, and 60
Ward 30 has been enlarged to the north-east, absorbing a large chunk of what was Ward 60. Ward 60 in turn has shrunk in size and has lost all of its former southern VDs. This might make Ward 60 slightly safer for the ANC but it also seems to give the DA a chance to retain Ward 30 in the upcoming elections.
Ward 31 has lost some territory to the south and gained to the north. The VD it has gained in the north has more solid support for the ANC, giving the party a better chance at winning the ward from the DA.
Ward 32 has gained a voting district that was part of Ward 31. It is not clear how this affects the DA's chances of retaining the ward.
Ward 37 has lost a VD in the west (now part of Ward 38) and gained a VD in the south-east (formerly part of Ward 34). It is not clear whether this will make it harder for the DA to retain the ward.
Ward 38 has lost two VDs to Ward 35 and has gained two VDs from Ward 29 in the south. It is not clear how this affects the ANC's or DA's chances in the ward, which was the most closely fought of all the wards in the 2011 elections.
Below, the 2011 ward boundaries and the 2016 ward boundaries are juxtaposed, with the focus on the western side of the metro and Wards 40, 42, 46, 48, 50 and 52:
2011 ward boundaries versus 2016 ward boundaries: Wards 40, 42, 46, 48, 50, and 52
Ward 40 has lost a VD to Ward 45. It is not clear how this affects the chances of the ANC or DA to win the ward in 2016.
Wards 42 and 46 have unchanged boundaries.
Ward 48 has gained a VD from Ward 49, to the north-west. It is not clear how this affects the chances of the DA to retain the ward.
Ward 50 has lost a VD to Ward 53. It would appear that this makes the ward safer for the ANC.
Ward 52 has changed significantly, losing four VDs in the south to Ward 41 and gaining two VDs from Ward 53 in the north. It is not clear how this will affect the DA's chances to retain the ward.
In subsequent weeks we'll be spending some time trying to look at the voting numbers down to the VD level in order to provide a more accurate analysis of what the change in ward boundaries could mean for the various parties.