Reproducing toxic election campaigns: Negative campaigning and race-based politics in the Western Cape
The 2014 election in the Western Cape was once again a high-stakes, fiercely-contested affair. Political parties saw the Western Cape as an ‘open race’ and the province became the centre of vigorous campaign efforts in the lead-up to the election. The African National Congress (ANC), which had lost control of the province because its vote share dropped from 45% in 2004 to 32% in 2009, hoped to unseat the Democratic Alliance (DA), which had won in 2009 by a very narrow margin (51%). The ANC felt that it had done enough to regain control of the province, especially in light of deep-seated disillusionment in many communities and the violent protests that took place prior to the election.While the ANC maintained its support base, winning votes from 33% of the provincial electorate, the type of identity-based campaign it pursued combined with other factors to work to the DA’s advantage.