CSIR: ANC supporters in Nelson Mandela Bay opted to not vote

The DA garnered 44,000 more votes than the ANC in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro.

FILE: A view over Port Elizabeth harbour from Donkin Reserve. Picture: Aletta Harrison/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) says African National Congress (ANC) supporters in Nelson Mandela Bay may have opted to stay away on election day as a form of protest.

Voter turnout in the hotly-contested metro was 63.86%, but turnout in some wards where the ANC remained strong was lower than the overall percentage.

A closer look at the Independent Electoral Commission's figures show a slightly higher turnout in a number of traditional DA-strong wards than in ANC strongholds.

The DA garnered 44,000 more votes than the ANC in Wednesday's local government elections.

The ANC has suggested bad weather in the Eastern Cape could have kept supporters away, but CSIR research manager Ndumiso Cingo is not convinced.

"If the weather played a role, it played a role for every party's supporters and not just the ruling party."

He says there is another explanation.

"It was also on the basis of their traditional supporters saying: I cannot give my vote to any other party and so I'd rather not vote."

The DA has 57 seats in council and it needs four more to lead a coalition government.