Whatever the result of 2019’s election, a sizeable number of voters will not cheer the performance of their party — because they don’t feel they have one. As the election campaign begins, a growing gap is noticeable between the political parties on offer and the politics of many voters. To state the obvious, the gap is not filled by Patricia de Lille and Hlaudi Motsoeneng, whose parties are creatures of our past, not our present or future. The most topical group of voters who seem to feel they have no-one they really want to vote for is a section of the DA’s support base, which feels the party has lost its way. By-election results tell us this does not mean the DA is losing votes in its suburban heartland — although it is on the retreat in the Cape Flats — suburban DA voters don’t have anywhere else to go. Yet unhappiness with the party stretches well beyond prominent media figures and a growing number of DA voters will vote for it only because they feel they don’t have other option...

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