The DA’s leadership will go into the party’s federal executive meeting on Monday with much introspection to do after the party lost electoral support across the board. The year leading up to the May 8 poll was full of turmoil, with the party locked in a protracted and very public spat with former Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille, and the DA’s internal battles on pivotal policy issues such as broad-based BEE was fought in full view of voters. This was hardly a solid platform to start on, especially given that the wide-ranging support for ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa changed the game and ultimately saved the ANC from an embarrassing electoral outcome.

The election results show the DA met only one of its four main targets set in the run-up to the general elections, which was to retain the Western Cape, the only province it governs, albeit now with a reduced majority. It failed in the rest, as the party lost support nationally and did not succeed in pushing the ANC bel...

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