2015 ELECTION ANALYSIS; THE FIGHT FOR THE MMD VOTE
This analysis serves to analyze the 2015 elections based on the constituencies that voted for an MMD Member of Parliament in 2011. The purpose is to see how PF and UPND performed in convincing voters who in 2011 voted for an MMD parliamentarian. The numbers are directly from the Electoral Commission of Zambia for the 2015 By election held January 2015. This is not an endorsement of any candidate but an exercise and attempt to forecast the 2016 election.
Copperbelt and Central Province
Out of the 13 seats that voted MMD for parliamentarian elections in 2011, 8 were won by UPND and PF only managed to scoop 5 of the constituencies; all in central province other than Kafulafuta which is on the copperbelt and PF won by 48.2% compared to 42.2% for UPND in that constituency. Overall UPND earned 56,123 votes from seats that voted for an MMD member of parliament compared to 38,008 for PF with a margin of 18,115 votes. The average percentage for all 13 constituencies for UPND was 50.56% while the average for PF was 41.84 %. This indicated advancement by UPND in the 13 constituencies that voted for MMD in 2011 compared to PF. In 2016, I see UPND maintaining its position in growing both in the Copperbelt and Central province as MMD voters will be the middle vote that will decide who wins the elections in 2016.
It is perfectly legitimate to make the claim that the endorsement of Edgar Lungu by Rupiah Banda played a factor in the authoritative win that PF received from constituencies that voted for an MMD candidate in the 2011 elections. Out of all 16 constituencies in the Eastern Province that voted for an MMD candidate in 2011, all but one constituency (SINDA) went to the PF. In fact SINDA went to UPND because voters didn’t just vote for PF or UPND but a portion of them voted for the smaller parties with UPND taking the constituency at (43.9%) compared to (35.1%) for the Patriotic Front. This led the PF to gain 51, 554 more votes than UPND and an average percentage of 62.7% compared to 26.3% for UPND. Without a doubt PF gained all the voters that voted MMD in 2011 in this 2015 election on the Eastern Province. This trend is expected to continue especially with leading MMD members supporting Edgar Lungu and if Edgar Lungu indeed will be the candidate for PF in the 2016 elections. Rupiah Banda’s endorsement carried a lot of weight in securing what was the MMD vote in 2011 for Edgar Lungu and the PF Party.
NORTH WESTERN AND WESTERN
As anticipated, similar to Eastern Province, UPND and HH had an authoritative gain in North Western and Western Province. Out of the 17 constituencies that voted for MMD in 2011, all but one (Chawama) went to UPND. The patriotic front managed to scoop Chawama with a dominant performance of 72.5% compared to a meager 24.6% for UPND. However, in total UPND dominated showcasing its abilities with a total average of 78.5% compared to 17.2% for the PF. This translated to a margin of 73, 625 votes almost 200% over what the total vote received for PF (35, 555 PF compared to 109,070 Votes). UPND’s performance in securing former MMD constituencies was without a doubt dominant and something to marvel. It is likely that UPND will scoop these constituencies come 2016 if we are to go by the numbers from the 2015 by-elections. What’s interesting will also be the parliamentarian seats, the popularity of UPND in these provinces will most likely lead to UPND gaining these seats in parliament, considering the predicated death of MMD. I doubt, especially in North Western and Western provinces , that the MMD MPs from these constituencies will want to run as MMD; most will likely opt to run under the UPND logo.
LUPULA, LUSAKA, NORTHERN PROVINCE
Of course as anticipated the only constituency that voted MMD in 2011 in Lupula ( Chembe) went to the PF with a 71.6% win. With the current trend, PF is expected to fully control Lupula as Chembe will most like go to a PF member of parliament. In 2011 they voted for an MMD member of parliament, but their dominant support of Edgar Lungu and the PF shows that the trend will continue.
Once Again, following suit with Lupula all MMD seats from 2011 were taken by the PF with a dominant performance of Mbala 76.6%, Senga Hill 75.7%, Mafinga 72% and Lunte 70%. This performance is too dominant for UPND to catch up so in 2016 Im expecting these constituencies to go to the PF not just on the presidential level but the parliamentary level. I doubt at the prospect of losing and a dying MMD, MMD candidates will have a chance against PF; neither will UPND.
Surprising performance, though comes from UPND, which scooped all but one of the 4 constituencies that voted MMD in 2011; Chilanga with 56.1%, Chongwe with 51.7% and Rufunsa 51.2%. While certainly admirable that in Lusaka UPND gained all constituencies that elected an MMD candidate in 2011 as MP, the win is not too authoratitve to predict that it will be maintained because PF was right behind with Chilanga at 40.2%, Chongwe with 43.6% and Rufunsa at 41.6%. I certainly wouldn’t predict that UPND will retain the lead in the 2016 election in these three constituencies.
Overall, in all constituencies that voted for MMD in 2011 UPND received a total of 219,555 votes compared to 114,174 votes for PF. Meaning, most of the voters that voted for MMD in 2011 voted for UPND in the 2015 By-election. The obvious demographics can be identified, with PF scooping most constituencies in Lupula, Northern Province and Eastern Province (A dominant performance in these provinces) and UPND equally dominating constituencies in Western and Northern Province. As expected, former MMD constituencies in Copperbelt , Central Province and Lusaka were equal battleground as these provinces went either PF or UPND. UPND scooped 3 constituencies out of 4 on the copperbelt, 3 out of 4 in Lusaka and received 5 out of 9; with 4 going to PF in Central Province. Central Province thus becoming the only PROVINCE that was a true battleground for MMD votes in the by elections that just finished.
I’m expecting UPND to get most of the votes that belonged to MMD in 2016.
By George Mtonga