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Freedom Front Plus Poised for a Remarkable Performance in 2024 General Elections

Published February 29, 2024
3 months ago

Celebrating three decades since its inception, the Freedom Front Plus (FF+) gears up for the 2024 general elections at Pretoria's Heartfelt Arena with a history of consistent electoral performance behind it. The party, which once advocated Afrikaner self-determination, has now settled into a role of advocating for cultural rights while challenging ruling party policies through coalition politics.

Since 1994, the FF+ has seen relatively stable leadership and a modest but dedicated voter base. Dr. Pieter Mulder, one of the founders and past leaders, witnessed the party’s evolution from its formation in pursuit of an Afrikaner homeland to engaging in mainstream politics with a broader national vision.

The FF+ registered as a political entity on 4 March 1994, just before South Africa's first democratic elections. The party's roots are well-established with personalities like General Constand Viljoen having played a critical role in bringing conservative Afrikaners into the political fold. Since then, the FF+ has looked beyond its initial constituency, attempting to appeal to a wider electorate.

Tracking progression since the first democratic elections, the FF+ initially secured nine seats with 2.17% of the vote. While support dwindled in the following election, party allegiance stabilized thereafter. The 2019 elections marked a breakthrough, seeing a 60% increase in National Assembly seats for the FF+, as it expanded its voter base from traditional strongholds to urbanized areas like Gauteng, warming up to strategic coalition politics.

2019 also saw the party increase its representation in all of South Africa's nine provinces. This was echoed in local elections where the FF+ made notable gains, increasing its vote share significantly, resulting in winning representation even in the Eastern Cape where previously it had none. The largest leaps were observed in metro areas, where urban voters resonated with the party’s message.

The period between the 2019 general elections and the 2021 municipal polls was marked by sturdy by-election performances. The FF+ even replaced the Democratic Alliance (DA) in several North West municipalities – a sign of the shifting political allegiances and perhaps voter dissatisfaction with existing opposition parties.

The 2021 municipal elections further solidified the FF+’s increasing appeal when they harvested 221 seats, a significant improvement from their previous showings. As the party enters the 2024 general elections, it looks to continue this trend, potentially carving out even more votes from the DA, particularly among minority White and Coloured voters, in provinces where these demographics are significant.

Considering these remarkable outcomes and trends, the FF+ appears not just poised for success but for exceptional expansion in the forthcoming general elections. The growing support for the party reveals a shifting political landscape, where smaller parties are not just surviving but thriving by directly addressing particular community concerns and effectively utilizing the dynamics of coalition politics.

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