Your vote does count in the Proportional Representation count!

A reader brought up a very interesting point regarding the upcoming municipal elections. Millions are being spent on advertising on radio, television, press and street pole advertising encouraging us to vote for a particular party. Phone calls, Twitter and Facebook invade our cell phones, tablets, laptops and desktops reminding us to vote for a particular party.

But with all the advertising, television and other media coverage there has been very little by way of explanation to how Municipal elections actually work and why, even if you live in a ward where your choice of councillor is a certainty to win, you must still go out and vote for just one vote, maybe your vote, can make it a win or a loss for your party when the final allocation on council seats are allocated in terms of the Proportional Representation.

Unlike National elections where you vote for seats in the National or Provincial Legislature in Municipal elections you vote for a political party and a ward councillor in a mixed system of Proportional Representation and ward constituency to get seats at the municipal level.

Read the following for it explains why your vote counts.

In metropolitan and local councils, half of the council seats are allocated to directly elected ward councillors (ward ballot paper) and the other half are allocated to political parties on the basis of the results of the PR ballot paper. The ward councillors are elected first and then the remaining seats are allocated to political parties based on proportional representation. The PR allocation takes into account how many ward seats a party has already won to make sure that the final number of seats a party has does not exceed the percentage of the vote which they won.  So for example if a party has won 50% of the wards and 50% of the PR votes then that party will not receive any proportional seats.

In other words every vote counts so make sure everyone you know who is registered to vote participates in Wednesday’s election.

Graphic representation of this process see below or go to

Proportional Representation graphic explanantion

Proportional Representation graphic explanantion – Click for expanded view