By Lyson Sibande
Some people said that I was taking too long to explain why I believe that a possible electoral alliances between DPP and UDF would be meaningless and devoid of any strategy.
I have been too busy, but take a quick walk with me…………
DPP disputably won the 2019 elections with 1,940,709 votes. MCP which was the main challenger and will still be the main challenger in the event of fresh elections got 1,781,740. This means that DPP won with only about 150,000 votes which would take MCP just some constituencies to match up. Technically, this means DPP kind of lost because they had all the advantages of incumbency which MCP as an Opposition party did not have.
Now, if we hold any elections in this period, DPP could not get around 1,940,709 again. DPP will get way below the 2019 votes because the party is more unpopular now than it was last year and most of its supporters are demoralized. Their confidence has been shaken while others are frustrated with intraparty politics. Additionally, the party’s loss of the electoral case at the Constitutional Court and the losing of all other subsequent legal battles are all killer blows to DPP’s elections potential.
DPP strategists and intelligent cadets must be aware of this fact. But what confuses me is that they think that a possible alliance with Atupele can redeem them. That does not make any sense at all. Atupele first led UDF in 2014 where he got only 717,224 votes despite his youthful appeal, catchy “agenda for change “and a substantial political capital drawing from his own political experience and inheritance of a political party from his father with an already existent power base and success record. After the 2014 loss, Atupele performed even worse in the 2019 elections where he secured only 213,165 votes and lost his parliamentary seat. People from his own constituency could not trust him to serve.
Therefore, using the 2019 elections as the benchmark, a possible alliance between DPP and UDF could be expected to secure a maximum of 2,175,873 votes. There are totally no political variables to consider which would make DPP or UDF to get more votes than they got last year. There is totally nothing that would skew the current landscape in their favor to get more vote unless they change candidates as a rebranding strategy especially for the DPP.
On the other hand, we must expect that MCP will get more votes in any election now than they got last year. The party has increased popularity and the loyal voters have gathered more confidence in the party after winning the electoral case and all other court battles that followed. Most importantly, MCP has, with these events, potentially pushed DPP out of its stronghold thereby swinging back some central voters from DPP. Even at national level, we must expect MCP to get a huger portion of swinging voters from UTM and DPP. As a result, I am very confident that even if MCP could face an alliance between DPP and UDF, it could still beat them fair and square because MCP could be expected to secure more than 2,175,873 votes which DPP and UDF alliance would not get.
If UTM contest alone, without a political ally, what I have explained above would hardly be affected. Chilima would get far much less votes than he got last year and most of his votes would swing towards MCP thereby giving MCP even more votes ahead of DPP and her allies.
All I am saying is that an alliance between DPP and UDF is a non-starter, meaningless and there is no any strategy in it. The whole essence of an electoral alliance is the accumulation of votes to beat the projections of the enemy votes. But there are no votes being accumulated between DPP/UDF alliances. Even in the event of a run-off election, the alliance would not win.
If you see meaning and any strategy in the possibility of an alliance between DPP and UDF, please share with me.
I am ready to listen to contrary opinion. Thanks