Whether by accident or design, South African voters spoilt enough ballots that could have won a party a healthy representation in Parliament if the trend continues until all the ballots are counted.
At 14:30 on Thursday, 83 408 spoilt ballots were counted out of 6 209 463 ballots.
This would have placed a hypothetical “Spoilt Ballot Party” in sixth place on the national ballot at that snapshot in time. It constituted 1.3% of the total ballots cast and would have been enough for a few seats in Parliament.
It was ahead of the ACDP’s 62 249 votes, or 1% of the counted votes, and below the IFP with 124 378 or 2% of the counted votes.
There were about 54 times more spoilt ballots than ballots with a cross behind Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s African Content Movement, who had 1 532 votes at the time.
At the time, approximately 45% of the national votes cast had been counted, with the voter turnout at 65.47% in the completed voting stations.
The trend followed a similar pattern across the provinces.
Parties trending below 1% at the time of writing include GOOD at 0.61%, the UDM at 0.53%, ATM at 0.47% and COPE at 0.33%.
Counting continues across the country.