Although Botswana Congress Party (BCP) has emerged from the just-ended general election with a reduced numbers of parliamentary and council seats, its popular vote has increased only marginally.
In 2009, the BCP, which was only ten years old and contesting the elections for the second time after its split from Botswana National Front (BNF) the previous year, garnered a total of four seats from the 42 that the party had contested.
The seats translated into 19.5 percent of the popular vote. The BNF attracted 21.94 percent of the popular vote in the same election with six seats from the 48 constituencies contested. On the other hand, the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) contested all the 57 constituencies winning 45 of them. The BDP got 53 percent of the popular vote. The Botswana Peoples’ Party (BPP) and MELS contested six and four seats respectively but did not win any one of them.
The BPP got 1.39 percent of the popular vote while MELS got 0 percent. The Botswana Alliance Movement (BAM) won one seat out of the four constituencies contested garnering 2.27 percent of the popular vote.
By contrast, perhaps consistent with the party being arguably the fastest growing, from the 54 constituencies it contested, BCP got 20.4 percent of the popular vote but only three seats.
Meanwhile, despite winning 37 seats in parliament, the BDP won only 46.7 percent of the popular vote while the UDC, an opposition formation constituted by the BPP, BNF and the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD), won 30.1 percent of the popular vote with the rest going to the independent candidates. Owing to the type of electoral system used here, the number of seats is not representative of the popular vote.
For example, 64.9 percent of the Members of Parliament (MPs) come from the ruling BDP while the UDC and BCP trail with 29.8 percent and 5.2 percent of the total number of seats respectively.