As the country prepares for the 2023 secondary elections, the data produced by the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) already shows who are the front runners who already have one foot inside parliament. 

In fact, if the data shared by the EBC (which has since been pulled down from the official website) is anything to go by, then some candidates are already 80 percent inside parliament and only need to work less than other candidates to secure themselves a seat in the August chamber. The numbers paint a clear picture with some areas already disadvantaged by low population density, low registration turn out and low number of votes garnered by the victors in the primary elections.

The mathematics is clear and you cannot beat it. For every election, Tinkhundla or multi party, it all boils down to the number of registered voters and those who will eventually vote come election day. Sadly, little on elections promises and campaigns. Some Imiphakatsi have a larger population density and therefore candidates who win at Primaries with higher numbers come to the secondary election with an advantage and only need a few voters to seal their place in parly.

For example, Times of eSwatini journalist and Mbabane East aspiring Member of Parliament Welcome Dlamini is one foot inside parliament. If the margin of his win in the primary elections is anything to go by then the secondary elections are now a formality. Mbabane East has four imiphakatsi. These are Fontein, Mdzimba, Msunduza and Sidvwashini. Dlamini managed to get 931 votes from his Msunduza umphakatsi beating his closest rival, Sandile Dlamini, at 681 at the primaries.

Dlamini (Welcome) is now competing against winners from the other three imiphakatsi who all won by less than 350 votes. In fact, Lucky Dube from Fonteyn won by 346 votes, Majojo Mamba from Mdzimba got 173 and Sandile Ginindza from Sidvwashini got 242 votes. Even from the number of registered and those who actually voted Msunduza had by far the higher number of voters compared to all the other imiphakatsi combined. It means if Dlamini does not lose any of his votes and get only just a few new voters he is already guaranteed a seat in parliament.

In fact he may very well win by a huge margin come election time. But of course, elections come with all sorts of surprises and luck would surely have to be against him to lose. The toughest competition will come in Mayiwane where the two leading candidates, Sicelo Dlamini from Herefords umphakatsi and Bongani Mavuso from Mkhuzweni are neck and neck at 1 693 and 1 131 respectively. The two are competing against Henry Dlamini from Mavula who got 214 votes in the primaries, Sandile Masuku from Mkhiweni who got 127 and Angel Dlamini from eMfasini who got 169.

Based on the data it is clear that the other imiphakatsi are just now in this for formality's sake. The real contest will be between Sicelo Dlamini and Bongani Mavuso with the former having a slight advantage. At Maphalaleni Inkhundla Mabulala Maseko surely has bought himself his parliamentary suits because given the margin of his win in the primaries if he does not lose any of his votes in the secondary elections then he is guaranteed a seat in parliament.

This is because he is competing against five candidates from Edlozini, Madlolo, Mcengeni, Mfeni, Nsingweni imiphakatsi. They collectively failed to reach 1200 against Maseko´s 1 490. This means his closest rival, Sabelo Dlamini from Mfeni, would have to triple his 402 votes to equal what Maseko managed to get at the primaries. The rest must forget having failed to reach 200 votes in the primaries.

At Dlangeni inkhundla Bongani Mdluli is already halfway in having amassed 1 552 votes from his Tfuntini umphakatsi with his closest rival, Allen Vilane from Mavula, getting 822 votes from the primaries. Again the logic is that if Mdluli does not lose any of his votes then he needs a few to get into parliament. The other imiphakatsi got so low votes that it would take a miracle for a person to jump from their low numbers to pole position.

This trend is the same throughout the country.