The ruling ANC had won the Free State but dropped below 70% of support while the DA is again the official opposition.
While the ANC had won a strong majority in the Free State, the party has fallen to below 70% of the vote, according to the province’s final numbers in preliminary results released on Friday evening.
The ruling party came in with 69.85 % of the vote, a comfortable majority but still a decline from its previous performances.
In the 2009 elections the party won the province by more than 71% and it scored above 80% in the 2004 and 1999 elections.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) has grown as the province’s official opposition with 16.23% of the vote, up from 11.6% in 2009.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) continued its strong showing across the country, coming in third with 8.15% of the vote.
A little more than a million valid votes were cast in the province, which had a 71% voter turnout.
The ANC received 708 720.
Gauteng was the last remaining province to be counted, with nine voting districts outstanding at 9pm on Friday. The Independent Electoral Commission’s slow pace of vote counting in the province has raised the ire of opposition parties like the EFF.