The IEC's national results operations centre in Pretoria. Photo: @journalist_jill

Pretoria - Vote counting in the Free State was completed on Friday night, with preliminary results showing the African National Congress to have comfortably won the province, according to the Electoral Commission of SA.

Following 100 percent of the 1523 voting districts reporting across the province, the ANC was found to have won 69.85 percent of the vote, equal to 708,720 votes, out of total of 1 014 663 valid votes cast, with 14,634 votes spoilt.

The Democratic Alliance came second with 16.23 percent (164 672 votes), becoming the official opposition in the province, replacing the Congress of the People (Cope).

Fledging party Economic Freedom Fighters secured third place, receiving 8.15 percent (82 674 votes).

Fourth belonged to the Freedom Front Plus, which received 2,10 percent (21 339 votes).

Cope came fifth with 1.63 percent (16 516 votes).

A total of 1 449 488 voters were registered to vote in the province before election day on Wednesday, with turnout being 71.01 percent.

In 2009, the ANC won the province with 71.10 percent of the vote (734 688 votes), followed by the Congress of the People with 11.61

percent (120 018 votes), the DA with 11.6 percent (119 844 votes), Freedom Font Plus with 2.01 percent (20 780 votes), and the Dikwankwetla Party of SA with 1.09 percent (11 257 votes).