File photo: From left Floyd Shivambu, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Commander in Chief Julius Malema and Advocate Dali Mpofu at an EFF rally. Picture: Dumisani Sibeko

Pretoria - The Economic Freedom Fighters is the official opposition in the North West, according to preliminary results released on Friday.

Vote counting in the province has been completed and saw Julius Malema's EFF take 143 683 votes (13.20 percent).

After the 2009 elections, the Congress of the People was the official opposition in the province with 8.33 percent of the vote.

This year Cope was fifth on the list with only 0.94 percent of the vote.

The African National Congress retained the province with 67.39 percent. It received 733 490 of the 1 088 450 valid votes cast.

In 2009, the ANC won the province with 72.89 percent of the vote.

The Democratic Alliance retained its third place in the North West with 137 039 (12.59 percent) of the vote.

In 2009, the party had 8.25 percent of the vote.

The Workers and Socialist Party (Wasp) which campaigned heavily in the province, especially in the platinum belt, received only 939 votes (0.09 percent).

A total of 1 669 349 people registered to vote in the province this year and the voter turnout was 66.32 percent.