South Africa's governing African National Congress was headed for victory after the tallying of 70% of votes in Wednesday's national election, but its major opponent made significant gains.
The margins could still change as more votes are tallied.
Despite scandals over corruption, dissatisfaction over the delivery of government services and an unpopular leader, President Jacob Zuma, the ANC continued its dominant position. It is still widely supported by black South Africans as the party that freed them from apartheid.
The biggest losers appeared to be smaller parties such as the Congress of the People, which won 7.5% last election but this time came away with less than 1%.