The ANC has won less than 30% of the vote in the hotly-contested Metsimaholo by-election with a coalition government on the cards for the Free State municipality.

With 100% of the vote completed the Independent Electoral Commission’s tally saw the ANC pip the DA with 29.1% of the vote as compared to the DA’s 26.3%. The EFF managed to garner 15.36% of the vote.

The results mean that the current DA-led coalition will likely retain power and bodes ill for the ANC, which has seen its support decline significantly in recent years.

The decline in support for the ANC has been dramatic, with the party having sat on 45.03% of the vote in another by-election last year. The DA has also lost support, from 28.92% in 2016.

This was the first election where the SACP stood independent of its alliance partner, winning 6.89% of the vote.