Pretoria - The gap between the number of votes obtained by the ANC and the Democratic Alliance in Bloemfontein widened on Thursday afternoon as results continued to filter in.
The ANC garnered 52.72% or 117 551 votes with the DA lagging further behind with 41.30% or 92 078 votes by 18:00.
A total voter turnout of 113 031 was recorded so far, with 372 692 voters registered in the metro.
At 13:00, the ANC's take of the ballots stood at 49.64% of the vote (89 392 votes) in the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality and the DA 44.61% (80 347).
This was recorded after the votes of 91 105 people were tallied.
In the Free State as a whole, the ANC received just over a million votes (69.54%) compared to the DA's 345 348 votes (22.59%).
This marked a slight increase in the provincial results recorded at 13:00, with the ANC at 68.36% and the Democratic Alliance at 20.17%.
Cope gained a slight increase in votes from 13:00, obtaining 3.75% (57 245 votes) and the Freedom Front Plus' share of the vote dropped slightly as further results were released - it was now recorded at 1.93% (29 504 votes).