Exhausted ANC, ID and Cope leaders camped out in the IEC's Cape Town elections centre, glued to the giant screens to witness what turned out to be a nail-biting elections finish for the province.
Tallies of the votes in polling stations in white suburbs came in first, giving the DA an early majority of 65 percent in the province. But by 3pm township results started trickling in and the DA dropped to 51 percent.
DA Western Cape media officer Coenraad Bezuidenhout remained upbeat, saying that he expected their total to drop as the results in the ANC strongholds of Khayelitsha, Gugulethu, Nyanga and Langa came in.
"But it will pick up once votes from our major stronghold in Mitchells Plain are counted," he said.
Bezuidenhout said the DA was having an internal discussion about whether to include the ID and Cope in the provincial government, if the DA won more than 51 percent of the provincial vote.
ID party leaders wandered about the elections centre looking shocked at their party's poor showing. The party trailed behind Cope for most of the day and had less than 7 percent of the vote by the afternoon.
An ID leader who did not want to be named said his party would have to rethink any future coalitions with the DA, which has all but obliterated the ID's role in the coalition government that rules the City of Cape Town.
Cope leaders were pleased with their good showing nationally, but with a poor showing in Western Cape, they began talking about who they could form a coalition with early yesterday.
Provincial Cope leader Majiet Mogamat said: "A coalition with the ANC is not that far-fetched because we share the same constituency. To go into a coalition with the DA is not a good idea because look what they have done to the ID," he said.
ANC big guns, including Premier Lynne Brown, chairman Mcebisi Skwatsha, MEC's Marius Fransman and Garth Strachan were glued to the computers for most of the day.
Their spirits rose briefly as votes from polling stations in Khayelitsha came trickling in, reporting an average 85percent vote in favour of the ANC, with Cope receiving only 10percent in several voting districts.