Wednesday's local elections were closely fought in most places. The race was especially tight for the governorship of Gyeonggi Province and Incheon mayor.
In fiercely fought areas like Chungcheong, and Gangwon provinces, the results were not confirmed until the early morning of Thursday.
Incumbent Incheon Mayor Song Young-gil of the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy bagged 48.2 percent of the vote, losing to Saenuri Party challenger Yoo Jeong-bok, who received 50 percent.
Yoo won despite fierce criticism after he stepped down as minister of security and public administration to run for mayor just a couple of weeks before the ferry disaster.
And in Gyeonggi, Saenuri candidate Nam Kyung-pil became a governor-elect with 50.4 percent, against the NPAD's Kim Jin-pyo (49.6 percent)
In Busan, Saenuri candidate Suh Byung-soo won 50.7 percent to narrowly beat independent Oh Keo-don, who received 49.3 percent.
In the end, it was not the total rout the ruling Saenuri Party had feared due to anger about the government's botched response to the ferry disaster.
Meanwhile, the NPAD secured Seoul, North and South Chungcheong Provinces, and Gangwon Province.