Labour is set to stay in power in Wales after matching its best-ever Senedd election result, with exactly half of the 60 seats in the Welsh Parliament.
The Tories took the Vale of Clwyd from Labour, and Brecon and Radnorshire from the Liberal Democrats.
But Labour held firm in other Tory target seats and took Rhondda back from Plaid Cymru.
Leader Mark Drakeford said he would “do whatever I can” to ensure Wales has a “stable and progressive” government.
With 52 of the 60 seats declared, Labour is on 30 with the Conservatives on 12, Plaid Cymru nine and the Liberal Democrats one.
It is unlikely Labour will gain further seats when votes for the regional lists in South Wales Central and South Wales East are counted on Saturday, after the party won the lion’s share of constituency seats there.
Mr Drakeford, the current first minister, told BBC Wales he would prefer to be in a position “where you have a government that is able to command a majority for the action that it needs to take on the floor of the Senedd”.
He added: “Without trying to rush a decision at this time on a Friday we’ll take a couple of days to make sure that we make the best decision that we can for Wales.”