It was party time for Venezuela’s opposition after taking the capital Caracas and the populous state of Miranda in Sunday’s election.
However, the Socialists of President Hugo Chavez still managed to claim 17 of the 22 states on offer.
Chavez is now expected to accelerate left-wing reforms and push for the constitutional reforms that will allow him to stand for president in 2012.
The opposition held on to the two states won last time round and added the capital Caracas, and the heavily populated metropolitan area that surrounds it.
The opposition, which campaigned by highlighting Chavez’s poor record on crime and inflation, can point to its gains and will look to use its momentum in the capital to block Chavez’s plan to run for re-election in 2012.