Belfast council elected in the early hours

Belfast council elected in the early hours

Counting in Belfast, the largest of Northern Ireland's new super councils, ended in the early hours of Sunday morning after errors in the count for the Ormiston ward led to long delays.

The results for Ormiston were the last to be declared in the whole of Northern Ireland after 52.2% of the city's 213,086-strong electorate turned out to cast their votes in the local election.The new Belfast super council includes 60 representatives.Sinn Féin secured the highest first preference share at 29.2% and takes 19 seats, topping the poll in six of the city's 10 district electoral areas.The DUP comes second after receiving 19.1% of first preference votes and 13 seats.Alliance has 8 seats, the SDLP takes 7 and the UUP has 7.It means Alliance will still hold the balance of power in the council as talk of them suffering heavy losses in the wake of the flag protests failed to materialise.Michael Long - Naomi Long's husband - topped the poll for Lisnasharragh and the party also saw councillors elected in Castle and Botanic.Sinn Féin Lord Mayor of Belfast Máirtín Ó Muilleoir narrowly topped the poll in the Balmoral district, beating Claire Hanna of the SDLP by one vote.He said: "I'm very pleased, thrilled, over the moon. I'm very privileged to serve the people of Balmoral and I look forward to getting stuck in on their behalf."Meanwhile former Lord Mayor Niall Ó Donnghaile found himself in a fight for one of the last seats in Titanic but secured enough transfers to take his place in the new council. Gavin Robinson of the DUP, another former Lord Mayor, was also elected in the Titanic area.The UUP increased its vote in Belfast with Jim Rodgers topping the poll for Ormiston. Councillors were also elected in Balmoral, Botanic, Castle, Lisnasharragh and Titanic.The DUP saw Ruth Patterson elected in Botanic, while Christopher Stalford took a seat in Balmoral and Frank McCoubrey and Brian Kingston took seats in Court.But one of the stories of the election was the success of the PUP in the city.John Kyle and Julie-Anne Corr were elected after party leader Billy Hutchinson topped the poll in Court, as the vote in working class Protestant areas increased in the wake of the flag protests.Meanwhile Jolene Bunting is the first TUV councillor to be elected in Belfast, while Ross Brown will represent the Greens and Gerry Carroll is elected for People Before Profit.Willie Faulkner, who ran as an independent, is the candidate who received the fewest number of first preference votes in the whole of Northern Ireland with 18 votes.Check the Vote14 Belfast page for full details on elected councillors.


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