Belfast council elected in the early hours

Published Saturday, 24 May 2014
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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.

© UTV News
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55 Comments
Joe in Co Down wrote (95 days ago):
@ciaran in Derry. What did John Hume's party do on you. Great to see SDLP and SF do well. They at lest understand what sharing peace and going forward is.
H.Campbell in UK wrote (95 days ago):
Having just read the Facebook rants of Ms.Bunting I can be nothing but appalled that a person with such sectarian views could be elected onto any council. Mr.Allister, he of the face of a gurning champion, was extremely evasive when questioned about Ms.Buntings comments by Tara Mills. God help N.Ireland in the coming years if they do not have the sense to elect people of common sense. More than ever sectarianism has to be removed from the landscape but by electing people like Ms Bunting I would not be holding my breath.
Trevor in Banbridge wrote (96 days ago):
Good old Norn Ireland, "we can still find a problem to every solution". Good news is we are still British, that does not change.
Ryan in An Dun wrote (97 days ago):
@allan in Belfast. It's the majority of the people that did bother voting. Do you not understand? Wether the turnout was 60% or 80% if you get the majority you have THE HIGHEST NUMBER. Get it? You don't vote, you can't complain. Overall in these local elections Sinn Fein even had the highest percentage of first preference votes. Sinn Fein won 105 seats with 151137 votes which is 24.7% compared to the DUP winning 130 seats with144928 which is 23.9%. Now Alan I'm no maths teacher but tell me who got the majority. (And these total votes are overall, not just Belfast city)
Ryan in An Dun wrote (97 days ago):
@allan in Belfast. It's the majority of the people that did bother voting. Do you not understand? Wether the turnout was 60% or 80% if you get the majority you have THE HIGHEST NUMBER. Get it? You don't vote, you can't complain.
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