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EDITIONS
Tuesday, 12 June, 2001, 16:32 GMT 17:32 UK
UUP top NI council poll
Results are posted for the Lower Falls area of Belfast
UUP topped poll, but lost 31 council seats since 1997
All of Northern Ireland's 582 councillors have now been elected following two days of vote counting.

As expected, the Ulster Unionist Party has taken the highest number of seats with 154 councillors elected.

However, it has lost 31 seats since the last local government election in 1997.

Meanwhile, Sinn Fein and the DUP are both celebrating major increases in seats.

Council seats won
UUP 154 (down 31)
DUP 131 (up 40)
SDLP 117 (down 3)
SDLP 117 (down 3)
Sinn Fein 108 (up 34)
Alliance 28 (down 13)
Others 44
The DUP took 131 seats, up 40 since 1997 and Sinn Fein has 108 councillors, up 34 since the last election.

The SDLP lost three seats, securing 177, the Alliance Party has won 28 seats, with other parties taking 44.

Although the numbers of seats differed quite dramatically between the four main parties, there was little between their share of the total poll.

First preference votes
UUP 181,336
DUP 169,477
Sinn Fein 163,269
SDLP 153, 424
Alliance 40,443
PUP 12,261
The Ulster Unionists got 22.95% of the vote, the DUP polled 21.45 %, Sinn Fein won 20.66% and the SDLP got 19.42%.

The Alliance Party won just over 5% of the vote.

The total number of first preference votes cast in the PR voting system was 790,068.

Winners

The DUP and Sinn Fein have reason to be cheerful about their parties' performances at the polls.

Carmel Hanna: Successful in Belfast
Carmel Hanna SDLP: Successful in Belfast
They both made gains in the Westminster election, the DUP increasing its number of seats from two to five and Sinn Fein increasing its number of MPs from two to four.

The same two parties have been the big winners in the local election.

The SDLP won more council seats than Sinn Fein, but the rise in support for the republican party is giving the nationalist party cause for concern.

While the SDLP managed to hold onto its three Westminster seats, Sinn Fein won two new seats and increased its share of the vote in both elections.

Belfast veterans lose out

Among those who failed to get re-elected in Belfast City Council was former Ulster Unionist Lord Mayor Fred Cobain.

Shock for Sinn Fein's Conor Murphy in Newry and Mourne
Shock for Sinn Fein's Conor Murphy in Newry and Mourne
Belfast's landmark Waterfront Hall was one of the projects which the former Shankill councillor fought for, against opposition from Sinn Fein and the DUP.

Long-serving Ulster Unionist Fred Proctor and the former leader of the Alliance group Mervyn Jones also lost their seats.

The SDLP's Carmel Hanna and Alban Maginness topped the poll in Belfast as did four Ulster Unionists - Michael McGimpsey, his brother Chris, Margaret Crooks and Bobby Stoker.

However, the overall shape of the council has not changed.

With the new councillors including 14 Sinn Fein members, 11 UUP, 10 DUP, nine SDLP, the Alliance Party, with three members, still holds the balance of power and will decide whether Sinn Fein can win its first Lord Mayor's post.

Londonderry

There was no overall change on Derry City Council either.

Sinn Fein gained two seats but the SDLP are still the largest party.

Donncha MacNiallais of Sinn Fein missed out on a seat.

Mary Bradley: Highest number of Derry first preference votes
Mary Bradley SDLP: Highest number of Derry first preference votes
Two veteran unionists, Ernie Hamilton and Jim Guy, also lost out.

There was a dramatic win for the SDLP's Mary Bradley, however.

Popular with the party's grassroots supporters, she gained the highest number of first preference votes.

Westminster runner loses seat

There was a surprise in Newry and Mourne when Sinn Fein's Conor Murphy lost his seat.

He polled well in the Newry and Mourne Westminster election, coming a close second behind sitting MP and SDLP deputy leader Seamus Mallon.

In Fermanagh, Sinn Fein became the largest party on the council since the IRA bombing of Enniskillen in 1987.

As the party leaders weigh up how they have fared, Northern Ireland Secretary John Reid has begun contacting them to assess where the election leaves the peace process.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC NI political correspondent Mark Simpson:
Analyses the election result: "The DUP and Sinn Fein have been the big winners in this election"
See also:

08 Jun 01 | Northern Ireland
08 Jun 01 | Northern Ireland
Links to more N Ireland stories are at the foot of the page.


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