Sinn Féin seen as political juggernaut
Sinn Féin seen as political juggernaut


Final results from the North’s latest elections have confirmed Sinn Féin as again the big winner, with its share of the vote jumping almost 8% to 31%, and winning 144 of the 462 council seats available, up 39 on the 2019 result.

The counts began on Friday with Sinn Féin storming to victory in a traditionally unionist areas of Lisburn and Castlereagh. A surge soon became evident across the North and the scale of some of the victories was staggering.

Counting ended as it began on Saturday night, which extraordinary final results in Belfast. In the electoral area of Black Mountain, Sinn Féin elected all of its six candidates. Less than a third of seats at Belfast City Council are now held by unionists, with Sinn Féin strengthening its position as the biggest party.

When the final councillor was elected just before 12.15am on Sunday morning, Sinn Féin were up by four seats, with 22 councillors returned. The council group leader Ciarán Beattie said the expanded SF team “will work hard every day to deliver on the issues that matter to all the people of Belfast.”

Unionism has now just 17 of 60 seats in the capital – 14 for the DUP, two for the UUP and one for the hardline unionist TUV. The sole TUV councillor vowed to turn City Hall into a “mini-Stormont” where he will challenge funding for the west Belfast festival, Féile an Phobail, and other “republican infrastructure” during his term.

One of the last seats of the election was won by Sinn Féin’s Ryan Murphy in the Oldpark ward, where the party also gained a seat. “It’s been an amazing day for Sinn Féin, not only in Belfast, but right across the board,” he said. “We ran a positive campaign and people responded to it.”

Traditional and unaligned republicans also saw their vote surge to new levels, boosted by the controversy over Sinn Féin’s attendance at the coronation of King Charles. A welcome new addition to Mid Ulster council is Kevin McElvogue, nephew of hunger striker Martin Hurson. The Irish Republican Socialist Party also had a respectable performance in its first effort at contesting local elections since 2011.

Sinn Féin’s success came instead at the expense of more middle ground nationalist and unionist parties. Both the Ulster Unionists and the nationalist SDLP suffered significant losses. Aontú also failed to make the breakthrough it had hoped for, while the cross-community Alliance Party made more limited gains than expected.

Huge gains came for Sinn Féin from the growing nationalist youth vote. It is now the largest party in six local government areas, continuing a greening of electoral maps driven by the party since the 1980s.

Sinn Féin is now the largest party in Belfast; Mid Ulster; Derry and Strabane; Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon; Newry, Mourne and Down; and they have overall control of Fermanagh and Omagh.

One of the most significant outcomes of the election was the containment of the Alliance growth west of the Bann as moderate nationalists and progressives strongly backed Sinn Féin’s move into the political centre.

Candidate Jude Mallon, whose son tragically died suddenly less than two weeks ago from an asthma attack, topped the poll in Craigavon as a first time council candidate.

Party leader Michelle O’Neill said the results were the result of a “positive campaign” by candidates and activists. She said: “Historic change is happening, and Sinn Féin is leading that change right across Ireland.”

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood complained that Sinn Féin had “cannibalised” the nationalist vote. “It has been very clear when we have been speaking to people that people are really annoyed at the DUP, that they want the executive back up and running and they wanted to send a message,” he said. “Sinn Féin asked them to send that message, and they sent it.”

One bright spot for the SDLP was in overwhelmingly unionist north Down, where, in the absence of competition from Sinn Féin, Déirdre Vaughan achieved 7% of the vote in her area, the best result ever achieved by a nationalist candidate in that constituency.

The poll also marked the first time a black person was elected to office in north of Ireland, with Lilian Seenoi-Barr winning a seat for the SDLP in the Foyleside area of Derry.

The UUP’s frustration at the squeezing of its vote saw former Stormont Minister Danny Kennedy bizarrely describe Sinn Féin’s success in Newry and Armagh, including the election of all six candidates in the Slieve Gullion area, as a form of ‘apartheid’.

The DUP held its seat count and retained the largest representation on five councils, but party leader Jeffrey Donaldson appeared to learn little from the outcome, blaming a lack of unionist co-operation for the weak overall result.

“The DUP has had a good election but unionism needs to do better, we need to be winning more seats,” he said. “I’m happy to sit down with my fellow unionists and examine these issues and how greater co-operation can lead a pathway towards more success for unionism in general.”


The following are the results in detail:


SF 30.9% (+7.7%) 144 seats (+39)
DUP 23.3% (-0.8%) 122 seats (-)
Alliance 13.3% (+1.8%) 67 seats (+14)
UUP 10.9% (-3.2%) 54 seats (-21)
SDLP 8.7%, (-3.3%) 39 seats (-20)
TUV 3.9%, (+1.7%) 9 seats (+3)
Green 1.7% (-0.4%) 5 seats (-3)
PBP 1.0% (-0.4%) 2 seats (-3)
Aontú 0.9% (-0.1%)
PUP 0.3% (-0.5%)
IRSP 0.1% (+0.1%)
Others 4.6% (+2.2%)




Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council


Matthew Magill (DUP)
Anne Marie Logue (Sinn Féin)
Maighréad Ní Chonghaile (Sinn Féin)
Paul Michael (UUP)
Andrew McAuley (Alliance)


Lucille O’Hagan (Sinn Féin)
Neil Kelly (Alliance)
Paul Dunlop (DUP)
John Smyth (DUP)
Roisin Lynch (SDLP)
Leah Smyth (UUP)


Jeannie Archibald (DUP)
Helen Magill (DUP)
Vera McWilliam (UUP)
Lewis Boyle (Alliance)
Michael Stewart (Ind.)


Henry Cushinan (Sinn Féin)
Annie O’Lone (Sinn Féin)
Linda Clarke (DUP)
Stewart Wilson (UUP)
Jay Burbank (Alliance)


Alison Bennington (DUP)
Eamonn McLaughlin (Sinn Féin)
Paula Bradley (DUP)
Julian McGrath (Alliance)
Mark Spencer Cosgrove (UUP)
Rosie Kinnear (Sinn Féin)
Michael Goodman (Sinn Féin)


Taylor McGrann (Sinn Féin)
Matthew Brady (DUP)
Robert Thomas Foster (UUP)
Billy Webb (Alliance)
Ben Mallon (DUP)
Stafford Ward (Ind.)


Mark Cooper (DUP)
Tom Campbell (Alliance)
Stephen Edward Ross (DUP)
Julie Gilmour (Alliance)
Sam Flanagan (DUP)
Stephen Cosgrove (UUP)


Ards and North Down Borough Council

Ards Peninsula

Lorna McAlpine (Alliance)
Robert Adair (DUP)
Joe Boyle (SDLP)
Nigel Edmund (DUP)
David Kerr (DUP)
Peter Wray (UUP)

Bangor Central

Wesley Irvine (Ind.)
Karen Douglas (Alliance)
Chris McCracken (Alliance)
Ray McKimm (Ind.)
Alastair Cathcart (DUP)
Craig Blaney (UUP)

Bangor East and Donaghadee

Mark Brooks (UUP)
Hannah Irwin (Alliance)
James Cochrane (DUP)
David Chambers (UUP)
Gillian McCollum (Alliance)
Janice MacArthur (DUP)

Bangor West

Christine Creighton (Alliance)
Jennifer Gilmour (DUP)
Stephen Hollywood (UUP)
Peter Martin (DUP)
Barry McKee (Green)


Libby Douglas (DUP)
Philip Smith (UUP)
Trevor Cummings (DUP)
Patricia Morgan (Alliance)
Rachel Ashe (Alliance)

Holywood and Clandeboye

Linzi McLaren (UUP)
Martin McRandal (Alliance)
Rachel Woods (Green)
David Rossiter (Alliance)
Alan Graham (DUP)


Steven Irvine (Ind.)
Naomi Armstrong (DUP)
Richard Smart (UUP)
Alan McDowell (Alliance)
Vicky Moore (Alliance)
Colin Kennedy (DUP)
Stephen McIlveen (DUP)


Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council


Fergal Donnelly (Sinn Féin)
Scott Armstrong (DUP)
Ashley Mallon (Sinn Féin)
Thomas O’Hanlon (SDLP)
Sarah Duffy (Sinn Féin)
John Óg O’Kane (Sinn Féin)


Joy Ferguson (Alliance)
Glenn Barr (UUP)
Paul Greenfield (DUP)
Chris McCartan (Sinn Féin)
Ian Burns (UUP)
Kevin Savage (Sinn Féin)
Ian Wilson (DUP)


Jude Mallon (Sinn Féin)
Catherine Nelson (Sinn Féin)
Margaret Tinsley (DUP)
Robbie Alexander (Alliance)
Kate Evans (UUP)


Paul Berry (Ind.)
Bróna Haughey (Sinn Féin)
Keith Radcliffe (TUV)
Gordon Kennedy (UUP)
Gareth Wilson (DUP)

Lagan River

Mark Baxter (DUP)
Jessica Johnston (Alliance)
Tim McClelland (DUP)
Paul Rankin (DUP)
Kyle Savage (UUP)


Peter Haire (DUP)
Keith Haughian (Sinn Féin)
Peter Lavery (Alliance)
Liam Mackle (Sinn Féin)
Stephen Moutray (DUP)
Mary O’Down (Sinn Féin)
Sorchá McGeown (Sinn Féin)


Paul Duffy (Sinn Féin)
Julie Flaherty (UUP)
Clare McConville-Walker (Sinn Féin)
Lavelle McIlwrath (DUP)
Kyle Moutray (DUP)
Alan Mulholland (DUP)


Belfast City Council


Geraldine McAteer (Sinn Féin)
Micky Murray (Alliance)
Tara Brooks (Alliance)
Sarah Bunting (DUP)
Donal Lyons (SDLP)

Black Mountain

Ciaran Beattie (Sinn Féin)
Paul Doherty (SDLP)
Áine McCabe (Sinn Féin)
Arder Carson (Sinn Féin)
Michael Donnelly (Sinn Féin)
Ronan McLaughlin (Sinn Féin)
Róis-Máire Donnelly (Sinn Féin)


Gary McKeown (SDLP)
Tracy Kelly (DUP)
Emmet McDonough-Brown (Alliance)
Áine Groogan (Green Party)
John Gormley (Sinn Féin)


Conor Maskey (Sinn Féin)
Brónach Anglin (Sinn Féin)
Fred Cobain (DUP)
Dean McCullough (DUP)
Sam Nelson (Alliance)
Carl Whyte (SDLP)


Joe Duffy (Sinn Féin)
Caoimhín McCann (Sinn Féin)
Matt Garrett (Sinn Féin)
Séanna Walsh (Sinn Féin)
Clíodhna Nic Bhranair (Sinn Féin)
Michael Collins (People Before Profit)


Tina Black (Sinn Féin)
Claire Canavan (Sinn Féin)
Frank McCoubrey (DUP)
Nicola Verner (DUP)
Ian McLaughlin (DUP)
Ron McDowell (TUV)


Davy Douglas (DUP)
Séamas De Faoite (SDLP)
Bradley Ferguson (DUP)
Eric Hanvey (Alliance)
Michael Long (Alliance)
Brian Smyth (Green Party)

Old Park

Nichola Bradley (Sinn Féin)
Paul McCusker (Ind.)
JJ Magee (Sinn Féin)
Jordan Doran (DUP)
Ryan Murphy (Sinn Féin)
Tómas Ó Néill (Sinn Féin)


Andrew William McCormick (DUP)
James Lawlor (DUP)
Jenna Maghie (Alliance)
Christine Bower (Alliance)
Ross McMullan (Alliance)
Anthony Flynn (Green Party)
Jim Rodgers (UUP)


Ruth Susan Brooks (DUP)
Sammy Douglas (DUP)
David Bell (Alliance)
Fiona McAteer (Alliance)
Sonia Copeland (UUP)
Pádraig Donnelly (Sinn Féin)


Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council


Mervyn Storey (DUP)
Ciarán McQuillan (Sinn Féin)
Darryl Wilson (UUP)
Ivor Wallace (DUP)
Lee Kane (Alliance Party)
Leanne Peacock (Sinn Féin)
Jonathan McAuley (TUV)


Sean Bateson (Sinn Féin)
Michelle Knight-McQuillan (DUP)
Ciarán Archibald (Sinn Féin)
John Richard Holmes (UUP)
Dawn Huggins (DUP)


Sean McGlinchey (Sinn Féin)
Dermot Nichol (Sinn Féin)
Michael Coyle (SDLP)
Edgar Scott (DUP)
Kathleen McGurk (Sinn Féin)


Mark Fielding (DUP)
Peter McCully (Alliance)
Sandra Hunter (UUP)
Richard Stewart (Alliance)
John McAuley (DUP)
Allister Kyle (TUV)
Sharon McKillop (DUP)


Philip Anderson (DUP)
Russell Watton (PUP)
Yvonne Boyle (Alliance)
Niamh Archibald (Sinn Féin)
John Wisener (UUP)
Tanya Stirling (DUP)


Cara McShane (Sinn Féin)
Oliver McMullan (Sinn Féin)
Maighréad Watson (Sinn Féin)
Bill Kennedy (DUP)
Margaret Anne McKillop (SDLP)


Brenda Chivers (Sinn Féin)
Steve Callaghan (DUP)
Ashleen Schenning (SDLP)
Amy Mairs (Alliance)
Andrew Callan (DUP)


Derry City and Strabane District Council

Sandra Duffy (Sinn Féin)
Rory Farrell (SDLP)
John McGowan (Sinn Féin)
Patrick Murphy (Sinn Féin)
Brian Tierney (SDLP)
Catherine McDaid (SDLP)


Keith Kerrigan (DUP)
Ruairi McHugh (Sinn Féin)
Derek Hussey (UUP)
Keith Kerrigan (DUP)
Ruairi McHugh (Sinn Féin)


Ryan McCready (UUP)
Declan Norris (SDLP)
Julie Middleton (DUP)
Alex Duffy (Sinn Féin)
Sean Fleming (Sinn Féin)


Conor Heaney (Sinn Féin)
Grace Ui Niallais (Sinn Féin)
Shaun Harkin (People Before Profit)
Shauna Cusack (SDLP)
Lillian Seenoi Barr (SDLP)


John Boyle (SDLP)
Patricia Logue (Sinn Féin)
Gary Donnelly (Ind. R.)
Aisling Hutton (Sinn Féin)
Emma McGinley (Sinn Féin)


Paul Boggs (Sinn Féin)
Fergal Leonard (Sinn Féin)
Brian Harte (Sinn Féin)
Jason Barr (SDLP)
Raymond Barr (Ind. R.)
Alan Bresland (DUP)
Paul Gallagher (Ind. R.)


Caitlin Deeney (Sinn Féin)
Darren Guy (UUP)
Christopher Jackson (Sinn Féin)
Chelsea Cooke DUP
Niree McMorris DUP
Martin Reilly (SDLP)
Sean Mooney (SDLP)


Fermanagh and Omagh District Council


Keith Elliott (DUP)
Tommy Maguire (Sinn Féin)
Eddie Roofe (Alliance)
Roy Crawford (UUP)
Dermot Browne (Sinn Féin)
Robert Irvine (UUP)

Erne East

Sheamus Greene (Sinn Féin)
Noeleen Hayes Sinn Féin)
Garbhan McPhillips (SDLP)
Thomas O’Reilly (Sinn Féin)
Paul Robinson (DUP)
Victor Warrington (UUP)

Erne North

Debbie Coyle (Sinn Féin)
Diana Armstrong (DUP)
John Feely (Sinn Féin)
David Mahon (DUP)
John McClaughry (UUP)

Erne West

Anthony Feely (Sinn Féin)
Elaine Brough (Sinn Féin)
Declan McArdle (Sinn Féin)
Adam Gannon (SDLP)
Mark Ovens (UUP)

Mid Tyrone

Roisin Gallagher (Sinn Féin)
Anne-Marie Fitzgerald (Sinn Féin)
Padraigin Kelly (Sinn Féin)
Patrick Withers (Sinn Féin)
Shirley Hawkes (DUP)
Bernard McGrath (SDLP)


Barry McElduff (Sinn Féin)
Errol Thompson (DUP)
Catherine Kelly (Sinn Féin)
Marty McColgan (Sinn Féin)
Stephen Donnelly (Alliance)
Josephine Deehan (Ind.)

West Tyrone

Mark Buchanan (DUP)
Glen Campbell (Sinn Féin)
Allan Rainey (UUP)
Ann-Marie Donnelly (Sinn Féin)
Colette McNulty (Sinn Féin)
Stephen McCann (Sinn Féin)


Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council

Castlereagh East

Sharon Skillen (DUP)
Martin Gregg (Alliance)
Samantha Burns (DUP)
Sharon Lowry (Alliance)
John Laverty (DUP)
Hazel Legge (UUP)

Castlereagh South

Michelle Guy (Alliance)
Brian Higginson (DUP)
Nancy Eaton (Alliance)
Ryan Carlin (Sinn Féin)
John Gallen (SDLP)
Daniel Bassett (Sinn Féin)
Martin McKeever (Alliance)

Downshire East

Andrew Gowan (DUP)
Uel Mackin (DUP)
Kurtis Dickson (Alliance)
Aaron McIntyre (Alliance)
James Baird (UUP)

Downshire West

Owen Gawith (Alliance)
Alan Martin (UUP)
Gretta Thompson (Alliance )
Caleb McCready (DUP)
Allan Ewart MBE (DUP)


Gary McCleave (Sinn Féin)
Thomas Beckett (DUP)
Claire Kemp (Alliance)
James Tinsley (DUP)
Ross McLernon (UUP)

Lisburn North

Paul Burke (Sinn Féin)
Jonathan Craig (DUP)
Nicola Parker (Alliance)
Pat Catney (SDLP)
Nicholas Trimble (UUP)
Gary Hynds (Ind.)

Lisburn South

Andrew Ewing (DUP)
Alan Givan (DUP)
Amanda Grehan (Alliance)
Brian Higginson (DUP)
Tim Mitchell (UUP)
Paul Porter (DUP)


Mid and East Antrim Borough Council


Rodney Quigley (Ind.)
Matthew Armstrong (TUV)
Colin Crawford (UUP)
Bréanainn Lyness (Sinn Féin)
Reuben Glover (DUP)
John Hyland (Alliance)
Lawrie Philpott (DUP)


Timothy Gaston (TUV)
Stewart McDonald (TUV)
Ian Friary (Sinn Féin)
Thomas Gordon (DUP)
Tyler Hoey (DUP)
Jackson Minford (UUP)


Archie Rae (Sinn Féin)
Beath Adger (DUP)
William McCaughey (DUP)
Christopher Jamieson (TUV)
Alan Barr (UUP)
Chelsea Harwood (Alliance)
Warwick, Matthew -(TUV)

Carrick Castle

Lauren Gray (Alliance)
Cheryl Brownlee (DUP)
Billy Ashe (DUP)
Robin Stewart (UUP)
Bethany Ferris (UUP)

Coast Road

James McKeown (Sinn Féin)
Andrew Clarke (DUP)
Geraldine Marie Mulvenna (Alliance)
Angela Smyth (DUP)
Maureen Morrow (UUP)


Bobby Hadden (Ind.)
Peter Johnston (DUP)
Andrew Wilson (UUP)
Marc Neill Collins (DUP)
Aaron Skinner (Alliance Party)

Larne Lough

Maeve Donnelly (Alliance)
Gregg McKeen (DUP)
Roy Beggs (UUP)
Robert Logan (Alliance)
Paul Reid (DUP)


Mid Ulster District Council


Sean McPeake (SInn Féin)
Brian McGuigan (Sinn Féin)
Córa Corry (Sinn Féin)
Paddy Kelly (Sinn Féin)
Kyle Black (DUP)

Clogher Valley

Frances Burton (DUP)
Mark Robinson (DUP)
Gael Gildernew (Sinn Féin)
Kevin McElvogue (Ind. R.)
Eugene McConnell (Sinn Féin)
Meta Graham (UUP)


Cathal Mallaghan (Sinn Féin)
John Fitzgerald McNamee (Sinn Féin)
Kerri Martin (SDLP)
Wilbert Buchanan (DUP)
Gavin Bell (Sinn Féin)
Trevor Wilson (UUP)
Eva Cahoon (DUP)


Clement Cuthbertson (DUP)
Dominic Molloy (Sinn Féin)
Karol McQuade (SDLP)
Barry Monteith (Ind. R.)
James Burton (DUP)
Deirdre Varson (Sinn Féin)


Darren Oliver Totten (Sinn Féin)
Sean Clarke (Sinn Féin)
Christine McFlynn (SDLP)
Paul McLean (DUP)
Wesley Brown (DUP)


Donal McPeake (Sinn Féin)
Anne Forde (DUP)
Jolene Groogan (Sinn Féin)
Denise Johnston (SDLP)
Ian Milne (Sinn Féin)


Eimear Carney (Sinn Féin)
Niall McAleer (Sinn Féin)
Jonathan Buchanan (DUP)
Dan Kerr (Ind. R.)
Nuala McAlernon (Sinn Féin)
Malachy Quinn (SDLP)


Newry, Mourne and Down District Council


Mark Gibbons (Ind.)
Declan McAteer (SDLP)
Selina Murphy (Sinn Féin)
Kate Murphy (Sinn Féin)
Mickey Ruane (Sinn Féin)
Jarlath Tinnelly (Ind.)


Oonagh Hanlon (Sinn Féin)
Gareth Sharvin (SDLP)
Cadogan Enright (Alliance)
Philip Campbell (Sinn Féin)
Gareth Sharvin (SDLP)


Willie Clarke (Sinn Féin)
Laura Devlin (SDLP)
Glyn Hanna (DUP)
Leeanne McEvoy (Sinn Féin)
Michael Rice (Sinn Féin)
Henry Reilly (DUP)
Jill Truesdale (Alliance)


Valerie Harte (Sinn Féin)
Cathal King (Sinn Féin)
Geraldine Kearns (Sinn Féin)
Aidan Mathers (Sinn Féin)
Michael Savage (SDLP)
Doire Finn (SDLP)


Jonny Jackson (DUP)
Terry Andrews (SDLP)
Callum Bowsie (DUP)
Tierna Kelly (Alliance)
David Lee-Surginor (Alliance)

Slieve Croob

Alan Lewis (DUP)
Jim Brennan (Sinn Féin)
Roisin Howell (Sinn Féin)
Andrew McMurray (Alliance)
Siobhán O’Hare (Sinn Féin)

Slieve Gullion

Pete Byrne (SDLP)
Aoife Finnegan (Sinn Féin)
Mickey Larkin (Sinn Féin)
Oonagh Magennis (Sinn Féin)
Declan Murphy (Sinn Féin)
Aine Quinn (Sinn Féin)
David Taylor (UUP)

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