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Antrim and Newtownabbey: Two DUP deputy mayors lose out in close race for super council

By Chris Kilpatrick

Two DUP deputy mayors lost their seats amid a fiercely contested battle between the party and the Ulster Unionists.

The DUP holds a marginal lead of just two seats over its rivals after the first batch of results were revealed last night.

The results of four wards within the district were yesterday revealed: Antrim, Airport, Macedon and Threemilewater, with an average turnout below 50%.

Heading in to the second day of counts the DUP and Ulster Unionists are vying for control.

Of the 23 seats up for grabs yesterday, nine went to DUP, seven to the Ulster Unionists, three Alliance, two SDLP, one Sinn Fein, and one TUV.

Dineen Walker, who broke ranks with the DUP over a contentious ban on a biblical play, exited the political stage.

She polled just 256 first preference votes in the Macedon ward, where the quota was 848.

Another deputy mayor, Antrim's Brian Graham, also of the DUP, bowed out as his return of 540 first preference votes was more than 300 short of the quota.

Just over 6,000 votes were polled in the Antrim ward, a turnout of 41.92%.

First through, on the third count, was the DUP's Nigel Kells. Adrian Watson of the Ulster Unionists followed suit.

Sinn Fein's Noel Maguire lost his seat in the town.

His party colleague, on the other hand, was beaming.

Anne-Marie Logue said she was "ecstatic" to be selected to represent the Airport ward on the new super council. Also through in the same area was SDLP veteran Thomas Burns. More than 30 years after first being elected, Mervyn Rea of the UUP also retained a seat.

First-time candidate, the SDLP's Roisin Lynch, got the nod over Mr Maguire, with her party leader Alasdair McDonnell on hand to congratulate her.

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