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Sinn Fein emerges as biggest party in Northern Ireland - DUP claims most seats

Sinn Fein has emerged as the biggest party in Northern Ireland following the local government elections - but the DUP has claimed the greater number of council seats.

The republican party claimed 24.1% of all first preference votes with the DUP  on 23.1%.

Both parties, however, saw their share of the vote slip with the DUP down by 4.1% and Sinn Fein marginally down by 0.7%.

Of the four main parties only the Ulster Unionists saw an increase in its overall share, up 0.9%.

The SDLP slipped from 15% to 13.5%.

The Alliance Party share of the vote was also down - by less than 1% and is on around 6%.

NI21, has had one councillor elected despite controversy that has overshadowed the party after up to nine women made allegations of inappropriate sexual activity against party leader Basil McCrea.

Mr McCrea, who confirmed that the allegations against him were sexual in nature in an email to party staff this week, has strongly denied any wrongdoing.

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