Belfast Telegraph

Alliance and SF make inroads but Lisburn unionists remain strong

By Carl Toner

Sinn Fein has claimed its first ever seat on Lisburn and Castlereagh Council.

Gary McCleave was elected in the Killultagh District Electoral Area - a party first in what is predominantly a unionist council.

As of 11.30pm last night, the DUP were on course to remain the largest party overall on the council with 13 seats. The UUP had nine seats and Alliance eight. The SDLP and Sinn Fein had one seat.

Among those celebrating from Alliance was Sorcha Eastwood, who topped the poll in Castlereagh South with 1,629 first-preference votes.

Alliance MLA Stephen Farry led congratulations, tweeting: "Very proud of my right hand woman this evening and over the past number of months of a committed campaign."

In total, seven Alliance candidates topped the polls, including Owen Gawith with 1,616 first-preference votes in Downshire West, Aaron McIntyre (1,318 votes) in Downshire East and Stephen Martin (1,483 first-preference votes) in Lisburn North.

The DUP candidates elected included Nathan Anderson, who secured his seat at Castlereagh South with 1,503 first-preference votes. Other DUP candidates elected included Sharon Skillen, David Drysdale and John Laverty - all in Castlereagh East.

The UUP's elected councillors included Hazel Legge and ex-MLA Jenny Palmer. Johnny McCarthy was elected for the SDLP.

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