Belfast Telegraph

Sinn Fein and DUP leading the way on the north coast

By Megan McCreedy

The DUP and Sinn Fein led the way with five seats apiece as counting continued at Causeway Coast and Glens council.

At 10pm, half of the 40 seats had been declared.

Counting began with Independent Ambrose Laverty topping the polls ahead of his DUP, UUP and Sinn Fein opponents with 1,267 votes. Sinn Fein candidates Cara McShane and Oliver McMullan followed closely behind, with Margaret Anne McKillop of the SDLP taking the fourth seat. The battle for the final seat in The Glens DEA was narrowly won by UUP's Joan Baird.

The count results for Coleraine DEA had reached stage three, with only one councillor elected, before a discrepancy in the voting during stage four prompted a full recount. Deputy returning officer David Jackson explained that 25 votes had been placed in the wrong candidate's section.

After restarting, the final count in Coleraine ended with two DUP councillors, one Alliance, one UUP, one SDLP and PUP councillor Russell Watton topping the poll.

In Ballymoney DEA, three were elected on the first count: John Finlay DUP, Sinn Fein's Leanne Peacock, and the UUP's Darryl Wilson topping the poll with 1.420 votes. TUV councillor William Blair lost his seat.

Vote counting for Benbradagh DEA began late in the afternoon, with Sinn Fein's Sean McGlinchey topping the poll well over quota with 1,574 votes.

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