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North Down and Ards: DUP dominate but centre parties also do well

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At the end of Friday, the first day of counting at the Aurora centre in Bangor, voting trends confirmed that the DUP was on course to be by far the largest party in the new North Down and Ards district council.

Representatives of Peter Robinson’s party are set by the close of counting on Saturday to fall just short of half the 40 seats in the emerging local authority.

In the Holywood and Clandeboye electoral area, 25-year-old Stephen Dunne topped the poll for the DUP and was elected in the first count.

This result endorsed Mr Dunne in the council seat that he originally took over from his father Gordon, who stepped down to concentrate on being a Stormont MLA, in compliance with the DUP’s policy on double jobbing.

“I have been around politics since I was aged three or four,” said Stephen, whose earliest memories include going out and about with his father on the campaign trail.

Holywood and Clandeboye electoral area elected two DUP councillors, with Jennifer Gilmour getting in on the count.

Larry Thompson, 83, who is standing for election in the Alliance stronghold of Bangor West, which is counted on Saturday, is the oldest candidate for the council and knows North Down well.

He said of the DUP’s prominence in the area latterly: “For the DUP to top the poll in an area as progressive as Holywood is an illustration of how much times have changed.”

But Holywood and Clandeboye did nonetheless elect three non-DUP candidates to council: John Barry for the Greens, who came second in the first count and was elected on the third, Andrew Muir, the Alliance Party mayor of the outgoing council who was six votes behind John Barry, and Daniel Allen for the Ulster Unionist Party, who secured his seat on the fourth count.

Across North Down and Ards, two parties that emphasise their non tribal appeal and who needed to poll strongly in such a traditionally moderate area, NI21 and the Northern Ireland Conservatives, did not attract large numbers of votes.

In the four areas which were counted on Friday, both parties fielded one candidate each, who polled on average around 200 votes each, with the Conservatives edging it over NI21.

Johnny Andrews, whose forebears include the Titanic designer Thomas Andrews, did the best of these two parties, when he won 411 votes in Comber. But it was not enough to prevent his elimination on the second count.

Comber was topped by Robert Gibson of the DUP, who got in on the first count. The other four elected councillors were, in order of election, James Fletcher of the Ulster Unionists, Deborah Girvan of Alliance, Trevor William Cummings of the DUP, and Stephen James Coooper of Traditional Unionist Voice.

That a member of Jim Allister’s TUV won a council seat before anyone in the Conservatives and NI21 will have exacerbated the disappointed the latter two parties.

Joe Boyle topped the ballot in the Ards Peninsula electorail area for the SDLP, and will be the only nationalist councillor on the new authority.

Asked if he would find it intimidating having such a status in an overwhelmingly unionist council, Mr Boyle said: “It is not intimidating for me. I have served ten years as the only nationalist councillor on Ards borough council, which is the larger council, but more of the same type of business. We are there to represent the people and we will do our best.”

Also elected for the peninsula was Robert Adair, who topped the poll for the DUP, and his party colleagure Nigel Edmund of the DUP, as well as Angus Caron of the Ulster Unionists.

The last seat in that electoral area will be decided on Saturay, with Alliance’s Kellie Mary Armstrong hoping to pick up a seat in an area which previously elected Alliance’s Kieran McCarthy.

Of the four council areas for which counting got under way on Friday, the least progress was made in Bangor Central.

This is because there were 17 candidates vying for six seats, and votes were widely spread between them.

When counting ceased on Friday night, only Wesley Graham Irvine had been elected. He had topped the poll for the DUP with 643 votes, in a contest in which no candidate secured an overwhelming mandate from the electorate.

Of 15 councillors decided by Friday night, the DUP had 7, the UUP 3, Alliance 2, while TUV, Green and SDLP had one each.

FIRST COUNT RESULTS BELOW:

Of the four district electoral areas being counted on Friday, (three are being counted on Saturday) the first count total votes were as follows:

ARDS PENINSULA

Robert Hugh Adair (DUP) 1773

Kellie Mary Armstrong (All) 439

Sheila Bailie (SF) 388

Joseph Timothy Boyle (SDLP) 1387

John David Bustard (NI21) 114

Angus Yeaman Carson (UUP) 1199

Nigel Edmund (DUP) 621

Paul Leeman (NI Conservatives) 161

Colin Robert McCormick (All) 146

Edward Burns Thompson (DUP) 456

Louise Sara Alexandra Wallace (DUP) 559

HOLYWOOD & CLANDEBOYE

Daniel Allen (UUP) 619

John Barry (Green) 916

Stephen Gordon Dunne (DUP) 1423

Jennifer Mary Gilmour (DUP) 540

Matthew Ian Johnston (NI21) 208

Gerard Gabriel Alphonsus Leddy (Independent) 34

Peter Gerard Lismore (SDLP) 308

James Hamilton McKerrow (UUP) 475

Andrew David Muir (Alliance) 910

Kate Siobhan Nicholl (Alliance) 456

William David Fergus O’Callaghan (NI Conservatives) 265

ELECTED FIRST COUNT SG Dunne

COMBER

John William Hunter Andrews (NI Conservatives) 411

Stephen James Cooper (TUV) 577

Trevor William Cummings (DUP) 715

James Edward Chandler Fletcher (UUP) 863

Robert Gibson (DUP) 1071

Deborah Mary Louise Girvan (All) 815

Isabella Hanna (UKIP) 427

Margaret Jayne Howson (NI21) 169

John Mervyn Oswald (DUP) 640

Philip Geoffrey Smith (UUP) 506

BANGOR CENTRAL

Stuart David Anderson (All) 443

Colin Mark Breen (Independent) 274

Alistair John Cathcart (DUP) 554

David Alan Chambers (Ind) 387

William Lee Cudworth (TUV) 300

Roberta Mahood Dunlop (DUP) 434

Nicholas Richard David Fell (All) 395

Peter James Floyd (NI21) 174

Mark Currell Gordon (Community Partnership NI) 222

Adam Harbinson (DUP) 203

Ian John Cyril Henry (UUP) 589

Wesley Graham Irvine (DUP) 643

Mary Louise Macartney (Ind) 445

Carl Christian McClean (UUP) 442

William John Montgomery (UKIP) 385

Noelle Anne Robinson (Green) 496

David Kenneth Symington(Cons) 170

SATURDAY COUNTS BELOW:

NEWTOWNARDS

Naomi Esther Hannah Armstrong (DUP)

Linda Cleland (Alliance)

Ian Stephen Alexander Cox (Independent)

John Colville Elliott (DUP)

Katherine Ferguson (UUP)

Sharon Elizabeth Hunt (Ind)

Nichola Keenan (NI21)

Colin George Dallas Kennedy (DUP)

Alan Joseph McDowell (All)

Stephen McIlveen (DUP)

William Wallace McKendry (NI Conservatives)

David Mark McMullen (TUV)

James Menagh (Independent)

Richard John Smart (UUP)

BANGOR EAST & DONAGHADEE

Mark Ronald Brooks (UUP)

Albert Alan Chambers (Ind)

Christopher Ryan Eisenstadt (UUP)

Trana Gray (Green)

William David Keery (DUP)

Terence Hamilton Malcolm (DUP)

Peter James Martin (DUP)

Brian Alexander McBride (Cons)

William John Phineas McKee (NI21)

Thomas John Smith (DUP)

Joseph Edward Strutt (TUV)

Patrick John Toms (UKIP)

Gavin Walker (Alliance)

BANGOR WEST

Alison Elizabeth Blayney (Commun Partnrshp)

Mark Brotherston (NI Cons)

Steven Bernard Denny (NI21)

Robert Samuel John Gordon (TUV)

Robert Alan Graham (DUP)

Alan Leslie (DUP)

Ingrid Logan (SDLP)

Paul Andrew Roberts (Green)

Marion Smith (UUP)

Laurance Thompson (Alliance)

Scott Alfred Wilson (Alliance)

 

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