Alliance returned three councillors in the Antrim and Newtownabbey supercouncil area yesterday, and its group leader Billy Webb polled very strongly.
But, speaking at the Valley Leisure Centre where the count is taking place, he said: “I know that our vote has been affected by other issues, and by other parties in the area. And also there’s been a lot of dirty tricks against myself.”
Asked what these were, he said his posters had been taken down in places like Rathcoole, and remarks made about him on social media.
The “other issues” which had affected them were ”very obviously the flag protests, and our European candidate” – a reference to Anna Lo and her personal backing for Irish reunification.
Meanwhile NI21 did not leave a big impression on the area yesterday, although its candidate in the hotly-contested Threemilewater district secured 369 votes – beating both of the individual PUP candidates and one of the DUP’s.