Newry Mourne and Down District did not escape the rise of big party alternatives, with one such candidate who finished last in 2014 topping the poll in his area this time out.
Jarlath Tinnelly from Crotlieve area said: “Some big parties pushed too hard on national issues, such as Brexit, for a local government election, when people were really concerned with bread and butter issues.”
Jarlath finished 41st in 2014 - the last councillor elected - but topped the poll in his area this time with 1412 first preferences.
His result was thrown into contrast by the fact that Sinn Fein’s Vice Chair, Oksana McMahon, was eliminated in the same area.
In the Mournes Glynn Hanna for the DUP topped the poll with 1944 first preferences.
Those elected as of about 7pm on Friday were, for Sinn Fein, Terry Hearty, Mickey Larkin, Oonagh Magennis and Gerry O’Hare, while SDLP candidates elected were Pete Byrne, Gareth Sharvin and Laura Devlin.
Predictions that Sinn Fein’s gain of 11% in the last Westminster election in south Down would result in it rising from 14 to 16 seats, taking two of the SDLP’s 14, persisted last night.
DUP MLA Jim Wells predicted that at least eight unionist candidates would be returned, as in 2014. “The only imponderable is what happens to the second Alliance seat,” he added.