Four new kids on the council block

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Five current serving Antrim councillors failed to be elected to the new Antrim and Newtownabbey ‘super council’.

Anthony Brady (Sinn Fein), Brian Graham (DUP), Alan Lawther (Alliance), Noel Maguire (Sinn Fein), and Roy Thompson (DUP), all failed to secure enough first preference votes to meet the quotas, or pick up enough transferred votes, for the electoral areas they were standing in.

Fielding three candidates in the Antrim DEA, the DUP’s gamble failed to pay off with Mr Graham polling the fewest votes out of the party’s three reps.

Despite picking up votes at stage 2, when NI21’s George Young and Alliance’s Sian O’Neill were excluded, the same fate awaited Mr Graham at the next stage of the voting count.

The Antrim DEA vote went down to the wire for Noel Maguire with a close battle through the final stages between himself and the SDLP’s Roisin Lynch.

After stage 7 of the voting count, and the transfer of Neil Kelly’s votes, Mr Maguire was on 649.98, while Mrs Lynch was on 697.94. As Mr Maguire had the fewest amount of votes of the two, he was excluded with Mrs Lynch elected without meeting the quota of 849 votes.

There was a similar battle between Sinn Fein’s Anthony Brady and Henry Cushinan in the Dunsilly DEA.

Mr Brady polled 702 first preference votes, with his party colleague polling 778.

By stage five of the count, the two Sinn Fein reps were the final candidates left and neither had picked up enough votes to meet the quota.

As Mr Brady has polled less than Mr Cushinan - under 50 votes between them - he was excluded, resulting in Mr Cushinan being elected without meeting the quota.

In the Airport DEA, Mr Thompson polled 609 first preference votes, and Mr Lawther 547.

Despite picking up transfer votes, by stage three of the count, Mr Thompson was excluded.

A similar fate awaited Mr Lawther, who despite picking up over 200 transfer votes, was excluded after stage 5.

With five serving councillors eliminated from the count, it paved the way for four new faces to be elected to represent the Antrim area on the new ‘super council’

In spite of losing two veteran councillors in Brian Graham and Roy Thompson, the DUP will have three new representatives sitting on the new council.

Nigel Kells - who has the honour of being the first candidate to be elected to any of the new ‘super councils’ - came out top in the Antrim DEA.

Party colleagues Trevor Beatty and Matthew Magill met the quotas to be elected to serve Dunsilly and Airport District Electoral Areas, respectively.

And the SDLP’s Roisin Lynch was elected to serve the Antrim DEA, despite meeting not meeting the voting quota.

It came down to the final stage of the counting, with just Mrs Lynch and Sinn Fein’s Noel Maguire left - neither meeting the quota.

With Mr Maguire polling fewer votes, he was eliminated paving the way for Mrs Lynch’s election.

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