How smaller parties suffered in Northern Ireland council elections

Billy Hutchinson. Pa
PUP leader Billy Hutchinson lost his Belfast City Council seat.

Smaller parties generally suffered across the board in Northern Ireland's council elections.

Traditional Unionist Voice was the one exception gaining a representative on Belfast City Council, marking its return to the capital's body after several years' absence, as well as on Causeway Coast and Glens. The party finished on nine seats.

However, Belfast City Hall saw misery for many of the smaller parties, including Green Party leader Mal O'Hara and PUP leader Billy Hutchinson, who lost their council seats.

Mr O'Hara described having served on the council as "the honour of my life", adding he was disappointed but proud of work achieved and thanked those who voted for him.

As Sinn Fein and the Alliance Party saw a surge in their vote, in the latter stages of the count on Saturday evening, most of the smaller parties had seen a drop in their council seat total.

By the end the Green Party total had dropped by three to five, People Before Profit had dropped by three to two and the PUP from two to one - and Aontu no longer had any elected representatives.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know.