Northern Ireland local government elections 2023: How each council is formed

Sinn Féin made historic gains in the 2023 Northern Ireland local government elections for the first time.

The council election count crept into a third day with the last of 462 seats to be filled across 11 councils going to People Before Profit shortly after midnight on Sunday at Belfast City Hall.

Sinn Féin emerged with 144 seats, an increase of 39 from the last council election in 2019. The party gained in 10 of the 11 councils. Only in Ards and North Down Council does it have no representation.

The party has also replicated its result in the Assembly election last year when it became the largest party at Stormont.

The DUP has reinforced its position as the dominant force in unionism by winning 122 seats, the same number as in 2019.

Alliance increased its representation on councils by winning 67 seats, an increase of 14.

The UUP ended up with 54 seats, and the SDLP 39, with smaller parties and independents taking the remaining 36 seats.

Sinn Féin will be the largest party in six local government areas, including Belfast, while the DUP will have the largest representation in five councils.

Sinn Fein secured 30.9% of first preference votes, ahead of the DUP on 23.3%, 13.3% for Alliance, 10.9% for the Ulster Unionists and 8.7% for the SDLP.

The turnout for the election was 54%.

Northern Ireland’s councils are responsible for setting rates, planning and waste collection as well as leisure services and parks.

Below is the full breakdown of results:

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