The new council is made up of an amalgamation of four smaller councils, Moyle, Limavady, Ballymoney and Coleraine.
Moyle in North Antrim and Limavady in East Derry had nationalist majorities but nationalists will now be in a minority as Ballymoney (North Antrim) and Coleraine (East Derry) were overwhelmingly unionist.
DUP 11. UUP 10. TUV 3. PUP 1.
SF 7. SDLP 6.
Alliance 1. Independent 1.
SDLP will be reasonably pleased that they almost matched Sinn Fein. While beaten by three seats to one by Sinn Fein in Limavady, SDLP convincingly beat SF 3-0 in Coleraine. This means that the SDLP seat in East Derry is safe. Significantly all three of the SDLP councillors in the Coleraine DEAs are women. I expect John Dallat, the current MLA will retire and one of these women will be co-opted to replace him before 2016. We might get a clue as to who this will be, when the 2015 Westminster candidate is selected. Not so good news in North Antrim where SF outscored SDLP by 3-1….this will mean that SF Sssembly seat is safe but not a very good chance of SDLP regaining a seat in North Antrim. Personally disappointed that Donal Cunningham from BaLlycastle lost his seat to running mate.
Donal has been a very active supporter of this Blog