Map by Conal Kelly
The elections for Northern Ireland's 26 local councils took place on May 21, 1997, less than three weeks after the Westminster election which had brought the Labour government to power. This was the seventh set of elections since the local councils were reorganised in 1973. Councillors are elected for a four-year term by Single Transferable Vote from local electoral areas returning five, six or seven councillors. You can look at all the local election results since 1973 here, and compare specifically with the 1993 and 2001 elections elsewhere.
I have taken my figures from the Irish News archive which may explain why I have some differences with the figures in CAIN. Also it can be difficult to interpret exactly which Independent councillors are Independent Unionists.
These elections saw a marked advance for Sinn Féin at the expense of the other main parties.
|Women's Coalition||3,380||1%||1 cllr|
|Ind Nationalists||2,450||0.39%||3 cllrs|
|Ind Nationalist Community Candidates||1,905||0.30%||2 cllrs|
|Newtownabbey Ratepayers Association||1,424||0.23%||2 cllrs|
|Dem Left||560||0.09%||1 cllr|
|Upper Bann Labour||353||0.06%|
|Natural Law Party||67||0.01%|
|Other Unionists||10,376||2%||15 cllrs|
Total valid vote: 632,197; Spoiled votes: 12,580; Percentage turnout: 54.7%
This graph contrasts the 1997 first preference votes across the whole of Northern Ireland with those cast in the local government elections of 2001, 1993, 1989, 1985, 1981, 1977 and 1973.
This table has been corrected from the one compiled by CAIN. Changes for the main parties since 1993 are indicated by + or - signs, so for instance 9+ in the box for the UUP on Antrim council indicates that this was an increase from 8 councillors at the 1993 elections. I have not done this in the 'Others' column. Also I have not allowed for by-elections or changes of allegiance. (NB there was no change in party strengths in Dungannon or Limavady.)
|Ards||10+||5-||1+||0||5-||0||0||2 Ind U||23|
|Ballymena||11+||8-||3+||0||1||0||0||1 Ind U||24|
|Belfast||13--||7--||7--||13+++||6+||3++||1+||1 Ind U||51|
|Carrickfergus||4-||3+||0||0||5-||0||0||3 Inds, 2 Ind U||17|
|Castlereagh||5-||10+||2++||0||4-||0||0||1 UKUP, 1 Ind U||23|
|Cookstown||4-||2-||4-||5+++||0||0||0||1 Ind U||16|
|Craigavon||11+||3-||7+||2||1-||0||0||2 Ind Nat Comm'ty||26|
|Derry||3+||4-||14---||8+++||0||0||0||1 Ind U||30|
|Dungannon||8||3||4||5||0||0||0||1 Ind, 1 DL||22|
|Fermanagh||9-||2||4-||5++||0||0||0||1 Ind Nat, 1 Prog Soc, 1 Ind||23|
|Lisburn||13---||2-||2-||4+||3+||1+||2+||1 Ind U, 1 Prot U, 1 Cons||30|
|Moyle||3+||3||3||1||0||0||0||1 Ind U, 2 Ind Nats, 2 Inds||15|
|Newry and Mourne||5-||1||12---||8+++||0||0||0||4 Inds||30|
|Newtownabbey||10||2---||1||0||3-||1+||1+||2 Lab, 2 N'bey R'payers, 3 Ind Us||25|
|North Down||6||2-||0||0||6+||2++||0||3 UKUP, 3 Inds, 2 Cons, 1 Ind U||25|
Other sites based at ARK: ORB (Online Research Bank) | CAIN (Conflict Archive on the INternet) | Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey
Your comments, please! Send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nicholas Whyte, 7 June 1998; modified 17 February 2001.
Disclaimer:© Nicholas Whyte 1998-2004 Last Updated on Wednesday, 12-Jan-2005 12:12