LISNASHARRAGH DEA elected six councillors at the weekend with a 56.2 per cent turnout, an increase on 2019’s turnout which was 53.8 per cent.
The big story from last week's election in Lisnasharragh was the turnaround in the vote for the SDLP which saw Séamus de Faoite almost doubling his vote from last time out. Councillior de Faoite was the last candidate elected to the DEA in 2019 and the result highlighted his work on the ground in the area over the last four years.
There were some switch-ups from the DUP in Lisnasharragh with Davy Douglas, son of councillor Sammy Douglas, standing in his father’s place and Sammy Douglas moving to Titanic DEA where he also gained a seat.
In Lisnasharragh the DUP's Bradley Ferguson – who was standing for the first time – was also elected. Against a quota of 1,711 only Davy Douglas (DUP) was elected on the first count after topping the poll with Séamus de Faoite coming in second place.
Alliance held their two seats with councillors Michael Long and Eric Hanvey being elected along with the Green Party’s Brian Smyth. It was a close call between the Green's Brian Smyth and Sinn Féin’s Stevie Jenkins who polled well but left with a total of 1,258.2 votes against Brian Smyth’s 1,588.8.
Alliance results are like buses. You wait all day and then two come along at once. Well done to @CllrMichaelLong and @EricHanvey2 in Lisnasharragh. Just waiting on @micky_murray next 💛 @allianceparty pic.twitter.com/YH4cQFLB1u— Cllr Sam Nelson (@CllrSamNel) May 19, 2023
The Sinn Féin man's vote doubled when compared with 2019 when he received 619 first preference votes. If the current trajectory of votes keep going Sinn Féin’s way it looks increasingly likely that he will be in for a seat in the next election.
The South and East Belfast Greens. This city will still have a strong environmental voice representing it.— Cllr Brian Smyth (@Briansmyth99) May 20, 2023
Early indications are the vote in East Belfast is up by another few hundred. We're building something, we're not going away. pic.twitter.com/GXZDXMRsIG
Alliance ran three candidates in the area and whilst they did not gain any seats they did increase their vote share on 2019 with candidate Anna McErlean receiving 961 first preference votes.
Séamus de Faoite (SDLP) said: “I am so unbelievably humbled by the massive increase in support we have received in Lisnasharragh, almost doubling our vote after four years of people and pundits writing us off.
“People have put their trust in us to continue working hard for you every day of the year.
“Here, in Botanic and Black Mountain we've shown a different future is possible for the SDLP, with hard work, positive campaigns and a focus on the issues that people want us to deliver on.”
Councillor Brian Smyth (Green Party) said: “It's been a bittersweet day as a Green, but I'm delighted to be back representing Lisnasharragh and this city that I love so much.
“I'll continue to shout loudly and fight for a green vision that will protect our children and grandchildren for the decades ahead.”
Councillor Michael Long (Alliance) said: “I’m so delighted that you have made Alliance in Lisnasharragh the largest party again with an even bigger margin than before. It’s great that myself and Eric Hanvey were elected together and thank you to Anna McErlean for helping us to achieve this great result.”