Sinn Fein vp Michelle O’Neill has hailed a “momentous” consequence because the celebration stays heading in the right direction to change into the most important in councils in Northern Ireland.
As the depend stretched into Saturday night, the republican celebration had 134 elected councillors by 5pm, with good points achieved throughout the area.
The DUP has 115 council seats, the Alliance Party 61, the Ulster Unionists 49 and the SDLP 37, with 30 others.
DUP chief Sir Jeffrey Donaldson insisted that his celebration had polled strongly.
Sinn Fein has secured 30.9% of first desire votes thus far, forward of the DUP on 23.3%, 13.3% for Alliance, 10.9% for the Ulster Unionists and eight.7% for the SDLP.
The turnout for the election was 54%.
Six of the 11 council areas have now accomplished their depend.
Sinn Fein has emerged as the most important celebration in Mid Ulster, Derry and Strabane and Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon.
The DUP would be the largest grouping in Lisburn and Castlereagh, Mid and East Antrim and Ards and North Down.
Sinn Fein can also be main the race to be the most important celebration in Belfast.
The cross-community Alliance Party has made good points and will change into the third largest celebration in native authorities.
Veteran PUP councillor Billy Hutchinson turned the second celebration chief to lose his seat in Belfast, following Green Party NI chief Mal O’Hara’s failure to get elected.
The votes are being counted by means of the only transferable vote system, with 462 seats to be stuffed throughout 11 council areas.
The common sample round voter turnout gave the impression to be up barely in areas which might be thought to be predominantly nationalist/republican and down barely in areas considered as unionist majority.
It is the primary electoral check for the events since final yr’s Assembly elections and takes place towards the backdrop of the Stormont stalemate, with the powersharing establishments not working as a part of a DUP protest towards post-Brexit buying and selling preparations.
Sinn Fein’s Stormont chief Michelle O’Neill described the outcomes as “momentous”.
“It has been a very positive campaign, a very engaging campaign. People have very much engaged,” she advised the BBC.
Ms O’Neill added: “It was about positive leadership, it was about a restoration of the executive, it was about making politics work, that has resonated with the electorate and they have come out in such strong numbers that we are now on course to have a very momentous election result.
“It is now obviously about what we are going to do next. In my opinion we need to double down in terms of getting an executive restored and getting our councils up and running again.
“But those councils will always do better when they are working in tandem with the locally elected ministers who support councils.”
Visiting the native authorities election depend at Belfast City Hall, Sir Jeffrey stated: “If you actually look at the real results rather than the spin that some commentators are trying to put on it, the DUP has increased its share of the vote from last year and we’re on course to win a lot of seats across all the councils.
“We have made gains in a number of councils.
“The DUP has polled strongly in this election despite everything that’s been thrown at us, despite the challenges we’ve faced, the DUP vote has held up well.”
He put the rise within the Sinn Fein vote all the way down to the “collapse of the SDLP”.
Ulster Unionist chief Doug Beattie stated he was disillusioned at his celebration’s outcomes.
“Of course I am disappointed. It has been a difficult election, at times it has been a brutal election,” he advised the BBC.
He stated: “We have lost some long-standing councillors, but we have also brought through some new fresh faces which is encouraging.”
He added: “It does take time, I said this when I took over as the party leader.
“I have been party leader for two years only, we have stuck with the same message for the last two elections and yes we haven’t had successes but we are in the first election cycle of my leadership, it is going to take more than one.
“We need to stick with it, we need to be inclusive, we need to be reaching out to as many people as we possibly can.”
SDLP chief Colum Eastwood stated Sinn Fein had “cannibalised” the nationalist vote.
“It has been very clear when we have been speaking to people that people are really annoyed at the DUP, that they want the executive back up and running and they wanted to send a message.
“Sinn Fein asked them to send that message, and they sent it.
“They (Sinn Fein) have totally cannibalised much of the nationalist electorate.
“They were given a good hand and, to be fair, they played it very well, they ran a very good campaign and they deserve the victory they have today.
“Of course the DUP had as their first priority in their election literature to get back to Stormont, let’s see them put their money where their mouth is.”
Northern Ireland’s councils are liable for setting charges, planning and waste assortment in addition to leisure providers and parks.