Waterside: First time summit for Diver and Kee takes Thompson to the wire

Derry City Council veteran Gerard Diver caused something of an upset by topping the poll (1,080) in the Waterside ahead of the UUP’s Mary Hamilton (1,046) and Sinn Féin’s Christopher Jackson (1,063) - the first ever time a nationalist has done so.

Mr Diver exceeded quota (1,121) and was elected following the distribution of Independent Mickey Carlin’s surplus at stage two.

The SDLP's Gerard Diver congratulates the UUP's Mary Hamilton on being elected last night. DER2114MC122

The SDLP's Gerard Diver congratulates the UUP's Mary Hamilton on being elected last night. DER2114MC122

Although by the end of the count the status quo was maintained with three DUP, two SDLP, one UUP and one Sinn Féin councillor, the UUP’s Julia Kee ran the DUP’s Drew Thompson extremely close for the seventh seat here.

In fact, Mary Hamilton’s strong poll, which benefited Ms Kee and put her in the mix for a seat was one of the stories of the poll. As was the fringe unionists’ tying up of almost 800 first preferences.

The DUP maintained three seats in the area but its first preference share fell from 43 per cent in 2011 to just 28 per cent - that’s its worst percentage share performance in the Waterside in decades.

Mrs Hamilton was elected on the fifth count having accumulated 1,166 votes following the elimination of Nigel Gardiner (final tally of 288) of the PUP.

At stage ten and eleven the exclusion of Sinn Féin’s Bridget Meehan (final tally of 679) pushed Christopher Jackson (final tally of 1,571) and Martin Reilly (final tally of 1,106) over quota and ultimately David Ramsey (final tally of 1,088), Hilary McClintock (final tally of 1,018), and Drew Thompson were elected under-quota with a mere handful of votes between the latter (767) and Ms Kee (735) when the final declaration was made.

First preferences First Count

The DUP’s Hilary Mclintock was the top polling DUP candidate (811).

No candidate reached the quota of 1,105.

The SDLP seem to have benefited from a significant increase in the amount of electors from 18,680 to 15,252 with the inclusion of Summer Meadows, parts of Ivy Mead, Prehen and the Strabane Old Road, a possible factor as well.

The UUP’s Mary Hamilton polled well almost reaching quota on the first count (1046).

Serving DUP councillor Drew Thompson polled 607 on the first count.

The other DUP candidates polled as follows: David Ramsey (553) and Niree McMorris (528).

Julia Kee, who was running for the UUP for the first time, received 465.

The smaller unionist parties polled almost 800 between them eating into the DUP vote.

Nigel Gardiner of the PUP attracted 274 first preferences; UKIP’s Kyle Thompson received 287; and UKIP’s David Malcolm received 224.

Independent Mickey Carlin received the fewest first preferences (113) whilst the Alliance Party’s Asta Kereviciene received 241.

Christopher Jackson was the highest polling Sinn Féin candidate, coming in with 1,063 ahead of Bridget Meehan’s 656.

The current Mayor of Londonderry Martin Reilly received 884 first preferences.