As expected post-election, I received the “We’ve got bills to pay” begging letter from Alliance HQ — £100,000 worth of bills. This time, the investment appears to have paid off.
The letter lists “What we achieved in this double election”:
- Over 50,000 votes — more than double the vote of eight years ago. Wherever they were cast, they were counted in the D’Hondt forumula and helped achieve the second Alliance Minister.
- A second MLA in East Belfst, with Judith Cochrane second on the first stage and Chris Lyttle third — and the Ulster Unionist a distant sixth.
- Anna Lo topping the poll in South Belfast — along with all five Council candidates in the constituency.
- 44 local Councillors elected, as the best result since 1993. Not one Council seat lost.
- Three Councillors in the Victoria area of Belfast, outpolling the DUP and reducing the UUP to one.
- Councillors in four more Councils than last time — Ballymena, Coleraine, Craigavon and Down. More Councillors in Ards, Belfast, Castlereagh, Larne and Newtownabbey.
- Kieran McCarthy elected on stage one in Strangford — with the SDLP candiate missing out again.
- Two more Assembly constituencies were within 100 votes of a gain — in North Down and East Antrim.
- DUP lost control of Castlereagh after we gained two seats.
- In the half of Northern Ireland that is in and around Belfast, Alliance is now bigger than either the UUP or the SDLP, in votes, MLAs and Councilors.