1997 Belfast City Council election
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← 1993 May 21, 1997 (1997-05-21) 2001 →

All 51 seats to Belfast City Council
26 seats needed for a majority
  First party Second party Third party
 
Party Sinn Féin UUP SDLP
Seats won 13 13 7
Seat change Increase 3 Decrease 2 Decrease 2

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
 
Party DUP Alliance PUP
Seats won 7 6 3
Seat change Decrease 2 Increase 1 Increase 2

  Seventh party Eighth party
 
Party Ulster Democratic Ind U
Seats won 1 1
Seat change Increase 1 Decrease 1

Lord Mayor before election

Ian Adamson
UUP

Lord Mayor

Alban Maginness
SDLP

Elections to Belfast City Council were held on 21 May 1997 on the same day as the other Northern Irish local government elections. The election used nine district electoral areas to elect a total of 51 councillors, most representing the more heavily populated north and west.

Unionists lost overall control of Belfast City Council for the first time in its history, with Alliance holding the balance of power between unionists and nationalists. Alban Maginness from the SDLP became the first nationalist Lord Mayor.

Election results

Belfast Local Election Result 1997[1]
Party Seats Gains Losses Net gain/loss Seats % Votes % Votes +/−
  Sinn Féin 13 3 0 Increase3 25.5 27.6 29,379 Increase4.9
  UUP 13 0 2 Decrease2 25.5 20.1 21,404 Decrease1.9
  SDLP 7 1 3 Decrease2 13.7 15.6 16,653 Decrease0.3
  DUP 7 0 2 Decrease2 13.7 12.1 12,914 Decrease5.0
  Alliance 6 1 0 Increase1 11.8 9.2 9,781 Decrease2.0
  PUP 3 2 0 Increase2 5.9 9.2 9,758 Increase7.7
  Ulster Democratic 1 1 0 New 2.0 2.4 2,532 New
  Ind U 1 0 1 Decrease1 2.0 0.9 955 Decrease1.5
  NI Women's Coalition 0 0 0 New 0 1.0 1,090 New
  Workers' Party 0 0 0 Steady 0 1.0 1,015 Decrease1.8
  Green (NI) 0 0 0 Steady 0 0.5 548 Decrease2.0
  NI Conservatives 0 0 0 Steady 0 0.3 327 Decrease2.0
  Independent 0 0 0 Steady 0 0.1 79 Decrease0.2
  Labour coalition 0 0 0 Steady 0.0 0.0 19 Decrease0.6

Note: "Votes" are the first preference votes.

Districts summary

Results of the Belfast City Council election, 1997
by district[1]
Ward %
Cllrs
%
Cllrs
%
Cllrs
%
Cllrs
%
Cllrs
%
Cllrs
%
Cllrs
%
Cllrs
Total
Cllrs
Sinn Féin UUP SDLP DUP Alliance PUP UDP Others
Balmoral 0.0 0 31.5 2 26.1 2 13.9 1 17.0 1 3.5 0 4.6 0 3.4 0 6
Castle 11.4 1 27.0 2 20.9 1 24.6 1 11.9 1 0.0 0 1.8 0 2.4 0 6
Court 0.0 0 27.8 2 0.0 0 19.0 1 1.5 0 32.8 1 12.9 1 6.0 0 5
Laganbank 15.1 1 25.1 2 27.4 2 5.1 0 12.2 1 7.0 0 0.0 0 8.1 0 5
Lower Falls 79.7 4 0.0 0 16.2 1 0.0 0 0.4 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 3.7 0 5
Oldpark 44.8 3 16.3 1 16.3 1 4.7 0 1.2 0 11.2 1 3.0 0 2.5 0 6
Pottinger 8.6 0 29.3 2 2.7 0 26.5 2 7.7 1 20.9 1 1.5 0 2.8 0 6
Upper Falls 68.1 4 0.0 0 29.1 1 1.4 0 0.6 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.8 0 5
Victoria 0.0 0 31.7 2 0.0 0 31.0 2 31.2 2 0.0 0 0.0 0 5.9 0 7
Total 27.6 13 20.1 13 15.6 7 12.1 7 9.2 6 9.2 3 2.4 1 3.8 0 51

District results

Balmoral

1993: 2 x UUP, 2 x DUP, 1 x SDLP, 1 x Alliance
1997: 2 x UUP, 2 x SDLP, 1 x Alliance, 1 x DUP
1993-1997 Change: SDLP gain from DUP

Balmoral - 6 seats[2]
Party Candidate FPv% Count
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
UUP Mary Crooks* 20.49% 2,329                  
SDLP Carmel Hanna 16.85% 1,916                  
DUP Harry Smith* 8.13% 924 969.9 969.9 979.3 983.3 1,034.5 1,129.5 1,690.5    
UUP Bob Stoker 8.35% 949 1,070.5 1,070.5 1,083.9 1,088.2 1,169.2 1,448.9 1,550.8 1,936.8  
SDLP Catherine Molloy 9.21% 1,047 1,048.2 1,310.55 1,328.55 1,415.2 1,422.5 1,423.65 1,424.25 1,426.65 1,430.65
Alliance Tom Ekin 8.54% 971 986.3 994.4 1,017 1,086.05 1,099.35 1,119.95 1,127.15 1,227.55 1,305.55
Alliance Philip McGarry* 8.43% 958 974.2 984.55 1,004.15 1,052.35 1,074.25 1,080.85 1,087.35 1,166.25 1,203.25
UUP Gordon Lucy 2.67% 304 688.6 688.6 719.3 723.2 763.2 848.5 908.9    
DUP Joan Parkes 5.75% 654 712.5 712.5 719 721 779.9 804.5      
Ulster Democratic Heather Calvert 4.57% 520 534.1 534.25 535.55 549.15 662.05        
PUP Gordon McCrea 3.49% 397 415 415 422 433          
NI Women's Coalition Nuala Bradley 2.08% 236 238.4 241.7 267.75            
Green (NI) Mary Ringland 0.81% 92 95.3 95.75              
NI Conservatives Hubert Mullan 0.62% 71 80 80.15              
Electorate: 22,826   Valid: 11,368 (49.80%)   Spoilt: 245   Quota: 1,625   Turnout: 11,613 (50.88%)  

Castle

1993: 2 x UUP, 2 SDLP, 1 x DUP, 1 x Independent Unionist
1997: 2 x UUP, 1 x DUP, 1 x SDLP, 1 x Alliance, 1 x Sinn Féin
1993-1997 Change: Alliance and Sinn Féin gain from UUP and SDLP, Independent Unionist joins UUP

Castle - 6 seats[2]
Party Candidate FPv% Count
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
DUP Nigel Dodds* 17.41% 2,081              
SDLP Alban Maginness* 14.90% 1,781              
Alliance Tom Campbell 11.86% 1,417 1,420.06 1,423.46 1,518.18 1,527.68 1,917.68    
Sinn Féin Danny Lavery 11.40% 1,362 1,362.18 1,368.38 1,397.74 1,397.92 1,616.08 1,619.28 1,715.28
UUP David Browne* 9.49% 1,134 1,169.1 1,169.18 1,192.54 1,300.26 1,301.62 1,633.3 1,638.3
UUP Nelson McCausland* 8.91% 1,065 1,114.86 1,114.9 1,124.26 1,253.26 1,256.62 1,456.04 1,462.04
UUP John Carson* 8.58% 1,025 1,060.28 1,060.52 1,073.52 1,169.38 1,192.62 1,390.04 1,430.04
PUP Jim Crothers 6.51% 778 797.8 797.8 821.2 911.18 920.46    
SDLP Jonathan Stevenson* 6.02% 720 720 777.92 832.48 832.48      
DUP Robert Ferris 0.71% 85 304.96 304.96 309.14        
Ulster Democratic Raymond Gilliland 1.81% 216 220.14 220.14 224.32        
NI Women's Coalition Eileen Calder 1.25% 149 150.08 151.12          
Green (NI) Alan Warren 0.61% 73 73 73.24          
Workers' Party Paul Treanor 0.44% 53 53.18 53.9          
Ulster Independence Norman McClelland 0.01% 8 8.18 8.18          
Natural Law Andrea Gribben 0.01% 5 5 5.04          
Electorate: 21,949   Valid: 11,952 (54.45%)   Spoilt: 288   Quota: 1,708   Turnout: 12,240 (55.77%)  

Court

1993: 2 x UUP, 1 x DUP, 1 x PUP, 1 x Independent Unionist
1997: 2 x UUP, 1 x PUP, 1 x DUP, 1 x UDP
1993-1997 Change: UDP gain from Independent Unionist

Court - 5 seats[2]
Party Candidate FPv% Count
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
PUP Hugh Smyth* 32.83% 3,070              
DUP Eric Smyth* 16.82% 1,573              
Ulster Democratic Frank McCoubrey 12.83% 1,200 1,545.28 1,552.32 1,553.48 1,581.48      
UUP Fred Cobain* 11.21% 1,048 1,240.92 1,248.52 1,249.78 1,297.29 1,326.32 1,369.48 1,699.48
UUP Chris McGimpsey* 8.56% 800 1,039.2 1,053.28 1,054.7 1,088.81 1,121.22 1,184.77 1,362.25
Ind U Joseph Coggle* 4.35% 407 755.92 763.04 764.22 838.38 868.22 936.49 1,084.08
UUP Glenn Bradley 5.49% 513 617 627.6 628.27 662.05 679.85 839.12  
UUP Denis Robinson 2.53% 237 349.84 350.84 351.62 372.7 405.17    
NI Women's Coalition Linda Walker 1.60% 150 208.76 308.52 309.02 325.22      
DUP Margaret Ferris 2.22% 208 291.72 296.76 303.48        
Alliance John Roberts 1.54% 144 165.32            
Electorate: 17,089   Valid: 9,350 (54.71%)   Spoilt: 243   Quota: 1,559   Turnout: 9,593 (56.14%)  

Laganbank

1993: 2 x UUP, 2 x SDLP, 1 x Alliance
1997: 2 x UUP, 1 x SDLP, 1 x Sinn Féin, 1 x Alliance
1993-1997 Change: Sinn Féin gain from SDLP

Laganbank - 5 seats[2]
Party Candidate FPv% Count
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
SDLP Alasdair McDonnell* 17.59% 1,614            
UUP Jim Clarke* 14.57% 1,337 1,339 1,343 1,343 1,554    
UUP Michael McGimpsey* 10.53% 966 966 974 974.1 1,141.1 1,158.2 1,594.2
Sinn Féin Sean Hayes 15.13% 1,388 1,388 1,402 1,408.25 1,408.25 1,456.4 1,461.45
Alliance Steve McBride* 12.18% 1,118 1,120 1,186 1,192.4 1,198.4 1,399.2 1,458.25
SDLP Peter O'Reilly* 9.83% 902 906 957 1,018.05 1,018.05 1,148.5 1,166.5
PUP Ernie Purvis 7.02% 644 645 659 659.35 716.35 744.35  
NI Women's Coalition Annie Campbell 4.42% 406 413 484 486.95 488.95    
DUP Jim Kirkpatrick* 5.15% 473 475 477 477.05      
Workers' Party Paddy Lynn 1.74% 160 161          
Green (NI) Andrew Frew 1.50% 138 145          
Natural Law James Anderson 0.02% 18            
Independent Vincent McKenna 0.01% 12            
Electorate: 19,797   Valid: 9,176 (46.35%)   Spoilt: 243   Quota: 1,530   Turnout: 9,419 (47.58%)  

Lower Falls

1993: 4 x Sinn Féin, 1 x SDLP
1997: 4 x Sinn Féin, 1 x SDLP
1993-1997 Change: No change

Lower Falls - 5 seats[2]
Party Candidate FPv% Count
1 2 3 4
Sinn Féin Fra McCann* 19.65% 2,420      
Sinn Féin Sean McKnight 18.56% 2,286      
SDLP Margaret Walsh 14.32% 1,764 1,775.4 2,248.7  
Sinn Féin Tom Hartley* 16.42% 2,022 2,047.05 2,061.05  
Sinn Féin Marie Moore* 14.70% 1,810 1,822.15 1,829.15 2,033.65
Sinn Féin Janice Austin 10.34% 1,274 1,581.35 1,606.25 1,625.75
Workers' Party John Lowry 3.80% 468 468.75    
SDLP Mary White 1.84% 227 227.9    
Alliance Keith Jacques 0.37% 45 45.3    
Electorate: 19,372   Valid: 12,316 (63.58%)   Spoilt: 390   Quota: 2,053   Turnout: 12,706 (65.59%)  

Oldpark

1993: 3 x Sinn Féin, 2 x UUP, 1 x SDLP
1997: 3 x Sinn Féin, 1 x SDLP, 1 x UUP, 1 x PUP
1993-1997 Change: PUP gain from UUP

Oldpark - 6 seats[2]
Party Candidate FPv% Count
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Sinn Féin Mick Conlon 16.40% 2,317                  
Sinn Féin Bobby Lavery* 15.79% 2,230                  
Sinn Féin Paddy McManus* 12.55% 1,773 2,034                
SDLP Martin Morgan* 13.74% 1,941 1,949.28 2,082.12              
PUP Billy Hutchinson 11.20% 1,582 1,582.12 1,583.2 1,583.36 1,592.36 1,613.36 1,658.9 1,879.9 1,924.84 2,070.84
UUP Fred Proctor* 9.32% 1,316 1,316 1,316 1,316 1,316 1,340 1,361 1,431 1,447.8 1,675.8
UUP Fred Rodgers* 8.13% 986 986 986 986 986 1,004 1,031 1,082 1,096.83 1,397.69
DUP David Smylie 4.66% 659 659 659 659 659 659 674 737 743.86  
SDLP Dympna O'Hara 2.58% 365 366.92 402.83 462.51 505.35 561.57 645.27 646.27    
Ulster Democratic Paddy Bird 3.02% 427 427 427.27 427.27 429.39 434.39 451.39      
Green (NI) Peter Emerson 1.73% 245 246.8 273.8 275.08 286.56 333.72        
Alliance Mark Long 1.25% 177 177.36 179.79 181.23 198.47          
Workers' Party Steven Doran 0.77% 109 110.92 119.83 120.31            
Electorate: 25,054   Valid: 14,127 (56.39%)   Spoilt: 458   Quota: 2,019   Turnout: 14,585 (58.21%)  

Pottinger

1993: 3 x DUP, 2 x UUP, 1 x Alliance
1997: 2 x DUP, 2 x UUP, 1 x PUP, 1 x Sinn Féin
1993-1997 Change: PUP gain from DUP

Pottinger - 6 seats[2]
Party Candidate FPv% Count
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
UUP Reg Empey* 20.32% 2,309                      
DUP Sammy Wilson* 19.94% 2,265                      
PUP David Ervine 18.57% 2,110                      
UUP Margaret Clarke 6.76% 768 1,265.55 1,309.63 1,340.83 1,345 1,347.62 1,358.2 1,385.31 1,387.1 1,625.38    
DUP Robert Cleland* 5.33% 605 636.62 822.22 847.18 852.58 852.58 856.87 889.14 889.43 928.08 1,324.88 1,536.14
Alliance Mervyn Jones* 7.66% 870 886.74 892.83 906.51 913.8 937.04 1,004.94 1,013.63 1,218.16 1,237.87 1,241.33 1,306.26
Sinn Féin Dominic Corr 8.61% 978 978 978 978 978 992 996 996 1,100.29 1,100.29 1,100.29 1,102.25
PUP Alexander Gordon 2.31% 262 281.84 298.37 615.65 622.49 625.97 641.61 692.25 699.49 723.33 763.61  
DUP Frank Leslie 1.25% 142 160.91 487.45 504.49 506.78 506.78 510.91 545.02 546.02 567.76    
UUP Alexander Blair* 2.21% 251 320.75 338.73 356.49 360.07 372.31 377.1 395.04 398.35      
SDLP Marga Foley 2.72% 309 310.55 311.42 312.14 315.14 349.14 384.38 384.38        
Ulster Democratic Robert Girvan 1.49% 169 188.53 210.57 255.69 263.55 267.03 271.03          
NI Women's Coalition Pearl Sagar 1.31% 149 151.48 153.22 160.66 173.95 182.43            
Workers' Party Joseph Bell 1.01% 115 115.62 115.91 118.79 124.34              
Ulster Independence Josephine Challis 0.18% 21 23.48 24.93 26.13                
Labour Coalition Sean McGouran 0.17% 19 19 20.45 20.69                
Natural Law David Collins 0.17% 19 19.31 19.6 19.84                
Electorate: 21,854   Valid: 12,968 (59.34%)   Spoilt: 458   Quota: 1,853   Turnout: 13,426 (61.43%)  

Upper Falls

1993: 3 x Sinn Féin, 2 x SDLP
1997: 4 x Sinn Féin, 1 x SDLP
1993-1997 Change: Sinn Féin gain from SDLP

Upper Falls - 5 seats[2]
Party Candidate FPv% Count
1 2 3 4
SDLP Alex Attwood* 20.42% 2,855      
Sinn Féin Alex Maskey* 20.08% 2,807      
Sinn Féin Michael Browne 18.45% 2,580      
Sinn Féin Martin Livingstone 17.12% 2,394      
Sinn Féin Chrissie McAuley 12.43% 1,738 1,754.02 2,181.23 2,401.37
SDLP Patricia Lewsley* 4.26% 596 982.82 998.63 1,003.22
SDLP Stephen McGowan 4.41% 616 707.98 719.54 721.7
DUP David McNerlin 1.44% 201 201 201.17 201.26
Workers' Party James McAllister 0.79% 110 113.96 117.7 119.23
Alliance Dan McGuinness 0.61% 85 91.3 93.34 93.61
Electorate: 22,561   Valid: 13,982 (61.97%)   Spoilt: 345   Quota: 2,331   Turnout: 14,327 (63.50%)  

Victoria

1993: 3 x UUP, 2 x Alliance, 2 x DUP
1997: 2 x UUP, 2 x Alliance, 2 x DUP, 1 x Independent Unionist
1993-1997 Change: Independent Unionist gain from UUP

Victoria - 7 seats[2]
Party Candidate FPv% Count
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Alliance David Alderdice 18.87% 2,419                
UUP Ian Adamson* 18.46% 2,367                
Alliance Danny Dow* 7.99% 1,024 1,609.14              
UUP Jim Rodgers* 11.76% 1,508 1,532.14 1,921.58            
DUP Wallace Browne* 11.58% 1,485 1,498.94 1,564.54 1,569.22 1,590.52 1,747.52      
DUP Robin Newton* 8.08% 1,036 1,044.5 1,052.82 1,055.94 1,070.52 1,336.04 1,477.94 1,522.22 1,658.22
Ind U Alan Crowe 4.05% 519 544.16 710.24 736.5 803.68 831.18 1,023.4 1,237.5 1,242.5
PUP John McQuillan 7.14% 915 924.86 937.98 940.32 956.96 1,001.88 1,040.16 1,149.92 1,151.92
Alliance Glyn Roberts 4.31% 553 675.74 698.78 702.94 761.48 771.26 842.62    
UUP Peter Weir 1.50% 192 196.76 245.72 509.88 569.64 582.76      
DUP Margaret McKenzie 4.08% 523 524.36 533 535.08 558.74        
NI Conservatives Lesley Donaldson 2.00% 256 270.96 293.04 295.9          
Natural Law Thomas Mullins 0.19% 25 27.38 27.7 27.96          
Electorate: 28,936   Valid: 12,822 (44.31%)   Spoilt: 351   Quota: 1,603   Turnout: 13,173 (45.52%)  

References

  1. ^ a b "Belfast Council results". 27 July 2011. Retrieved 25 May 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Local Government Results 1997". EONI. Retrieved 8 July 2021.