The DUP remains the leading party following Northern Ireland’s local government elections, winning most votes and seats.

While its percentage vote is slightly up on the last local government elections in 2014, its final tally of 122 seats is actually eight lower.

Sinn Féin saw its vote slip slightly, but its 105 seats is the same as it achieved five years ago.

The biggest winner is the centre ground Alliance Party, which describes itself as neither nationalist nor unionist. Its number of council seats has risen from 32 to 53.

The Ulster Unionist Party finished with 75, down 13 on its performance five years ago.

Astonishingly the party now holds just two of the 60 seats on the biggest council, Belfast, which it once ruled with a huge majority.

The SDLP, which recently entered a partnership with Fianna Fáil, is also down, from 66 to 59.

But it performed strongly in a number of areas, including its former stronghold of Derry where it gained seats while Sinn Féin suffered losses.

Smaller parties and Independents also performed strongly.

The Green Party has eight councillors, including four in Belfast.

People Before Profit finished with five seats. They include veteran civil rights campaigner Eamonn McCann in Derry and brothers Matt and Michael Collins in Belfast.

Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV), led by Jim Allister, won six seats.

The Progress Unionist Party, which is linked to the loyalist paramilitary group the Ulster Volunteer Force, finished with six.

The successful candidates include party leader Billy Hutchinson.

Anne McCloskey in Derry and Strabane made history by becoming the first politician to be elected for Peadar Tóbín’s party Aontú.

Twenty-four Independents were also elected. They included Gary Donnelly, a high profile dissident republican politician in Derry.

He topped the poll in the Creggan area of the city, where journalist Lyra McKee was murdered by the New IRA last month - a killing he condemned.

Of the five main parties, the DUP and Ulster Unionists both back Brexit.

Sinn Féin, the SDLP and Alliance all oppose Brexit and are Remainers.

Looked at in those terms, the mainstream Brexit parties won a combined 197 seats.

The mainstream parties who back Remain won a combined 217.

With talks aimed at restoring the Assembly at Stormont due to begin on Tuesday, the focus was always going to be on the performance of the two largest parties, the DUP and Sinn Féin.

While both suffered setbacks, they each say they are happy and that they have received a strong mandate for their respective positions.

However, the surge in support for the centre ground Alliance surprised its opponents as well as the party itself.

The Irish and British governments will hope this move towards the centre ground will be a positive factor in the talks aimed at restoring the Stormont Assembly.