Sinn Féin is set to win the most seats in Northern Ireland's council elections, overtaking the DUP as the largest party in local government. 

With almost all council seats filled, Sinn Féin has currently won 133 seats, surpassing the party's previous record of 115. 

Sinn Féin has also surpassed the DUP, which is currently on 113 seats with 416 of 462 seats filled. 

It will represent the first time that a nationalist party has held the most council seats in Northern Ireland. 

Elsewhere in the council elections, the Alliance Party has won 57 seats so far, while the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) has currently won 48 seats. The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) has won the fifth-highest number of seats so far with 36. 

Prior to Thursday's election, Sinn Féin had been tipped to win up to 20 more seats than it did in Northern Ireland's most recent council election in 2019. 

The party appears to have polled well across Northern Ireland and has even won seats in predominately unionist areas such as Lisburn, Banbridge, and Ballymena. 

For the first time ever, Sinn Féin is now the largest party in the Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon district, while it has so far made gains across seven different councils. 

Speaking at Belfast City Hall, Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald told RTÉ News that she was "very pleased" with the results of the election. 

"We ran a very positive campaign and we are very pleased that the response to that has just been so positive by way of returns," McDonald said. 

McDonald said a victory for Sinn Féin represented a "vote for progress, for change, for positivity, and above all else, for working together". 

Last year, Sinn Féin became the first nationalist party to win the most seats in a Northern Irish assembly election. 

However, the DUP has refused to go into power-sharing with Sinn Féin due to concerns over the Northern Ireland Protocol, preventing Sinn Féin Vice President Michelle O'Neill from becoming the first-ever nationalist First Minister of Northern Ireland. 

The DUP boycott appears to have motivated nationalist voters to vote for Sinn Féin in the recent local elections. 

Speaking after Thursday's election, O'Neill called on the Irish and British Governments to come up with a plan to restore power-sharing in Northern Ireland. 

"We ran a very positive campaign," O'Neill told RTÉ. 

"But on the doors, the conversation was very much centered around the need to have a restored Assembly and executive up and running.

"That needs to be done now without delay. We would call on both governments to get engaged and actually make that happen.

"There needs to be a plan now for a way back to a restored executive."

DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said unionism will have to "look at where it's' going" if Sinn Féin ends up with the most seats when all seats are filled later on Saturday. 

"If Sinn Féin do emerge as the largest party in the council elections, I think yet again, as I've been saying, consistently, there are lessons that unionism needs to learn here," Donaldson said at the Lisburn and Castlereagh council count. 

"We can't go on with a situation where turnout in unionist areas is significantly lower than in nationalist areas, you can't go on with a situation where the unionist vote is continually splitting and splintering." 

The counting of votes in Northern Ireland's local elections is set to be completed later on Saturday. 

Northern Ireland's councils are responsible for setting rates, planning, collecting waste, and managing parks and leisure facilities among other things.