Irish Republican News · June 11, 2004
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: Turnout points to battle for last seat in North
Turnout points to battle for last seat in North

Turnout in the Six County European election is down by more than 5% on the 1999 poll, with large regional variations in the number of those who cast their vote.

There is growing confidence that Sinn Féin’s Bairbre de Brun and Paisleyite Jim Allister will capture a seat each. However, there has been speculation that the high turnout in nationalist areas may allow the SDLP’s Martin Morgan to win a seat at the expense of the Ulster Unionist candidate, Jim Nicholson. Nicholson’s vote could also suffer at the hands of Independent candidate John Gilliland.

Out of more than 1m people eligible to vote, the final figure was 51.72% for Thursday’s election. The current register of electors is itself greatly reduced from last year following controversial new requirements for voter registration, making the number of votes cast on Thursday one of the lowest recorded in recent years.

The poll was heaviest in the west, with Fermanagh/South Tyrone registering the highest poll at 66.75%, while turnout was lowest in North Down, with 38%.

The figures were calculated after electoral officials checked all the ballot papers on Friday to ensure the vote was in order.

Seven candidates are chasing the three seats.

All the results will be available online at http://republican-news.org/elections and by email from this news service.

TURNOUT BY CONSTITUENCY (SIX COUNTIES)

Belfast East: 44.95%
Belfast North: 48.67%
Belfast South: 49.25%
Belfast West: 57.12%
East Antrim: 39.36%
East Derry: 51.48%
Fermanagh/S Tyrone: 66.75%
Foyle: 56.35%
Lagan Valley: 46.10%
Mid Ulster: 65.40%
Newry and Armagh: 60.55%
North Antrim: 53.31%
North Down: 38.01%%
South Antrim: 43.87%
South Down: 53.94%
Strangford: 39.93%
Upper Bann: 50.16%
West Tyrone: 62.34%

26-COUNTY TURNOUT GOOD

Turnout in the European and local elections in the 26 Counties, as well as the referendum on Irish citizenship, is said to be good.

The high turnout will be seen as good news for the Irish government. Bertie Ahern’s Fianna Fail party is hoping to stem losses to the smaller parties such as Sinn Féin, which is hoping to win scores of local council seats and at least one European parliament seat.

Polling was reported to be up 5% on previous elections -- with figures as high as 32% in some areas by this afternoon.

Polling stations opened at 7 a.m. and will close at 9 p.m. this evening.

Counting of the local government and referendum votes will take place tomorrow. The European Parliament count begins at 9.00 a.m. on Sunday.

Preliminary indications of results in the local elections are expected tomorrow afternoon. Although some counts may continue into Sunday, most results are likely to be available tomorrow evening.

The result of the referendum should also be known tomorrow.

All the results will be available online at http://republican-news.org/elections and by email from this news service.

© 2004 Irish Republican News