Irish Republican News · June 10, 2017
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: Westminster election - results round-up
Westminster election - results round-up

gildernewhazzard.jpg

 

A look at the results of the Westminster election in each of the 18 constituencies in the Six Counties.

 

* South Down *

Sinn Fein’s Chris Hazzard (pictured, right) won a sensational victory on Friday morning to become the first ever MP from his party to be elected for South Down.

Following a spectacular performance in the Assembly election in March, it had been predicted that Sinn Fein would overwhelm Margaret Ritchie of the Social Democratic and Labour Party, and so it proved.

As the night wore on the odds began to look ever more stark for incumbent MP and former SDLP leader Ms Ritchie, especially in light of news that she had underperformed in her own backyard of Downpatrick.

Mr Hazzard revelled in a vote of over 20,000, some 2,500 clear of his nearest rival.

He dedicated the victory to previous unsuccessful Sinn Fein candidates for the seat, as well as recently deceased friend Vincent McDonald, and called it an historic election.

“We are now entering a new era in South Down; it’s an historic election. This is the first time a republican has ever been elected as MP for South Down. And while I’m honoured and entirely privileged that it is me, I am entirely aware that I am standing on the shoulders of heroes,” he said.

RESULTS

Chris Hazzard (SF) 20,328 votes (39.94%) +11.40%
Margaret Ritchie (SDLP) 17,882 (35.14%) -7.20%
Diane Forsythe (DUP) 8,867 (17.42%) +9.26%
Harold McKee (UUP) 2,002 (3.93%) -5.35%
Andrew McMurray (All) 1,814 (3.56%) -0.23%

 

* Mid-Ulster *

Sinn Fein’s Francie Molloy, who won his Mid Ulster seat for a third time, called on his supporters to remember the former deputy first minister, Martin McGuinness, who died earlier this year.

During his acceptance speech Mr Molloy said: “I would like to thank the people of Mid Ulster for renewing the mandate that we have here. A mandate gained by Martin McGuinness 20 years ago and we remember him tonight.”

Mr Molloy first won the MP seat in a by-election in 2013, after Mr McGuinness stood down. The Sinn Fein veteran was a clear winner on the night, polling nearly 13,000 more than his closest rival, DUP candidate Keith Buchanan.

Although turnout was over 68 per cent, the SDLP failed to make any inroads.

RESULTS

Francie Molloy (SF) 25,455 (54.51%) +5.80%
Keith Buchanan (DUP) 12,565 (26.91%) +13.55%
Malachy Quinn (SDLP) 4,563 (9.77%) -2.58%
Mark Glasgow (UUP) 3,017 (6.46%) -8.98%
Fay Watson (All) 1,094 (2.34%) +0.44%

 

* Strangford *

Democratic Unionist Jim Shannon celebrated the demise of the Ulster Unionist Party in Westminster politics by saying it was time to consider all unionists standing under the one banner.

With a margin of victory of close to 20,000 votes, the former British soldier said: “I think the people of Strangford would like to see one unionist party.

“Maybe it’s just time that we looked towards how we could make that happen.”

“That’d be a bigger threat to those who want to destroy the union, but I think it encourages our people. I think that’s something I’d like to see develop.”

One of Mr Shannon’s nearest rivals, former Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt, secured a miserable 4,419 votes.

“It’s mission impossible to try and close a five-figure gap in one campaign,” he said.

RESULTS

Jim Shannon (DUP) 24,036 (62.0%) +17.6%
Kellie Armstrong (All) 5,693 (14.7%) +0.9%
Mike Nesbitt (UUP) 4,419 (11.4%) -2.9%
Joe Boyle (SDLP) 2,404 (6.2%) -0.7
Carole Murphy (SF) 1,083 (2.8%) +0.2

 

* West Tyrone *

Sinn Fein’s Barry McElduff retained the seat long held by the recently retired Pat Doherty with a convincing victory.

The assembly member polled 22,060 votes - a surge on the party’s performance of 16,807 in the 2015 Westminster election.

Amid the roars of supporters, the West Tyrone Assembly member punched the air as his triumph was announced at the count at Omagh leisure centre.

Speaking to reporters after his win was confirmed, he said: “I think we have a message in West Tyrone that absolutely resonates with the people of West Tyrone.

“This is a strong constituency. There is an absolute appetite here to remain in the European Union. We want special status within the island of Ireland and within the European Union.”

RESULTS

Barry McElduff (SF) 22,060 (50.7%) +7.2%
Thomas Buchanan (DUP) 11,718 (26.9%) +9.4%
Daniel McCrossan (SDLP) 5,635 (13.0%) -3.7%
Alicia Clarke (UUP) 2,253 (5.2%) -10.7%
Stephen Donnelly (All) 1,000 (2.3%) +0.1%

 

* Newry and Armagh *

Sinn Fein’s sitting MP for Newry and Armagh, Mickey Brady, stormed to victory in the Westminster election once again with a final vote that was more than 10,000 ahead of any other candidate.

He amassed 25,666 votes, adding more than 5,000 to his 2015 tally of 20,488.

Mr Brady said it had been a great night for Sinn Fein, adding: “Our mandate shows that abstentionism is not an issue. People want politics to be dealt with here.”

He said he goes to Westminster to lobby but spends time with his constituents at home.

“I am absolutely honoured to be elected as an MP for Newry and Armagh,” he said.

RESULTS

Mickey Brady (SF) 25,666 (47.9%) +6.8%
William Irwin (DUP) 13,177 (24.6%) +24.6%
Justin McNulty (SDLP) 9,055 (16.9%) -7.2%
Sam Nicholson (UUP) 4,425 (8.3%) -24.4%
Jackie Coade (All) 1,256 (2.3%) +0.7%

 

* Fermanagh and South Tyrone *

Sinn Fein’s Michelle Gildernew (pictured, left) dramatically regained the Westminster seat of Fermanagh and South Tyrone the party lost to Ulster Unionist candidate Tom Elliott in 2015.

Ms Gildernew was able to retake the seat despite the sitting MP benefitting from getting a clear run by the DUP. She outpolled Mr Elliott by almost 1,000 votes with more than 25,230 compared to 24,355.

Cheering supporters applauded Ms Gildernew at the election count in Omagh leisure centre as her triumph became clear.

“It’s all very surreal. It’s a bit like an outer-body experience happening to somebody else,” she told reporters after her victory was confirmed.

“I’m just so proud and humbled to be returning to Westminster with team Sinn Fein. It really is a huge privilege.”

She added: “The people have spoken in their thousands tonight. They have again rejected the idea of Brexit and what that would mean for our constituency.”

RESULTS

Michelle Gildernew (SF) 25,230 (47.2%) +1.8%
Tom Elliott (UUP) 24,355 (45.5%) -0.9%
Mary Garrity (SDLP) 2,587 (4.8%) -0.5%
Noreen Campbell All 886 (1.7%) +0.4%

 

* South Belfast *

Emma Little Pengelly hailed her long time mentor Peter Robinson for helping mastermind her victory, seizing a seat from the nationalist SDLP.

The former DUP leader and Stormont first minister came out of political retirement to manage his one-time adviser’s Westminster campaign.

The relatively youthful former Stormont junior minister said she wanted to build a brighter future in the area, filled with “tolerance and respect, regardless of our difference on policy or politics, on race or religion”.

“Together we will move forward to build the beautiful, brighter future I know we all want to see,” she said.

RESULTS

Emma Pengelly (DUP) 13,299 (30.4%) +8.2%
Alasdair McDonnell (SDLP) 11,303 (25.9%) +1.4%
Paula Bradshaw (All) 7,946 (18.2%) +1.0%
Mairtin O Muilleoir (SF) 7,143 (16.3%) +2.5%

 

* Mid Ulster *

Sinn Fein’s Francie Molloy, who won his Mid Ulster seat for a third time on Friday, called on his supporters to remember the former deputy first minister, Martin McGuinness, who died earlier this year.

During his acceptance speech Mr Molloy said: “I would like to thank the people of Mid Ulster for renewing the mandate that we have here. A mandate gained by Martin McGuinness 20 years ago and we remember him tonight.”

Mr Molloy first won the MP seat in a by-election in 2013, after Mr McGuinness stood down. He was a clear winner on the night, polling nearly 13,000 more than his closest rival, DUP candidate Keith Buchanan.

RESULTS

Francie Molloy (SF) 25,455 (54.5%) +5.8%
Keith Buchanan (DUP) 12,565 (26.9%) +13.6%
Malachy Quinn (SDLP) 4,563 (9.8%) -2.6%
Mark Glasgow (UUP) 3,017 (6.5%) -9.0%
Fay Watson (All) 1,094 (2.3%) +0.4%

 

* West Belfast *

Paul Maskey retained the Belfast West seat for Sinn Fein with 27,107 votes on Friday. The result came as no surprise.

Mr Maskey, now the only nationalist MP in the city, spoke of his delight at the huge mandate he had received, the biggest vote Sinn Fein has ever received in the constituency.

“The people of west Belfast have spoken,” he said. “I am delighted they have returned me in such great strength.”

Mr Maskey thanked the electorate for their confidence in “Team Sinn Fein”.

“I want to thank the electorate of west Belfast for putting their faith in me, for their confidence in myself and in Sinn Fein in greater numbers,” he said. “Many people have tried to knock them down, but the people of west Belfast have spoken and they have given us and me the mandate to continue on and fight and lobby for them.”

As voters in the North have flocked in numbers to the DUP and Sinn Fein in this election, smaller parties have been the casualties, and People before Profit were affected. Its candidate Gerry Carroll received 4,132 votes, down from 6,798 in 2015.

RESULTS

Paul Maskey (SF) 27,107 (66.7%) +12.5%
DUP Frank McCoubrey 5,455 (13.4%) +5.6%
Gerry Carroll (PBP) 4,132 (10.2%) -2.8%
Tim Attwood (SDLP) 2,860 (7.0%) -2.8%
Sorcha Eastwood (All) 731 (1.9%) 0.0

 

* Lagan Valley *

A landslide victory in Lagan Valley saw Jeffrey Donaldson of the DUP win 60 per cent of the vote to comfortably hold his Westminster seat.

The North’s longest-serving MP, he said his party had been given “a resounding result” in his home constituency after he secured a record poll of nearly 27,000 votes.

Lagan Valley has returned a unionist candidate in every Westminster election since the seat was created in 1983.

In his victory speech, Mr Donaldson said that while “some were predicting doom and gloom” for the DUP, “the electorate has given (the party) a resounding result”.

He also spoke of his “great honour” to be returned as and MP with “my largest ever vote and my largest ever majority”.

The nationalist vote rose, with SDLP candidate Pat Catney increasing the party’s vote from 6.3 per cent in 2015 to 7.6 per cent this year.

RESULTS

Jeffrey Donaldson (DUP) 26,762 (59.6%) +11.7%
Robbie Butler (UUP) 7,533 (16.8%) +1.6%
Aaron McIntyre (All) 4,996 (11.1%) -2.8%
Pat Catney (SDLP) 3,384 (7.5%) +1.3%
Jacqui Russell (SF) 1,567 (3.5%) +0.6%

 

* North Belfast *

A strong campaign on behalf of John Finucane failed to achieve a breakthrough, although the effort saw the total nationalist vote exceed 50% in the constituency for the first time.

An increase in support for the DUP deputy leader and outgoing MP Nigel Dodds saw him end up 2,081 votes ahead of Mr Finucane who, on his first foray into politics, won 19,159 votes. It was also the highest vote that Sinn Fein ever gained in the constituency.

With the Ulster Unionists standing aside to allow Mr Dodds a free run, it was always going to be an uphill battle for Sinn Fein

In the 2015 election, Sinn Fein Assembly member Gerry Kelly won 13,770 votes which at the time was the highest vote won by the party in the constituency.

Mr Finucane, the son of murdered defence lawyer Pat Finucane, increased that vote by more than 5,000 votes.

He said he was proud to receive the “biggest mandate any republican ever received in North Belfast”.

SDLP candidate Martin McAuley, a press officer for the party, picked up 2,058 votes.

RESULTS

Nigel Dodds (DUP) 21,240 (46.2%) -0.8%
John Finucane (SF) 19,159 (41.7%) +7.8%
Sam Nelson (All) 2,475 (5.4%) -1.9%
Martin McAuley (SDLP) 2,058 (4.5%) -3.7%

 

* Upper Bann *

David Simpson comfortably held his Westminster seat with a tally of 22,317 votes - almost 7,000 more than his 2015 result.

There had been fears among unionists that a split vote between the DUP and UUP would allow Sinn Fein’s John O’Dowd to compete for a seat. Ulster Unionist Party were disappointed their their vote plummet in Upper Bann with candidate Doug Beattie securing only 7,900 votes, well down from Jo-Anne Dobson’s 2015 total of 13,166.

Sinn Fein were pleased, with its candidate John O’Dowd securing 14,325 votes - an increase on the 2015 total of 11,593.

Mr O’Dowd said he was delighted Sinn Fein was “now the second largest party in Upper Bann with a massive mandate for change”.

RESULTS

David Simpson (DUP) 22,317 (43.5%) +10.9%
John O’Dowd (SF) 14,325 (27.9%) +3.4%
Doug Beattie (UUP) 7,900 (15.4%) -12.5%
Declan McAlinden (SDLP) 4,397 (8.6%) -0.4%
Tara Doyle (All) 2,319 (4.5%) +0.8%

 

* East Derry *

DUP veteran Gregory Campbell claimed the media had tried to bring down the DUP but had failed “spectacularly”.

His 47.9 per cent share of the total was up 5.7 per cent on his 2015 outing.

“The last time, two years ago, we had the highest vote we ever got in this constituency in percentage terms and we’ve increased it massively again,” he said.

Within nationalism, both Sinn Fein and the SDLP could take some satisfaction from the performances of their respective candidates, Dermot Nicholl and Stephanie Quigley. Both parties recorded an increase in their votes and in their percentage share.

RESULTS

Gregory Campbell (DUP) 19,723 (48.1%) +5.8%
Dermot Nicholl (SF) 10,881 (26.5%) +6.7%
Stephanie Quigley (SDLP) 4,423 (10.8%) -1.5%
Richard Holmes (UUP) 3,135 (7.6%) -7.7%
Chris McCaw (All) 2,538 (6.2%) -1.4%

 

* East Belfast *

Despite predictions of a strong challenge from Alliance Party’s Naomi Long, the DUP’s Gavin Robinson retained his seat in East Belfast.

In common with the contest in the north of the city, the DUP proved far too strong for the challenger and Gavin Robinson more than trebled his majority over the Alliance leader.

Widely billed as a two-horse race, Mrs Long will be hugely disappointed to have seen her campaign fizzle out and her share of the vote drop almost seven per cent as the DUP comfortably retained the seat.

In stark contrast to two years ago, when Mr Robinson was criticised for the tone of his victory speech, he said simply: “Wow, what a result.”

He also shook hands with the Alliance leader after the result was announced.

RESULTS

Gavin Robinson (DUP) 23,917 (55.8%) +6.4%
Naomi Long (All) 15,443 (36.0%) -6.8%
Hazel Legge (UUP) 1,408 (3.3%) +3.3%
Mairead O’Donnell (SF) 894 (2.1%) 0.0%

 

* Foyle *

In the biggest shock of the election in the north, Sinn Fein’s Elisha McCallion won the seat from the SDLP’s Mark Durkan with a majority of 169 votes following a recount.

Amid jubilation at the Foyle count centre, Elisha McCallion - herself shaking - beat outgoing MP Mark Durkan by a slim margin.

It was a historic and ground-breaking performance in what was the SDLP’s safest seat.

The nationalist party had held the constituency since it was created in 1983, for many years under its former leader John Hume, still a revered figure in Derry.

Three of its six leaders - including current leader Colum Eastwood - are from the city.

An emotional Mr Durkan, himself a former party leader, apologised to SDLP founder Mr Hume “if any shortcomings on my part have led us to any sense of a dent in the truth for which he endeavoured”.

Speaking after her election, Ms. McCallion paid tribute to Mr Durkan and added:

“I can’t but express my extreme delight at being the first ever Republican MP here. “It’s been an absolute privilege to be given this opportunity, and an even bigger privilege for the electorate to come out today and vote for me in the numbers that they have, and I want to make it clear that I will represent every single person in this constituency.”

Mrs McCallion MP also paid tribute to the late Martin McGuinness and said the start of the year had been very difficult for Republicans. She said: “We lost our friend, we lost our leader and we lost our inspiration. But he guided us every step of the way through this election. His memory lives on in every one of us, and Martin we did this for you.”

RESULTS

Elisha McCallion (SF) 18,256 (39.7%) +8.2%
Mark Durkan (SDLP) 18,087 (39.3%) -8.6%
Gary Middleton (DUP) 7,398 (16.1%) +3.7%
Shaun Harkin (PBP) 1,377% (3.0%) 0.0%
John Doherty (All) 847 (1.8%) -0.4%

 

* East Antrim *

Incumbent Sammy Wilson laid claim to his seat once again with a surprise increase in his vote.

In a night that saw the wind taken out of Ulster Unionist sails with a Westminster wipeout, hopes that assembly election success in East Antrim for Robin Swann’s party could translate to a real threat to Mr Wilson’s parliament position were shot down as the DUP MP saw a 21.2 percent boost from his 2015 finishing position.

“Unionism awakened yesterday and made its voice clear,” he crowed on Friday morning.

Sinn Fein’s Oliver McMullan won over a thousand extra votes for the party in a constituency where nationalism has a long, long way to go, but inexorably heading in the right direction.

RESULTS

Sammy Wilson (DUP) 21,873 (57.3%) +21.2%
Stewart Dickson (Alliance) 5,950 (15.6%) +0.6%
John Stewart (UUP) 4,524 (11.9%) -7.0%
Oliver McMullan (SF) 3,555 (9.3%) +2.4%
Margaret McKillop (SDLP) 1,278 (3.3%) -1.5%

 

* South Antrim *

A close race predicted in the unionist stronghold of South Antrim ended in a comfortable win for the DUP’s Paul Girvan over UUP rival Danny Kinahan.

With more than 3,000 votes separating the pair, Mr Kinahan lost the seat he has held since 2015.

The victory was all the sweeter for the DUP given the constituency was one of the few where the two main unionist parties went head to head.

It also comes just three months after Mr Girvan failed to make the quota in the assembly elections - but still managed to retain his seat - in the wake of the Renewable Heating initiative scandal.

Sinn Fein’s Declan Kearney - who topped the poll in the last assembly election - ranked third with a substantially increased vote.

RESULTS

Paul Girvan (DUP) 16,508 (38.2%) +8.1%
Danny Kinahan (UUP) 13,300 (30.8%) -1.9%
Declan Kearney (SF) 7,797 (18.1%) +5.2%
Neil Kelly (All) 3,203 (7.4%) -2.4%
Roisin Lynch (SDLP) 2,362 (5.5%) -2.7%

 

* North Antrim *

Unsurprisingly, the DUP’s Ian Paisley Jnr steamrolled to victory in a constituency that boasts the longest continuous period any party in the north has held a Westminster seat.

An overwhelmingly unionist area, the turnout was up some 10 per cent from 2015’s election with a total of 48,580 votes cast - some 64 per cent of the constituency’s electorate.

Mr Paisley polled more than 28,000 votes - 20,000 more than his nearest rival, Sinn Fein’s Cara McShane, and about 10,000 more than his total last time round.

Continuing to hold the torch passed onto him by his father, the late Reverend Ian Paisley, the victor said he has seen a “unionism awakening” after the comfortable win.

The victory, which was marked with a chorus of God Save The Queen by supporters in the centre, is the third time Mr Paisley has won the North Antrim seat that his father held for four decades.

RESULTS

Ian Paisley (DUP) 28,521 (58.8%) +15.6%
Cara McShane (SF) 7,878 (16.3%) +4.0%
Jackson Minford (UUP) 3,482 (7.2%) -4.9%
Timothy Gaston (TUV) 3,282 (6.8%) -8.9%
Patricia O’Lynn (All) 2,723 (5.6%) 0.0%
Declan O’Loan (SDLP) 2,574 (5.3%) -1.7%

© 2017 Irish Republican News