All the results are now in. SF have lost Fermanagh and South Tyrone. It has been a great election for the UUP with Tom Elliot taking Fermanagh and South Tyrone and Danny Kinahan taking South Antrim for the UUP. Alliances only MP Naomi Long lost her seat to Gavin Robinson in East Belfast.
Belfast North (Get more data for this constituency on the BBC site)
Nigel Dodds DUP was a clear winner here, while he increased his vote by just over 4000, the UUP candidate in 2010, Fred Cobain, only received 2837 votes…so the unionist operation to get out their voters must have done something right… Perhaps this mystery letter had some influence, DUP reports however that it allegedly was a Sinn Fein election ploy were disseminated by Twitter, which from my experience, isn’t exactly overflowing with core DUP voters. Of all parties and/or candidates who stood in both 2010 and 2015, all increased their vote share except for Alban Maginness of the SDLP who shed over 1000 votes.
Belfast South (Get more data for this constituency on the BBC site)
The big story here is how much Alasdair McDonnell dropped his majority, 27.3% above the 2nd place DUP in 2010 to just 2.3% above this time. The full count isn’t in across the UK but I would be surprised if many candidates were elected to Westminster with below 10,000 votes…could this by the worst mandate in the UK? Paula Bradshaw gave a good effort, polling even higher than 2010 Alliance candidate Anna Lo and increasing her vote tally when she ran for UCU-NF in the 2010 vote by 801. For all the fuss made about Jonathan Bell, he increased the DUP vote by 554 but this represented a 1.5% drop of votes compared to 2010 for the party. Claire Bailey has been widely praised across social media from many different political corners for her election performance, increasing the Green Party vote by more than double was no easy ask. Rodney McCune, representing garnered 3549 votes, which is nearly 2500 down on the UCU-NF candidate (Paula Bradshaw) received in 2010…not a good performance, being beaten into 5th by Maírtín Ó Muilleoir. Docter McDonnell won but his electoral performance is quite frankly abysmal, a leadership change must surely be imminent, double jobbing is, in my mind, not acceptable..but he cannot lead an NI party whilst in Westminster, something must give.
Belfast West (Get more data for this constituency on the BBC site)
Paul Maskey won and did it by increasing nearly 3000 votes on 2010, his % share though was reduced by 16%, there is only one story in Belfast West however, the electoral performance of People Before Profits Gerry Carroll…2010: 1751 votes with a % share of 7.6….2015: 6798 votes with a % share of 19.2. This is huge, was this a protest vote however? Or could this be a launch platform for Carroll to join Allister et al in the oddball corner.
Belfast East (Get more data for this constituency on the BBC site)
Gavin Robinson won back Peter Robinsons heartland, his nirvana, but with a unionist pact necessary to achieve this, does this say more about the DUP than Alliance? Naomi Long lost the seat by increasing her vote by over 4000 and her % share by 10 full points…Some loss that is! If you combine the DUP, TUV & UCU-NF from 2010, you have around 20600…Gavin Robinson won the seat with 19575 votes…so the pact really did everything for him, if you go back further to when Peter Robinson defended the seat in 2005, the DUP & UUP vote was 24,437, so in comparison to those heady days of unionism in East Belfast, Gavin dropped 5000 seats, or rather the parties dropped them in 2010 when Peter Robinson lost and Gavin didn’t get all of them back again. Also is there anything to be said for UUP voters taking the hump with being instructed to vote DUP? 4000 extra votes for Alliance suggest yes… Good showing for Ross Brown in his first run at parliament, throwing aside 2010 candidates Niall Ó Donnghaile & Mary Muldoon of SF & SDLP respectively, to finish 4th on 1,058 votes.
Lagan Valley (Get more data for this constituency on the BBC site)
A huge majority for Jeffrey Donaldson.
North Antrim (Get more data for this constituency on the BBC site)
A walk in the park for Ian Paisley Jr, he did lose around 1500 votes though, the TUV also showed strength here with councillor Timothy Gaston coming in a solid second above Daithi McKay of Sinn Fein. Robin Swann, UUP chief whip narrowly scraped behind SF by less than 100 votes, whereas last election UCU-NF finished 600 votes behind SF. so progress of sorts. Jayne Dunlop improved her 2010 showing by adding 1000 or so votes on to her 1368 tally from 2010.
South Antrim (Get more data for this constituency on the BBC site)
This one must have hurt the DUP, all their talk of bringing 9 or even 10 MP’s to the westminster party went out the window early on when estimates were showing the UUP candidate Danny Kinahan performing well…inheriting the seat that UCU-NF competed in with Reg Empey at the helm, Kinahan improved their tally by over 1500 votes which is almost exactly how many William McCrea lost between 2010 and now, causing him to lose his seat. I had been predicting this to be the curveball of NI Election night. With Kinahan expressing support for the Equal Marriage bill tabled by Sinn Fein recently, the only MLA firmly in either of the 2 unionist camps who have announced support, perhaps the ship-jumpers are the moderate unionists we hear so much of but see so little.
East Antrim (Get more data for this constituency on the BBC site)
No great shakes here, Sammy Wilson lost just under 2000 votes but the gap to UUP (or UCU-NF in 2010) in 2nd remained roughly the same. Alliance Party chief whip Stewart Dickson performed much better than 2010 candidate Gerry Lynch, UKIP entrant Noel Jordan pulled in 3,660 votes from not running last time, the other parties are pretty much where they were before polling day.
Strangford (Get more data for this constituency on the BBC site)
Held by Jim Shannon with an increased vote total, UUP in 2nd dropped drastically from their UCU-NF days, from Mike Nesbitt coming in the silver position with 9,050 in 2010 to Robert Burgess for UUP getting just 4,868 in second. Alliance Party candidate Kellie Armstrong increased her parties showing by nearly 2000, UKIP came straight in with more than 2,000 and the TUV are pretty much where they were.
North Down (Get more data for this constituency on the BBC site)
The independent heartland of NI nowadays, Lady Sylvia Hermon is returned to parliament but with a greatly reduced majority, DUP’s Alex Easton outperformed UCU-NF 2010 candidate Ian Parsley by nearly 2000. Former Lord Mayor of Bangor Andrew Muir increased the tally of Stephen Farry from 2010 to 3,086. Steven Agnew gave a good result with 1,958, up from 1,043 in 2010.
South Down (Get more data for this constituency on the BBC site)
What a quiet contest this turned out to be… Margaret Ritchie is returned to parliament but with more than 2000 less votes, Chris Hazzard comes in 2nd, just behind Caitriona Ruane in 2010, not a bad showing for a young MLA who was co-opted in and that this was his first election. Jim Wells suffered a very small drop and Harold McKee of UUP out performed John McCallister of UCU-NF. Alliance candidate Martyn Todd tripled his 2010 predecessor David Griffin, from 560 to 1,622. Henry Reilly of UKIP came 5th with 3,044.
Upper Bann (Get more data for this constituency on the BBC site)
This was rumoured to be a close run race and it didn’t disappoint for most of the evening, exit polls seemed to go one way or the other, in the end it was David Simpson, the incumbent, who is being returned to Westminster, UUP candidate Jo-Anne Dobson outstripped UCU-NF candidate in 2010 Harry Hamilton. Cat Seeley of Sinn Fein also outvoted her predecessor John O’Dowd. Dolores Kelly lost 1000 votes and a position in the top 3 parties here.
Newry & Armagh (Get more data for this constituency on the BBC site)
Mickey Brady comfortably keeps his seat for Sinn Fein, Danny Kennedy of UUP however leapfrogs Dominic Bradley of SDLP into 2nd place, from 8,558 to 16,312…this will be one to watch next time around. Former GAA star Justin mcNulty increased on Bradleys vote but to no avail.
Kept by SDLP’s Mark Durkan with a slight increase, SF dropped almost the equivalent. DUP are also within touching distance of 2010 results, nothing of note here at all.
East Londonderry (Get more data for this constituency on the BBC site)
Gregory Campbell increased his majority, other candidates are essentially as is however, a safe DUP seat where nothing much seems to happen. CISTA got more than 500 votes though.
West Tyrone (Get more data for this constituency on the BBC site)
Pat Doherty kept West Tyrone but he didn’t keep the 1300 voters who left for pastures new. DUP & UUP candidates Tom Buchanan & Ross Hussey respectively, stayed as were, with the exception of SDLP’s Daniel McCrossan coming up in between them and splitting their vote straight down the middle, 6,747, 6,444 & 6,144.
Fermanagh & South Tyrone (Get more data for this constituency on the BBC site)
The other unionist pact that worked out… Tom Elliott powered in with 23,608 votes to the 24,078 of Sinn Feins Michelle Gildernew. John Coyle of SDLP gave a decent showing considering the media mob around his un-prepared and inexperienced interview on BBC.
Mid Ulster (Get more data for this constituency on the BBC site)
Francie Molloy, SF, ran away with this, 13,000+ votes ahead of Sandra Overend of UUP in 2nd place, Mid Ulster was a barren candidate landscape in the 2013 by-election, Sinn Fein, Independent, SDLP & Alliance competed…this time around there were 9 candidates, the electorate split wide open, not much between UUP, DUP & SDLP, then TUV sitting in the very middle with UKIP, Alliance Party, Workers Party & NI Conservatives left to pick up the scraps. Molloy country.