Tom Elliott takes Fermanagh South Tyrone…

With a majority of 530 votes Tom Elliot from the UUP took the seat from Sinn Féin’s Michelle Gildernew.

From the BBC

From the BBC

The SDLP candidate John Coyle got 2,732. Was it the wrong decision for the SDLP not to do an election pact with SF? Let us know your views in the comments.

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  • kensei

    Election pacts are damaging in the long term. I hope tonight encourages Unionism to more. SDLP right about none.

    Bad night for Nationalism all round. Both SF and SDLP tired, no momentim, no energy. Loss of Assembly seats looms . SF need to change northern guard, SDLP needs to find a purpose and FF need to follow through on 2019. For all their faults they’d mix things up.

  • Jag

    SF complaining they didn’t get a recount. BBC says there was re-checking during first count. A 500 majority is pretty solid.

    SF also claiming “Across constituencies Sinn Féin consolidated and built support.”

    That’s misleading; certainly SF increased number of voters in a number of constituencies but in nearly all it lost share because the turnout increased.

    Bad night for nationalism; bad night for women in politics; bad night for liberalism.

  • Cue Bono

    I would say a good night for liberalism. An MP who fully supported thirty five years of murder has lost her seat.

  • Antain Mac Lochlainn

    I loved how Tom said he would be an MP for all the people and went on to state that Fermanagh South Tyrone wasn’t ‘green’ but ‘red, white and blue’. Good start there, Tom.

  • Spike

    The unavoidable truth is that it was a bad night for democracy. Short term gain and the conservative’s majority means the northern politicians are again Lame Ducks in London. Anyway, if election pacts are required to get politicians to westminster, then are they really the ‘people’s choice’? After all the electioneering, comments on the economy, social welfare, abortion, gay marriage, jobs etc etc, it has came down to one point again – the scaremongering of the Union or threat of an United Ireland. The people who voted for the undemocratic pact in East Belfast and FST have fell for it again and been ‘sold a pup’.

  • Cue Bono

    Nonsense. The Tory majority is tiny and they will be heavily reliant on unionist MPs in the Commons.

  • Carl Mark

    you do know that everytime NI uionists made deals with the Torys they got nohing out of it.
    Carson said it all really.

  • Cue Bono

    The tory majority is in single figures. There will be votes in the future which members of the conservative party will not support. There will be votes were tory MPs will be absent through sickness etc. Some will lose their seats in by elections. The DUP are in a very strong position indeed whether CNRs like it or not.

  • Chingford Man

    Well done to Tom Elliott on a great performance. I always suspected FST was in play, even though the pundits did not. The republicans seemed to convince themselves that, having won majorities of 53 and 4 over the last 3 elections, that they would easily win again. They didn’t maximise their vote but Elliott possibly maximised his. Finally the damage from Jim Dixon’s ill-judged 2001 candidature has been reversed.

  • Cue Bono

    Dry your eyes comrade.

  • Spike

    to say you are grasping at straws is an understatement – depending on sick days and by elections?? Today i am tightening the belt as we are in for 5 years of cuts and lack of special privilege and depending on our Herbert Hoovers’ poker faces….except Cameron knows we have a hand that is worthless.
    PULs, CNRs or whatever other way you want to incorrectly lable people, still need the bread and butter issues sorted out regardless of united irelands and unions. The Unionist Pact has blinded and shamed the people of east belfast and FST and the warm fuzzy blanket of unionism wont keep us warm when the uncontestable cuts kick in.
    David Cameron getting attacked by Tom Elliott & Gavin Robinson in the house of commons will be like being mauled by a dead sheep.

  • Cue Bono

    The cuts don’t affect me Spike. I work for a living, and it was people exactly like me who rejected Miliband in droves at the election. When Cameron is asking for support from unionist MPs he won’t be offering anything that is remotely connected to cuts.

  • Spike

    CB, I work too but im not naive enough to think that with almost three quarters of the population of NI dependant on employment or handouts from the government, that cuts wont affect either my pocket, my clients pocket or an employers pocket. Theres a cull coming and, as unlike scotland we have no economic benefits to offer Britain, we have nothing to bargain with. The artifical gravy train to Stormont is lightening its load so employed or unemployed, we are all in for a shock. Simple fiscal policy.

  • Cue Bono

    The cull that is coming will result in more people going out to work for a living. The option of spending your life in a free house and living off benefits is coming to an end. That is a good thing for the economy, for the country as a whole, but most importantly for the people affected. Keeping people on benefits does them no favours.

  • Election pacts are certainly cynical and crude, but, whether we like them or not, they *are* democratic in that they offer a choice and if people wish to support the option offered, they’re free to do so. If people wish to reject what’s on offer, they can do that too. That’s the democratic process.

    I don’t feel there was some nationalist moral duty upon the SDLP to stand aside in FST. To blame SDLP would be to deflect responsibility. It would also be to insult the sensibilities of the local electorate. The SDLP were entitled to stand and the constituents were entitled to vote for Coyle. If 600 voters who voted for Coyle might otherwise have voted for Sinn Féin, the fundamental problem was Sinn Féin inability to convince them of better. 2,732 nationalists/nationalist supporters were free to reject Coyle, just as they were free and not compelled to vote for him. Besides, 31.1 per cent of constituents didn’t vote; there were plenty of others aside from SDLP voters there for convincing. Too cheap and easy to place blame upon John Coyle and the SDLP.

  • Robin Keogh

    I am gutted for Gildernew, her vote share shows that she is obviously well liked and respected in FST. Its a great win for Elliot and broader Unionism. No ppoint in having sour grapes. SDF and the SDLP will have to get their respective acts together for the assembly elections because on those score last night they could both lose seats at Stormont. I am very depressed today ;-(

  • Spike

    Thats all well and good but the Elephant in the room is that this is not Yorkshire, Lancashire or Durham. This is northern ireland which has been artificially propped up from the beginning. The carpet is about to be pulled from under our feet and to think you (or friends, relatives etc) are immune just because you have a job now is sticking your head in the sand. We are going to have to pay our own way and this is where our shortcomings are about to be exposed. Be careful what you wish for – you might just get it.

  • Spike

    the term ‘frightened sheep’ comes to mind.

  • chrisjones2

    the northern politicians are again Lame Ducks in London

    Not really.Cameron needs an insurance policy against the few neerdowells in his own backbenchers.DUP could do nicely

  • chrisjones2

    So what> Most Stuff is devolved anyway

    BTW where are the Shinners. Lost a seat AND their Austerity non-policy just imploded

  • chrisjones2

    I suggest you buy an onion and violin

  • chrisjones2

    “The carpet is about to be pulled from under our feet ” ….. no, from under the feet of the feckless and workshy and their elected representatives

  • chrisjones2

    Yeah …she should just have run a sectarian campaign like Gerry Kelly.That worked well didn’t it

  • Yes, because most people on benefits would have chosen such a means of existence as a lifestyle choice if their situations weren’t so hopeless and their prospects so grim…

  • chrisjones2

    I am sorry for her in the same way I am sorry for Ed Balls and Nick Clegg and for the Labour Party – left in the loving embrace of Hattie

  • Well, aye, the fear and insecurity within unionism is patently obvious, but they’re entitled to be feared and insecure, and respond to that appropriately and democratically, if they wish, by means of electoral pacts. Nationalists and republicans simply have to deal with that.

  • Carl Mark

    OK tell me since David has a majority , what do you think the DUP will get.
    There will be no change in parareing legislation unless nationalists agree to it.
    The flag won’t go back up full time on the city hall.
    Whatever (if ever) David wants DUP support for will be difination unpopular even inside his own party and may well fail anyway.
    The SNP result will mean another referendum ( the canny Scots will give David a bit of time to alienate more Scots)
    alliance increased their percentage of the overall vote while the unionist and nationlists parties barely held on.
    Naomi increased her personal vote (it took all the unionist parties to beat her) and she managed to show more dignity in defeat than Gavin showed in victory.
    So in short CB enjoy this while it lasts and remember the Tories are for the Tories so expect more asterity, the rich will get richer the DUP not be able to change anything and its doubtful there will be another pact outside FST in the next election?

  • Cue Bono

    I intend to enjoy it comrade. Five years is a very long time in politics and I am sure that the eleven unionist MPs sitting in westminster (more than the Lib Dems) will use their votes and their influence wisely. I wouldn’t bank on another referendum given that Sturgeon’s party stood on a ticket of not seeking a mandate for one. They were lucky to have the no vote split between three parties. They won’t last forever in Holyrood either.

    That flag cost you boys dear. 🙂

  • Cue Bono

    Not most people, but certainly there are plenty out there who have made the lifestyle choice of doing nothing. Who can blame them when parties like SF have shown them how to get a free house, free money and in many cases a free car. Unsustainable I’m afraid and it is rightly being brought to an end.

  • Cue Bono

    Northern Ireland has not been propped up from the beginning. We were initially self sufficient, but a thirty five year terrorist campaign aimed directly at our economy was devastating to us. Things however are picking up again and I look forward to the day when we will be able to pay our own way. That will mean cutting out the free money for doing nothing.

  • Cue Bono

    Apparently Harperson is standing down as deputy leader. It would be fantastic if she took over from Ed.

  • Spike

    Forget about terrorist campaigns, forget about depriving 1/2 the people of the their civils rights – the bottom line is in May 2015 we are an artificial subsidised state and the tap is about to be turned off. Its not just about dole cheats – there is a health service and civil service to pay for as well and the money they spend in the local economy. All well and good if your profession insulates you from that but have some empathy for the families of people such as the nurses, teachers etc who cant get a job. They arent feckless, depts just wont have the money to employ them. We cant pay our own way at the moment as we have very little of economic value to offer that is not in some way drip fed from westminster. But sure as long as you’re ok….

  • Spike

    If Unionists are frightened it is only because Unionist representatives stoke them up to be. SDLP got on their high horse and I commend them for it. They proved they have political morals. Unfortunately in a months time no one will remember as the winner writes the history. Sectarian pacts and sectarian leaflet campaigns only embarrass us all and remind us that the majority of NI are sheep

  • Sectarian pacts and leaflets are indeed embarrassing. However, nationalists and republicans must take some responsibility for giving unionist representatives fuel in order to stoke up such tensions. We can’t blame everything upon unionist representatives, no matter how cynical and manipulative they might be. Unionists are sentient, decision-making beings too and their fears and insecurities are personal to them. Once again, it’s too easy for us to ignore that reality by laying the blame at the feet of their “brainwashing” political representatives.

  • Carl Mark

    Oh dear CB ,do you really think that the SNP won’t go for referendum! How naive of you.
    I would love to hear your reasoning for them not lasting long in Holyrood.
    As for the Unionist MPs making a strong impact and using the place wisely, well I suppose its possible, it will be a first.
    You do know that with the Tories having fa overall majority the unionists have no more pull than they did in the last parliament and that went well for them.
    The real winners here are alliance, they upped their vote and dispute the obsene whispering campaign and the vile rumour mongering spread by bitter small minded people ( you know who you are) Naomi long increased her vote. And it took a pact and a black propaganda campaign to get her out.
    Something for unionists to be proud off.
    I wonder how long it will be before loyalists start screaming sellout at the DUP,
    Do you think that when they are at twaddle a year or so from now still protesting
    Or will it be when the austerity cuts tear communities apart.

  • Spike

    That’s a lovely sentiment coming from the turkey that voted for Christmas. You’ll need both yourself as you’ll unfortunately find out

  • Zeno

    “Today i am tightening the belt as we are in for 5 years of cuts ”

    5 Years? I doubt you will see anything other than a Tory Government for the next 20 years. They haven’t even wheeled Boris in as Leader yet.

  • Zeno

    Have you considered moving?

  • Spike

    No, Thankfully sectarian pogoms and jobs for the boys are now Outdated in NI so I have a nice job that allows me to stay. Still looking out for people worse off than me regardless of their community

  • Cue Bono

    The SNP can’t go for a referendum without the agreement of the conservative government. Sturgeon knows that she will shed votes in Holyrood if she demands one. You may recall the booing she received early on in the campaign when she refused to rule it out and that she consequently claimed not to be seeking a mandate for a referendum.

    I think their mentalist policies will be their undoing. They have made the NHS worse in Scotland than it is in England, they have introduced ridiculously low drink driving levels which will close pubs, they are a statist party and they will eventually be found out when all the William Wallace crap fades away. Oh and the arse fell out of North Sea oil so they can’t afford independence.

    Yeah Alliance did fantastic. Apart from losing their only MP.

  • Cue Bono

    You are being hysterical. Don’t believe everything that the lefties tell you. We will still have schools and hospitals in five years time.

  • Spike

    Yes indeed but in very different guises. £12billion of cuts won’t be found down the back of Cameron’s sofa. But sure as long as you’re ok and peters getting his belly tickled

  • Cue Bono

    That is £12 billion pounds of cuts throughout the entire UK. A lower target than they had last time when for every public sector job that was cut five new jobs were created in the private sector.

  • Spike

    Oh that’s ok, the last 5 years of taxes and cuts were a breeze. Those Monday morning planes and boats full of northern Irishmen forced to find work abroad must just be a figment of my imagination. Good times indeed

  • Chingford Man

    I feel your pain.

  • Sharon Robinson

    Loved that bit too and the bit where he said the seat doesn’t belong to Bobby Sands.

    The man is an absolute legend in and around FST, he went to take a bath after his election victory but was unable to as he walks on water.

  • Sharon Robinson

    Stop letting the truth get in the way of Nationalist drivel.

  • Sharon Robinson

    First Nationalist who has been gracious in Tom taking the seat, fair play to you.