Sinn Féin holds on to three seats as predicted

Sinn Féin remain dominant in Mid Ulster, with Michelle O’Neill topping the poll in her home constituency.

It had always been expected that Sinn Féin would hold its three seats in Mid Ulster and so it proved, with Ms O’Neill joined by party colleagues Linda Dillon and Emma Sheerin.

The Sinn Féin vice-president was elected on the first count with 21 per cent of the vote, with both Ms Sheerin and Ms Dillon following closely behind on the second count.

Ms Sheerin was contesting the constituency for the first time after being co-opted into the Assembly in 2018.

Live results hub: View all the latest results for every constituency here

The DUP had never expected to have trouble retaining the seat and Keith Buchanan returned comfortably on the back of 8,521 first preference votes, albeit on a vote share lower than 2017.

In a bad election for the SDLP, Patsy McGlone took the final seat.

There was palpable relief among SDLP supporters in the Magherafelt count centre as Mr McGlone managed to get over the line, in an election that saw other major SDLP figures fail to get re-elected.

Ms O’Neill used her formal victory speech on Saturday afternoon to send a message to the DUP.

She said that the electorate wanted politicians to get working on solving everyday issues, such as the healthcare waiting lists and the rising cost of living.

“And that’s the reason why on Monday we must all turn up together,” Ms O’Neill said.

“That’s the reason why on Monday, there is an urgency to restore an Executive and start putting money back in people’s pockets, to start to fix the health service. The people can’t wait.

“I will lead my team to Stormont on Monday. The people have told us during the course of this election that they expect us to work together. The people are right.” –PA

Five seats filled: Michelle O’Neill (Sinn Fein), Linda Dillon (Sinn Fein), Emma Sheerin (Sinn Fein), Patsy McGlone (SDLP), Keith Buchanan (DUP).

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