Sinn Fein's day

Sinn Fein's day

11 May 2022

LOCAL Sinn Fein and Alliance MLAs are at the centre of Northern Ireland’s new political pecking order.

Following marathon South Down and Strangford election counts last week, the two parties grabbed all the headlines, but have yet to start work as the Stormont stalemate continues with no Executive formed.

Sinn Fein is in line for the First Minister’s post after slightly increasing its overall vote with the  party’s South Down candidates Sinead Ennis and Cathy Mason racking up a remarkable 24,344 votes between them.

Ms Ennis recorded the highest vote of any election candidate with a staggering 14,381 votes, with Mrs Mason polling 9,963.

Alliance’s Patrick Brown’s made history when his drive for an Assembly seat finally paid off and he said it will be the “greatest honour of his life” to represent South Down for the next five years.

The DUP’s Diane Forsythe saw off the TUV and UUP challenge with the SDLP’s Colin McGrath picking up the fifth seat, with his party colleague Karen McKevitt missing out.

It was Alliance who grabbed all the headlines in Strangford.

Kellie Armstrong topped the poll with 7,105 votes with her performance laying the groundwork for party colleague Nick Mathison to grab the last seat in dramatic fashion as the count drew to a conclusion, with the TUV’s Stephen Cooper unable to secure enough transfers to see him over the line.

The DUP lost Peter Weir, but returned Harry Harvey and Michelle McIlveen, with the UUP’s Mike Nesbitt also elected.