DUP still North's largest party – Sinn Féin lose one seat

The DUP has retained its position as the largest party in the North, but the UUP is arguably celebrating harder after landing two surprise wins in the General Election.

DUP still North's largest party – Sinn Féin lose one seat

The DUP has retained its position as the largest party in the North, but the UUP is arguably celebrating harder after landing two surprise wins in the General Election.

The Ulster Unionists are proclaiming a renaissance after candidates Danny Kinahan and Tom Elliott won in South Antrim and Fermanagh and South Tyrone respectively to herald the party’s return to parliament after a period without any representation.

Mr Elliott won Fermanagh and South Tyrone from Sinn Féin’s Michelle Gildernew - a rare loss of a Westminster seat for the republican party.

With one loss and one gain, the DUP emerged from the election as it went in - with eight of Northern Ireland’s 18 seats.

Sinn Féin was down one to four, the SDLP retained its three seats, the UUP captured two and independent Sylvia Hermon comfortably retained her North Down seat.

UUP leader Mike Nesbitt said it was a good night for pro-Union parties. “This is the best result unionism has had for over a decade,” he said.

“We have taken a seat off Sinn Fein. That is a signal which is going to go across the whole of Northern Ireland. Unionism is no longer on the back foot.”

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams insisted his party had consolidated recent electoral gains.

“Across constituencies Sinn Fein consolidated and built support,” he said.

“In many constituencies we faced a unionist pact held together by opposition to change, opposition to equality and in support of a union that is imposing austerity.

“This was most evident in Fermanagh/South Tyrone where all shades of unionism combined with the Tory party to unseat a republican woman.”

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