Well, that was quite the night, wasn’t it? I will eschew the British results for the time being in favour of bringing you the local breakdown by constituency, plus a few brief reflections.
Long (Alliance) 12,839 (37.2%, +26.2%)
Robinson (DUP) 11,306 (32.8%, -19.6%)
Ringland (UCUNF) 7,305 (21.2%, -8.3%)
Vance (TUV) 1,856 (5.4%)
Ó Donnghaile (SF) 817 (2.4%, -0.1%)
Muldoon (SDLP) 365 (1.1%, -1.1%)
The shock of the night, as the First Minister lost his seat, the DUP was decapitated and Naomi Long became the first Alliance candidate ever to be elected to Westminster. Obviously an enormous anti-Robinson vote, largely on his expenses and property dealings, with the TUV vote making up more than his deficit (and David Vance will count that as a result). Turnout fairly stable at 58.4%, so no mass abstention – except maybe an abstention of DUP supporters and high turnout of the anti camp. Naomi Long, whose canvassers had assiduously pushed the idea that she was the candidate who could beat Robbo (see those “Yes she can!” posters on the Newtownards Road), secured the perfect storm, energising her core vote, squeezing Trevor Ringland, pulling in a few hundred nationalist tactical votes and also – having been out canvassing working-class loyalist areas with Dawn Purvis – pulling in the PUP vote. Peter looked a broken man last night, and there has to be a question mark over his continued leadership of the DUP.
Dodds (DUP) 14,812 (40.0%, -2.9%)
Kelly (SF) 12,588 (34.0%, +7.1%)
Maginness (SDLP) 4,544 (12.3%, -4.5%)
Cobain (UCUNF) 2,837 (7.7%, -1.8%)
Webb (Alliance) 1,809 (4.9%, +2.0%)
McAuley (Ind) 403 (1.1%)
Deputy Dodds hanging on as predicted. This was always going to be a long shot for Gerry K – the SDLP vote is too high and the UUP vote too low for a South Belfast-style result – but he did put a squeeze on Allbran, whilst pulling in young voters in Glengormley to add to his inner city core. Note the swing of 3% from unionist to nationalist, essentially a working out of demographic change, which shows North Belfast – now the only unionist seat in the city – moving into marginality. And a decent result from Billy Webb in an area where Alliance have done poorly in recent years. Turnout stable.
McDonnell (SDLP) 14,026 (41.0%, +10.9%)
Spratt (DUP) 8,100 (23.7%, -5.9%)
Bradshaw (UCUNF) 5,910 (17.3%, -4.9%)
Lo (Alliance) 5,114 (15.0%, +7.7%)
McGibbon (Green) 1,036 (3.0%)
Big Al winning more easily than expected, and would probably have won – albeit narrowly – even if Maskey had not withdrawn. Note the slump in the unionist total, partly I think due to unionists staying at home – turnout down 5% here – but also liberal unionists, Paula Bradshaw’s target market, voting Alliance, Green, even SDLP. Anna Lo more than doubling the Alliance share and making her Assembly seat solid in an election where she could have been squeezed. Adam McGibbon will also be pleased, but Jimmy Spratt very disappointed. Paula Bradshaw might be relieved not to have done even worse, and looks to have a lock on an Assembly seat if she runs next year – she had a good campaign that her result belies.
Adams (SF) 22,840 (71.1%, +2.5%)
Attwood (SDLP) 5,261 (16.4%, +0.3%)
Humphrey (DUP) 2,436 (7.6%, -3.3%)
Manwaring (UCUNF) 1,000 (3.1%, +0.6%)
Hendron (Alliance) 596 (1.9%, +1.8%)
Nothing really to see in the stronghold of Teflon Gerry, as the Great Leader once again has the safest seat in the north. Alex Attwood still flatlining, Shankill voters not bothering. Notable, though, that turnout slumped by 13.5%, while there were upwards of 500 spoiled votes after dissident republicans encouraged vote-spoiling. Evidently there’s potential for someone to put up a challenge, but no such candidate is on the horizon.
Wilson (DUP) 13,993 (45.9%, -1.0%)
McCune (UCUNF) 7,223 (23.7%, -1.4%)
Lynch (Alliance) 3,377 (11.1%, -3.6%)
McMullan (SF) 2,064 (6.8%, +1.4%)
McCamphill (SDLP) 2,019 (6.6%, -0.8%)
Morrison (TUV) 1,826 (6.0%)
Nudie Boy remains secure, with both UCUNF and Alliance falling back slightly (with no disrespect to Gerry Lynch, a new Alliance candidate would always struggle to match Neeson). A notably poor performance from the TUV, who had made a lot of noise around Larne, and rather a decent one from Oliver McMullan. Turnout down by 6.6%.
Campbell (DUP) 12,097 (34.6%, -6.3%)
Ó hOisín (SF) 6,742 (19.3%, +1.9%)
Macaulay (UCUNF) 6,218 (17.8%, -1.9%)
Conway (SDLP) 5,399 (15.4%, -3.9%)
Ross (TUV) 2,572 (7.4%)
Fitzpatrick (Alliance) 1,922 (5.5%, +3.1%)
Gregory Campbell wins with a decreased majority. What we see is Willie Ross (a poor result for him) taking votes from Campbell, and a creditable return for Alliance’s Barney Fitzpatrick not allowing Lesley Macaulay to capitalise. On the nationalist side, SF establish a clear lead over the SDLP even without Francie Brolly in the frame. Turnout down by 8.4%.
Gildernew (SF) 21,304 (45.5%, +7.3%)
Connor (Ind) 21,300 (45.5%)
McKinney (SDLP) 3,574 (7.6%, -7.2%)
Kamble (Alliance) 437 (0.9%)
Stevenson (Ind) 188 (0.4%)
Didn’t I say this one would be too close to call? In the end, SF’s military-style organisation just about pulling it off for wee Michelle, with not only her own vote mobilised but the SDLP vote halving, and that SDLP Assembly seat looking under serious threat. In fact, the SDLP must be breathing a quiet sigh of relief, because had Michelle lost then Fearghal McKinney’s name would be mud and the SDLP would struggle to ever get anyone elected here again. Unionists mumbling about court action, and a few glares being directed to spoiler independent John Stevenson, but note that turnout was actually down over 6%, and Connor couldn’t even poll the combined DUP-UUP vote from 2005. It may be that our popular agriculture minister is just not effective enough as a hate figure, even for Fermanagh unionists.
Durkan (SDLP) 16,922 (44.7%, -1.7%)
Anderson (SF) 12,098 (31.9%, -1.4%)
Devenney (DUP) 4,489 (11.8%, -2.2)
McCann (PBP) 2,936 (7.7%)
Harding (UCUNF) 1,221 (3.2%, +0.9%)
McGrellis (Alliance) 223 (0.6%)
The SDLP advantage in Foyle not dented at all, with Eamonn McCann doing rather well but taking votes equally from SDLP and SF. Turnout slumping from 70% to 57.5%. In an Assembly election, this would confirm the status quo of three SDLP, two SF and one DUP, with McCann probably the runner-up.
Donaldson (DUP) 18,199 (49.8%, -8.5%)
Trimble (UCUNF) 7,713 (21.1%, -1.8%)
Lunn (Alliance) 4,174 (11.4%, +0.5%)
Harbinson (TUV) 3,154 (8.6%)
Heading (SDLP) 1,835 (5.0%, +1.5%)
Butler (SF) 1,465 (4.0%, -0.3%)
Jeffrey Donaldson winning by a mile as expected, with the decrease in his share all going to the TUV, and Daphne Trimble unable to make an impact. Aside from the swing from DUP to TUV, the other results are remarkably stable. Turnout down by 6.6%, but then there was no drama about the result here.
McGuinness (SF) 21,239 (52.0%, +4.4%)
McCrea (DUP) 5,876 (14.4%, -9.1%)
Quinn (SDLP) 5,826 (14.3%, -3.2%)
Overend (UCUNF) 4,509 (11.0%, +0.4%)
Millar (TUV) 2,995 (7.3%)
Butler (Alliance) 397 (1.0%)
Martin McGuinness wins easily in his fiefdom, actually increasing his share at the expense of the SDLP, who will have been suffering some knock-on from Fermanagh and South Tyrone. Quite a good performance from Walter Millar at Ian McCrea’s expense, which makes the Assembly election interesting. Turnout down by 12.3%.
Newry and Armagh
Murphy (SF) 18,857 (42.0%, +0.6%)
Bradley (SDLP) 10,526 (23.4%, -1.7%)
Kennedy (UCUNF) 8,558 (19.1%, +5.2%)
Irwin (DUP) 5,764 (12.8%, -5.5%)
Frazer (Ind) 656 (1.5%)
Muir (Alliance) 545 (1.2%)
Little drama here, as Conor Murphy slightly extends his dominance. Rather interesting that Danny Kennedy performed so well, which would boost his chances of taking over the UUP leadership. Turnout down by 13.3%.
Paisley (DUP) 19,672 (46.4%, -10.4%)
Allister (TUV) 7,114 (16.8%)
McKay (SF) 5,265 (12.4%, -1.8%)
Armstrong (UCUNF) 4,634 (10.9%, -4.1%)
O’Loan (SDLP) 3.738 (8.8%, -2.2%)
Dunlop (Alliance) 1,368 (3.2%, +0.2%)
Cubitt (Ind) 606 (1.4%)
Baby Doc retains the seat bequeathed him by an Dochtúir Mór with some ease, thanks not least to his inherited cushion, as Jim Allister’s challenge proves to be a damp squib. This return would see Allister easily take an Assembly seat, but he might be the only one for the TUV. If you look further down the line, there’s obviously lots of tactical voting here, but it’s not exactly clear in which direction. Turnout down by 7.3%.
Hermon (Ind) 21,181 (63.3%)
Parsley (UCUNF) 6,817 (20.4%, -30.0%)
Farry (Alliance) 1,876 (5.6%, -2.0%)
Kilpatrick (TUV) 1,634 (4.9%)
Agnew (Green) 1,043 (3.1%)
Logan (SDLP) 680 (2.0%, -1.1%)
Parker (SF) 250 (0.7%, +0.1%)
Lady Sylvia by a landslide, beating the whippersnapper Parsley by better than three to one and confirming her status as monarch of our own wee California. Sylvia soaking up lots of centre-ground votes as well as DUP votes, and Parsley polling less than the UUP (minus Sylvia) did at the 2005 local elections. Basically, the Lady is unbeatable as long as she wants to run. Turnout stable.
McCrea (DUP) 11,536 (33.9%, -6.4%)
Empey (UCUNF) 10,353 (30.4%, +0.9%)
McLaughlin (SF) 4,729 (13.9%, +3.2%)
Byrne (SDLP) 2,955 (8.7%, -2.5%)
Lawther (Alliance) 2,607 (7.7%, -0.6%)
Lucas (TUV) 1,829 (5.4%)
The end of the road for Reg Empey’s leadership of the UUP, as UCUNF fails to take its top target (or indeed any target). Mel Lucas, performing reasonably for the TUV, shaving enough votes off Singing Willie to make the seat marginal, but Reg failing to pick up support, either from Alliance or from nationalist voters. One may salute his audacity in trying to win tactical votes from Crumlin, but it just didn’t work out for Reg, and one can’t help suspecting that the embarrassing Adrian Watson might have stood a better chance. Mitchel McLaughlin consolidating his position as lead nationalist challenger. Turnout down 8.2%.
Ritchie (SDLP) 20,648 (48.5%, +1.6%)
Ruane (SF) 12,236 (28.7%, +1.7%)
Wells (DUP) 3,645 (8.6%, -7.6%)
McCallister (UCUNF) 3,093 (7.3%, -1.5%)
McConnell (TUV) 1,506 (3.5%)
Enright (Green) 901 (2.1%)
Griffin (Alliance) 560 (1.3%)
In the end, Margaret Ritchie holding on very comfortably, not only maintaining Eddie McGrady’s cushion but even extending it a little. Lots of tactical voting here – Jim Wells reported loads of loyalists in Kilkeel voting for Ritchie – but it must be said that Caitríona Ruane has been an unsuccessful minister (even SF implicitly recognised that by making the talented John O’Dowd the education spokesman) and a weak and polarising candidate. Unionist votes for Ritchie would be at least matched by SF voters backing Ritchie or staying at home. If the Shinners are serious about taking this seat within the next decade, they’d better headhunt a new candidate.
Shannon (DUP) 14,926 (45.9%, -8.8%)
Nesbitt (UCUNF) 9,050 (27.8%, +6.4%)
Girvan (Alliance) 2,828 (8.7%, +0.5%)
Hanna (SDLP) 2,164 (6.7%, -1.8%)
Williams (TUV) 1,814 (5.6%)
Coogan (SF) 1,161 (3.6%, -0.1%)
Haig (Green) 562 (1.7%)
The DUP vote hit here by the Iris Robinson scandal, but Iris’ majority too big a mountain to overcome and so Gun Boy defeats TV Boy as predicted. Mike Nesbitt actually doing rather well, taking some votes directly off the DUP as well as some tactical votes. Debbie Girvan will be pleased that she avoided a squeeze and managed to maintain Kieran McCarthy’s base. But this belongs firmly to Ulster Scots-speaking pig farmer Jim Shannon, who has proved that his many years of hard, plodding constituency work as a councillor and MLA, though often overlooked by the party leadership in the past, was not in vain, and he’s saved the local DUP from what could have been a meltdown.
Simpson (DUP) 14,000 (33.8%, -3.7%)
Flash Harry (UCUNF) 10,639 (25.7%, +0.1%)
O’Dowd (SF) 10,237 (24.7%, +3.8%)
Kelly (SDLP) 5,276 (12.7%, -0.2%)
Heading (Alliance) 1,231 (3.0%, +0.8%)
Upper Bann now becomes a three-way marginal, with David Simpson leaking some votes but Flash Harry, despite a creditable performance, being unable to capitalise. A very good result from John O’Dowd, with demographic change meaning that Upper Bann can no longer be reported simply as an intra-unionist contest. Turnout down by 9.2%.
Doherty (SF) 18,050 (48.4%, +9.5%)
Buchanan (DUP) 7,365 (19.8%, +2.0%)
Hussey (UCUNF) 5,281 (14.2%, +7.3%)
Byrne (SDLP) 5,212 (14.0%, +4.9%)
Bower (Alliance) 859 (2.3%)
McClean (Ind) 508 (1.4%)
Again, the result here was never really in doubt, but the 27% scored by hospital campaigner Kieran Deeny in 2005 made things a little unpredictable. Deeny had particularly squeezed the SDLP and UUP votes, but many of his votes seem to have gone here to Pat Doherty, who managed to raise his vote despite a 14.2% slump in the turnout. Ross Hussey will be pleased with his performance, while the SDLP did poorly, now languishing below an Assembly quota, and will not have been helped by the Fermanagh effect.
And that’s it for our whistle-stop tour. We’ll be back with some thoughts about what this means, but in the meantime, discuss.
Rud eile: Have only just heard that Peter Hadden, long-serving leader of the Militant/Socialist Party in Belfast, has died. That’s very sad news indeed. RIP.