Constituency Profile: Francie Molloy holds Mid-Ulster
Sinn Féin's Francie Molloy, who won his Mid Ulster seat for a third time, called on his supporters to remember the former deputy first minister, Martin McGuinness, who died earlier this year.
During his acceptance speech Mr Molloy said: "I would like to thank the people of Mid Ulster for renewing the mandate that we have here. A mandate gained by Martin McGuinness 20 years ago and we remember him tonight."
Mr Molloy first won the MP seat in a by-election in 2013, after Mr McGuinness stood down.
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He also reminded the DUP and the other parties of Sinn Fein's stance for when they all return to Stormont negotiations next week.
"The negotiation is about building for the people, it is not about going back to the status quo," he said.
"We want to build a good structure but it has to be on the basis of respect, it has to be on the basis of an end to austerity and it has to be on the basis of the freedom of the people of Ireland."
Mr Molloy (66) was a clear winner on the night, polling nearly 13,000 more than his closest rival, DUP candidate Keith Buchanan.
Although turnout was over 68 per cent, the SDLP failed to make any inroads.
Malachy Quinn saw the party's vote slip by over two per cent to 4,563.
In 2015 the Mid Ulster councillor secured 5,055 votes and would have hoped to have held his ground at least.
Despite securing only around half of Sinn Féin’s total, the DUP’s defeated candidate Keith Buchanan put in an impressive performance with 12,565 votes.
In 2015 his party colleague Ian McCrea was beaten into third place by the UUP after securing just 5,465.
The UUP’s fortunes in Mid Ulster meanwhile tumbled with Mark Glasgow taking just 3,017 votes – down from 6,318 in 2015.
Earlier this year the party was dealt a blow when its only MLA Sandra Overend lost her seat in the assembly elections.
The Alliance Party’s Fay Watson meanwhile polled 1,094, a slight increase on the party’s last showing.
Francie Molloy (SF) 25,455 (54.51%) +5.80%
Keith Buchanan (DUP) 12,565 (26.91%) +13.55%
Malachy Quinn (SDLP) 4,563 (9.77%) -2.58%
Mark Glasgow (UUP) 3,017 (6.46%) -8.98%
Fay Watson (All) 1,094 (2.34%) +0.44%
Turnout 46,694 (68.18%) +7.85%
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