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Constituency Profile: Nigel Dodds retains North Belfast seat

The DUP's Nigel Dodds hailed his fifth consecutive victory as a win for democracy and representation.

Speaking to the enthused Union flag-waving crowd at Belfast's Titanic Exhibition Centre, the veteran politician said: "This is a victory for democracy. It is a victory for representation and it is a victory which represents the largest DUP vote in the last 20 years.

"The DUP, in this election in north Belfast, has made history and there's more to come. This election was fought in the face of terrible terrorist atrocities across the UK and in this next parliament the DUP will play a very important role in terms of the great challenges that this country faces."

He polled 21,240 votes.

For a full list of results click here.

As the results were read out, a smiling Mr Dodds clutched his MEP wife Diane Dodds before turning to give the thumbs up to the scores of supporters including party leader Arlene Foster and his two new Westminster colleagues Gavin Robinson and Emma Little Pengelly.

Referencing his party's bolstered strength, he added: "We will play a full role in parliament as we did in the last parliament. And we will make our influence felt on behalf of the people of Northern Ireland.

"This is turning into a great night, not just for the DUP but a great night for the Union."

Sinn Féin's John Finucane, who received 19,159 votes, expressed pride in his first electoral campaign.

Mr Finucane, who saw his solicitor father Pat Finucane shot dead by loyalists in 1989, said: "I am exceptionally proud to have returned the biggest mandate any republican has ever returned in north Belfast."

Mr Finucane added an additional 6,000 votes on to Gerry Kelly's total in 2015, and increased the party's share of the vote by eight per cent.

However, Sinn Féin figures were conceding early on in the evening that despite a hugely impressive debut political display from Mr Finucane, the gap on Mr Dodds would be too big to pull back.

With the Ulster Unionists standing aside to allow Mr Dodds a free run, it was always going to be an uphill battle for Sinn Féin, although the DUP's majority was trimmed back to just over 2,000 votes for the first time since 2010.

The race between the two men saw the higest turnout for a Westminster election in North Belfast, at 67.56 per cent, since the day when Nigel Dodds first became MP 16 years ago.

Mr Finucane's progress came at the expense of the SDLP, who shedd more than 1,000 votes since the last election in 2015.

Martin McAuley, a press officer for the party, picked up 2,058 votes.

The run-off between the DUP and Sinn Féin saw the smaller parties also squeezed out, with Alliance and the Workers Party recording a dip of almost two per cent, with only the Greens' share of the vote increasing.


Nigel Dodds (DUP)  21,240 votes  46% of the vote
John Finucane (Sinn Féin) 19,159 votes 41.7% of the vote
Sam Nelson (Alliance)  2,475 votes  5.4% of the vote
Martin McAuley (SDLP)  2,058 votes 4.5%  of the vote
Malachai O'Hara (Greens) 644 votes 1.4& of the vote
Gemma Weir (Workers Party) 360 votes  0.8% of the vote

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