Assembly Election

Scrap for sixth seat ahead in West Tyrone

Eighteen candidates stood in West Tyrone

MUCH of the talk ahead of the election in West Tyrone has been speculation on whether it will be a case of 'independent's day' when the votes were counted.

Ballot papers were lengthy, with18 candidates in all, and just a third of them due to get a seat at Stormont.

And while several independent candidates put themselves up for election, it appears unlikely any will have enough support to make it across the line.

Judging by the number of ballot papers piling up on the bank of tables to Omagh Leisure Complex's main hall, Dr Josephine Deehan - formerly of the SDLP - seems the one most likely to garner enough votes.

However, she will be one of several scrapping it out for a sixth seat in what is expected to be a fiercely competitive count.

There had been concerns in SDLP quarters that they'd struggle with Deehan and another former member Patsy Kelly standing against them.

But SDLP candidiate Daniel McCrossan vote appears to have held up well.

Once again, Sinn Fein had fielded four runners, which party activists believe have polled at least 3,000 each.

Barry McElduff will almost definitely top the poll, although even he admits "that doesn't matter".

Two other Sinn Fein MLAs are expected when all is said and done, a fourth candidate will be involved in that scrap.

On the unionist side, Ross Hussey should get elected on first preference votes for the UUP.

But it remains to be seen if the DUP has managed its vote enough to get both its runners, Alan Bresland and Tom Buchanan across the line.

Assembly Election

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