Assembly Election

As you were in East Antrim Assembly election

The DUP's David Hilditch was the first man elected in East Antrim. Picture Matt Bohill
Gareth McKeown

After DUP stalwart David Hilditch was elected at the first count you could have been forgiven for expecting a swift conclusion to proceedings at the Valley Leisure Centre.

In truth it was anything but as into Saturday afternoon a fight was on to secure the final two seats with the DUP, UUP and UKIP all looking to win representation.

Predictably it was Mr Hilditch who benefited from the absence of Sammy Wilson from the constituency to be elected at the first time of asking.

Mr Hilditch, who has held his seat since 1998, comfortably beat his best ever election result, polling 2,618 more first preference votes than in 2011 and was visibly beaming when the result was announced.

Mr Hilditch was the clear poll topper taking 5,906 first preference votes and comfortably covering the quota of 4,631.

Shortly after 9pm on Friday, some seven hours later the announcement came through that the DUP’s Gordan Lyons and Ulster Unionist Party representative Roy Beggs Jr had also reached the quota.

That was how it remained on Friday and once again on Saturday the early election of Alliance’s Stewart Dickson promised a swift conclusion to proceedings, but it was another false dawn.

At the end of stage 11 of the count it was a straight fight between Oliver McMullan of Sinn Fein, the DUP’s Alastair Ross and the surprise package UKIP’s Noel Jordan.

An interesting number of sub-plots were at play with the DUP looking to return their three candidates, Roy Beggs hoping to be elected for a fifth time and a first seat on the cards in East Antrim for UKIP.

In the end it was Alastair Ross and Oliver McMullan elected, just squeezing out Noel Jordan for the final two seats.

Another strong result for the DUP making it a case of as you were in East Antrim.

Elected: David Hilditch (DUP), Gordon Lyons (DUP), Roy Beggs (UUP), Stewart Dickson (Alliance), Alastair Ross (DUP), Oliver McMullan (SF)

Assembly Election

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