Northern Ireland

Independent Alex Easton elected in North Down defeating Alliance deputy leader Stephen Farry

The seat is once again in the hands of a unionist candidate

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th July 2024 Alex Easton pictured as counting begins at the UK general election count in the Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast where counting takes place for Belfast East, Belfast West. Belfast North, Belfast South & Mid Down, North Down and Strangford. Of the 650 MPS that will be elected, 18 will represent constituencies in Northern Ireland. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye (Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye/Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye )

Independent Alex Easton has finally seen success in his fourth run at a Westminster seat, defeating incumbent Stephen Farry.

The Alliance deputy leader was elected in 2019 in a surprise victory, securing the only MP seat held by his party. Famously the first non-unionist candidate to be elected in the constituency, Farry saw his seat return back to unionism.

In 2019 Alex Easton who then ran for the DUP, came second to Farry by 2,968 votes.

This time around he defeated the Alliance deputy leader by a comfortable margin of over 7,000 votes.

Mr Easton, the new MP for North Down returned 20,913 votes, while Mr Farry returned 13,608 votes.

In an early blow for the UUP former British army colonel Tim Collins conceded his vote hadn’t held strong.

With 6,754 votes he polled third, but he accurately predicted that Mr Easton would take the seat.

Boundary changes were expected to favour Mr Farry but unlike 2019, both the Greens and the SDLP fielded candidates in this election.

The SDLP’s Deirdre Vaughn won 657, while Barry McKee secured a 1,247 votes for the Greens.

Independent Chris Carter walked away with only 117 votes.