Northern Ireland

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood re-elected in Foyle

Sinn Féin eat into SDLP majority

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood celebrates his election in Foyle
SDLP leader Colum Eastwood celebrates his election in Foyle (Niall Carson/PA)

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood has been re-elected as MP for Foyle, in the Meadowbank Sports’ Arena count centre, in Magherafelt.

Mr Eastwood who has represented the constituency since 2019, received 15,647 votes, a reduction of 11,234 on his 2019 total of 26,881.

The number of eligible voters in Foyle was 73,496 and the total votes polled was 38, 765 – a percentage turnout of 52.74%.

Although the polls closed at 10.00pm on Thursday, the ballot boxes from the constituency did not arrive in Meadowbank until 12.30am, when the count eventually got underway.

At his party’s manifesto launch, Eastwood described Foyle as a “two-horse race” – between himself and Sinn Féin’s Sandra Duffy. Ms Duffy who finished second in the poll received 11,481 votes – an increase of 1,710 on 2019.

DUP candidate Gary Middleton received 3,915 votes, a decrease of 858. UUP candidate Janice Montgomery increased her party’s vote by 332, to 1,422.

Interestingly, Rachel Ferguson of the Alliance Party polled 1 more vote on Thursday than she did in 2019 – 1,268. Shaun Harkin of People Before Profit saw his vote increase by 1,112 to 2,444. Anne McCloskey saw her vote decrease from 2,032 in 2019 to 1,519 on Thursday.