Belfast Telegraph

Foyle: Eamonn McCann clinches seat for People Before Profit

Veteran campaigner provides one of the biggest shocks of day, while McLaughlin's exit leaves constituency with no female representatives

By Donna Deeney

The end of the counting process in the Foyle constituency resulted in quite a few changes, most dramatically the election of veteran campaigner, Eamonn McCann for People Before Profit.

It is fair to say that both Sinn Fein and SDLP suffered.  For the SDLP the failure of Gerard Diver to secure enough votes to retain the third seat this party has held since the formation of the Assembly.

Party Leader, Colum Eastwood and Mark H Durkan return to Stormont.

On paper Sinn Fein have maintain the status quo but this was a party that pulled out all the stops to take a third seat that has remained elusive so in that respect it also failed.

The casualty was Maeve McLaughlin who took the hit while Martin McGuinness, drafted over from the safety of  his Mid Ulster seat, and Raymond McCartney secured enough votes for them to be deemed elected.

It was also a case of "as you were" for the DUP with the election of Gary Middleton.

He had been co-opted to replace William Hay who retired and was the first person to be returned for this constituency.

Fears that the presence of his former party colleague, Maurice Devenney who parted company from the DUP under a cloud of acrimony on the ballot paper would endanger the only available unionist seat fell to nothing when all was said and done.

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