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North Down: Greens increase share in affluent Gold Coast

By Staff Reporter

Published 09/05/2016

Alex Easton
Alex Easton

The parties in North Down will go into Stormont in the same strength as they did after the 2011 election following a day-and-a-half long count.

While the final result remained the same, there was a change in the pecking order, with Green Party leader Steven Agnew attracting the second highest number of first preference votes, well up from his fifth place finish in 2011.

He substantially increased his share of the vote from 7.9% in 2011 to 12.7% - despite running against his former boss and ex-Green Party MLA Brian Wilson.

The DUP's Alex Easton topped the poll for the third consecutive election and increased his personal vote, even though his party's overall vote in the constituency dropped by 2.5%.

But just two candidates - Mr Easton and his party colleague Gordon Dunne - were deemed elected on the first day of the count.

Mr Agnew had to wait until Saturday morning to have his election confirmed.

The Ulster Unionists increased their vote share by 5% despite a risky strategy of running three candidates where they had previously had just one MLA, Leslie Cree.

Former independent candidate Alan Chambers was returned as an MLA on the 11th and final stage along with the third DUP candidate Peter Weir and Alliance's Stephen Farry.

Turnout in North Down was the lowest in Northern Ireland at 49%, although this was an increase on 45% at the last Assembly election in 2011.

Belfast Telegraph

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