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South Belfast: Battle of old and new DUP ends in a damp squib

By Staff Reporter

Published 09/05/2016

Emma Little Pengelly speaks after her election
Emma Little Pengelly speaks after her election
Ruth Patterson

The highly anticipated battle between high-profile flag protester Ruth Patterson and her former DUP colleague Emma Little Pengelly fell flat when the former received just 475 first preference votes.

In comparison, Ms Little Pengelly secured 4,511 first preferences - although she still had to wait to count 12 before she reached the quota.

Ms Patterson, who quit the DUP when Ms Little Pengelly was chosen instead of her to replace stalwart Jimmy Spratt at Stormont, has since confirmed she is quitting politics when her term as a Belfast councillor ends.

Sinn Fein topped the poll with Mairtin O Muilleoir's 5,207 votes. He was the first candidate elected in South Belfast when he reached the quota on count five.

Upon his election, he joked: "How do you spell elected?" as he tweeted his success.

Alliance's Paula Bradshaw, who replaced Anna Lo, was second to be elected.

Claire Hanna of the SDLP took the third seat shortly after midnight. Her party colleague Fearghal McKinney - who was co-opted to replace Conal McDevitt following his sudden resignation in 2013 - was left disappointed when he lost his Assembly seat.

It was Saturday morning before the final three candidates - Clare Bailey of the Green Party, and the DUP's Ms Little Pengelly and Christopher Stalford, were confirmed as elected.

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