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Adams' party bags a hat-trick in rural heartland

West Tyrone

By Cate McCurry

In West Tyrone Sinn Fein had been expected to lose a seat, but returned all three candidates.

But the vote rose for Gerry Adams' party by over 5,000, with Barry McElduff and Michaela Boyle and Declan McAleer taking seats easily.

The constituency saw an increase in nationalist voters plus a turnout of almost 70% - a 10% rise from last year.

The DUP's Thomas Buchanan topped the poll with 9,064 votes, just 1,300 ahead of Ms Boyle.

Outspoken SDLP man Daniel McCrossan also performed better in this election and was returned on the same count as Mr McAleer.

The Ulster Unionists lost their seat here. Party stalwart Ross Hussey had said he would not be running, leaving Alicia Clarke to face a huge battle that, in the end, she could not win.

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