Belfast Telegraph

Kelly comeback queen but it's sad day for Dobson

Upper Bann

By Allan Preston

Ten months after losing her Upper Bann seat, no one expected to see the SDLP's Dolores Kelly back in front line politics so soon - especially her.

"I can tell you folks I'm very pleased and privileged to be back," she said to cheers.

Turnout was high in Upper Bann with 52,174 voters casting their ballot, 62.54% of the electorate. Mrs Kelly was elected at the sixth stage with 9,053 votes.

But her victory came at a price for the UUP, with Jo-Anne Dobson losing out.

She was noticeably absent from the Banbridge count centre.

Party colleague Doug Beattie has built his profile since first being elected last year, but still surprised many by polling ahead of Mrs Dobson.

The DUP's Carla Lockhart topped the count for the second year running with 9,140 first preferences.

DUP newcomer Jonathan Buckley stepped comfortably into the outgoing Sydney Anderson's shoes, with Sinn Fein's John O'Dowd also returned.

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