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McCausland gone as constituency sees balance shift

North Belfast

By Rebecca Black

There was a major blow for the DUP in one of the most polarised constituencies when it lost big hitter Nelson McCausland.

The first DUP MLA to be elected, Paula Bradley, said her party's vote went up, but spoke of her sadness at the loss of her colleague.

While the last election gave us three unionist MLAs (all DUP) and three nationalists (two Sinn Fein and one SDLP), the DUP lost out in the seat cut. No new faces won, with Ms Bradley and William Humphrey returning for the DUP, Gerry Kelly and Caral Ni Chuilin for Sinn Fein, and Nichola Mallon for the SDLP.

The Alliance Party's Nuala McAlister, who will shorty take over as Lord Mayor of Belfast, just missed out, finishing some 1,000 votes behind Ms Ni Chuilin.

In his acceptance speech poll-topper Mr Kelly rejoiced in the new majority, which could have implications for Nigel Dodds' Westminster seat at the next general election. "This is an historic day with three nationalists elected," he said.

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