David Simpson holds his Upper Bann seat
Published 07/05/2010 | 04:14
Democratic Unionist MP David Simpson held his Upper Bann seat, seeing off a challenge from a Freddie Mercury impersonator.
Harry Hamilton, whose stage name is Flash Harry, standing in his first election for the Ulster Conservative and Unionists New Force, came second cutting Simpson's majority to 3,300 votes.
Sinn Fein's John O'Dowd came third but stretched his 2005 lead over the SDLP's Dolores Kelly to 5,000 votes.
Afterwards Mr Simpson said his win was a reward for the DUP's hard work for their constituents.
However his joy at winning had been tempered by his party leader's shock defeat in East Belfast.
He said "He has been a very good leader but he has been through some difficult times.
"He will be missed in the Commons and I want him to stay as our leader."
Mr Hamilton said the vote in Upper Bann had been turned into a sectarian headcount with his party and the SDLP squeezed in the middle.
"It may be an old joke but some people say when you fly into New York you turn your watch back five hours; in Sydney it's 12 hours but when you fly into Belfast you turn it back 300 years."
Mr O'Dowd said Sinn Fein were satisfied with their result and he added that the fact that the campaign had been fought without acrimony was a sign of hope.