Belfast Telegraph

McCallion blows away opponents to claim her seat


By Donna Deeney

At first glance Foyle has a familiar look, with two SDLP MLAs, two Sinn Fein and one DUP. But a closer inspection shows the dominance of Sinn Fein in what was once an SDLP stronghold.

The 9,205 first preference votes for Elisha McCallion blew everyone else out of the water, with party colleague Raymond McCartney close behind.

Sinn Fein and the SDLP played it safe, fielding two candidates each, and it proved a wise move.

The battle for the fifth seat drew speculation about whether People Before Profit's Eamonn McCann would hang on. He failed to, but his efforts in office did not go unnoticed, with Colum Eastwood and the DUP's Gary Middleton paying tribute to him.

While Mr Middleton was re-elected, the result told another story for the party. This is a far cry from the days of the past when William Hay was not only elected on the first count, but topped the poll in 2007 and 2011. So while it may seem there has been little change, it's doubtful things will be the same again.

Belfast Telegraph

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