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Ritchie re-elected in South Down


SDLP leader Margaret Ritchie

SDLP leader Margaret Ritchie

SDLP leader Margaret Ritchie

SDLP leader Margaret Ritchie has been safely re-elected in South Down.

The sitting MP for the constituency took more than 2,500 votes over the quota in the first count.

But the spread of ballots for the party has raised questions as to whether transfers will help them secure another two seats.

Sinn Fein's Catriona Ruane was returned to Stormont on the second count, on 6,192 votes.

Both the SDLP and Sinn Fein were hopeful of taking a third seat in South Down after boundary changes increased the nationalist population there.

While the DUP's Jim Wells looks set to get over the line, with 5,200 first preferences, it remains to be seen if the UUP's deputy leader John McCallister will have a fight for the final seat in the six-seater constituency. The quota was 5,961 votes.

In the South Antrim constituency, two DUP men and a leading figure in Sinn Fein celebrated side by side as they were elected on the first count.

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But the Alliance Party's Justice Minister in the Stormont Executive narrowly missed getting in on the first count as well.

David Ford was just 41 votes short of the quota, but was later elected on the second count.

Paul Girvan of the DUP topped the poll and Mitchel McLaughlin of Sinn Fein was second in the count, 55 votes ahead of the DUP's Trevor Clarke.

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