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Conor Murphy romps home for Sinn Fein in Newry and Armagh election

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Poll toppers John ODowd Sinn Fein Upper Bann and Conor Murphy Sinn Fein Newry and Armagh. Photo Paul Byrne

Poll toppers John ODowd Sinn Fein Upper Bann and Conor Murphy Sinn Fein Newry and Armagh. Photo Paul Byrne

PAUL BYRNE

Gregory Campbell celebrates with his wife Frances and party workers after he was reelected to the Northern Ireland Assembly

Gregory Campbell celebrates with his wife Frances and party workers after he was reelected to the Northern Ireland Assembly

Martin McKeown

DUP Sammy Wilson happy with how the East Antrim counting is going  in the Valley Leisure Centre for the Assembley election count.

DUP Sammy Wilson happy with how the East Antrim counting is going in the Valley Leisure Centre for the Assembley election count.

East Londonderry MLA George Robinson (DUP)  at yesterdays count in LIsneal College. PIcture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 6.5.11

East Londonderry MLA George Robinson (DUP) at yesterdays count in LIsneal College. PIcture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 6.5.11

Martin McKeown

Eamonn McCann

Eamonn McCann

Martin McKeown

Pol Callaghan (SDLP) who was one of the Foyle MLA's standing for re-election  at yesterdays count in LIsneal College. PIcture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 6.5.11

Pol Callaghan (SDLP) who was one of the Foyle MLA's standing for re-election at yesterdays count in LIsneal College. PIcture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 6.5.11

Martin McKeown

PACEMAKER BELFAST   6/5/2011DUP Nelson McCausland  as the ballot boxes are opened for counting in the Valley Leisure Centre for the North Belfast Assembley election count in the Northern Ireland Assembely.Photo Colm O'Reilly/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST 6/5/2011DUP Nelson McCausland as the ballot boxes are opened for counting in the Valley Leisure Centre for the North Belfast Assembley election count in the Northern Ireland Assembely.Photo Colm O'Reilly/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST   6/5/2011 DUP Nigel Dodds as the ballot boxes are opened for counting in the Valley Leisure Centre for the Antrim Council election count.Photo Colm O'Reilly/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST 6/5/2011 DUP Nigel Dodds as the ballot boxes are opened for counting in the Valley Leisure Centre for the Antrim Council election count.Photo Colm O'Reilly/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST   6/5/2011Raymond McCord  Independent and Sinn Feins Gerry Kelly at the counting in the Valley Leisure Centre for the soth Antrim  Assembley count for the Northern Ireland Assembely election.Photo Colm O'Reilly/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST 6/5/2011Raymond McCord Independent and Sinn Feins Gerry Kelly at the counting in the Valley Leisure Centre for the soth Antrim Assembley count for the Northern Ireland Assembely election.Photo Colm O'Reilly/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST   6/5/2011 DUP Sammy Wilson happy with how the East Antrim counting is going  in the Valley Leisure Centre for the Assembley election count.Photo Colm O'Reilly/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST 6/5/2011 DUP Sammy Wilson happy with how the East Antrim counting is going in the Valley Leisure Centre for the Assembley election count.Photo Colm O'Reilly/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST   6/5/2011Stewart Dickson Alliance Party checks how the East Antrim counting is going  in the Valley Leisure Centre for the Assembley election count.Photo Colm O'Reilly/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST 6/5/2011Stewart Dickson Alliance Party checks how the East Antrim counting is going in the Valley Leisure Centre for the Assembley election count.Photo Colm O'Reilly/Pacemaker Press

First Minister and DUP leader Peter Robinson arrives at the count in Newtownards Leisure Centre in the Northern Ireland Assembly elections.

First Minister and DUP leader Peter Robinson arrives at the count in Newtownards Leisure Centre in the Northern Ireland Assembly elections.

First Minister and DUP leader Peter Robinson, pictured with daughter Rebekah, puts on an id braclet after he was asked for id before being allowed to enter the count at Newtownards Leisure Centre in the Northern Ireland Assembly elections

First Minister and DUP leader Peter Robinson, pictured with daughter Rebekah, puts on an id braclet after he was asked for id before being allowed to enter the count at Newtownards Leisure Centre in the Northern Ireland Assembly elections

Pacemaker Press 6/5/2011 A delay at the Counts in the King's Hall for the West and South   Belfast assembly elections Pic Colm Lenaghan

Pacemaker Press 6/5/2011 A delay at the Counts in the King's Hall for the West and South Belfast assembly elections Pic Colm Lenaghan

Pacemaker Press 6/5/2011 SDLP's Alastair McDonnell with his family  at  the Counts in  the King's Hall for the South Belfast  assembly elections Pic Colm Lenaghan

Pacemaker Press 6/5/2011 SDLP's Alastair McDonnell with his family at the Counts in the King's Hall for the South Belfast assembly elections Pic Colm Lenaghan

 ©Mark Pearce/Presseye.com- 6th May   2011  Press Eye Ltd- Northern Ireland  _____ Mandatory Credit - Photo  Mark Pearce/Presseye.comElecion Copunt @ Seven Towers Leisure Centre in BallymenaNorth Antrim /Mid Ulster Count Ian Paisley Junior   at the North Antrim Count  Mandatory Credit Photo Mark Pearce / Presseye.com

©Mark Pearce/Presseye.com- 6th May 2011 Press Eye Ltd- Northern Ireland _____ Mandatory Credit - Photo Mark Pearce/Presseye.comElecion Copunt @ Seven Towers Leisure Centre in BallymenaNorth Antrim /Mid Ulster Count Ian Paisley Junior at the North Antrim Count Mandatory Credit Photo Mark Pearce / Presseye.com

 ©Mark Pearce/Presseye.com- 6th May   2011  Press Eye Ltd- Northern Ireland  _____ Mandatory Credit - Photo  Mark Pearce/Presseye.comElecion Copunt @ Seven Towers Leisure Centre in BallymenaNorth Antrim /Mid Ulster Count Ian Paisley Junior   at the North Antrim Count  Mandatory Credit Photo Mark Pearce / Presseye.com

©Mark Pearce/Presseye.com- 6th May 2011 Press Eye Ltd- Northern Ireland _____ Mandatory Credit - Photo Mark Pearce/Presseye.comElecion Copunt @ Seven Towers Leisure Centre in BallymenaNorth Antrim /Mid Ulster Count Ian Paisley Junior at the North Antrim Count Mandatory Credit Photo Mark Pearce / Presseye.com

 ©Mark Pearce/Presseye.com- 6th May   2011  Press Eye Ltd- Northern Ireland  _____ Mandatory Credit - Photo  Mark Pearce/Presseye.comElecion Copunt @ Seven Towers Leisure Centre in BallymenaNorth Antrim /Mid Ulster Count  Mandatory Credit Photo Mark Pearce / Presseye.com

©Mark Pearce/Presseye.com- 6th May 2011 Press Eye Ltd- Northern Ireland _____ Mandatory Credit - Photo Mark Pearce/Presseye.comElecion Copunt @ Seven Towers Leisure Centre in BallymenaNorth Antrim /Mid Ulster Count Mandatory Credit Photo Mark Pearce / Presseye.com

 ©Mark Pearce/Presseye.com- 6th May   2011  Press Eye Ltd- Northern Ireland  _____ Mandatory Credit - Photo  Mark Pearce/Presseye.comElecion Copunt @ Seven Towers Leisure Centre in BallymenaNorth Antrim /Mid Ulster Count  Mandatory Credit Photo Mark Pearce / Presseye.com

©Mark Pearce/Presseye.com- 6th May 2011 Press Eye Ltd- Northern Ireland _____ Mandatory Credit - Photo Mark Pearce/Presseye.comElecion Copunt @ Seven Towers Leisure Centre in BallymenaNorth Antrim /Mid Ulster Count Mandatory Credit Photo Mark Pearce / Presseye.com

 ©Mark Pearce/Presseye.com- 6th May   2011  Press Eye Ltd- Northern Ireland  _____ Mandatory Credit - Photo  Mark Pearce/Presseye.comElecion Copunt @ Seven Towers Leisure Centre in BallymenaNorth Antrim /Mid Ulster Count  Mandatory Credit Photo Mark Pearce / Presseye.com

©Mark Pearce/Presseye.com- 6th May 2011 Press Eye Ltd- Northern Ireland _____ Mandatory Credit - Photo Mark Pearce/Presseye.comElecion Copunt @ Seven Towers Leisure Centre in BallymenaNorth Antrim /Mid Ulster Count Mandatory Credit Photo Mark Pearce / Presseye.com

 ©Mark Pearce/Presseye.com- 6th May   2011  Press Eye Ltd- Northern Ireland  _____ Mandatory Credit - Photo  Mark Pearce/Presseye.comElecion Copunt @ Seven Towers Leisure Centre in BallymenaNorth Antrim /Mid Ulster Count  Mandatory Credit Photo Mark Pearce / Presseye.com

©Mark Pearce/Presseye.com- 6th May 2011 Press Eye Ltd- Northern Ireland _____ Mandatory Credit - Photo Mark Pearce/Presseye.comElecion Copunt @ Seven Towers Leisure Centre in BallymenaNorth Antrim /Mid Ulster Count Mandatory Credit Photo Mark Pearce / Presseye.com

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -Monday 5th May 2011 - Picture by Jonathan Porter/ PressEye.com -  Counting starts at different count centers across Northern Ireland after voters went to the polls yesterday to elect new members for the Stormont Assembly and local  councils.  Voters are also took part in the referendum regarding the way Westminster MPs are elected.  Counting starts at the Kings Hall in south Belfast.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -Monday 5th May 2011 - Picture by Jonathan Porter/ PressEye.com - Counting starts at different count centers across Northern Ireland after voters went to the polls yesterday to elect new members for the Stormont Assembly and local councils. Voters are also took part in the referendum regarding the way Westminster MPs are elected. Counting starts at the Kings Hall in south Belfast.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -Monday 5th May 2011 - Picture by Jonathan Porter/ PressEye.com -  Counting starts at different count centers across Northern Ireland after voters went to the polls yesterday to elect new members for the Stormont Assembly and local  councils.  Voters are also took part in the referendum regarding the way Westminster MPs are elected.  Counting starts at the Kings Hall in south Belfast.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -Monday 5th May 2011 - Picture by Jonathan Porter/ PressEye.com - Counting starts at different count centers across Northern Ireland after voters went to the polls yesterday to elect new members for the Stormont Assembly and local councils. Voters are also took part in the referendum regarding the way Westminster MPs are elected. Counting starts at the Kings Hall in south Belfast.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -Monday 5th May 2011 - Picture by Jonathan Porter/ PressEye.com -  Counting starts at different count centers across Northern Ireland after voters went to the polls yesterday to elect new members for the Stormont Assembly and local  councils.  Voters are also took part in the referendum regarding the way Westminster MPs are elected.  Counting starts at the Kings Hall in south Belfast.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -Monday 5th May 2011 - Picture by Jonathan Porter/ PressEye.com - Counting starts at different count centers across Northern Ireland after voters went to the polls yesterday to elect new members for the Stormont Assembly and local councils. Voters are also took part in the referendum regarding the way Westminster MPs are elected. Counting starts at the Kings Hall in south Belfast.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -Monday 5th May 2011 - Picture by Jonathan Porter/ PressEye.com -  Counting starts at different count centers across Northern Ireland after voters went to the polls yesterday to elect new members for the Stormont Assembly and local  councils.  Voters are also took part in the referendum regarding the way Westminster MPs are elected.  Left to right.  Sinn Fein's Mary Lou McDonald, Gerry Adams and Pat Sheehan pictured at the Kings Hall.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -Monday 5th May 2011 - Picture by Jonathan Porter/ PressEye.com - Counting starts at different count centers across Northern Ireland after voters went to the polls yesterday to elect new members for the Stormont Assembly and local councils. Voters are also took part in the referendum regarding the way Westminster MPs are elected. Left to right. Sinn Fein's Mary Lou McDonald, Gerry Adams and Pat Sheehan pictured at the Kings Hall.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -Monday 5th May 2011 - Picture by Jonathan Porter/ PressEye.com -  Counting starts at different count centers across Northern Ireland after voters went to the polls yesterday to elect new members for the Stormont Assembly and local  councils.  Voters are also took part in the referendum regarding the way Westminster MPs are elected.  Left to right.  Sinn Fein's Mary Lou McDonald and Gerry Adams pictured at the Kings Hall.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -Monday 5th May 2011 - Picture by Jonathan Porter/ PressEye.com - Counting starts at different count centers across Northern Ireland after voters went to the polls yesterday to elect new members for the Stormont Assembly and local councils. Voters are also took part in the referendum regarding the way Westminster MPs are elected. Left to right. Sinn Fein's Mary Lou McDonald and Gerry Adams pictured at the Kings Hall.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -Monday 5th May 2011 - Picture by Jonathan Porter/ PressEye.com -  Counting starts at different count centers across Northern Ireland after voters went to the polls yesterday to elect new members for the Stormont Assembly and local  councils.  Voters are also took part in the referendum regarding the way Westminster MPs are elected.  The DUP's Brian Kingston at the Kings Hall.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -Monday 5th May 2011 - Picture by Jonathan Porter/ PressEye.com - Counting starts at different count centers across Northern Ireland after voters went to the polls yesterday to elect new members for the Stormont Assembly and local councils. Voters are also took part in the referendum regarding the way Westminster MPs are elected. The DUP's Brian Kingston at the Kings Hall.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -Monday 5th May 2011 - Picture by Jonathan Porter/ PressEye.com -  Counting starts at different count centers across Northern Ireland after voters went to the polls yesterday to elect new members for the Stormont Assembly and local  councils.  Voters are also took part in the referendum regarding the way Westminster MPs are elected.  Sinn Fein's Alex Maskey at the Kings Hall.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -Monday 5th May 2011 - Picture by Jonathan Porter/ PressEye.com - Counting starts at different count centers across Northern Ireland after voters went to the polls yesterday to elect new members for the Stormont Assembly and local councils. Voters are also took part in the referendum regarding the way Westminster MPs are elected. Sinn Fein's Alex Maskey at the Kings Hall.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -Monday 5th May 2011 - Picture by Jonathan Porter/ PressEye.com -  Counting starts at different count centers across Northern Ireland after voters went to the polls yesterday to elect new members for the Stormont Assembly and local  councils.  Voters are also took part in the referendum regarding the way Westminster MPs are elected.  Alliance's Anna Lo at the Kings Hall.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -Monday 5th May 2011 - Picture by Jonathan Porter/ PressEye.com - Counting starts at different count centers across Northern Ireland after voters went to the polls yesterday to elect new members for the Stormont Assembly and local councils. Voters are also took part in the referendum regarding the way Westminster MPs are elected. Alliance's Anna Lo at the Kings Hall.

Noel McCurdy and Johnny Currie from Rathlin Island hand over The Rathlin Island Ballot boxes to  Richard Lewis Chief Executive of Moyle District Council as he brings them ashore at Ballycastle late on Thursday night, before they were were transferred to Ballymena counting centre for vertification.

Noel McCurdy and Johnny Currie from Rathlin Island hand over The Rathlin Island Ballot boxes to Richard Lewis Chief Executive of Moyle District Council as he brings them ashore at Ballycastle late on Thursday night, before they were were transferred to Ballymena counting centre for vertification.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -Monday 5th May 2011 - Picture by Jonathan Porter/ PressEye.com -  Counting starts at different count centers across Northern Ireland after voters went to the polls yesterday to elect new members for the Stormont Assembly and local  councils.  Voters are also took part in the referendum regarding the way Westminster MPs are elected.  Counting starts at the Kings Hall in south Belfast.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -Monday 5th May 2011 - Picture by Jonathan Porter/ PressEye.com - Counting starts at different count centers across Northern Ireland after voters went to the polls yesterday to elect new members for the Stormont Assembly and local councils. Voters are also took part in the referendum regarding the way Westminster MPs are elected. Counting starts at the Kings Hall in south Belfast.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -Monday 5th May 2011 - Picture by Jonathan Porter/ PressEye.com -  Counting starts at different count centers across Northern Ireland after voters went to the polls yesterday to elect new members for the Stormont Assembly and local  councils.  Voters are also took part in the referendum regarding the way Westminster MPs are elected.  Counting starts at the Kings Hall in south Belfast.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -Monday 5th May 2011 - Picture by Jonathan Porter/ PressEye.com - Counting starts at different count centers across Northern Ireland after voters went to the polls yesterday to elect new members for the Stormont Assembly and local councils. Voters are also took part in the referendum regarding the way Westminster MPs are elected. Counting starts at the Kings Hall in south Belfast.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -Monday 5th May 2011 - Picture by Jonathan Porter/ PressEye.com -  Counting starts at different count centers across Northern Ireland after voters went to the polls yesterday to elect new members for the Stormont Assembly and local  councils.  Voters are also took part in the referendum regarding the way Westminster MPs are elected.  Counting starts at the Kings Hall in south Belfast.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -Monday 5th May 2011 - Picture by Jonathan Porter/ PressEye.com - Counting starts at different count centers across Northern Ireland after voters went to the polls yesterday to elect new members for the Stormont Assembly and local councils. Voters are also took part in the referendum regarding the way Westminster MPs are elected. Counting starts at the Kings Hall in south Belfast.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -Monday 5th May 2011 - Picture by Jonathan Porter/ PressEye.com -  Counting starts at different count centers across Northern Ireland after voters went to the polls yesterday to elect new members for the Stormont Assembly and local  councils.  Voters are also took part in the referendum regarding the way Westminster MPs are elected.  Counting starts at the Kings Hall in south Belfast.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -Monday 5th May 2011 - Picture by Jonathan Porter/ PressEye.com - Counting starts at different count centers across Northern Ireland after voters went to the polls yesterday to elect new members for the Stormont Assembly and local councils. Voters are also took part in the referendum regarding the way Westminster MPs are elected. Counting starts at the Kings Hall in south Belfast.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -Monday 5th May 2011 - Picture by Jonathan Porter/ PressEye.com -  Counting starts at different count centers across Northern Ireland after voters went to the polls yesterday to elect new members for the Stormont Assembly and local  councils.  Voters are also took part in the referendum regarding the way Westminster MPs are elected.  Counting starts at the Kings Hall in south Belfast.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -Monday 5th May 2011 - Picture by Jonathan Porter/ PressEye.com - Counting starts at different count centers across Northern Ireland after voters went to the polls yesterday to elect new members for the Stormont Assembly and local councils. Voters are also took part in the referendum regarding the way Westminster MPs are elected. Counting starts at the Kings Hall in south Belfast.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -Monday 5th May 2011 - Picture by Jonathan Porter/ PressEye.com -  Counting starts at different count centers across Northern Ireland after voters went to the polls yesterday to elect new members for the Stormont Assembly and local  councils.  Voters are also took part in the referendum regarding the way Westminster MPs are elected.  Counting starts at the Kings Hall in south Belfast.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -Monday 5th May 2011 - Picture by Jonathan Porter/ PressEye.com - Counting starts at different count centers across Northern Ireland after voters went to the polls yesterday to elect new members for the Stormont Assembly and local councils. Voters are also took part in the referendum regarding the way Westminster MPs are elected. Counting starts at the Kings Hall in south Belfast.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -Monday 5th May 2011 - Picture by Jonathan Porter/ PressEye.com -  Counting starts at different count centers across Northern Ireland after voters went to the polls yesterday to elect new members for the Stormont Assembly and local  councils.  Voters are also took part in the referendum regarding the way Westminster MPs are elected.  Counting starts at the Kings Hall in south Belfast.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -Monday 5th May 2011 - Picture by Jonathan Porter/ PressEye.com - Counting starts at different count centers across Northern Ireland after voters went to the polls yesterday to elect new members for the Stormont Assembly and local councils. Voters are also took part in the referendum regarding the way Westminster MPs are elected. Counting starts at the Kings Hall in south Belfast.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -Monday 5th May 2011 - Picture by Jonathan Porter/ PressEye.com -  Counting starts at different count centers across Northern Ireland after voters went to the polls yesterday to elect new members for the Stormont Assembly and local  councils.  Voters are also took part in the referendum regarding the way Westminster MPs are elected.  Counting starts at the Kings Hall in south Belfast.  Sinn Feins Alex Maskey and the DUP's Jimmy Spratt.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -Monday 5th May 2011 - Picture by Jonathan Porter/ PressEye.com - Counting starts at different count centers across Northern Ireland after voters went to the polls yesterday to elect new members for the Stormont Assembly and local councils. Voters are also took part in the referendum regarding the way Westminster MPs are elected. Counting starts at the Kings Hall in south Belfast. Sinn Feins Alex Maskey and the DUP's Jimmy Spratt.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -Monday 5th May 2011 - Picture by Jonathan Porter/ PressEye.com -  Counting starts at different count centers across Northern Ireland after voters went to the polls yesterday to elect new members for the Stormont Assembly and local  councils.  Voters are also took part in the referendum regarding the way Westminster MPs are elected.  Counting starts at the Kings Hall in south Belfast.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -Monday 5th May 2011 - Picture by Jonathan Porter/ PressEye.com - Counting starts at different count centers across Northern Ireland after voters went to the polls yesterday to elect new members for the Stormont Assembly and local councils. Voters are also took part in the referendum regarding the way Westminster MPs are elected. Counting starts at the Kings Hall in south Belfast.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -Monday 5th May 2011 - Picture by Jonathan Porter/ PressEye.com -  Counting starts at different count centers across Northern Ireland after voters went to the polls yesterday to elect new members for the Stormont Assembly and local  councils.  Voters are also took part in the referendum regarding the way Westminster MPs are elected.  Counting starts at the Kings Hall in south Belfast.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -Monday 5th May 2011 - Picture by Jonathan Porter/ PressEye.com - Counting starts at different count centers across Northern Ireland after voters went to the polls yesterday to elect new members for the Stormont Assembly and local councils. Voters are also took part in the referendum regarding the way Westminster MPs are elected. Counting starts at the Kings Hall in south Belfast.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -Monday 5th May 2011 - Picture by Jonathan Porter/ PressEye.com -  Counting starts at different count centers across Northern Ireland after voters went to the polls yesterday to elect new members for the Stormont Assembly and local  councils.  Voters are also took part in the referendum regarding the way Westminster MPs are elected.  Counting starts at the Kings Hall in south Belfast.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -Monday 5th May 2011 - Picture by Jonathan Porter/ PressEye.com - Counting starts at different count centers across Northern Ireland after voters went to the polls yesterday to elect new members for the Stormont Assembly and local councils. Voters are also took part in the referendum regarding the way Westminster MPs are elected. Counting starts at the Kings Hall in south Belfast.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -Monday 5th May 2011 - Picture by Jonathan Porter/ PressEye.com -  Counting starts at different count centers across Northern Ireland after voters went to the polls yesterday to elect new members for the Stormont Assembly and local  councils.  Voters are also took part in the referendum regarding the way Westminster MPs are elected.  Sinn Fein's Pat Sheehan pictured at the Kings Hall.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -Monday 5th May 2011 - Picture by Jonathan Porter/ PressEye.com - Counting starts at different count centers across Northern Ireland after voters went to the polls yesterday to elect new members for the Stormont Assembly and local councils. Voters are also took part in the referendum regarding the way Westminster MPs are elected. Sinn Fein's Pat Sheehan pictured at the Kings Hall.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -Monday 5th May 2011 - Picture by Jonathan Porter/ PressEye.com -  Counting starts at different count centers across Northern Ireland after voters went to the polls yesterday to elect new members for the Stormont Assembly and local  councils.  Voters are also took part in the referendum regarding the way Westminster MPs are elected.  Counting starts at the Kings Hall in south Belfast.  The DUP's Nigel Dodds pictured at the Kings Hall.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -Monday 5th May 2011 - Picture by Jonathan Porter/ PressEye.com - Counting starts at different count centers across Northern Ireland after voters went to the polls yesterday to elect new members for the Stormont Assembly and local councils. Voters are also took part in the referendum regarding the way Westminster MPs are elected. Counting starts at the Kings Hall in south Belfast. The DUP's Nigel Dodds pictured at the Kings Hall.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -Monday 5th May 2011 - Picture by Jonathan Porter/ PressEye.com -  Counting starts at different count centers across Northern Ireland after voters went to the polls yesterday to elect new members for the Stormont Assembly and local  councils.  Voters are also took part in the referendum regarding the way Westminster MPs are elected.  Counting starts at the Kings Hall in south Belfast.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -Monday 5th May 2011 - Picture by Jonathan Porter/ PressEye.com - Counting starts at different count centers across Northern Ireland after voters went to the polls yesterday to elect new members for the Stormont Assembly and local councils. Voters are also took part in the referendum regarding the way Westminster MPs are elected. Counting starts at the Kings Hall in south Belfast.

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Poll toppers John ODowd Sinn Fein Upper Bann and Conor Murphy Sinn Fein Newry and Armagh. Photo Paul Byrne

Sinn Fein's Conor Murphy romped home in Newry and Armagh despite months of pressure over his handling of the Northern Ireland water crisis.





He was one of three outgoing Stormont MLAs re-elected on the first count and was the first to be returned to the Assembly.

Mr Murphy, Ulster Unionist Danny Kennedy and Dominic Bradley from the SDLP passed the first count quota in a constituency in which all six MLAs elected in 2007 are expected to win back their seats.

It is the only constituency in which all Assembly members returned to seek re-election.

Sinn Fein dominated in 2007 and the party's Regional Development Minister, Conor Murphy, has been topping the poll since 2005.

He gained 9,127 first preference votes, showing that negative publicity over the Northern Ireland Water crisis at Christmas did not affect his chances of re-gaining his seat.

The party's two other candidates, Cathal Boylan and Mickey Brady, are also expected to be safe in the forthcoming counts.

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Mr Kennedy had the second highest number of first preference votes at 8,718. Newry and Armagh is a constituency in which the UUP was expected to open up a lead over the DUP.

The MLA, who enjoys a high profile role as Employment and Learning Minister, said he was delighted at the outcome: "This is a stunning result for the UUP. It shows our hard work, dedication and team work."

However, he would not be drawn on talk of demise in the number of Ulster Unionist seats across Northern Ireland and said: "We have to wait and see the results before we make bold statements."

Dominic Bradley received the third highest number of first preference votes at 7,123.

The Democratic Unionists are fielding only one candidate in Newry and Armagh, William Irwin. First count results tonight showed he was also on course to re-gain his seat.

Newry and Armagh is unique in Northern Ireland as it is the only constituency that does not have a woman seeking election.

The relatively high turnout of 70% in the 2007 Assembly elections was down to just over 61%.


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