Belfast Telegraph

EU Election 2019

EU election results: 57% of NI voters back pro-Remain parties

Sinn Fein Vice President Michelle O'Neill says result sends message that NI wants to remain in EU.

Sinn Fein's MEP candidate Martina Anderson(right) arrives at the count. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Sinn Fein's MEP candidate Martina Anderson(right) arrives at the count. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Some 57% of voters in Northern Ireland have backed pro-Remain parties in the European elections.

While 43% of voters that have taken part in the European elections have given their first preference votes to parties that want the UK to leave the EU.

Out of the pro-remain parties standing in the election, Sinn Fein candidate Martina Anderson received the biggest first preference vote share (22.2%), with Alliance leader Naomi Long received 18.5%.

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood polled 13.7% of the votes while the Greens received 2.2% and two Independent candidates Neil McCann and Jane Morrice received 0.5% between them.

DUP candidate Diane Dodds received the biggest vote share for those running on a pro-Leave platform.

TUV leader Jim Allister received 10.8%, UUP's Danny Kennedy 9.3%, UKIP 0.9% and the Conservative candidate received 0.1%.

Check out our Live results page - plus Election Hub for latest updates and analysis

Sinn Fein Vice President Michelle O'Neill hailed Ms Anderson's poll-topping election victory as a "vital win for all those who wish to remain in the EU".

“This is a vital result in terms of sending the right message to Brussels and Britain that we voted to remain in 2016 – and we are still determined to remain,” she said.

“I would like to thank all those who came out in this election. You have helped make history and it is clearly no coincidence that the result endorsing pro-Remain parties so closely reflects the EU referendum result in the North.

"People want to see progressive politics and progressive parties working together.

"The British Government and the DUP need to start listening. They need to start respecting the democratic wishes of the people here to remain in the EU. The people gave their verdict in 2016 and they have reaffirmed it here today – there is no good Brexit for Ireland, north or south.”

DUP leader Arlene Foster said: "Of course, we would have preferred to have had two unionist MEPs returned - what we have instead is a nationalist MEP, a very strong unionist MEP and an MEP who identifies as neither.

"When I look at the votes, which I think is very important, I notice that unionism is still ahead by over 40,000 votes and of course I am very pleased about that. Obviously we would have preferred to see two unionist MEPs returned but I am absolutely delighted with our turnout today and the fact our vote has increased again."

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