Belfast Telegraph

General Election 2019

East Londonderry: DUP's Gregory Campbell 'basking in the sunlight'

  • Eligible electorate: 69,246
  • Votes polled: 39,495
  • Valid votes: 39,302
  • Turnout: 57.04%
  • Majority: 9,607
The DUP’s Gregory Campbell is returned s MP for East Londonderry. Photo by Jonathan Porter / Press Eye.
The DUP’s Gregory Campbell is returned s MP for East Londonderry. Photo by Jonathan Porter / Press Eye.

By Leona O’Neill

The DUP’s Gregory Campbell was so confident that he would win his seat comfortably that he was afforded the luxury of a sit down and a cup of tea in the leisure centre canteen while many other politicians were biting their nails on the sidelines..

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His confidence was justified. He retained his East Londonderry seat with the lion’s share of the vote, pulling in 15,765.

He used his victory speech to tell his constituents exactly what kind of MP they were getting.

“When those who try to analyse and say votes are down, I hope they will look at the vote we got in East Londonderry and see that our majority is up,” he said.

“That’s because the people here want a hardworking, effective, hard-hitting MP who doesn’t pull any punches and that’s what they will get in the next few years.

“We will wait to see the outcome, and hopefully all parties commit to get back to Stormont to make this country the best country in the United Kingdom and make it a much more prosperous country we’ve had in the past.

“My constituents will be getting someone they can trust, someone who will be there for them, who will speak out and speak up for them. ”

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He said that he was delighted to get such a high vote on a low turnout.

“I am absolutely delighted,” he said. “I didn’t think due to the reduced turnout and the complexities of the vote, I honestly thought my vote would suffer a little bit and the majority would be down significantly, but it has actually gone up. It’s a bit hard to explain, but I will bask in the sunlight of this.”

Speaking before his win, Mr Campbell said the onus was on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to deliver on his Brexit promises, adding: “Well, whatever majority Boris has there will be an onus on him to deliver on no checks East-Eest and an even bigger issue on how does he preside over the UK, Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and how does he cement that and build that for the future.

“In my view, he has to do that on an economic basis, so that people here and in Scotland see a tangible benefit of staying in the UK, and then people will want to stay.”

The incumbent Mr Campbell romped home against newcomer SDLP candidate Cara Hunter on 6,128, who pipped Sinn Fein to the post for second place by just 30 votes.

Also running against Mr Campbell was Richard Holmes, UUP, Sinn Fein’s Dermot Nicholl, the Alliance Party’s Chris McCaw, and from newly-formed Aontu party Sean McNicholl.

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