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Sinn Fein's Gildernew wins in Fermanagh by four votes

Michelle Gildernew has won the count in Fermanagh and South Tyrone by the narrowest of margins.

The Sinn Fein candidate retained her seat on the third recount with 21,304 votes, after a nail-biting tussle with Independent unity candidate Rodney Connor.

Mr Connor is reported to have requested a fourth recount, but it was refused by election officials.

A legal challenge from unionists in the constituency can not be ruled out.

Ms Gildernew took the seat in 2001 with a majority of 53 votes

After the first count, Mr Connor was 10 votes ahead before his Sinn Fein rival took the lead in the subsequent recount.

Speaking after her victory, Ms Gildernew said she received the backing of constituents from both traditions.

"The regressive attempt by the Orange Order to muster the combined forces of unionism against me and against the progressive politics I represent had to be confronted," she said.

The SDLP's Fearghal McKinney polled 3,574 votes, after refusing to stand down to aid Ms Gildernew against an agreed unionist candidate.

Fermanagh/South Tyrone

Sinn Fein hold

Michelle Gildernew (Sinn Fein) 21,304

Rodney Connor (Independent) 21,300

Vasundhara Kamble (Alliance) 437

Fearghal McKinney (SDLP) 3,574

John Stevenson (Independent) 188

Majority 4 (four) Turnout 69.31%

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph