Always inevitable that nationalists would rally behind Francie Molloy and Sinn Fein. a single unionist candidate guaranteed that.
Francie Molloy….Sinn Fein. 17,462 …..46.9%…..a comfortable victory but a drop of over 5% but he is no Martin McGuinness.
Nigel Lutton…..Unionist. 12,789…….34.4%……a slight improvement on 2010 but unionists had three candidates then. (DUP, UUP, TUV) so he maximised the vote. I don’t suppose he got any of those fabled unicorns. And he didn’t lose anything to Alliance…so there are no liberal unionists.
Patsy McGlone….SDLP. 6,478……17.4%….he would have done better if there had been DUP and UUP in the race. an improvement of over 3% suggests that there is some modest improvement but SDLP will want to improve on that at Assembly level. Bit into SSF vote and wiped the floor with Alliance.
Eric Bullick….Alliance 487….1.3%…….so no breakthrough then. no liberal unionists, no unicorns and no sympathy. It would take a heart of stone not to laugh at them. It is hard to see how the circumstances would be better for them to get some votes west of the Bann….they even had a Party Conference at the weekend.
So is David Ford going to tell his people to go home and prepare for Government. Of course he doesn’t need to do that. They are guaranteed a place in Government….cos they are Gods Special People.