Northern Ireland count

All the latest updates on which of the 276 candidates will make-up the next Stormont Assembly

Aine McMahon, Colin Gleeson Sat, May 7
LIVE: Northern Ireland count

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  • 09:57
    Good morning
  • 10:14
    Apologies we are having technical issues at the moment.
  • 10:33
    We're having a few technical issues with our liveblog, but please bear with us and we'll try to get up and running!
  • 10:36
    Counting is underway in 18 constituencies for the Northern Ireland Assembly elections. We're expecting some early indications before lunchtime.
  • 10:39

  • 10:43

  • 10:44
    The Democratic Unionists and Sinn Féin are again likely to emerge as the two largest parties on their respective sides of the unionist/nationalist political divide.
    During the campaign, DUP leader Arlene Foster placed particular onus on seeing off the challenge of Martin McGuinness in the race to see which one of them takes the First Minister’s job ahead of the Deputy First Minister’s job.
    It would require a significant electoral turnaround for Sinn Féin to topple the DUP as the largest party and most pundits believe it highly unlikely.
  • 10:50
    Our Northern Editor, Gerry Moriarty, writes:

    In the outgoing Assembly, the DUP had 38 seats, compared with Sinn Féin’s 29. .The Ulster Unionist Party is aiming to at least hold the 16 seats it won in 2011, while the SDLP, under new leader Colum Eastwood, is hoping it can withstand threats from Sinn Féin and People Before Profit to maintain its 2011 total of 14 seats. The Alliance Party had eight seats in the last Assembly, a number leader David Ford is aiming to increase.Independents and parties such as Traditional Unionist Voice, Ukip, the Progressive Unionist Party, the Greens and People Before Profit are hoping to make gains.
  • 11:25
  • 11:26
  • 11:48

    With counting underway across Northern Ireland, perhaps now is a good time to take stock of what exactly is happening, writes Damian Cullen.

    He has a handy explainer and guide to the Northern Ireland election count today.

  • 11:56
  • 11:58

    Our reporter Amanda Ferguson has this update from west Belfast -     "Tallies suggest Gerry Carroll of People Before Profit has topped the poll in Belfast West. At this early stage it looks like Alex Attwood could hold his seat for the SDLP and Sinn Fein may drop one of the five it held last time. “I am chilled,” Sinn Fein candidate Alex Maskey said. On suggestions that Sinn Fein could drop one of the five seats it won in 2011 Mr Maskey said: “It’s too early to say that. “Gerry Carroll has obviously polled well but Sinn Fein as a party will top the poll in west Belfast. “The number of seats you get is in the lap of the voters but Sinn Fein will top the poll in west Belfast — it’s about seats.”



  • 12:02

    Our reporter Ciaran D'Arcy has this update from Lagan Valley South Down.

    "Lagan Valley- 39,227 (53.2%, total electorate of 73,746) South Down- 41,645 (53.8%, total electorate of 77,409) Note on South Down, Jim Wells looks to be safe with TUV’s Henry Reilly said to be trailing Harold McKee (UUP) on first preferences."

  • 12:09
  • 12:17

    This is the first time people born the year of the Good Friday agreement which was signed in 1998 can vote.  

    Abortion reform and the failure to introduce same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland are some of the issues concerning young people, as this BBC feature explains.  



  • 12:19
    Early indications show the overall turnout will be 50 per cent - down slightly from the last election in 2011 where turnout figures stood at 54.5 per cent.  
  • 12:22
    The DUP's Jim Wells looks like he hasn't been let into the count centre because he has no ID. Awkward.
  • 12:27
  • 12:33
    Thank goodness for that. #Justice4Jim
  • 12:35


    Nevin Farrell has this report from Mid Ulster "The turnout percentage of voters in the Mid Ulster constituency has dropped dramatically. In 2011 the turnout was 65.35 per cent but this time it is 58.75 per cent. There were 41,381 votes cast yesterday."



  • 12:50
  • 12:55
    People Before Profit looks set to get it’s first MLA at Stormont in the form of 28-year-old Gerry Carroll, writes Amanada Ferguson. “I am feeling good. “We are waiting to hear what has happened. “I always try to have a big smile on my face. “We are just waiting now.” Mr Carroll believes he has drawn support from a broad range of voters. “It is people who are looking for an alternative. “People who have voted Sinn Fein in the past and maybe SDLP in the past. “A lot of it is new people coming through. “Our campaign tam is very, very young and we have got people involved who are not even old enough to vote and are supporting us. “Ultimately, people are looking for an alternative .
  • 12:56
  • 13:21
  • 13:30
  • 13:37
  • 13:40
  • 13:46
    The DUP looks set to continue its dominance in East Antrim, as David Hilditch topped the poll with 5,906 votes and was elected on the first count, writes Duncan Elder. He was the only candidate to make the quota of 4,631 at the first stage. “I’m absolutely delighted on a personal note,“he said. “But there are a lot of twists and turns to come and I just hope my teammates (Gordon Lyons and Alastair Ross) are elected in the coming counts.” The UUP’s Roy Beggs (3,848) and DUP’s Gordon Lyons (3,472) also polled well on first preferences.
  • 14:02
  • 14:09
  • 14:15
    You can follow what MLAs in your area are being elected by clicking our election results tab here
  • 14:21
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  • 14:32
  • 14:44
  • 14:45
    Danger here???
  • 14:46
  • 14:50
  • 14:51
  • 15:03
  • 15:03
  • 15:08
  • 15:18
    DUP leader Arlene Foster exceeds quota and will be elected.
  • 15:19
  • 15:29
    It appears the status quo will likely be maintained in South Down, reports Ciaran D'Arcy after the SDLP and Sinn Féin matched each other almost vote for vote in the first count. No candidate managed to reach the quota of 5,868 with the SDLP’s Sinead Bradley polling highest on 5,059, closely followed by Sinn Féin’s Chris Hazzard on 5,045. Former DUP minister for health Jim Wells lies just 12 votes behind him despite being embroiled in a series of controversies over the last year, and he looks assured to retain his seat. Indeed, there was an almost uncanny resemblance between the performances of the three candidates representing both the SDLP and Sinn Féin, with just 156 votes between the parties after the first count. Elsewhere, Harold McKee of the UUP looks to have gained the impetus following the collapse of sitting MLA John McCallister’s vote, with the TUV’s Henry Reilly trailing considerably behind in the race for the second unionist seat.
  • 15:33
    ICYMI You can keep up to date with what MLAs are being elected in each constituency by following the our live results hub here.
  • 15:42
    And so it begins....
  • 15:55
    Sinn Fein’s Gerry Kelly topped the poll in Belfast North and says his focus in the next Assembly term will be health, education and jobs, Amanda Ferguson reports. Mr Kelly was the only person elected at the first stage of the count in the Titanic Exhibition Centre. He received 5,695 votes in the constituency, where the quota was 5,225. “Our priority in north Belfast is inward investment, to create jobs in a black spot,” he said. “It is one of the most deprived areas as well as west Belfast and Derry. “We have to try and equalise that as equality is at the heart of what we do.”
  • 16:01
    Paul Frew of the DUP has topped the poll in North Antrim with 5,429 votes but nobody was elected after the first count, Nevin Farrell reports. It is looking like a close run thing in the constituency with TUV leader Jim Allister coming in second with 5,399 votes. The quota is 5,857.
  • 16:03
  • 16:16
  • 16:21
  • 16:30
    NEWRY ARMAGH - The DUP's William Irwin has topped the poll and been elected in Newry Armagh while Sinn Féin's Cathal Boylan and Megan Fearon have also taken seats.  
  • 16:31
    FOYLE - It's a battle between Sinn Fein and SDLP - after two counts, there is  one single vote between Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness and SDLP leader Colum Eastwood.  
  • 16:36
  • 16:51
  • 16:54
  • 17:10
  • 17:15
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  • 17:22
  • 17:23
  • 17:32

    The state of play so far - 22 MLAs elected out of 108.  

    Seats: DUP 10, SF 8, SDLP 1, AP 1, UUP 1, PBP 1

    Follow our results hub here to see who has been elected in each constituency so far.  


    You can click on our results hub here to see who from your constiuency has been elected.

  • 17:44
    In South Belfast where Mairtin O Muilleoir has been elected,he tells Amanda Ferguson: “It is not that long ago that Sinn Fein couldn’t win a seat in south Belfast,” he says “The vote is up two percent and it is the biggest share of the vote they have ever taken in south Belfast and for me that is an endorsement of the ‘Rainbow Coalition’ which I wanted to set up and form in south Belfast.”
  • 17:55

    Almost a fifth (24) of the 108 seats in the Northern Ireland Assembly have been filled as election counts continue.

    First minister and Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader Arlene Foster topped the poll in Fermanagh and South Tyrone and said she expects to retain her role.

    History was made in West Belfast earlier when People Before Profit candidate Gerry Carroll won it's first ever assembly seat.

    In South Down, long standing MLA John McCallister lost his seat when he was eliminated after the first count.

    Meanwhile, a full recount has been called in West Tyrone, with more than 30 votes reported to be missing.

  • 18:22

  • 18:30
    UPPER BANN: DUP candidate Carla Lockhart has topped the poll in the Upper Bann constituency of the NI Assembly elections, Carmel Robinson reports. After some votes were recounted due to issues of verification Carla sailed through with 993 votes.Party colleague Sydney Anderson just missed the quota with 6195 votes.Sinn Fein high flyer Catherine Seeley looks set for a seat after also just missing the quota with 6164 votes while her party colleague John O’Dowd, a former Education Minister at the Stormont government trailed with 5209.Running behind is former SDLP deputy leader Dolores Kelly who got 4335 votes though Mrs Kelly is not giving up hope and feels she will get through on transfers.Ulster Unionist Jo-Anne Dobson looks set to return to the Assembly having polled 5155 votes.
  • 18:39
    Handing over for the evening to @ColinGleesonIT - stay following for updates.  
  • 18:49
    Hello and thanks for joining. My name is Colin Gleeson and I’ll be taking you through the next few hours of election results from the North and the UK.
  • 18:51

    The DUP’s Paul Girvan has become the first MLA elected in Lurgan Valley but admitted that his party will lose one of its four seats to a resurgent UUP, reports Ciaran D’Arcy.

    The returning MLA was triumphantly held aloft by his colleagues after he secured the requisite number of transfers to pass the quota on the sixth count, but he indicated that the victory was tinged with sadness due to the perilous situation facing one of his colleagues.

    “From a personal point of view I’m delighted with the result. Obviously in Lagan Valley we’re in a fight here for the last seat, my inclinations are that we will lose a seat,” he told The Irish Times.

    “So whilst personally delighted with my vote, obviously it’s tinged a little bit with a good friend and colleague who may well lose out,” he added.

  • 18:53

    Mr Girvan also said he believes a “collapse” in the Alliance vote in the area has benefited the UUP, which is now favourite to double its current number of seats in the constituency.

    The UUP’s Jenny Palmer stands to annex one of the DUP’s four seats after passing both Jonathan Craig and Brenda Hale on transfers.

    She looks set to gain election with her running mate Robbie Butler who polled well on first preferences, and her victory will surely irk many in the DUP after she defected from the party last year following claims that she had been subjected to bullying.

  • 19:00

    Interesting news coming in from London, where Labour’s Sadiq Khan has become the first Muslim mayor of a major European capital.

    After eight years of Conservative rule under Boris Johnson, Mr Khan defeating Zac Goldsmith to take the post.

    Mr Khan won 44 per cent of the first preference votes, to Mr Goldsmith’s 35 per cent.

  • 19:01

    Our London Editor Denis Staunton reports that Mr Khan faced a Conservative campaign which sought to link him with Islamic extremists, despite the Labour candidate’s support for liberal causes such as marriage equality.

    Andrew Boff, a former Conservative leader in the London assembly, described Mr Goldsmith’s campaign as outrageous and said it probably cost the party votes.

    “I hope we don’t do this stupid thing again by trying to bring Sadiq down by saying he is an extremist. He is not an extremist. He went out and engaged with people with orthodox religious views. Dialogue is not assisted by shutting people out,” Mr Boff said.

  • 19:04

    Mr Khan’s victory provided a good end to the day for Labour, which lost much fewer English council seats than expected and retained control of only one fewer council than before.

    Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn claimed the results showed that voters in England approved of the party’s opposition to the Conservatives’ cuts to public services.

    “All across England last night we were getting predictions that Labour was going to lose councils,” he said. “We didn’t, we hung on and we grew support in a lot of places.

    “There is a lot of building to do in Scotland; we are going to be with you, we are going to walk hand in hand with our party in Scotland to build that support once again so that the Labour tradition in Scotland will be re-established.”

  • 19:07

    Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has hailed Sadiq Khan’s victory in the London mayoral election, tweeting: “Congratulations SadiqKhan. Can’t wait to work with you to create a London that is fair for all! #YesWeKhan.”

  • 19:09
    Mr Khan was congratulated on his victory by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.
  • 19:09
  • 19:10
  • 19:10
    Ms Hidalgo wrote: “Congratulations to SadiqKhan, elected Mayor of London! Convinced that his humanism & his progressivism will benefit the Londoners!”
  • 19:13

    Back to the North and stage five of the East Antrim count has been completed.

    It’s slow progress at the count centre in Newtownabbey; only one of the six seats has so far been filled. It was taken by the DUP’s David Hilditch.

    The DUP’s Gordon Lyons and UUP’s Roy Beggs, both almost certain to be elected, are still a couple of hundred votes short of the quota.

    The Green Party’s Dawn Patterson has been eliminated and her transfers will be redistributed during stage six of the process.

  • 19:14
    Amanda Ferguson reports that Sinn Fein’s Rosie McCorley has been excluded on the third count in Belfast West so the party will not be returning to Stormont with five seats in the constituency.
  • 19:24

    With 26 seats filled out of 108 in the Northern Ireland election, the party seats are:

    DUP: 14
    SF: 8
    Alliance: 1
    SDLP: 1
    UUP: 1
    People before Profit: 1

  • 19:29

    Eamonn McCann, who is poised to become the surprise packet of the election in the Foyle constituency in Derry, said his probable success in picking up the sixth and last seat in his home town was a victory over what he called “orange and green” politics, reports George Jackson.

    A long time political activist, author and journalist, Mr McCann is expected to make the headlines after over fifty years of unsuccessfully contesting various elections.

    “It would seem like the figures are promising for me but I’m not quite counting the chickens yet. I’m more interested in how Derry City will do tonight against St Patrick’s Athletic.”

    Nothing like total commitment from public representatives.

  • 19:33

    “We were the only party that did not campaign along orange and green lines,” McCann said.

    “In fact we stated that on our People before Profit party manifesto and all of my canvassers were instructed to repeat the message on the doorsteps during the campaign.

    “This is a vote for the marginalised by the marginalised. Regardless of how this turns out I will continue to campaign on their behalf.

    “I look forward to the day when the politics of the orange and of the green will be dispatched to the dust bins of history and I regard this as the first step on that road”, he added.

  • 19:42

    Pat Sheehan has just reached the quota in Belfast West and has been elected for Sinn Fein.

    There are three seats left to fill. Those left in the race are Sinn Fein’s Jennifer McCann and Fra McCann, the SDLP’s Alex Attwood and DUP candidate Frank McCoubrey.

  • 19:50
    Don’t forget you can keep right up to date with all the moving and shaking in terms of seats won in our Election Hub, which is <a href='' target='_blank' >here</a>.
    Don’t forget you can keep right up to date with all the moving and shaking in terms of seats won in our Election Hub, which is here.
  • 19:55

    Back to the London mayoralty, where Sadiq Khan became the first Muslim mayor of a major European city.

    Tory candidate Zac Goldsmith’s own sister criticised the campaign, claiming it “did not reflect who I know him to be”.


    Jemima Goldsmith said on Twitter: “Congratulations to sadiqkhan-1st Muslim Mayor of London- a city for all cultures, backgrounds & religions. A great example to young Muslims.

    “Sad that Zac’s campaign did not reflect who I know him to be — an eco friendly, independent-minded politician with integrity.”

  • 20:04
    If you’ll indulge me in a little editorialising, fair play to London for electing a Muslim mayor in spite of all the anti-immigration fear stoking that has gone on in the UK in recent times.
    If you’ll indulge me in a little editorialising, fair play to London for electing a Muslim mayor in spite of all the anti-immigration fear stoking that has gone on in the UK in recent times.
  • 20:06

    Back to the North and Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness has said that while he was disappointed that his party had failed in its strategy to pick up a third seat in the Foyle constituency, he believed the big losers in Derry were the SDLP.

    “Let’s remember we came into this election here with two seats and we have retained two seats. The SDLP came into the election with three seats and they have now just two. Yes I’m disappointed that we didn’t pick up that seat but I don’t use the word failure.”

  • 20:07

    McGuinness said the “big story” is “without doubt” the performance of People before Profit candidate Eamonn McCann.

    “I predict he will be elected some time tonight or tomorrow morning. I knew going into this election that People before Profit would do well here and we have witnessed what I believe will be the successful emergence of an independent candidate.”

  • 20:08

    The deputy first minister also said he was “happy” with Sinn Fein’s overall performance.

    “We went into this election with twenty-nine Assembly members and we will come out of it with the same number,” he said.

    “The electorate have said that they have confidence in both Sinn Fein and the DUP to take up the positions of political leadership after the outcome of this election.”

  • 20:09

    Stage five of the South Antrim count brought varying fortunes for the DUP’s Pam Cameron and SDLP’s Roisin Lynch.

    Ms Cameron, who significantly increased her vote from the last election, secured enough transfers to pass the quota and retain her seat.

    A delighted Ms Cameron described the last five years as “a steep learning curve” and said she’s now looking forward to a second term at Stormont.

    Ms Lynch, a local councillor in Antrim and Newtownabbey, was eliminated, despite attracting a strong first preference vote of 3,366. The SDLP woman’s transfers will now be redistributed among the remaining candidates.

  • 20:15
    Labour mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan arrives at City Hall in London with his wife Saadiya (right) and campaign team as counting continues on votes for the Mayor of London and the London Assembly elections.  Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
    Labour mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan arrives at City Hall in London with his wife Saadiya (right) and campaign team as counting continues on votes for the Mayor of London and the London Assembly elections.  Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
  • 20:26
    Conor Pope, in North Down for us, is well on top of things I'm sure.
  • 20:29

    We have a final result in from Lurgan Valley.

    Ciaran D’Arcy reports that Givan, Poots, Hale (DUP), Butler, Palmer (UUP), Lunn (AP) are all elected.

    That means the DUP are down one while the UUP are up one.

  • 20:31

    Apparently the widespread belief that Sadiq Khan has won the London mayoral election sparked an “edit war” on the Wikipedia website, which can be updated by users.

    As poll-watchers awaited final confirmation of the result, the Wikipedia “Mayor of London” page was repeatedly changed to include Mr Khan’s picture and reports of his victory, only to be reverted back to show Boris Johnson as incumbent.

  • 20:38

    Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams has arrived at the count centre in Belfast.

    Some speculation on Twitter that he may have had his teeth whitened.

    Awaiting official confirmation.

  • 20:39
  • 20:46

    Conor Pope reports that it is very much as case of “as you were” in the staunchly unionist constituency of North Down which is set to return DUP MLAs, a Green Party candidate, a member of the Alliance Party and one UUP candidte.

    The DUP’s Alex Easton was the runaway poll topper and was elected on the first count with 6,357 first preferences — almost 2,000 votes above the quota of 4,605.

    Second to be elected was his running mate Gordon Dunne who was easily pushed over the line after the second count thanks to more than 600 of Mr Easton’s surplus votes, which came to him by way of transfer.

    Displaying some effective vote management, a third DUP candidate, Peter Weir, who finished the first count with 3085 first preference votes, was propelled considerably higher up the election table with 805 transfers from the poll topper’s surplus.

    By the end of the sixth count he had 3,910 votes.

  • 20:47

    Also in North Down, the Green Party’s Steven Agnew looks set to break the unionist hegemony for a second time in two successive elections after finishing in a somewhat surprising second place after the first count.

    Mr Agnew got 4,109 votes and is certain to be re-elected.

    By the end of the sixth count he had reached 4,490 votes and was 115 votes short of the required quota.

    The UUP’s Alan Chambers is on 3,482 votes after the sixth count while the Alliance Party’s Stephen Farry is also likely to retain his seat with a sixth count tally of 3,289.

  • 20:51

    Stage six of the count in South Antrim saw Alliance leader David Ford and Sinn Fein’s Declan Kearney both pass the quota thanks to transfers from the SDLP’s Roisin Lynch.

    A delighted Mr Kearney, who replaced outgoing MLA Mitchel McLaughlin as his party’s candidate, said it was “essential” to have Sinn Fein representation in the constituency.

    Mr Ford, who had looked to be struggling after the first preference stage, said he was never concerned that he might lose his seat.

    “It clearly shows that Alliance has not gone away as some people were suggesting earlier in the day,” he said.

  • 21:00
  • 21:03

    With 41 seats filled out of 108 in the Northern Ireland election, the party seats are:

    DUP: 20
    SF: 12
    UUP: 4
    Alliance: 3
    SDLP: 1
    People before Profit: 1

  • 21:04
    All the results can be tracked from our election hub, which can be found <a href='' target='_blank' >here</a>.
    All the results can be tracked from our election hub, which can be found here.
  • 21:09

    It’s painfully slow progress at the East Antrim count in Newtownabbey.

    After more than 12 hours and seven stages of counting only one candidate, the DUP’s David Hilditch, has been elected.

    The TUV’s Ruth Wilson, sister of successful DUP South Antrim candidate Paul Girvan, has been eliminated at the seventh stage.

  • 21:12
    Deputy first minister Martin McGuinness being informed of the Gerry Adams teeth whitening rumours
    Deputy first minister Martin McGuinness being informed of the Gerry Adams teeth whitening rumours
  • 21:14

    Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams has said: “We look like we have had a very good campaign and look like we will go back with the same number of seats we had when the Assembly went into recess.

    “There will be many challenges coming up. We fought a positive campaign. We approach the work we have to do positively. I commend everyone who stood in the election.”

    Mr Adams said he was disappointed Rosie McCorley wasn’t re-elected as she was an “outstanding representative”.

  • 21:16
    From left to right: Pundit Paul McFadden, SDLP leader Colum Eastwood, and People before Profit’s Eamonn McCann at the Foyle Arena in Londonderry. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
    From left to right: Pundit Paul McFadden, SDLP leader Colum Eastwood, and People before Profit’s Eamonn McCann at the Foyle Arena in Londonderry. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
  • 21:19

    Amanda Ferguson reports that Duncan Morrow of the Alliance Party has been excluded at the eighth stage of the count in Belfast South where the quota is 5247.

    Sinn Fein’s Mairtin O Muilleoir is the only person elected so far.

    Left in the running for the remaining five seats at the end of stage eight are:

    Emma Little Pengelly, DUP: 5049

    Claire Hanna, SDLP: 4738

    Christopher Stalford, DUP: 4355

    Clare Bailey, Green: 4289

    Paula Bradshaw Alliance 3570

    Rodney McCune, UUP: 3213

    Fearghal McKinney, SDLP: 2964

  • 21:25
    TUV leader Jim Allister becomes the first person to be elected in North Antrim amid shouts of “praise The Lord” from supporters who celebrated by waving a Union Flag inside the count centre in Ballymena.
  • 21:27

    Stage eight of the count in East Antrim is still in progress, but the DUP’s Gordon Lyons and UUP’s Roy Beggs have both passed the quota and been elected.

    That’s three seats filled and three to go.

  • 21:32

    In North Derry, Conor Pope reports the count was suspended for the evening shortly after 9pm and counting is set to resume first thing in the morning.

    Strangford will also be finished in the next 15 minutes or so.

  • 21:33
  • 21:35

    Speaking at the Belfast count centre, DUP leader Arlene Foster said it had been “a very good day for the party” and that she was “absolutely elated”.

    “We had set out our five point plan very early on for a stronger, safer Northern Ireland and I think that resonated very strongly with the people,” she said.

    “When I travelled across Northern Ireland people were engaging in the plan, wanting to ask about education, the economy.

    “So, while the media said it was a lack lustre campaign we were finding people were very engaged with what we were saying to them and this has shown out in what we have been able to achieve today.”

  • 21:36

    Veteran SDLP candidate Joe Boyle once again looks to have come agonisingly close to becoming the first nationalist MLA elected in the Strangford constituency before losing out at the death to the UUP’s Philip Smith, reports Conor Pope.

    Mr Boyle was ahead of Mr Smith for much of the day but transfers from a string of both eliminated and elected unionist candidates of various hues did not go his way and for the fourth – and what is believed to be final – time in his political career he looks almost certain to have lost out at the very end.

    At the end of the ninth stage of the counting process Mr Boyle, Mr Smith and the Alliance Party’s Kellie Armstrong were fighting for two seats.

    Ms Armstrong was assured of the fifth seat as she stood on 4643 votes, just a handful shy of a quota.

    Mr Boyle had 3367 votes while Mr Smith was on 3676 votes after receiving 772 of the votes of eliminated independent unionist candidate Jimmy Menagh.

    Some 320 surplus votes of the DUP’s Simon Hamilton are being distributed and they look like being enough to ensure that Mr Smith and Ms Armstrong will elected.

  • 21:39
  • 21:51

    Paula Bradshaw of the Alliance Party has been elected on the ninth stage of the Belfast South count.

    Four seats left to fill.

  • 21:57
  • 21:59
    Paul Frew has been elected for the DUP in North Antrim but his party colleague David McIlveen has lost his seat.
  • 22:03

    You may remember Tory candidate Zac Goldsmith’s sister Jemima Khan attacked his campaign for London mayor earlier.

    Well now his brother Ben Goldsmith has taken to Twitter to defend him.

    “Labour planned to paint Zac as a racist from the start. The questions asked of Sadiq were legitimate.”

    Could make for an awkward Sunday dinner.

  • 22:04

    Final confirmation of Mr Khan’s victory has been delayed by several hours due to counting “discrepancies”.

    A London Elects spokeswoman said: “The returning officer is currently updating candidates and agents. There were some small discrepancies with regard to the mayoral figures and we have to take the time to check them

    “We’re doing the checking in conjunction with the Electoral Commission.

    “We have to take the time to resolve these issues. We are working towards a declaration at midnight. I apologise.”

  • 22:05
    Trevor Clarke (DUP) and Steve Aiken (UUP) have been elected on the seventh count at Antrim South.
  • 22:08
    A final result from South Down: Ruane, Hazzard (SF), Bradley, McGrath (SDLP), Wells (DUP) and McKee (UUP) all elected.
  • 22:10

    A huge surge in votes for the Democratic Unionist Party in Fermanagh and South Tyrone secured a seat for Arlene Foster, her first as leader of the party, reports Rodney Edwards.

    It was Mrs Foster’s surplus votes that secured a second seat for the DUP with Lord Maurice Morrow retaining his position as MLA for the area following the second vote.

    “I want to really thank the people of Fermanagh and South Tyrone for putting their trust in me for another term as their MLA,” said Ms Foster.

  • 22:12

    Rodney says counting will resume on Saturday but Sinn Fein is confident that John Feely and Sean Lynch would secure two seats helping the party hold on to its three places in the constituency.

    As he left the Omagh Count Centre with his wife Joni, on their eight wedding anniversary, Mr Flanagan said: “The stark reality is I am now facing unemployment.”

    Richie McPhillips has failed to build on the success of the SDLP in the local council election two years ago and it appeared that he was on course to lose out on reclaiming a seat that his party’s stalwart Tommy Gallagher lost in 2011.

    Turnout was 64.55 per cent.

  • 22:13

    In Belfast West, Jennifer McCann has been elected at stage six with 5750 votes.

    The final seat in the constituency will go to Alex Attwood (SDLP) or Frank McCoubrey (DUP).

    Atwood is on 4245 and McCoubrey is on 4337.

  • 22:17
  • 22:18
    "Have you had your teeth whitened, Gerry?"
  • 22:25
    Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness congratulates former IRA hunger Striker Raymond McCartney on his election, at the Foyle Arena in Londonderry. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
    Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness congratulates former IRA hunger Striker Raymond McCartney on his election, at the Foyle Arena in Londonderry. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
  • 22:29

    The Green Party’s Simon Lee is eliminated as the Upper Bann constituency count closes for the night.

    Only two MLAs were elected in the Upper Bann constituency today, two from the DUP - Carla Lockhart, who topped the poll, and Sydney Anderson who was elected on the second count.

  • 22:31
  • 22:35

    Long-time DUP assembly worker Joanne Bunting said she was in shock after topping the poll in east Belfast to return to Parliament Buildings as an MLA.

    The former Castlereagh council mayor said: “It’s most unexpected. It’s a real honour.

    “I thought I would be slogging it out last at the end, maybe in with a chance. I am still trying to absorb it. I am really honoured to be able to serve the people of east Belfast.”

  • 22:36

    Following Bunting in on the first round of votes was high-profile Alliance party deputy leader Naomi Long, who famously unseated then-first minister Peter Robinson in 2010.

    The former MP for the constituency said she was delighted to be making a return to the Assembly.

    “It feels really good to be back,” she said. “Today has been a good day in east Belfast for Alliance.

    “There are no easy votes for Alliance — they are all hard fought and won.”

    Long batted away questions about whether she held ambitions of taking a ministerial position in the new power sharing executive.

    “I have no ambitions other than getting a good’s night sleep and cheering on my colleagues tomorrow,” she said.

  • 22:37

    By 10pm no other candidates had reached the quota but the DUP’s Sammy Douglas and Robin Newton were on course to take two seats with Alliance’s Chris Lyttle also poised for an Assembly return.

    Ulster Unionist Andy Allen looked set to claim the sixth seat.

  • 22:42

    With more than half the seats filled out of 108 in the Northern Ireland election, the party seats are:

    DUP: 24

    SF: 16

    UUP: 8

    Alliance: 5

    SDLP: 3

    Independents/Others: 2

  • 22:44
    Lots of shiny graphs in our election hub <a href='' target='_blank' >here</a>.
    Lots of shiny graphs in our election hub here.
  • 22:45

    It’s all over in South Antrim as the UUP’s Paul Michael is eliminated at the seventh stage of the count, meaning his party colleague Steve Aiken and the DUP’s Trevor Clarke are both elected below quota, reports Duncan Elder.

    That means the DUP retain three seats in the constituency, with Alliance, Sinn Fein and the UUP taking one each — the same make-up as after the 2011 election in terms of party representation.

    The UUP’s Adrian Cochrane-Watson was the only outgoing MLA to lose his seat, but he’s replaced at Stormont by former Royal Navy submariner Steve Aiken, who pledged to “work hard for all the people of the constituency, regardless of race, religion, gender or background.”

    Elected: Paul Girvan (DUP), Pam Cameron (DUP), Declan Kearney (SF), David Ford (AP), Steve Aiken (UUP) and Trevor Clarke (DUP).

  • 22:46

    Belfast West poll topper Gerry Carroll has just arrived back at the Titanic Exhibition Centre as the final result is expected in the constituency soon.

    He is hoping his People before Profit colleague Eamonn McCann (Foyle) will be joining him at the Assembly.

    “We want two socialists in Stormont to shake things up,” he said.

  • 22:48

    That’s it for the East Antrim count — for today.

    The Electoral Office staff have seemingly had enough after more than 14 hours of counting and packed up for the night.

    After eight stages, only three of the six seats have been filled: David Hilditch (DUP), Gordon Lyons (DUP) and Roy Beggs (UUP).

    The count is due to get under way again tomorrow at 9am.

  • 22:50

    Counting in West Tyrone has finished for the night after more than 12 hours with no winners declared, reports Rodney Edwards.

    Sinn Fein’s Barry McElduff has taken the lead by six votes over Tom Buchanan of the Democratic Unionist Party, but none of the candidates have yet reached the 5,845 quota.

    However, it is expected that there will be little change in the constituency when counting resumes in the morning and that both Mr McElduff and Mr Buchanan will retain their Assembly seats.

    Sorcha McAnespy, who quit Sinn Fein to stand in the election, and Patsy Kelly, who quit the SDLP just weeks ago, have both been eliminated from the race.

    Josephine Deehan also quit the party weeks before the election and was eliminated on the seventh count.

    It is now down to the final eight after 10 of the 18 candidates were eliminated, including Roger Lomas of the Conservatives, Independent Susan Anne White and Laura McAnea of the Animal Welfare Party.

    Ross Hussey from the Ulster Unionist Party is expected to retain his seat, as is Daniel McCrossan of the SDLP.

    Overall there is expected to be little change in the make-up of West Tyrone when counting resumes.

  • 22:58
    DUP candidate for North Belfast Paula Bradley, DUP leader Arlene Foster, MLA for Belfast East Joanne Bunting, and candidate for Belfast East Emma Little Pengelly at the Titanic Exhibition Centre. Photo: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
    DUP candidate for North Belfast Paula Bradley, DUP leader Arlene Foster, MLA for Belfast East Joanne Bunting, and candidate for Belfast East Emma Little Pengelly at the Titanic Exhibition Centre. Photo: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
  • 23:00
    Independent candidate Paul Berry and Ulster Unionist Sam Nicholson have both been eliminated at the latest count in Newry and Armagh constituency.
  • 23:03

    In London, Boris Johnson will remain as mayor until the end of Sunday if the election result is delayed until Saturday.

    This is due to the need for there to be one full day between the transition.

    If the result is announced tonight, Mr Johnson’s successor will officially take control of the role on Sunday.

    Fascinating stuff.

  • 23:06
  • 23:11

    The UUP’s bright hope in Belfast North Rev Lesley Carroll has been eliminated at the tenth stage of the count.

    Her votes are being distributed now.

  • 23:17
    People before Profit's Eamonn McCann has officially been elected in Foyle, by the way.
  • 23:28
  • 23:30
  • 23:32

    Alex Attwood of the SDLP has held on to his seat in Belfast West with 4430 votes.

    The DUP’s Frank McCoubrey was eliminated on the final count with 4341 votes.

    The final result in Belfast West is People before Profit (1), Sinn Fein (4), and SDLP (1)

  • 23:44
    It’s been a miserable day for the SDLP and it has been capped off with the loss of deputy leader Fearghal McKinney’s seat in Belfast South.  
  • 23:50

    Mervyn Storey (DUP) has been elected in North Antrim.

    Counting will resume there at 9am on Saturday.

  • 23:57

    In his podium speech Gerry Carroll of People Before Profit had a message for Enda Kenny and Michael Martin, reports Amanda Ferguson.

    “No doubt much will be made in the south about this election result. “West Belfast has a clear message for Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum in Leinster House, or Michael Martin and Enda Kenny as they call themselves.

    “You have nothing to celebrate about with this election result because the austerity the people of West Belfast are opposed to is the same austerity impacting on people south of the border.

    “There is a spectre. A spectre of establishment north and south and it’s based on socialist politics and people power.

    “A day of reckoning is coming and it’s coming soon for people who are pushing austerity.”

  • 00:10

    Seems we may have jumped the gun earlier in relation to Eamonn McCann being officially elected.

    He’s still waiting, but deputy first minister Martin McGuinness has been elected on the stroke of midnight along with the SDLP's Colum Eastwood and mark Durkan.

  • 00:12

    The Belfast North count is complete, and it’s the same result as 2011: two Sinn Fein, three DUP and one SDLP.

    Gerry Kelly (Sinn Fein), Paula Bradley (DUP), William Humphrey (DUP), Nelson McCausland (DUP), Caral ni Chuilin (Sinn Fein), and Nichola Mallon (SDLP).

  • 00:15
  • 00:19
    Claire Hanna of the SDLP has just been elected in Belfast South.
  • 00:27

    The current state of play with 66 seats filled out of 108 in the Northern Ireland election is:

    DUP: 29

    SF: 17

    UUP: 8

    Alliance: 5

    SDLP: 5

    Independents/Others: 2  

  • 00:35


    Labour’s Sadiq Khan has officially been declared elected as London mayor on the second count.

    Mr Khan took 1,310,143 votes after second preferences were taken into account, beating Conservative Zac Goldsmith into second place on 994,614.

    His tally gave him the largest personal mandate of any politician in UK history.

    He said: “I’m so proud that Londoners have today chosen hope over fear and unity over division.”

  • 00:40

    Ulster Unionist stalwart Danny Kennedy has been re-elected to Stormont after regaining his seat in the Newry and Armagh constituency.

    Mr Kennedy, a former government minister, was re-elected after two other unionists were eliminated during the count in Banbridge, Co Down.

    Earlier independent unionist Paul Berry and Ulster Unionist Sam Nicholson were eliminated during the Newry and Armagh count.

    William Irwin of the DUP topped the poll earlier.

    Also elected are Sinn Fein’s Megan Fearon and Cathal Boylan. It is likely the final result will be revealed in the morning.

  • 00:42

    Outgoing London mayor Boris Johnson has congratulated Sadiq Khan on his victory.

    “Many congratulations to Sadiq on securing a huge mandate to do the best job in British politics,” he said. “I wish him every possible success and will be calling him in the morning.

    “I have also been in touch with Zac and thanked him for his heroic efforts to carry the Conservative banner in our city, in spite of the strong headwinds he faced at this stage in the political cycle.

    “I believe the high turnout is proof once again that the London mayoralty is now firmly established in the public mind, and I have no doubt the incoming mayor will be able to use the growing powers of the job to deliver improvements in the lives of Londoners.”

  • 00:44

    At stage eleven of the Belfast East count Dr John Kyle of the PUP, its great hope for a Stormont seat, has been eliminated.

    So far only two of the six seats have been filled — Joanne Bunting (DUP) and Naomi Long (Alliance).

  • 00:48
  • 00:51

    Here is Sadiq’s Khan’s speech at City Hall after his election as London mayor was confirmed:

    “Thank you London. London is the greatest city in the world. I am so proud of our city. I am deeply humbled by the hope and trust you have placed in me today.

    “I grew up on a council estate only a few miles away from here. Back then I would never have thought that someone like me could be elected as mayor of London.

    “And I want to say thank you to every single Londoner for making the impossible possible today.

    “I have a burning ambition for London. An ambition that will guide me every day as mayor of our great city.

    “I want every single Londoner to get the opportunities that our city gave to me and my family. The opportunities not just to survive but to thrive.

    “The opportunities to build a better future for you and your family, with a decent and affordable home and a comfortable commute you can afford.

    “More jobs with better pay. Not just being safe, but feeling safe. Cleaner air and a healthier city, and the opportunities for all Londoners to fulfil their potential.

    “You know, I have been thinking a lot about my late dad. He was a wonderful man and a great dad. He would have been so proud today. Proud that the city he chose to call his home has now chosen one of his children to be the mayor."

  • 00:53

    A string of Labour MPs hjave taken to Twitter to express their delight at the announcement of Mr Khan’s success.

    Chuka Umunna said: “I am absolutely over the moon to have a Labour Mayor in London again... It is also great to see Londoners reject David Cameron and his Tories’ nasty dog-whistle campaign. If you peddle prejudice you will lose, and rightly so.”

    Ilford North MP Wes Streeting wrote: “Hope over fear. Could not be more proud of SadiqKhan — our Mayor of London and message to the world about the kind of people we want to be.”

    Chancellor George Osborne offered commiserations to Zac Goldsmith, who he said would have been a “fine mayor”, and added he and Mr Khan would “try to work together in the interests of London”.