The Ulster Unionist Party made the biggest gain in Northern Ireland’s general election this past week with the party gaining two seats. The party had no representation in the last parliament.
Michelle Gildernew of Sinn Fein lost Fermanagh and South Tyrone to former UUP leader Tom Elliott, who took the seat with a majority of 530 votes.
“This is not a green constituency. It doesn’t belong to Bobby Sands. It belongs to the people of Fermanagh and South Tyrone and that is who I intend to represent,” said Elliott.
Danny Kinahan took South Antrim from the DUP's William McCrea, winning by more than 900 votes.
In the election the DUP won eight seats, Sinn Féin four, the SDLP three seats, UUP two, and one independent elected.
The Democratic Unionist Party regained the East Belfast seat lost in 2010 by its party leader with Gavin Robinson recapturing the seat from Alliance’s Naomi Long.
“I’m delighted that the last five long years are over,” said Robinson in his acceptance speech.
Robinson’s speech, which failed to pay tribute to Long, as is often the protocol, prompted Alliance employment and learning Minister Stephen Farry to tell the BBC: “Peter Robinson was more gracious in defeat in 2010 than Gavin Robinson was in victory.”
In South Belfast, SDLP leader Dr Alasdair McDonnell held his seat with 9,560 votes against the challenge of DUP’s Jonathan Bell and former Sinn Féin lord mayor of Belfast Máirtín Ó Muilleoir.
While Sinn Féin had hopes that Gerry Kelly could take North Belfast against Nigel Dodds of the DUP, Dodds won the seat with a majority of more than 4,000.
Otherwise, the results were: the DUP winning Strangford, East Antrim, North Antrim, East Derry and Lagan Valley; Sinn Fein taking West Belfast, West Tyrone, Mid Ulster and Newry and Armagh; and the SDLP winning Foyle and South Down.