Sinn Féin's John Finucane defeated DUP Westminister leader Nigel Dodd in a massive upset in the North Belfast constituency in the British general election.
John Finucane is the son of murdered attorney Pat Finucane whose death in 1989 remains one of the most controversial killings of The Troubles.
Dodds has been a powerful leader in Northern Irish politics for decades and achieved a very high profile as a lead negotiator in talks with several British governments.
Finucane's victory was the highlight of a huge night for Irish nationalism as a pact between the SDLP and Sinn Féin helped nationalist parties take more parliamentary seats than Unionists for the first time ever.
The DUP, once kingmakers in the British parliament when they propped up the Tory government, had a disastrous election losing North Belfast and South Belfast and seeing their vote share drop.
In North Down, they were defeated by Stephen Farry, an Alliance Party candidate, in a major shock. He took the seat formerly held by Lady Sylvia Hermon.
Early exit polls predicted a large Conservative Party majority in the UK general election, as polls closed across the country at 10 pm GMT and so it proved.
The result will pave the way for the UK to leave the European Union in two months' time, with leader Boris Johnson promising throughout the election campaign that he would deliver Brexit.
Thank you to everyone across our great country who voted, who volunteered, who stood as candidates. We live in the greatest democracy in the world. pic.twitter.com/1MuEMXqWHq— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) December 12, 2019
The predicted seat count at 3 am London time (10 pm) shows 357 seats for the Boris Johnson-led Tory party, with Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party only picking up 201 seats. Only 326 seats were needed for Johnson to claim 10 Downing Street as Prime Minister once more, giving him an 86-seat majority if the first predictions are true.
The Scottish Nationalist Party are predicted with 55 seats and the Liberal Democrats with 13. The SNP landslide in Scotland sparks a new debate about another vote on Scottish independence.
It would make it Labour's worst result since 1935.
The result is a massive blow for the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in Northern Ireland, who were previously propping up the Tory government but whose seats will not now be required to form the majority.
The DUP's insistence that a border not be placed down the Irish Sea, separating Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK when it leaves the European Union, had been a major factor in the stagnant Brexit negotiations.
Johnson will no longer need to keep the DUP onside to keep in government and is free to progress the backstop and Brexit without relying on DUP votes.
Calls for the resignation of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn were quick to emerge on Thursday evening as predictions showed a devastating defeat for the party.
The predictions also had an immediate effect on the Pound Sterling which shot up against the US dollar.
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