Historic night in Fermanagh and across the North

In what was a historic election across the North, with more nationalist than unionist MPs elected for the first time, there were interesting trends in Fermanagh South Tyrone also, with both the SDLP and Alliance upping their Westminster vote locally.
While once again the constituency saw essentially a ‘two horse race’ between Sinn Fein’s Michelle Gildernew and the UUP’s Tom Elliott, with Ms Gildernew retaining the seat she won back from Mr Elliott in 2017, both the main candidates saw their vote drop on the 2017 vote.
Ms Gildernew picked up 21,986 votes this year, in 2017 she received 25,230 votes. Likewise, Mr Elliott saw his vote fall from 24,355 in 2017 to 21,929 this year.
While Turnout was down slightly, from 53,481 in 2017 to 51,087 this year, it appears Sinn Fein and the UUP both lost some votes to the SDLP and the Alliance Party.
Cllr Adam Gannon picked up 3,446 votes for the SDLP, up from the 2,587 Cllr Mary Garrity secured for the party in 2017.
The Alliance saw the most dramatic local surge, with newcomer Matthew Beaumont helping the party’s FST vote rise from 886 last time to 2,650 this year.
Independent Caroline Wheeler got 751 votes.
Meanwhile, Fermanagh will actually have a little bit of Alliance representation at Westminster in the coming years, with an honoury local man causing an upset for the DUP in North Down. Stephen Farry may be from Newtownards himself, but his parents hail from Fermanagh and he even ran, unsuccessfully, in the Northern Ireland Forum election in FST in 1996.

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