Elections 2014: Sinn Fein dominate but UUP and SDLP poll well in Omagh and Fermanagh

This new council area might be an overwhelmingly nationalist one, but it is fair to say Unionism put up a good fight, with the UUP topping the poll in a few areas over its DUP rivals.

Day two of the count in Omagh Leisure centre, where the final three District Electoral Areas of Erne East, Enniskillen and Omagh were announced, began with a UUP victory for Victor Warrington, who pushed the DUP’s Paul Robinson into second place.

New Omagh and Fermanagh supercouncil

New Omagh and Fermanagh supercouncil

It followed a poll-topping victory for Bert Wilson in Mid Tyrone on Friday, and colleague Alex Baird in Erne West.

Sinn Fein’s Barry McElduff, who joined his party candidates for what was to be a second long day at the count centre, dismissed the importance of topping the poll as ‘a symbolic victory’, telling the News Letter his party’s strategy was one of “getting people over the line, not about personal victories”.

Having returned 17 councillors it can be said their strategy worked - but the SDLP did take a seat in Erne East with first-timer Richie McPhillips undoubtedly preventing Sinn Fein from taking the four seats they had hoped for in that area.

Later a somewhat shocked Joanne Donnelly was cheered in the foyer after gaining a seat for the SDLP in Omagh, leaving it at two-all with Sinn Fein.

McPhillips, a 56 year-old from Newtownbutler said he believed it showed his party “on the rebound”.

The final tally showed 17 Sinn Fein councillors elected, nine UUP, eight SDLP, five DUP and one Independent .

For a full report and results see Monday’s News Letter.