Frustration as candidates wait for first results in Upper Bann

Carla Lockhart waits for the result of the first count in Upper Bann.
Carla Lockhart waits for the result of the first count in Upper Bann.

It’s past 5pm on Friday, and the count in Upper Bann - which has gone on at a snail’s pace – has slithered to a halt without even the first count being announced.

The numbers have failed to tally, despite the oh-so-slow progress, and staff are meticulously checking every paper.

Signs are that DUP and Sinn Fein are the early victors, with SDLP likely to lose out (Dolores Kelly, though, is still hopeful). But candidates, agents, and supporters – as well as the Press – are still awaiting the first modicum of an announcement.

The victorious Carla Lockhart (DUP), who has unofficially topped the poll and made it at the first count, is refusing to comment. “I’ll wait for the announcement,” she said.

Her running mate Sydney Anderson is sitting pretty, and Sinn Fein’ John O’Dowd and Cat Seeley are almost also confidently sitting around the 6,000 mark.

Jo-Anne Dobson (UUP) has topped 5,000 with colleague Doug Beattie likely to compete the six. But they – and everyone else – are fed up waiting.