Kelly still hopeful with Lockhart expected to top poll in Upper Bann

SDLP's Dolores Kelly: Counting underway at the Banbrige count centre

SDLP's Dolores Kelly: Counting underway at the Banbrige count centre

Under-pressure SDLP candidate in Upper Bann, Dolores Kelly, has not given up hope of being elected.

Mrs Kelly is being hard pressed by Sinn Fein duo John O’Dowd and Catherine Seeley and predictions are that Sinn Fein, the UUP and the DUP will take two seats each, with Kelly – an MLA since 2003 – losing out.

Dolores Kelly.

Dolores Kelly.

She said, “Last time, Sinn Fein looked like taking two seats, but 500 transfers late in the day saw me come up on the rails and I made it will over 400 to spare.

“I’m a political scrapper and have by no means given up – we won’t know until the final announcement. I’m quietly confident.”

Things seem to be going as predicted for the unionist parties, with Carla Lockhart (DUP) set to the top the poll, and running mate Sydney Anderson also polling heavily.

The UUP have three in the fray – Jo-Anne Dobson, Doug Beattie and Kyle Savage – with Dobson and Beattie the favourite there. But Savage isn’t ruling himself out.

There are 17 in the field – everything from Alliance and UKIP to Independents and PUP – but they are also-rans, with Upper Bann rarely voting for the minnows.