Sinn Fein candidate Francie Molloy has won the Mid Ulster by election, although his party’s majority is thousands of votes lower than in 2010.
Mr Molloy won with 17,462 votes. Unionist unity candidate Nigel Lutton came in second with 12,791 votes with SDLP candidate Patsy McGlone coming in third with 6,478 votes. Alliance candidate Eric Bullick attracted 487 votes.
Mr Lutton increased the Unionist share of the vote, while Mr McGlone increased the SDLP vote and Mr Bullick increased the Alliance share of the vote. However the Sinn Fein share of the vote dropped.
Mr Lutton’s share of the vote was 34.4 per cent – up from just over 32 per cent which the three pro-Union parties took in 2010.
Speaking after the result was announced Mr Lutton joked he is “the undertaker who resurrected unionism”.
While Alliance candidate Eric Bullick welcomed his party’s increased share of the vote from 398 in 2010 to 487 votes.
“The increase in the Alliance vote shows that the politics of a shared future is growing in support,” he said,
The by-election was sparked by the resignation of deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness from Westminster in December.
The turn out was 55.7 per cent.