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Video: ‘Roll-over unionism in decline’ in Mid and East Antrim

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The unionist stronghold of Mid and East Antrim firmly retained its grip in the council elections.

Whilst the DUP remained the majority party and the UUP proved itself a dominant increasing force, great shock waves were sent out when the TUV representation was also confirmed to be on the up.

According to Count centre sources 47.95 per cent turned out to vote of an eligible population of 96494 in Mid and East Antrim.

Speaking after the election of five party councillors, TUV leader Jim Allister said: “We are increasing our foothold in this area, a product I believe of strong solid work on behalf of the people in the constituency.

“We went into this election with two candidates and now some excellent candidates have been elected who are youthful, enthusiastic and committed to the people.

“That recipe along with the view we need unionists to stand up for themselves means that we will continue to grow, and roll-over unionism is in decline and the resurgence of strong unionism is increasing in this town and elsewhere.

“We are a threat to Sinn Fein because of the strong TUV vote and the strong transfer within the unionist family.”

Earlier DUP MP Sammy Wilson emphasised that his party remains “the biggest party in the new council”.

He said: “On the upside we have held on to the same proportion of the seats we had in the old councils and will be the biggest party in the new council, but there have been disappointments.

“We have lost some of our sitting councillors, we got new ones in as well of course and the per centage of the vote is lower than it had been before.

“We had hoped we would get some additional councillors in which we haven’t managed to do. But we are still the biggest party and have held our own in most of the areas.”

Mr Wilson said he believed there are “a number of reasons” why they suffered disappointment.

“First of all being the biggest party in Northern Ireland, where things are not seen to be working as well as they should be, the onus is always going to fall on us, and we have suffered from some of that.

“I think the TUV have done better than previous elections because with the European elections being held on the same day. They have had Jim Allister who is very high profile and a big public presence holding the hands of many candidates and that has helped their vote.

“So there has been a combination of things.”

Meanwhile UUP Councillor for Larne lough, Mark McKinty, 26, who has been sitting on Larne council for three years, said his party had increased their vote share and gained a number of seats in areas.

“It is great news across the board for the party,” he said.

“The electorate are placing their trust in our principles of trust and honesty and hard work.”

The new council

DUP

Audrey Wales [Ballymena]

John Carson [Ballymena]

May Beattie [Knockagh]

Lynn McClurg [Knockagh]

Gordon Lyons [Coast Road]

Gregg McKeen [Larne lough]

Paul Reid [Larne lough]

Billy Henry [Bannside]

Tommy Nicholl [Bannside]

Cheryl Jacilyn Johnston [Carrick Castle]

Billy Ashe [Carrick Castle]

Beth Clyde [Braid]

William McCaughey [Braid]

Reuben Glover [Ballymena]

Beth Adger [Braid]

Sam Hanna [Braid]

UUP

Andrew Wilson [Knockagh]

Lindsay Millar [Knockagh]

Mark Richard McKinty [Larne lough]

Andrew Park Wilson [Larne lough]

William McNeilly [Bannside]

John Robert Stewart [Carrick Castle]

Maureen Morrow [Larne lough]

Stephen Nicholl [Ballymena]

Robin Cherry [UUP]

TUV

Ruth Wilson [Coast Road]

Timothy Gaston [Bannside]

Stewart McDonald [Bannside]

Donna Anderson [Ballymena]

Brian Collins [Braid]

Alliance

Geraldine Mulvenna [Coast Road]

Paul Sinclair [Knockagh]

Robert logan [Larne lough]

SDLP

Declan O’Loan [Ballymena]

Sinn Fein

Patrice Hardy [Bannside]

James McKeown [Coast Road]

Paul Maguire [Braid]

Independent

James Henry [Ballymena]

Charles J Brown [Carrick Castle]

UKIP

Noel Jordan [Carrick Castle]

 

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