Unionist anger over the decision to restrict the flying of the Union Flag from Belfast City Hall was a “key factor” behind the increase in the unionist vote, Peter Robinson has said.
The European election saw the share of the vote for pro-Union parties increase from 49 per cent five years ago to 52.6 per cent while the nationalist share of the vote was down from 42.2 per cent to 38.5 per cent.
Speaking to the News Letter at the King’s Hall, where the election count was continuing on Tuesday afternoon, the First Minister and DUP leader said: “There certainly was a real push within unionist areas going back almost a year to get people registered and to encourage them to come out. “I think the flags issue drew to the attention of many that they can’t really complain about the flag being dragged down by the SDLP, Sinn Fein and the Alliance Party if they don’t return the number of councillors by voting. I think that was a key factor.”