Watch: Jim Allister first elected in north Antrim on seventh count

TUV leader Jim Allister has been elected in north Antrim with 7600 votes on the seventh count.

Speaking after his election, Mr Allister said: “It is very gratifying that five years ago I took the last seat below quota and five years on after serving the people of north Antrim and doing what I do they have done me the great honour of electing me first in 2016. That is very gratifying.”

PACEMAKER BELFAST  06/05/2016
TUV's Jim Allister at the Ballymena count.

PACEMAKER BELFAST 06/05/2016 TUV's Jim Allister at the Ballymena count.

Adding he was disappointed that fellow candidate Timothy Gaston did not succeed he said: “Timothy is a new candidate and he has done very well. He has a good future ahead.”

Mr Allister said there has been “much change in the last five years”.

“There was much gloating five years ago when I trailed in, as they put it, sub quota to win the last seat.

“They said I would be ignored and sit in a corner at Stormont. I think they have probably rued those words in the last five years and today I have been elected first to north Antrim.

“That makes the point better than I could make it.

“This is traditionally a Paisley constituency, a Ian Paisley DUP heartland and some of them now are going to depend on election on my surplus. It is quite possible that someone like the finance minister will require Jim Allister’s surplus to get to Stormont. Mr Paul Frew will require my surplus to get to Stormont.”

Paul Frew of the DUP was the second to be elected in North Antrim.

He reached the quota in the eighth count on the transfer of Jim Allister’s surplus votes.

Sitting MLA David McIlveen of the DUP was eliminated in the same count.

Candidates eliminated so far - Johnston, Simpson, Breslin, Wright, Anderson, McFarland, Gaston and McIlveen.

Fifteen candidates are standing for six seats in the constituency.

Votes polled in North Antrim were 41,464 (turnout 52.93%). The number of valid votes was 40998. Quota - 5857.