North Down: Lady Sylvia Hermon looks extremely confident as she chats with fellow candidates

Lady Sylvia Hermon (Independent) running in the North Down talking to Mike Nesbitt (UUP) running in Strangfor during the  2017 Westminster Election count at Aurora Leisure Complex, Bangor.
 Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
Lady Sylvia Hermon (Independent) running in the North Down talking to Mike Nesbitt (UUP) running in Strangfor during the 2017 Westminster Election count at Aurora Leisure Complex, Bangor. Picture by Brian Little/PressEye

UUP’s Mike Nesbitt and Independent Unionist Lady Sylvia Hermon appeared in good spirits as they chatted in Aurora Leisure Centre as the counts for North Down and Strangford got underway.

Lady Sylvia is odds-on favourite to retain the seat in North Down which she has held since 2001 and looked extremely confident as she spent time chatting with what seemed to be every politician in the room during the early stages of the count.

As she chatted with her main rival – the DUP’s Alex Easton – it was clear to see Lady Sylvia is a highly respected woman both inside and outside of politics.

She also spoke at length with Mr Nesbitt.

Three months ago – in the same venue – Mr Nesbitt was preparing to deliver his resignation speech as leader of the Ulster Unionists after his party’s poor showing.

But a week is a long time in politics – and three months even more so – and with nothing to lose in Strangford against DUP favourite Jim Shannon, Mr Nesbitt looked much more relaxed.