DUP’s Diane Dodds celebrates success in European election

Democratic Unionist Party candidate Diane Dodds arriving at the count centre in Magherafelt. 'Picture: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press
Democratic Unionist Party candidate Diane Dodds arriving at the count centre in Magherafelt. 'Picture: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press
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Diane Dodds has been confirmed as the first the three MEPs that will be representing Northern Ireland at the European Parliament.

The sitting DUP MEP was returned after gaining 124,991 first preference votes.

Sinn Fein’s Martina Anderson topped the poll with 126,951 while Alliance leader Naomi Long attracted 105,928.

UUP candidate Danny Kennedy was disappointed to come in sixth in the first round, behind the TUV leader Jim Allister, who scored 62,021 votes.

DUP leader Arlene Foster said she would have preferred to have two unionist candidates at the top of the poll, but was pleased the, overall, unionism is “still ahead by over 40,000 votes.

Asked for her views on the surge in support for Alliance Mrs Foster said a number of factors – including a low turnout and her assertion that a number of people who supported the Leave campaign felt it was unnecessary to register that view for a second time.

“We found that when we spoke to people they said ‘we have already voted, we told what you want, we want out of Europe’,” she said.