A tired Gary Middleton told the News Letter he would have preferred a better turnout in this year’s Westminster election as the Foyle ballots were being distributed for counting in a locked down Templemore count centre.
“I suppose it’s disappointing in a sense that we’d rather the turnout would have been higher but we look forward now to see the ballot boxes being opened and to see what they have in store for us,” said the DUP man.
“We’ve put in the work over the past number of years and hopefully it will show in the final count.”
Unionist rival, the UKIP candidate, Kyle Thompson, refused to set concrete targets or limits. Asked what he’d view as a success, he said: “Any increase in the vote from the last election. We haven’t really got a percentage in mind.”
In reality the unionist tussle, which also involves the UUP’s Julia Kee, the Conservative Hamish Badenoch and Alliance’s David Hawthorne, is a sideshow in a safe nationalist seat – although the Sinn Féin camp is hopeful that Gearóid Ó hEára could cause an upset and unseat the SDLP’s Mark Durkan.