General Election 2015: North Antrim count

North Antrim count at the Seven towers Leisure Centre in Ballymena
North Antrim count at the Seven towers Leisure Centre in Ballymena

The race for the next North Antrim MP was in full flow in the Seven Towers Leisure Centre in Ballymena where the count was the first to take place.

The first ballot box was carried into the centre just after 10.10pm and speculators on the floor were claiming there had been “a poor turnout”.

But the DUP election team was brimming with confidence as the count continued, with claims that there was increased young support for the party.

This is the first Westminster election for DUP candidate Ian Paisley without the presence of his father Lord Bannside, who passed away last year.

In 2010 Ian Paisley, then Jnr, maintained his father’s record in holding the Westminster seat – on that occasion against the challenge of TUV leader Jim Allister who was once a close confidante of Paisley Snr.

UUP candidate Robin Swann said he had noticed “a higher turnout of voters in the northern areas of North Antrim and a lower turnout in the southern areas in places such as Ballymena and Antrim”.

Mr Swann also conceded that he believed “the DUP seat is safe”.