General election 2015: Upper Bann count

Votes are counted in the Upper Bann constituency
Votes are counted in the Upper Bann constituency

Early indications in Upper Bann were for a two-horse race, between sitting MP David Simpson and his UUP adversary Jo-Anne Dobson.

There were suggestions that the Sinn Fein vote, with Catherine Seeley their hope, was down, but boxes were still being opened at Banbridge Leisure Centre as that call was made.

Boxes from Dobson’s home town Banbridge were the first to appear, with her camp insisting she was ahead there. But with Portadown and Lurgan votes on the way, Simpson’s people were still confident that he would retain the seat.

The DUP man’s odds had lengthened from 1/11 a month ago to 2/5, while Dobson’s has shortened from 7/1 to 7/4.

It was heading for something of a thriller, with Simpson and Dobson the front runners, although Sinn Fein were making optimistic noises of a late Seeley surge. Neither unionist was at the count at the initial stages.

The other five contestants had given up the ghost from the start. Dolores Kelly (SDLP) is a cert to make it into fourth place, followed home by Alliance’s Peter Lavery, Damien Harte (Workers Party), Amandeeep Singh Bhogal (NI Conservative) and Martin Kelly (CISTA).