Simpson slams UUP election tactics as ‘despicable’

The 'DUP's David Simpson at the count in Banbridge
The 'DUP's David Simpson at the count in Banbridge

David Simpson has retained the Upper Bann Westminster seat – with a slightly decreased majority.

The DUP man polled 15,480 votes, with UUP’s Jo-Anne Dobson in second place with 13,166, followed by Sinn Fein’s Catherine Seeley on 11,593 in third spot.

After a count of ebbing and flowing, the DUP man said he was delighted to make Westminster for the third time, and in his hard-hitting acceptance speech described the UUP’s tactics as “despicable”.

But Mr Dobson countered that DUP had used scare tactics in splitting the vote “while we were totally positive”.

At the start of the count, Ms Seeley said she was hopeful, but added it seemed her vote had not come out in the required numbers.

The rest of the count was Amandeep Singh Bhodal (Con) 210; Dolores Kelly (SDLP) 4,238; Martin Kelly (CISTA) 460; Peter Lavery (All) 1,780; Damien Harte (WP) 12w1.

The turn-out was just under 60 per cent.