General election 2017: SF wins big in Mid Ulster

Francie Molloy
Francie Molloy

Sinn Fein’s Francie Molloy has retained his seat and made significant gains in Mid Ulster.

The republican party’s resounding success in the constituency at the recent Assembly election– when it easily secured three of the five available seats – has carried over into the Westminster poll.

Party veteran Mr Molloy took home a staggering 25,455 (54.51%) – compared with his 19,935 (48.7%) share of the vote in the 2015 general election.

Mr Molloy has been the sitting MP since 2013, when the late Martin McGuinness resigned the seat.

Coming a distant second was Keith Buchanan, who holds the DUP’s sole Assembly seat in the constituency. He also dramatically improved his share of the vote, taking 12,565 compared to his tally of 5,465 in 2015.

Mid Ulster was once a stronghold for the DUP, held by Rev William McCrea from 1983 until he was ousted by Martin McGuinness in 1997.

Since then it has been a nationalist/republican stronghold, a trend which shows no signs of changing any time soon.