SINN Fein’s Francie Molloy managed to retain his party’s seat in the Mid Ulster by election yesterday replacing Martin McGuinness who stepped down as MP at the end of last year.
Molly won the seat after polling 17,462 votes in total, 46.93% of the overall tally.
Although despite winning by a significant margin, Sinn Fein’s majority was down by more than 10,000 votes from their 2010 general election victory.
Unionist Unity candidate Nigel Lutton came second in the polls with 12,781 votes, an increase of just over 32% for the Unionst share.
SDLP’s Patsy McGlone also incresed his party’s votes by around 650 votes with 6,478 votes cast for SDLP.
The Alliance Party’s Eric Bullick also saw his party’s votes rise by around 23% with him gaining 487 votes.
The overall voter turnout in the by-election was 55%, down from 63% in the last general election.
Speaking after the declaration was made, Francie Molloy admitted that his sucessor Martin McGuinness would be a ‘tough act to follow.’
Mr Molloy said he wanted to represent everyone in Mid Ulster saying: “I want to represent all the people of Mid Ulster, not just those who actually voted for me, not just the Sinn Fein support within the area, but all the people of Mid Ulster.”