Sammy Wilson hails East Antrim DUP win but Alliance take ‘huge step forward’

Sammy Wilson congratulated on his re-election by Arlene Foster
Sammy Wilson congratulated on his re-election by Arlene Foster

The DUP’s Sammy Wilson was returned as MP for East Antrim with a majority of over 6,000 votes.

Mr Wilson, who secured 16,871 votes, finished over 11,000 votes ahead of UUP party leader, Steve Aiken (5,475), who finished in third place behind the Alliance Party’s cllr Danny Donnelly (10,165).

Mr Wilson thanked the East Antrim electorate for putting their faith in him for a fifth time.

The DUP’s Brexit spokesperson also paid tribute to his office staff and party colleagues who have supported him during his campaign.

Addressing the Titanic Exhibition Centre, he said: “This is not a victory for Sammy Wilson. It’s a victory for the party I represent, for the many people to whom I owe an awful lot, whether it’s the staff in my office who deal with constituents on a day-to-day basis, the Assembly members, who despite the fact Sinn Fein keep them out of the Assembly, they work hard for their constituents and all of the councillors who work on the ground.

“That team have delivered for the people of East Antrim and the people of East Antrim have delivered their votes for the DUP and myself. I thank them for it.”

Mr Donnelly felt encouraged after doubling the Alliance vote. Speaking to the News Letter, the Larne Lough councillor said: “This is a huge step forward for Alliance in East Antrim. We have experienced growth in the region.

“People are sick and tired of the orange and green. We are very grateful for their support. Voters have embraced our vision for Northern Ireland and the Alliance surge is still going. Our vote has doubled in the constituency.”

Of the constituency’s 64,830 eligible electorate, 37,431 votes were polled.