North returns more nationalist than unionist MPs for first time

DUP remains the biggest party in North but holds fewer seats than Sinn Féin and SDLP

Dec. 12, 2019

Northern Ireland has returned more nationalists than unionists for the first time after Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) deputy leader Nigel Dodds lost his seat at Westminster in the UK general election.

With Conservative Party leader Boris Johnson having secured a resounding victory, it has been a bad night for the DUP, which lost two seats plus its crucial influencing role supporting the Tory government.

The final seat of the 18 in Northern Ireland to declare was Fermanagh and South Tyrone, where Michelle Gildernew of Sinn Féin held the seat by a reported 57 votes from Tom Elliott of the Ulster Unionist Party.

As a result, although the DUP remains the largest party, it holds fewer seats than Sinn Féin and the SDLP.

The cross-community Alliance Party also took one seat, adding to the majority of anti-Brexit MPs.

Mr Dodds had become a power broker during the Brexit talks, when the DUP propped up the minority Conservative Party government after the UK general election of 2017.