Results Part 2 Northern Ireland Elections


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Results Part 2

Mark Carruthers and Tara Mills present live coverage and analysis of the Westminster election results as they come in from the 18 constituencies across Northern Ireland.


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10:30pm on BBC One and now we go back to the special election

:00:00.:00:00.

programme, but from me, by bye. Hello and welcome to the Titanic

:00:00.:00:30.

Exhibition Centre, location of the count for the Belfast constituencies

:00:31.:00:35.

and coverage of the 2017 Assembly election. This evening we will bring

:00:36.:00:40.

you the big results, some already are in, the immolation of the

:00:41.:00:45.

elimination of Alex Attwood, Danny Kennedy and Jonathan Bell, some of

:00:46.:00:51.

the big surprises. As the party leaders are concerned, Michelle

:00:52.:00:54.

O'Neill secured victory and Arlene Foster was elected within the last

:00:55.:01:00.

hour. Earlier, the Alliance leader Naomi Long retained receipt in East

:01:01.:01:06.

Belfast. The real drama might be just starting over the next few

:01:07.:01:11.

hours, we will get a better idea of the party strengths, where the

:01:12.:01:14.

transfers are going and the names of the big winners and losers. We will

:01:15.:01:20.

hear from Mark and his guests in a moment, but first, reporters are not

:01:21.:01:23.

the count centres, starting with Julian Fowler in Omagh. We are

:01:24.:01:30.

waiting for the results of the final stage in Fermanagh-South Tyrone, the

:01:31.:01:35.

transfer of the SDLP's Richie McPhillips' votes at the big story

:01:36.:01:39.

is Arlene Foster topping the poll, no real surprise but she did not

:01:40.:01:43.

reach the quarter on first preference, just around 232 short.

:01:44.:01:52.

She received transfers in the second stage and was elected. We have asked

:01:53.:01:56.

Arlene Foster for an interview but she says she will not be speaking to

:01:57.:02:01.

the BBC and has spent much of the day here away from the media inside

:02:02.:02:05.

the conference room or in the count centre behind me. We have not heard

:02:06.:02:12.

any reaction from the DUP leader and we will wait to see if she decides

:02:13.:02:16.

to speak to us later this evening. The final stage is crucial here

:02:17.:02:21.

because depending on where the SDLP transfers go, that will depend on

:02:22.:02:30.

who wins the final seat. So far, the Ulster Unionist Rosemary Barton has

:02:31.:02:33.

done very well on transfers and could secure that seat ahead of Sean

:02:34.:02:36.

Lynch from Sinn Fein, the outgoing MLA. He has been lagging behind his

:02:37.:02:42.

colleagues, Michelle Gildernew and Jemma Dolan. He is set to miss out.

:02:43.:02:50.

Maurice Morrow of the DUP should also retain his seat. In West

:02:51.:02:55.

Tyrone, things are going more slowly, the results earlier on,

:02:56.:03:00.

Barry McElduff for Sinn Fein and Michaella Boyle elected along with

:03:01.:03:04.

Thomas Buchanan for the DUP, Sinn Fein pulling strongly in West Tyrone

:03:05.:03:10.

on a turnout of 69%. They received over 21,000 votes. This is the

:03:11.:03:16.

situation in Omagh, we can cross to Foyle and Keiron Tourish. The

:03:17.:03:24.

current continues at the Foyle Arena for East Londonderry and the Foyle

:03:25.:03:28.

constituency. What has been the story of the day has been the strong

:03:29.:03:32.

performance of Sinn Fein and for the first time ever we have outpolled

:03:33.:03:37.

the SDLP on first preference votes and who would have thought that in a

:03:38.:03:42.

place that was once the heartland of John Hume, the former SDLP leader?

:03:43.:03:46.

Sinn Fein have retained both seats and they say that has vindicated the

:03:47.:03:52.

position of Martin McGuinness and a stance he took to collapse the

:03:53.:03:56.

Assembly and for the SDLP, Colum Eastwood has been elected in the

:03:57.:03:59.

last hour and he will be expected to be followed shortly by Mark H

:04:00.:04:07.

Durkan. The losers? He has all but conceded defeat, but Eamonn McCann

:04:08.:04:13.

will have one of the shortest medical careers on record, seven

:04:14.:04:17.

months, he will lose his seat following a dramatic turnaround and

:04:18.:04:22.

the DUP sitting MLA Gary Middleton is expected to pick up the last

:04:23.:04:27.

seat. In East Londonderry, Sinn Fein are pulling well and they might well

:04:28.:04:32.

take another seat, the DUP could be down by one seat and you have to add

:04:33.:04:37.

that it is all to play for and early days. Who could be the loser? It

:04:38.:04:44.

could be John Dallat, the SDLP veteran making a political comeback,

:04:45.:04:47.

he could lose out in East Londonderry but the outgoing Justice

:04:48.:04:52.

Minister Claire Sugden says she is quietly confident she will do well

:04:53.:04:56.

and could retain her seat. David Maxwell joins us in Belfast.

:04:57.:05:01.

The biggest story this afternoon so far has been Alex Attwood in West

:05:02.:05:08.

Belfast losing the seat for the SDLP. He held on last time by the

:05:09.:05:14.

skin of his teeth but not this time and we don't need a crystal ball to

:05:15.:05:17.

know what the results will be in West Belfast, four Sinn Fein seats

:05:18.:05:23.

very likely and Gerry Carroll, he has been returned. In North Belfast,

:05:24.:05:31.

no one has been returned so far, the only Belfast constituency not to

:05:32.:05:35.

declare for anyone, Jerry Kelly was returned last time in the first

:05:36.:05:38.

round but no one so far and stop we expect him to get elected and Sinn

:05:39.:05:43.

Fein are confident that Caral Ni Chuillin will follow him. Nichola

:05:44.:05:49.

Mallon not to be rolled out, and if there were to be three nationalist

:05:50.:05:54.

seats in North Belfast, remember, there are three DUP seats at the

:05:55.:05:59.

moment, that but knock out a DUP representative and some say Nelson

:06:00.:06:02.

McCausland is talking like he has already lost. That would be

:06:03.:06:06.

significant for the DUP and in East Belfast... The DUP, everyone we

:06:07.:06:13.

speak to say they expect to lose a seat and that will be twain Robin

:06:14.:06:19.

Newton, the speaker in the last December, and David Douglas, who

:06:20.:06:23.

replaces his father, Sammy. It is likely that David Douglas will be

:06:24.:06:28.

more transfer friendly when it comes to transfers of John Kyle, the DUP

:06:29.:06:33.

representative, when he is eliminated and and south Belfast,

:06:34.:06:38.

that is a rainbow constituency. Last time it had five parties

:06:39.:06:43.

represented. Mairtin O'Muilleoir, the only candidate elected so far

:06:44.:06:48.

for Sinn Fein. We expect the SDLP and Alliance to follow him, given

:06:49.:06:53.

the numbers at the moment. The race for the last two seeds are between

:06:54.:06:57.

both DUP representatives and Clare Bailey of the Green Party. We wait

:06:58.:07:02.

to see what that will be but there is potential in Belfast and I stress

:07:03.:07:06.

only a potential that three out of the four seats to go could be DUP.

:07:07.:07:14.

That would be significant indeed. Stephen Walker is in Bangor.

:07:15.:07:19.

It has been a very good day for the DUP in North Down and the Strangford

:07:20.:07:27.

seats in North Down, taking two seats and in Strangford it looks

:07:28.:07:32.

like they are on course take three. They moved Peter Weir from North

:07:33.:07:35.

Down into Strangford and they faced a threat from Jonathan Bell but that

:07:36.:07:40.

never materialised so it looks like the DUP will take three seats in

:07:41.:07:43.

Strangford. There is a tussle for the final seat with Philip were,

:07:44.:07:49.

Philip Smith, rather, from the Ulster Unionists but it looks like

:07:50.:07:52.

the DUP will get that. Strong showing from the Alliance and the

:07:53.:07:57.

Greens but disappointing for the UUP, it is not applicable get the

:07:58.:08:01.

second seat in Strangford, putting further pressure on Mike Nesbitt,

:08:02.:08:07.

the leader. Thank you. Welcome back to our studio in broadcasting house

:08:08.:08:13.

in Belfast for continuing coverage of the results for the 2017 Assembly

:08:14.:08:18.

elections. It does not seem so long since we were here not so long ago,

:08:19.:08:26.

last May, ten months ago, having not hugely dissimilar conversations in

:08:27.:08:29.

Somerset 's -- respects but in another respect a lot has changed.

:08:30.:08:35.

Some fresh faces on the panel. Fionnuala O'Connor, a regular on the

:08:36.:08:41.

airwaves. Alex Kane, of course, freshfaced! And bearded! Underneath!

:08:42.:08:52.

The former Sinn Fein MLA has joined us and Stephen Grimason, who was

:08:53.:08:59.

with us earlier, the former head of communications for the Executive and

:09:00.:09:03.

former Political Editor for BBC Northern Ireland so no stranger to

:09:04.:09:09.

this setup. We can dive in. We have not heard from vanilla and Alex. Let

:09:10.:09:14.

us hear from them. We have had a very good overview from the

:09:15.:09:18.

colleagues on Newsline with Donna Trainer and colleagues out and about

:09:19.:09:21.

at the various count centres. Is your assessment, seven hours into

:09:22.:09:32.

the current? -- into the current? Other people have said this but

:09:33.:09:38.

Arlene Foster has done an amazing double, she has brought out the Sinn

:09:39.:09:42.

Fein vote to the maximum or certainly bigger than it has been

:09:43.:09:46.

and she has brought out her own foot so this is a double first, Sinn Fein

:09:47.:09:55.

should invite to the next are-! She will not thank you for saying that!

:09:56.:10:02.

They could do it! On the other side of the fence, the other two parties

:10:03.:10:08.

in contention, the Ulster Unionists and SDLP, pretty shaky, especially

:10:09.:10:14.

for Mike Nesbitt, something you could see coming because he did that

:10:15.:10:18.

crazy thing, he appealed to the people over the head of his party.

:10:19.:10:22.

He did not discuss to any good purpose his idea of giving his first

:10:23.:10:27.

preference or second preference to the SDLP and I think we have to

:10:28.:10:33.

suppose he tried the site inside the party and did not go down very well

:10:34.:10:38.

but it was a very unpolitical thing to do and he must be lamenting that.

:10:39.:10:45.

Will he pay a price for that within his party? Newton Emerson said he

:10:46.:10:51.

made the mess calculations of going into opposition? There is no place

:10:52.:10:56.

called opposition, somebody famously said, but he moved into opposition

:10:57.:11:03.

as the Leader of the Opposition, self-styled, and then those comments

:11:04.:11:07.

about transferring to the SDLP in East Belfast. Has that cost him?

:11:08.:11:12.

Living in the opposition was the right thing to do. But he would have

:11:13.:11:18.

expected five years for both parties to get their act together for

:11:19.:11:21.

movement and something resembling coherence to emerge and to present

:11:22.:11:27.

themselves as a credible alternative to Sinn Fein and the DUP but as we

:11:28.:11:32.

know, this was nothing to do with politics, this was orange and Green

:11:33.:11:35.

yet again and Arlene Foster pulled it off, no matter what you say about

:11:36.:11:42.

the DUP or the circumstances of this election, she delivered her vote and

:11:43.:11:45.

that is all that matters. Mike Nesbitt did not but I think his

:11:46.:11:50.

resignation cannot be far away. We will see. Catriona Ruane, looking at

:11:51.:11:57.

pictures from the count centre and your colleagues holding up four

:11:58.:12:04.

fingers, four MLAs returned. Fra McCann and Pat Sheehan, strife. --

:12:05.:12:14.

home and dry. It is remarkable vote management. It is difficult to get

:12:15.:12:18.

three out of five and I know that from the Newry and Armagh and Mid

:12:19.:12:24.

Ulster areas but four out of five? Remarkable. And that is the

:12:25.:12:30.

crocodile! The crocodile featured in the last few days. Crocodile voting!

:12:31.:12:37.

Is that a crocodile or an alligator? What is the difference? You tell me!

:12:38.:12:45.

It is interesting, passing the mantle to the next generation and

:12:46.:12:50.

Orlaithi Flynn topping the poll and we're not into topping the polls but

:12:51.:12:56.

I think it is interesting that we are passing the mantle and that is

:12:57.:13:00.

what needs to happen. Stephen, what do you make of where we are? Quite

:13:01.:13:06.

an achievement for Sinn Fein MLAs, four out of five. And knocking Alex

:13:07.:13:14.

Attwood out at the same time. The Ulster Unionists scenario, Mike

:13:15.:13:21.

Nesbitt has not spoken yet. If you suggest over the head of your party

:13:22.:13:26.

and the UUP is largely unreadable anyway but if you do that and the

:13:27.:13:32.

broader electorate will have picked this up, who are the other big

:13:33.:13:39.

winners? The Alliance Party. People said, think about transferring, let

:13:40.:13:43.

us go the whole hog and vote for Alliance. The debate that he began

:13:44.:13:48.

went in that direction and took even more away from him. Cutting the feet

:13:49.:13:56.

from under him. Just a quick word. I was on the committee of the

:13:57.:14:00.

Executive and I think it was a mistake, I will disagree, by the UUP

:14:01.:14:08.

and SDLP to go into opposition because we are power-sharing...

:14:09.:14:12.

Stormont was power-sharing, North and South. Perfectly entitled to

:14:13.:14:19.

make that decision. I am not arguing that, parties are entitled to that

:14:20.:14:24.

but I think there was a much stronger power-sharing when

:14:25.:14:28.

everybody was in it and it was better for the SDLP and UUP because

:14:29.:14:34.

they were part of this. They did not think they had any part in this. The

:14:35.:14:38.

problem was not the power, they had difficulty resigning to the fact

:14:39.:14:44.

they were the smaller parties. They felt they were being ignored, there

:14:45.:14:49.

were secret meetings not involving them and they were not included and

:14:50.:14:53.

they felt excluded. Danny Kennedy said, already being the opposition.

:14:54.:15:02.

Let us develop this through the evening. Still some interesting

:15:03.:15:09.

things happening. Conor Macauley is at Banbridge leisure centre. The

:15:10.:15:13.

Upper Bann count and Newry and Armagh. What is the latest? Newry

:15:14.:15:20.

and Armagh has wrapped up for the day, the seats are filled, three

:15:21.:15:29.

Sinn Fein, one SDLP and one DUP, Justin McNulty for the SDLP and

:15:30.:15:34.

William Irwin for the DUP but the big story here was the loss of the

:15:35.:15:41.

seat by Danny Kennedy of the UUP, a seat that he has held since 1998 and

:15:42.:15:47.

he said the increased turnout in this constituency had essentially

:15:48.:15:52.

washed away the second unionist seat. Upper Bann, shaping up for an

:15:53.:15:57.

interesting battle, still going on this evenly, Carla Lockhart elected

:15:58.:16:02.

for the DUP and we expect confirmation that she will be joined

:16:03.:16:06.

by Jonathan Buckley and John O'Dowd is safe for Sinn Fein and Doug

:16:07.:16:11.

Beattie is pulling ahead of Jo-Anne Dobson for the UUP and she could

:16:12.:16:17.

turn out to be the casualty for the UUP in this constituency, leaving

:16:18.:16:21.

Dolores Kelly and Nuala Toman I'm Sinn Fein writing for the last seat.

:16:22.:16:29.

Dolores Kelly had good news from the Alliance transfers, she had about

:16:30.:16:34.

1200 of those, and she says there is nothing left to come but unionist

:16:35.:16:39.

transfers and she is ahead of Nuala Toman White 264 and she thinks that

:16:40.:16:43.

the transfers, she could stay ahead of Nuala Toman, gifting her the

:16:44.:16:45.

final seat. Here it's all gone a bit quiet here,

:16:46.:16:57.

there's not much happening at the moment. Some exclusions being

:16:58.:17:01.

counted. It's a strongly republican area and Sinn Fein feel they kept

:17:02.:17:05.

their three MLAs, their existing MLAs, including Michelle O'Neill and

:17:06.:17:09.

it appears from some Sinn Fein commentators that the fact of

:17:10.:17:11.

Michelle O'Neill having a much higher profile now in Stormont seems

:17:12.:17:15.

to have upped the ante here and brought in more votes to Sinn Fein.

:17:16.:17:21.

Also early election of the sitting DUP MLA, Keith Buchanan. If you can

:17:22.:17:24.

count that makes four, that means there is one left, one seat left to

:17:25.:17:29.

fight for. That seems to be between Patsy McGlone of the SDLP and the

:17:30.:17:33.

Ulster Unionist Sandra Overend, they're in contention for that seat.

:17:34.:17:36.

We are hearing, although nothing confirmed yet, we are hearing Patsy

:17:37.:17:42.

McGlone is safe for that seat. In North Antrim, after ten hours nobody

:17:43.:17:46.

elected yet. Previously three DUP, one TUV and one Ulster un-Eyes party

:17:47.:17:52.

and one Sinn Fein. The only person saying anything much is the Sinn

:17:53.:17:57.

Fein candidate Philip McGuigan who has been celebrating on social media

:17:58.:18:01.

even though it's not decided yet. We are hearing three DUP candidates are

:18:02.:18:04.

hopeful of keeping their seats but nobody is saying that's going to

:18:05.:18:07.

happen and in fact we are thinking that the two people left in

:18:08.:18:11.

contention who are in doubt are Philip Logan of the DUP and Robin

:18:12.:18:18.

Swann of the UUP and we think Robin Swann is closer to that quota. He

:18:19.:18:23.

may well get in first. Over to Julian O'Neill in Lisburn.

:18:24.:18:32.

Jim Wells I believe is about to be deemed elected in South Down. This

:18:33.:18:36.

is his 17th election campaign and he will be the father of the House in

:18:37.:18:42.

the next Assembly. Already past the post in that South Down constituency

:18:43.:18:47.

were Sinead Elis who topped the poll for Sinn Fein followed by kriz

:18:48.:18:54.

Hazzard -- Chris. Also past the post and deemed elected Sinead Bradley of

:18:55.:18:59.

the SDLP. Now a bittersweet day for her, retaking her seat on the day

:19:00.:19:03.

she attended her father's funeral. I haven't seen her at the count centre

:19:04.:19:07.

and I believe she may not be coming here. One seat left to fight for in

:19:08.:19:19.

South Down between Colin McGrath and Patrick Brown. Harold McKee of the

:19:20.:19:23.

Ulster Unionists has been eliminated. He held the 5th - sorry

:19:24.:19:27.

the 6th seat at the last election, but he loses out in that

:19:28.:19:32.

constituency. Things running a lot slower in Lagan valley which is also

:19:33.:19:38.

being counted here at Lisburn. One candidate so far elected, Paul Givan

:19:39.:19:41.

of the DUP who for the second election in a row has topped the

:19:42.:19:47.

poll. I expect Edwin Poots, his running mate, to also be elected.

:19:48.:19:52.

Trevor Lunn has polled well for Alliance, almost doubling his vote.

:19:53.:19:57.

He too is likely to be elected. The final seat, I should say Robbie

:19:58.:20:00.

Butler has polled well and is likely to get in, that leaves a 5th and

:20:01.:20:08.

final seat up for grabs between two outgoing MLAs, Brenda Hale of the

:20:09.:20:12.

DUP and Jenny Palmer of the Ulster Unionists. The DUP were hopeful at

:20:13.:20:16.

the start of this day they would hold their three MLAs in this

:20:17.:20:21.

constituency. That doubt has crept in, they're not now so confident and

:20:22.:20:24.

I am even hearing from the SDLP that they feel they may be in with a

:20:25.:20:29.

shout on that seat based on transfers but in all likelihood it

:20:30.:20:35.

will be a run-off with Brenda Hale and Jenny Palmer. Over to

:20:36.:20:42.

Newtownabbey and Ita. Here there is a bit of a teatime lull. I have

:20:43.:20:50.

spoken to people off for a spot of lasagne. First to to South Antrim

:20:51.:20:55.

and two people elected here, the first person to be elected was

:20:56.:21:07.

Declan Kearney. Steve Aiken. We are at the next stage now and the

:21:08.:21:11.

elimination of the SDLP's Roisin Lynch. Those transfers are going to

:21:12.:21:16.

be distributed. David Ford says that he is feeling optimistic that he

:21:17.:21:20.

will be next in line for a seat. There is no DUP MLAs elected here so

:21:21.:21:27.

far. But they are fighting for - three candidates and they're

:21:28.:21:32.

fighting for two seats, Paul Girvan, Pam Cameron and Trevor Clarke. There

:21:33.:21:36.

is a bit of nervous energy amongst that group of DUP candidates. In

:21:37.:21:41.

East Antrim we already have four seats filled. We just heard that the

:21:42.:21:50.

DUP's Gordon Lyons has been elected. Earlier his colleague David Hilditch

:21:51.:21:57.

was the first elected here. Next the Alliance's Stewart Dickson and Roy

:21:58.:22:03.

Beggs. One seat left and Sinn Fein's Oliver McMullan is still there now.

:22:04.:22:07.

He is vulnerable and only got eight transfers in the last round. That

:22:08.:22:20.

remaining seat could be the Ulster Unionists' Stewart. -- John Stewart.

:22:21.:22:23.

The numbers make for interesting reading. When you look at the growth

:22:24.:22:29.

in the DUP vote, it's interesting on last May, 23,000 up. Sinn Fein vote

:22:30.:22:33.

up 57,000. Yes, and the really interesting

:22:34.:22:37.

figure is the difference between in the popular vote, between the DUP

:22:38.:22:41.

total, they topped the popular vote, but Sinn Fein are just under 12 o 00

:22:42.:22:49.

votes behind them now -- 1200. As Monty Python used to say that's a

:22:50.:22:57.

wafe refreshings thin majority. Even they didn't think it would be that

:22:58.:23:02.

close. As I suggested earlier if you draw a

:23:03.:23:06.

line down the middle of Northern Ireland you have a differentential

:23:07.:23:09.

turnout west and east of the Bann. It takes fewer unionists to elected

:23:10.:23:14.

an MLA than nationalists to put it crudely. Kwha do you make of that,

:23:15.:23:21.

interesting numbers That's psychologically an important thing

:23:22.:23:28.

and it must factor - it must be a factor in Arlene Foster's

:23:29.:23:32.

psychology. I heard somebody saying, was it David McIlveen, again the

:23:33.:23:38.

Thorne in the flesh who has more play than he probably deserves and

:23:39.:23:42.

clearly has a firm out of spite and mallise in him from his experiences

:23:43.:23:47.

in May. I think it was him who said there was a comfortable gap between

:23:48.:23:51.

the parties the last time. This is nothing like a comfortable gap. I

:23:52.:23:55.

suspect he would dispute the idea of malice. Of course he would. Maybe

:23:56.:24:02.

malicious... It's fair to suggest that he has an axe to grind. I never

:24:03.:24:07.

thought I would feel sympathy for Arlene Foster, I must say but... Do

:24:08.:24:16.

you not? No, it past! Nicholas Whyte was saying this earlier, but for the

:24:17.:24:20.

first time unionists will not have an overall majority in terms of

:24:21.:24:24.

seats or possibly will not have an overall majority in terms of seats

:24:25.:24:30.

in the Assembly. They would still be the single biggest designation, but

:24:31.:24:32.

they wouldn't necessarily have a majority. If they come in at 43, 44

:24:33.:24:38.

seats, out of 90, that's less than half. That's going to be a

:24:39.:24:41.

difficulty and I was writing about that at the beginning of the

:24:42.:24:43.

campaign. Why is it a difficulty? It's psychological. What's going to

:24:44.:24:47.

happen, if you get a situation... You are shaking your head, does it

:24:48.:24:53.

matter? Why it will make a difference. For unionists majority

:24:54.:24:57.

matters to unionism, it's a psychological thing. For the first

:24:58.:25:00.

time, whether it's a Stormont parliament or an Assembly in

:25:01.:25:03.

Northern Ireland, if someone can get up and say, whether it's someone

:25:04.:25:06.

from Sinn Fein or Alliance or the SDLP to say to - assuming it's

:25:07.:25:12.

Arlene Foster, you do not speak for, this House does not represent a

:25:13.:25:17.

unionist majority any more, that's psychologically damaging. She will

:25:18.:25:22.

feel vulnerable. Can you understand that, the psychology of that I can

:25:23.:25:27.

understand it but as a society we need to stop thinking in terms of

:25:28.:25:31.

majority. We need to be thinking in terms of celebrating diversity. We

:25:32.:25:38.

need to be thinking of making this a place for everyone. I think - I do

:25:39.:25:45.

understand it, but I still - I haven't seen the right words for it,

:25:46.:25:49.

we have to change that way. I am pretty sure if that balance Stephen

:25:50.:25:54.

was talking about was in favour of Sinn Fein, if Sinn Fein was the

:25:55.:25:57.

largest party in Northern Ireland they might not be blatantly saying

:25:58.:26:01.

look at us, but they would have let the message go out to the core, we

:26:02.:26:07.

are now the largest party, we are making progress. It's in their

:26:08.:26:11.

psychology, as well. I am going to disagree with you. I know you are.

:26:12.:26:17.

Not in the same way. When we were discussing it in the previous

:26:18.:26:19.

election about first and Deputy First Minister, I mean, first and

:26:20.:26:24.

Deputy First Minister have - we have said it, have the exact same powers.

:26:25.:26:31.

What Martin McGuinness said was let's have joint ministers. If Sinn

:26:32.:26:36.

Fein were to be the biggest party, let's have joint ministers. I think

:26:37.:26:40.

we need to stop thinking like that. We need to be thinking of our LGBT

:26:41.:26:46.

and thinking of women and ethnic minorities. We need to be working

:26:47.:26:51.

together to build a better island. In my case a better island. In the

:26:52.:26:55.

case of unionism as they would see it a better place for us all to

:26:56.:27:00.

live. There are bound to be people in Connolly House saying we can kick

:27:01.:27:04.

on from this, we are really close now. Is that likely to be spooking

:27:05.:27:08.

some unionists? More than some. Interesting point, thank you very

:27:09.:27:11.

much. We will come back to this in due

:27:12.:27:16.

course. Before teatime we heard from Alex Attwood of the SDLP who lost

:27:17.:27:21.

out in West Belfast, he was an MLA since 1998 there. A short time ago

:27:22.:27:27.

he spoke to people gathered at the Titanic count centre. People ask me

:27:28.:27:32.

how do I feel, that's not so important. What is important to me

:27:33.:27:37.

is that I do feel that I have let down the SDLP. And I do feel that I

:27:38.:27:41.

have let down the people of West Belfast. That is something that I

:27:42.:27:45.

will carry into the future for a very long period of time. But I am

:27:46.:27:53.

reassured that the new generation of SDLP coming through in West Belfast

:27:54.:27:57.

will take the party to places and to success that has been beyond my

:27:58.:28:02.

grasp in recent times. I have confidence in them and I would ask

:28:03.:28:08.

people who support the SDLP in West Belfast to have confidence in them

:28:09.:28:13.

too. Alex Attwood speaking at the count centre in Belfast. Obviously

:28:14.:28:17.

very disappointed. Let's talk to his party leader Colum Eastwood, leader

:28:18.:28:21.

of the SDLP who joins us from his home count in Derry. Evening to you.

:28:22.:28:27.

Thank you for joining us. How do you feel about Alex Attwood's career

:28:28.:28:31.

being brought to a juddering halt this afternoon? Well, it's a huge

:28:32.:28:35.

loss for us and of course Alex hasn't let us down. He has done

:28:36.:28:39.

anything but let the people of this country down over his many decades

:28:40.:28:43.

of service. Because of Alex Attwood we have a new beginning to policing,

:28:44.:28:48.

he played a huge role in the peace process and our negotiations so we

:28:49.:28:52.

are very proud of the work that Alex has done as a representative of the

:28:53.:28:56.

SDLP and a representative of West Belfast over many years. We will

:28:57.:29:01.

miss him very, very sorely. Of course, it was a very difficult ask,

:29:02.:29:06.

we duesing from six to five seaters, he won the 6th seat just about a few

:29:07.:29:10.

months ago. The 5th seat was just I think a bit of a stretch for us and

:29:11.:29:15.

we always knew he would be under pressure in West Belfast and Alex

:29:16.:29:20.

did put a trojan effort to try to retain the seat, unfortunately the

:29:21.:29:24.

wins were against him. It's been a bad day so Forrest -- so far for the

:29:25.:29:29.

SDLP, not just in West Belfast but elsewhere too. Your overall

:29:30.:29:33.

performance, last May it was the worst SDLP performance ever. Today,

:29:34.:29:37.

it's worse again. Your vote is down I think overall... Is it? It is,

:29:38.:29:45.

yes. It is. Your vote is down by and share is down by 0. 1%. You are

:29:46.:29:50.

going - you have lost one seat. Are you going to make ten seats, can you

:29:51.:29:56.

make ten seats? How bad is it in your estimatation? Well, of course I

:29:57.:30:00.

don't see it in the same way that you do. 0. 1% is hardly anything at

:30:01.:30:07.

all. For the SDLP to retain its vote share across the north in such a

:30:08.:30:10.

difficult and poisonous situation that we have had, the political

:30:11.:30:14.

context has been horrible for parties of the middle. Of course

:30:15.:30:18.

this was an election pitched as a battle between Sinn Fein and the DUP

:30:19.:30:22.

and we were always going to find it difficult. Of course, ten seats will

:30:23.:30:25.

be proportional to what we have right now given the fact we are

:30:26.:30:28.

reducing the number of seats in the Assembly. I don't think we are far

:30:29.:30:34.

away from ten seats and people like Dolores Kelly are doing well to hang

:30:35.:30:37.

in there and she will take a seat I think at the expense of Sinn Fein in

:30:38.:30:43.

Upper Bann. What about the decision that you made to go into opposition

:30:44.:30:47.

with Mike Nesbitt of the Ulster Unionist party. We heard from some

:30:48.:30:51.

commentators around the table here that may well have cost both your

:30:52.:30:54.

parties, the centre ground, if you like, or a major part of the centre

:30:55.:30:59.

ground, real support in this election, do you think now with the

:31:00.:31:04.

benefit of hindsight it was a miscalculation? No, I think that's

:31:05.:31:09.

utter nonsense, the idea this was an election about the Government versus

:31:10.:31:12.

opposition, as much as some of us tried to make it that and move

:31:13.:31:16.

politics on to that ground, that's not what this election was about, it

:31:17.:31:19.

was about old battles that have come to the fore again. The people saying

:31:20.:31:25.

that we moved into the opposition was a strategic mistake were saying

:31:26.:31:28.

it was a good idea a few months ago, so I don't buy that. That's not what

:31:29.:31:32.

this election was about. Just to be clear, I have to be fair to you,

:31:33.:31:36.

your share of the overall vote is down 0. 1%. You may well be down

:31:37.:31:42.

overall in terms of seats. Your vote is up because turnout is up and

:31:43.:31:46.

everybody's - all the main parties have an increased vote. So the vote

:31:47.:31:49.

has gone up by a few thousand. I accept that. But the share... I am

:31:50.:31:56.

glad you say that, Mark. I thought that our vote was up. It is up but

:31:57.:32:04.

in percentage terms it's down. By 0. 1% which I don't think anybody could

:32:05.:32:09.

hold against us in a poisonous political atmosphere which was an

:32:10.:32:11.

election between the DUP and Sinn Fein. The rest of us tried to find

:32:12.:32:15.

some space to make a positive case. I think we did well to retain that

:32:16.:32:23.

percentage share and we will end up in and around prorata what we had. I

:32:24.:32:27.

think it's a good day for an SDLP in a difficult and poisonous

:32:28.:32:28.

atmosphere. Thank you very much. We will have further conversations

:32:29.:32:42.

in the next few days. Jo Whiley Dobson for the Ulster Unionists has

:32:43.:32:48.

been eliminated in her caught so she has gone. That is Upper Bann,

:32:49.:32:53.

speculation that Doug Beattie could be under pressure, her running mate,

:32:54.:32:58.

but he is hanging in. Jo-Anne Dobson has gone. That is significant.

:32:59.:33:06.

Another bad bit of news for the Ulster Unionist Party leader, Mike

:33:07.:33:10.

Nesbitt. Mark Devenport is looking at the overall picture. Let us look

:33:11.:33:15.

at the Assembly make up so far. Here we go. 42 of the 90 seats declared

:33:16.:33:24.

and we can see Sinn Fein on 18, putting in a quick start to this

:33:25.:33:29.

race. Any idea of what you might end up with? Between 26 and 28.

:33:30.:33:37.

Depending on whether they can make gains in East Londonderry and the

:33:38.:33:42.

second seat in north Belfast. The DUP trailing them on 13 what they

:33:43.:33:50.

will make up that gap? At least, maximum of 29, the uncertainty is

:33:51.:33:57.

whether they can hang onto the second seat in Fermanagh-South

:33:58.:34:02.

Tyrone. Alliance Party, four, in third position. Can they hold on?

:34:03.:34:07.

For it is not impossible, there is an outside chance in South Down and

:34:08.:34:14.

North Belfast, outside chances but nonetheless they are there. And the

:34:15.:34:20.

Ulster Unionists and SDLP, poor figures. Some of the faces joining

:34:21.:34:25.

the Assembly. And some of those who will be lost. Jonathan Buckley and

:34:26.:34:32.

Upper Bann taking over the seat vacated by Sidney Anderson. The DUP

:34:33.:34:40.

consolidating their consolidation. Sinn Fein, Elisha McCallion, the

:34:41.:34:47.

former Mayor of Derry, taking over from Martin McGuinness, and Sinead

:34:48.:34:50.

Ennis, only beaten by her party leader. Most impressive performances

:34:51.:34:59.

from both candidates, replacing long-standing local figures. Some of

:35:00.:35:06.

those no longer with us. Gerry Mullan, he stood as an independent

:35:07.:35:11.

in East Londonderry and he has done damage to the SDLP? It looks like

:35:12.:35:17.

because of the confusion between the candidates the SDLP will lose that's

:35:18.:35:22.

it. Jonathan Bell in Strangford, at the centre of the RHI storm, did not

:35:23.:35:29.

do the DUP as much damage has had? Clearly not and did himself no

:35:30.:35:35.

favours. Moving along. The SDLP, pretty bad for them, some veterans,

:35:36.:35:42.

Alex Attwood and West Belfast and Richie McPhillips losing out?

:35:43.:35:53.

Squeaking through last time. Alex Attwood is a significant loss. And a

:35:54.:35:58.

bad day for the Ulster Unionists. Jo-Anne Dobson, that was a surprise

:35:59.:36:03.

she did not do better than her running mate, Doug Beattie, and she

:36:04.:36:08.

loses Danny -- joins Danny Kennedy and Harold McKee? And in the short

:36:09.:36:15.

term, there are number of candidates has been reduced. Lots of human

:36:16.:36:21.

drama. With all the comings and goings of the new

:36:22.:36:25.

Thank you. We can talk to Jim Wells, the DUP candidate, successfully

:36:26.:36:33.

returned in South Down. Thank you for joining us. Congratulations.

:36:34.:36:41.

Thank you. Are you pleased you came in third place with 7800 first

:36:42.:36:48.

preferences behind two Sinn Fein candidates? Pretty comfortable? Yes.

:36:49.:36:56.

The vote was up 53% from last May, very comfortable. Up from 5000 to

:36:57.:37:05.

7800, very credible performance and I want to thank my election agent

:37:06.:37:09.

and my colleagues in the team. I want to pay tribute to Howard

:37:10.:37:14.

McHugh, who did not make it. He will be missed in South Down. Sinead

:37:15.:37:21.

Bradley successful for the SDLP and a very difficult day for Sinead,

:37:22.:37:25.

returned today, the pleasure of getting back to Stormont with what

:37:26.:37:30.

was her father's seat but she buried her father this morning? Yes, PJ

:37:31.:37:37.

Bradley was one of the nicest men ever to represent South Down and his

:37:38.:37:41.

passing is a tragedy and very difficult for Sinead because he was

:37:42.:37:45.

ill for some time and she fought that campaign without going on so

:37:46.:37:49.

well done to her in difficult times and commiserations to you and your

:37:50.:37:54.

family. What do you make of the battle for the fifth seat? Between

:37:55.:37:59.

Colin McGrath of the SDLP and Patrick Brown from Alliance, he is

:38:00.:38:04.

trailing column by around 600 votes but we are looking at the

:38:05.:38:09.

redistribution of the surpluses and there is every possibility, is

:38:10.:38:12.

there, that they could go to Patrick Brown more than Colin McGrath? We

:38:13.:38:18.

could have a new face returned for South Down? It would not be Howard

:38:19.:38:28.

McHugh's surplus, it is mine, with 2500 votes. We did not want members

:38:29.:38:34.

and supporters to transfer to the Alliance. I think that Colin

:38:35.:38:39.

McGrath, the sitting MLA, has a good chance. He has a lead over Patrick

:38:40.:38:44.

Brown and I would think he will get the that's it, two Sinn Fein and

:38:45.:38:48.

SDLP and myself as the only unionist. I am just looking at the

:38:49.:38:56.

numbers. There are so many columns and boxes and numbers, I miss read

:38:57.:39:04.

that. Sinead Bradley got in ahead if you on the third stage. That would

:39:05.:39:10.

mean Colin McGrath would be home and Patrick Brown not successful. Any

:39:11.:39:17.

idea of the timescale? Pistil redistribution of the surplus from

:39:18.:39:24.

Chris, about 600, that will favour Colin McGrath and my surplus is

:39:25.:39:31.

around 2500, fairly neutral, so Colin would be the favourite, two

:39:32.:39:35.

more accounts and Colin will probably be elected. We will see.

:39:36.:39:43.

Good to talk to you. Thank you. We can talk to Patsy McGlone from the

:39:44.:39:48.

SDLP, who joins us from his count in Mid Ulster. The seven Towers Leisure

:39:49.:39:55.

Centre. Are you confident that you will hang onto your seat? I am

:39:56.:40:03.

hopeful. We're at the fourth count for the smaller parties being

:40:04.:40:06.

eliminated so there are transfers coming across so it seems hopeful

:40:07.:40:12.

that I will be returned again. That would mean you are knocking out

:40:13.:40:16.

Sandra Overend, who has served there for quite some time, as did her

:40:17.:40:21.

father before her. More bad news for the Ulster Unionist Party. Yes, I do

:40:22.:40:28.

not count my chickens before they hatch and that was the case, I would

:40:29.:40:33.

feel for Sandra Overend, as I would for anyone who gets knocked out, who

:40:34.:40:38.

has been there and served their community and has done well for

:40:39.:40:42.

those communities. Unfortunate that somebody has to be the loser, we had

:40:43.:40:48.

the reduction from six to only five seats but that is the inevitability

:40:49.:40:54.

of it, five people have to get through and with 11 candidates,

:40:55.:40:59.

there are six losers. Impressive performance by Sinn Fein, Michelle

:41:00.:41:03.

O'Neill, the party leader, at Stormont, topping the poll. Bringing

:41:04.:41:07.

both running mates with her in some style? They have done well here. I

:41:08.:41:15.

have to say, I congratulated all the candidates elected so far but on the

:41:16.:41:21.

political side, we had a huge fear factor in this election that turned

:41:22.:41:26.

into a sectarian bunfight but the SDLP has put its vote up by 12,001st

:41:27.:41:31.

preference votes 19 months ago which is good for us. However, this

:41:32.:41:37.

election was not about RHI or anything else, we saw Arlene Foster

:41:38.:41:41.

whipping up the fear and that was reciprocated by those who want to

:41:42.:41:45.

give her a political bloody nose and that was the sum total of what

:41:46.:41:49.

seemed to have happened. How do you feel about the broader message from

:41:50.:41:54.

the electorate? Particularly towards the Ulster Unionist Party add your

:41:55.:42:00.

own party, the SDLP? The decision to go into opposition in the middle of

:42:01.:42:03.

last year, people this evening saying that could be judged to have

:42:04.:42:08.

been a mistake? You have been rejected at the ballot box by the

:42:09.:42:13.

electorate? It has been a mistake that added an extra 12,000 votes to

:42:14.:42:18.

us in a period of nine months. I don't know if you can call that a

:42:19.:42:27.

mistake! I would not call it that. The overall share is down and your

:42:28.:42:32.

seat tally, the critical thing, is not as good as you would have hoped?

:42:33.:42:39.

That depends. We will wait. Wait until the final count and we will

:42:40.:42:43.

see, like last year, I heard the same refrain from your colleagues,

:42:44.:42:48.

and it is looking good for us in Upper Bann with Dolores Kelly and

:42:49.:42:52.

hopefully she will be back and we have a shout in Lagan Valley so wait

:42:53.:42:59.

until we see the final result. I will emphasise, we have put our

:43:00.:43:03.

first preference vote up by 12000 and that is no mean feat. Thank you

:43:04.:43:09.

very much. Patsy McGlone from the Mid Ulster count in Ballymena. John

:43:10.:43:16.

O'Dowd has been returned in Upper Bann. Last time around in May, he

:43:17.:43:22.

had a fight for the final seat with an Grace Kelly and he managed to

:43:23.:43:29.

that seat by 168 votes, and very tight squeeze and people had him

:43:30.:43:33.

down and out. More comfortable today on the fifth stage. -- Dolores

:43:34.:43:39.

Kelly. Carla Lockhart topping the poll, John O'Dowd, Jonathan Buckley

:43:40.:43:45.

from the DUP and the battle for the fourth and fifth seats between Nuala

:43:46.:43:49.

Toman of Sinn Fein, Doug Beattie of the Ulster Unionists and Jo-Anne

:43:50.:43:55.

Dobson is out and Dolores Kelly, who retired last May after defeat but is

:43:56.:43:58.

back in the frame. Interesting stuff. We have new faces, Nigel

:43:59.:44:06.

Dodds and we can welcome me. And John McCallister, former Ulster

:44:07.:44:12.

Unionist and former NI21 and former independent representative for South

:44:13.:44:19.

Down. Such a build-up! South Down, we were talking to Jim Wells, how do

:44:20.:44:23.

you see the numbers are stacking up? Do you think that it looks pretty

:44:24.:44:32.

safe for Colin McGrath? Not pretty safe, Jim was talking about his

:44:33.:44:38.

surplus and that is true. But the core of those votes will be the

:44:39.:44:42.

elimination is from Howard McKee. You do not know where that could go.

:44:43.:44:52.

It is still probably favouring Colin but this is a remarkable performance

:44:53.:44:56.

by Patrick Brown in the Alliance Party. Ten years ago, when I was

:44:57.:45:01.

elected to the Assembly, the Alliance vote was around 700 and

:45:02.:45:10.

nine he was on 4501st preference, remarkable turnaround. Mike Nesbitt

:45:11.:45:16.

confirmed returned in Strangford and Michelle McIlveen. Mike Nesbitt has

:45:17.:45:19.

his seat. He beat you for the leadership of the party so you have

:45:20.:45:25.

history with them, but the best of friends, there is no secret about

:45:26.:45:31.

that. We are very close friends! I'm not saying you are sworn enemies!

:45:32.:45:37.

How do you feel about his day-to-day? Not looking great for

:45:38.:45:42.

the UUP? He is having an awful day but this is what I warned about for

:45:43.:45:47.

a number of years, you have to decide what it is the party is

:45:48.:45:55.

about. Unionist unity or opposition? I wanted, like Alex, in 2012, five

:45:56.:46:02.

years ago, I wanted to take the party into opposition, I did not

:46:03.:46:07.

want to bring down the institutions. Do we want to go in that direction?

:46:08.:46:13.

And saying no to unionist unity. Mike Nesbitt wanted to go a

:46:14.:46:17.

different way and what has not been clear over those years, and he is

:46:18.:46:21.

paying the price, 2013 without deal in Mid Ulster and I resigned from

:46:22.:46:27.

the UUP at that point but you have to decide what is your party is

:46:28.:46:32.

about. And until they do that, and that is not entirely his fault, part

:46:33.:46:36.

of that is the party has never decided what it wants to do.

:46:37.:46:41.

Interesting. We will come back to that. Nigel Dodds, welcome. What are

:46:42.:46:46.

your initial thoughts about your party's performance this time

:46:47.:46:52.

around? Given all the predictions and commentary leading up to this

:46:53.:46:56.

election it has been a remarkable performance, our vote has held up

:46:57.:47:00.

extremely well and Arlene Foster and all of those around her deserve

:47:01.:47:06.

enormous credit for the way in which she has withstood so much that has

:47:07.:47:09.

been thrown at her and the way the party has come through. The vote is

:47:10.:47:16.

down a little bit. But given the barrage of criticism and the

:47:17.:47:21.

maelstrom in which people said we were caught up, it is remarkable.

:47:22.:47:25.

What is coming out of this is very clear. There are none to parties,

:47:26.:47:31.

Sinn Fein with a very strong mandate and the DUP with a very strong

:47:32.:47:35.

mandate, slightly stronger, and what we need to do is work together to

:47:36.:47:40.

move Northern Ireland forward. It is very clear that the people have

:47:41.:47:45.

spoken. Yesterday, in the election. They made it very clear that in

:47:46.:47:49.

terms of unionism and the DUP speaking for the unionist people and

:47:50.:47:53.

they have made it clear in terms of the nationalist republican

:47:54.:47:58.

community, but opposition, the SDLP decision and the rest of it is not

:47:59.:48:02.

something they want to go forward with, they want to get moving

:48:03.:48:06.

forward in terms of the executor. What we need to do in the coming

:48:07.:48:10.

days is set down, work out how we can get this province bidding, get

:48:11.:48:15.

the Assembly running, get the Executive back, I do not think the

:48:16.:48:18.

people yesterday were voting in favour of opposition. The idea that

:48:19.:48:24.

parties exist in order to go into opposition, and I have the greatest

:48:25.:48:27.

respect for John and everything he has done in politics and he knows

:48:28.:48:32.

that, but the idea that you go into politics offering people opposition,

:48:33.:48:37.

you do not want to take power, you do not want responsibility, is

:48:38.:48:38.

something I think is a mistake. I don't think anybody do that.

:48:39.:48:46.

People knew when they were voting for the SDLP and the Ulster

:48:47.:48:48.

Unionists that really effectively they were voting for people that

:48:49.:48:52.

were going to be in opposition because no matter what people

:48:53.:48:54.

were... They thought if enough people voted for them they would be

:48:55.:48:57.

in Government and you would be in opposition. People knew as they

:48:58.:49:02.

voted in this election that the idea that it was going to be an SDLP and

:49:03.:49:06.

Ulster Unionist Government and that the DUP and Sinn Fein were going to

:49:07.:49:09.

be - it was nonsense, people knew that. It goes back to this mixed

:49:10.:49:14.

messages and the rest of it. We have a system in Northern Ireland of

:49:15.:49:16.

mandatory Government and people have to make up their minds. If they're

:49:17.:49:20.

going to play a role or opt out. Can I ask you for a response to

:49:21.:49:24.

something that Fionnuala said earlier, which is Arlene Foster to

:49:25.:49:27.

be congratulated on a fine performsance as far as the DUP is

:49:28.:49:32.

concerned, but also deserves congratulations for mobilising the

:49:33.:49:36.

Sinn Fein vote. Yes, it's a good soundbite. But the reality is that

:49:37.:49:41.

nobody expected the DUP to do as well as we have done. Sinn Fein can

:49:42.:49:46.

speak for themselves and will speak for themselves in terms of their

:49:47.:49:55.

vote Maybe it galvanised votes. The same can be said the same as post

:49:56.:50:03.

eulogis being murders... People notice what goes on in each side of

:50:04.:50:06.

the community. Don't understatement how unionists feel when they see the

:50:07.:50:11.

leader of Sinn Fein in Northern Ireland eulogising murder. That has

:50:12.:50:15.

an effect in the unionist community as well and galvanises people just

:50:16.:50:19.

as people, the Ulster Unionist leader when he says transfer to

:50:20.:50:23.

nationalists, you know, we don't want to increase or help other

:50:24.:50:26.

unionists get elected, that's an effect within the unionist community

:50:27.:50:29.

too. And that has to be borne in mind. I will come back to you again

:50:30.:50:33.

shortly. I want to park that for a moment. I want to hear from Tara

:50:34.:50:42.

again who has some guests at the Titanic Ex Centre in Belfast.

:50:43.:50:47.

Yes, we may not be able to get an interview with Arlene Foster in the

:50:48.:50:52.

BBC today but we do have pictures that Brian John Spencer has done for

:50:53.:50:55.

us today, some of the cartoons he has been working on.

:50:56.:51:01.

Do you think the one on the left with the rope saying that she may be

:51:02.:51:05.

taken down, that's premature now, isn't it or out of date because she

:51:06.:51:10.

will probably survive as leader? I think she will survive as leader.

:51:11.:51:13.

The DUP have done just enough, they're ahead of Sinn Fein in the

:51:14.:51:16.

popular vote. They're probably going to lead Sinn Fein in terms of the

:51:17.:51:21.

number of Assembly seats. We are not going to have a rethink in terms of

:51:22.:51:27.

party seats or block designations so she's probably done enough, she was

:51:28.:51:30.

not the commanding figure in May 2016 but Arlene Foster will claim a

:51:31.:51:34.

renewed mandate today. The story is of Sinn Fein's advances but Arlene

:51:35.:51:38.

Foster has probably done enough to stay in place. Arlene Foster will

:51:39.:51:42.

only step down on a voluntary basis and will not have Sinn Fein

:51:43.:51:44.

effectively choosing the DUP leader. So it's as you were with all the

:51:45.:51:48.

problems of course that brings in terms of forming a Government. Still

:51:49.:51:52.

with nothing between Michelle O'Neill and Gavin Robinson earlier,

:51:53.:51:56.

he carefully didn't rule out somebody else going in as First

:51:57.:51:59.

Minister but he didn't rule it in either. He wasn't emphatic about it.

:52:00.:52:03.

Sinn Fein have been less careful about, in terms of their blanket

:52:04.:52:07.

refusal to countenance Arlene Foster. There is more wriggle room

:52:08.:52:11.

on the other side. How will the DUP actually sell that? Because if

:52:12.:52:14.

Arlene Foster was to step aside for any reason it would look like giving

:52:15.:52:18.

in to Sinn Fein. So it's difficult to see how we get a compromise from

:52:19.:52:22.

here. That's why I am pessimistic about the prospects of an Executive

:52:23.:52:27.

formed over the next 6-9 months. All hopes are pinned on the RHI inquiry

:52:28.:52:30.

which provides utter clarity and that we can move on from there. I am

:52:31.:52:35.

not sure we will get that far. Chris, the pictures, I remember the

:52:36.:52:40.

picture that Brian Spencer did last year, it was of an Iron Lady, echos

:52:41.:52:44.

back to Margaret Thatcher and she is not in that position now. No, she's

:52:45.:52:49.

not. Such a change. The reception that Arlene Foster got here last

:52:50.:52:54.

year when she came in, this year it was Michelle O'Neill got that

:52:55.:52:58.

reception. Very clearly the story of this election has been Sinn Fein's

:52:59.:53:02.

stunning electoral success. Here in Belfast and West Belfast they've

:53:03.:53:07.

taken four out of five seats. Very comfortably taken those seats with

:53:08.:53:12.

over 61% of the vote. In North Belfast interestingly, that surge of

:53:13.:53:14.

support for Sinn Fein has meant that we could be on the verge of for the

:53:15.:53:18.

first time ever having more nationalists elected in a

:53:19.:53:20.

constituency-wide election in North Belfast than unionists, which again

:53:21.:53:24.

would be a remarkable change on how things have been nine months ago. A

:53:25.:53:28.

big name potentially in trouble in North Belfast, Nelson McCausland.

:53:29.:53:33.

Yes, a significant figure within the DUP, former culture Minister. And

:53:34.:53:36.

really the mood music seems to be from the DUP that they think he has

:53:37.:53:40.

lost. He is out yet on the numbers, but from the body language of the

:53:41.:53:44.

DUP members it appears that they've lost a significant figure within the

:53:45.:53:51.

party. That would leave the DUP and unionism within Belfast likely down

:53:52.:53:54.

to just six seats out of 20 because they'll have lost a seat in East,

:53:55.:53:59.

North and South Belfast. What do you see as the overall picture then, you

:54:00.:54:03.

were saying earlier that there is a possibility that Sinn Fein and the

:54:04.:54:07.

DUP could have the same number of seats of 28, but with some results

:54:08.:54:10.

in the last half hour that's possibly not going to happen now. I

:54:11.:54:14.

still expect the DUP to be around 29, 30, to still have a slight lead

:54:15.:54:19.

over Sinn Fein. The other big question today is what happens to

:54:20.:54:22.

the smaller parties within the unionist and nationalist blocks?

:54:23.:54:25.

Mike Nesbitt said this felt different on the doorstep and yet

:54:26.:54:30.

the UUP has failed to deliver. The SDLP have really failed to deliver.

:54:31.:54:34.

I do wonder whether there is room for a smaller party within either

:54:35.:54:38.

electoral block now. Frankly, if you are a strong unionist, you vote DUP.

:54:39.:54:46.

If you are - what is the future of the UUP and SDLP? The idea of going

:54:47.:54:51.

into opposition was not a bad one, Stormont needed an opposition but

:54:52.:54:54.

it's not working on the doorstep. The only good election result the

:54:55.:54:57.

UUP have had in the last few years is when they went into a

:54:58.:55:04.

pan-unionist front at a Westminster election in 2015, everything else

:55:05.:55:10.

has been, frankly, mediocre in terms of elections, they're going to have

:55:11.:55:13.

to have a new strategy and maybe a new leader. Is there an obvious

:55:14.:55:18.

successor, though, if he decides it's not worth carrying on? Not

:55:19.:55:21.

really. Thank you very much. We will leave it there. More from you later.

:55:22.:55:27.

Thank you very much, Tara. Let's cross over to North Antrim and

:55:28.:55:32.

speak to the TUV leader Jim Allister who joins us from the Seven Towers

:55:33.:55:36.

Leisure Centre. Evening to you, thank you very much for joining us.

:55:37.:55:41.

I am looking at my computer here. I don't think anybody's formally been

:55:42.:55:45.

returned at this stage A lot of eliminations, are you confidentable

:55:46.:55:49.

you will hold on to your seat? Yes, I am within about 200 votes of the

:55:50.:55:54.

quota so I think that's pretty clear what's going to happen. I think it's

:55:55.:55:59.

going to end up one Sinn Fein seat, one TUV seat and one Ulster Unionist

:56:00.:56:03.

seat and two DUP, which is a loss of a DUP seat. Will that be Philip

:56:04.:56:10.

Logan who will lose that seat, the candidate who came through last May?

:56:11.:56:13.

Yes, it certainly looks like that. I do have to say this, this is a poor

:56:14.:56:18.

day for unionism. It's a day that need not have happened but for the

:56:19.:56:23.

arrogance of MrsFoster it wouldn't have happened. It's a day when we

:56:24.:56:27.

have seen Sinn Fein advances and probably arrived at the point

:56:28.:56:32.

unnecessarily where unionism is no longer the majority control in the

:56:33.:56:36.

Assembly and I think that does send a message to both the leaders of

:56:37.:56:43.

unionism and the unionist party that given that Stormont will only

:56:44.:56:48.

continue if the DUP now fill Sinn Fein's boots with endless

:56:49.:56:52.

concessions and - they are insatable on that front, many unionists will

:56:53.:56:56.

be asking themselves whether in these circumstances we really want

:56:57.:56:59.

to keep Stormont and I think all unionists have to do some

:57:00.:57:03.

heart-searching about whether or not that's the best way to protect the

:57:04.:57:08.

union where we have an elevated and advanced Sinn Fein agenda which will

:57:09.:57:13.

be so avarice in its demands of unionism and unionism if it wants to

:57:14.:57:19.

keep Stormont is going to have to pay an incredible and repeated price

:57:20.:57:22.

and I do question whether that is in the interests of unionism. Well, you

:57:23.:57:27.

have questioned how Arlene Foster has handled the situation and she -

:57:28.:57:31.

you say she bears some responsibility for what's happened

:57:32.:57:34.

for Sinn Fein's advances. How could she have stopped that, how could she

:57:35.:57:39.

have prevented Martin McGuinness's resignation, the only thing she

:57:40.:57:42.

could do was step aside to stop that happening and if she had done that

:57:43.:57:45.

you would have been the first person to say she was dancing to Sinn

:57:46.:57:49.

Fein's tune? Of course - I would row it back much further than that. The

:57:50.:57:55.

DUP by bringing Sinn Fein into Government created the crocodile

:57:56.:57:57.

scenario and of course they've had to feed it ever since. And as that

:57:58.:58:03.

crocodile has grown stronger and more avarice and demanding the daily

:58:04.:58:10.

diet increases. This day was coming, it's come sooner than need be.

:58:11.:58:14.

Because of the courtesy of the DUP advancing Sinn Fein in Government.

:58:15.:58:18.

Of course, they are eager to do it again because we hear them talk

:58:19.:58:22.

about wanting to get back into the Executive, they want power above all

:58:23.:58:26.

else, but this is power at the cost of paying the Sinn Fein price and

:58:27.:58:30.

it's clear that the Sinn Fein price is becoming increasingly and

:58:31.:58:35.

unsustainably high, that's why I say unionism needs to consider if doing

:58:36.:58:38.

that is any longer in their interests. OK. Good to talk to you,

:58:39.:58:41.

thank you very much indeed. We will keep a close eye on the count as it

:58:42.:58:47.

unfolds there in Ballymena. Jim Allister confident that he will hold

:58:48.:58:51.

on to his seat. It's been a bad day for the Ulster Unionist party and

:58:52.:58:55.

Harold McKee in particular, elected in South Down last year has been

:58:56.:58:59.

eliminated. He spoke to our reporter a short time ago.

:59:00.:59:09.

As an MLA for nine months, and enjoyed doing it, and I worked

:59:10.:59:11.

closely with the fishermen, they knew I was working for them, despite

:59:12.:59:18.

all of that, you know... Is it fair to say that RMI did not impact on

:59:19.:59:25.

the DUP vote in South Down? RHI was not really mentioned as much as had

:59:26.:59:30.

been and I think, you know, I don't know what obviously a massive

:59:31.:59:36.

turnout by the nationalist and republican movement particularly,

:59:37.:59:39.

who ferried people into the polling stations by bus, made sure they were

:59:40.:59:43.

making a special effort. Your party leader Mike Nesbitt will come under

:59:44.:59:46.

scrutiny off the back of the election result across Northern

:59:47.:59:51.

Ireland. What do you feel his position is this evening? Well, it's

:59:52.:59:55.

not for me to say at this present time, I am sure there will be

:59:56.:59:58.

discussions around it in the near future. Has it been as far as you

:59:59.:00:02.

are concerned a good enough performance from the Ulster

:00:03.:00:04.

Unionists on the basis of what you know so far? You can't say it's a

:00:05.:00:08.

good performance when you lose a seat. Is your party leader partly

:00:09.:00:12.

responsible for the performance, do you think? Well, maybe had a few

:00:13.:00:16.

difficulties, made it slightly awkward for myself to go to the

:00:17.:00:22.

door, I did try to sell this was me, not Mike Nesbitt standing in South

:00:23.:00:25.

Down. I have worked for you in the past, this is me. But it didn't

:00:26.:00:30.

materialise. That was Harold McKee talking to our

:00:31.:00:34.

reporter Julian O'Neill. We welcome at this stage viewers across the

:00:35.:00:39.

United Kingdom on the BBC News channel for our continuing Assembly

:00:40.:00:42.

election coverage here in Northern Ireland. Let's hear from Julian

:00:43.:00:48.

Fowler who is our reporter in Fermanagh South Tyrone. You are at

:00:49.:00:53.

Omagh Leisure Centre. Interesting developments there, what's the

:00:54.:00:56.

latest? Well, in stage four we have had the election of two Sinn Fein

:00:57.:01:03.

candidates, Michelle Gildernew and a new young candidate, Gemma Dolan. As

:01:04.:01:08.

expected, SDLP transfers have gone to the Ulster Unionist rose marry

:01:09.:01:16.

Barton and that could spell trouble for Lord Maurice Morrow, now they're

:01:17.:01:19.

transferring the surplus Sinn Fein votes, that could help their third

:01:20.:01:23.

candidate Sean Lynch across the line. He is currently 231 votes

:01:24.:01:30.

behind Lord Morrow. With those Sinn Fein transfers that could be just

:01:31.:01:34.

enough to get the last seat for Sinn Fein thachlt would leave Sinn Fein

:01:35.:01:39.

here on three seats, the DUP, Arlene Foster on just one and the Ulster

:01:40.:01:46.

Unionist rose marry Barton on one. Thank you very much.

:01:47.:01:52.

Let's hear from Gregory Campbell, the East Londonderry MP who at the

:01:53.:01:56.

East Londonderry and Foyle count at the Foyle Arena in Derry. Evening to

:01:57.:02:01.

you. Thank you for joining us. You have been keeping a close eye on

:02:02.:02:06.

both those counts. Yes, very close eye. It's been a long day and I am

:02:07.:02:12.

sure it will be a longer evening. What about Foyle, first of all, I am

:02:13.:02:15.

not sure of the state of play as far as that is concerned but Gary

:02:16.:02:21.

Middleton looking good for that 5th seat in Foyle, is he? Well, yes,

:02:22.:02:27.

it's not over the line yet, but a tremendous performance by Gary,

:02:28.:02:30.

given the context of this sustained diet that we have had for three

:02:31.:02:35.

months every day. He not only put the number of votes up that the DUP

:02:36.:02:39.

got, but he put the share of the vote up, given the rise in Sinn

:02:40.:02:43.

Fein's vote in a predominantly nationalist constituency, that's not

:02:44.:02:47.

an easy ask and he managed to do it and I think that he will take that

:02:48.:02:51.

seat. What about East Londonderry, it's your own constituency, of

:02:52.:02:56.

course. You had three DUP MLAs in the six member constituency, it's

:02:57.:02:59.

now five members. Are you going to lose one of those three seats?

:03:00.:03:06.

We said several months ago this was very difficult to take 60% of the

:03:07.:03:17.

seats, three out of five of them with 33% other foot, and

:03:18.:03:21.

extraordinarily difficult thing. And it might be just be on us but if you

:03:22.:03:26.

look at the votes, we had a very high vote last year in East

:03:27.:03:31.

Londonderry, the highest ever in Assembly election, and we exceeded

:03:32.:03:35.

that again, another 1400 on top of last year, in the face of the daily

:03:36.:03:42.

onslaught every day since early December. It was an exceptional

:03:43.:03:46.

result in both constituencies in the north-west. As far as the overall

:03:47.:03:53.

picture is concerned, we have heard from your colleagues, Arlene Foster

:03:54.:03:56.

is under an enormous amount of pressure but if you come back with

:03:57.:04:01.

around 30 seats and your vote is up a little bit and your share is up,

:04:02.:04:08.

1.1%, it will not necessarily be far from a bad day at the office for the

:04:09.:04:17.

DUP? What happens after that? Well, that is what needs to happen. I do

:04:18.:04:23.

not think there were many people who voted yesterday who said, were

:04:24.:04:27.

voting this way in whichever box they put the number, to have a

:04:28.:04:31.

protracted series of discussions and no government in place, no devolved

:04:32.:04:36.

government. People want us to get on with the business of doing

:04:37.:04:40.

government and delivering so we need discussions aimed at that deliver

:04:41.:04:49.

quickly and effectively for people in Stormont so that they can see

:04:50.:04:51.

some benefit from devolution. That is what they voted for in all of

:04:52.:04:54.

their diverse ways and that is what we need to deliver quickly. Gregory,

:04:55.:05:00.

thank you very much indeed. Gregory Campbell at the Foyle and East

:05:01.:05:05.

Londonderry count in the north-west. Some news to share with you. The

:05:06.:05:09.

Ulster Unionist Party, some good news, Doug Beattie has retained his

:05:10.:05:16.

seat in Upper Bann, his running mate Jo-Anne Dobson was eliminated and

:05:17.:05:21.

Alex, again for the Ulster Unionist Party in East Antrim, John Stewart,

:05:22.:05:27.

confirmed. They will be very pleased that, in the context of losing seats

:05:28.:05:30.

they did not expect to lose but sometimes it is those little nuggets

:05:31.:05:36.

that make the difference between a catastrophic result and a manageable

:05:37.:05:39.

result but it is still a tremendously bad day for Mike

:05:40.:05:44.

Nesbitt. And that game for the Ulster Unionist Party, Catriona

:05:45.:05:49.

Ruane, comes at the expense of Oliver McMullan Sinn Fein. That

:05:50.:05:53.

count is completed, you have lost a seat. And I have to say, it is very

:05:54.:06:01.

disappointing for Oliver. Congratulations to the UUP but it is

:06:02.:06:06.

very disappointing and Oliver was a tremendous local representative. He

:06:07.:06:10.

had been sick but never missed one day in Stormont and when I was in

:06:11.:06:16.

Sinn Fein, he was one of the greatest team players that we have.

:06:17.:06:20.

He is a fighter. We need to live there. We're getting word of a press

:06:21.:06:26.

conference happening in East Belfast with the Ulster Unionist Party

:06:27.:06:32.

reader, Mike Nesbitt. Mike Nesbitt coming into the room. He is joined

:06:33.:06:42.

by Jim Nicholson, the MEP and Lord MP. Let us hear what he has to say.

:06:43.:06:50.

It has been a miserable night. Everybody knows why we are here so I

:06:51.:06:54.

will make my statement and leave the stage. I have been reflecting on the

:06:55.:06:59.

implications of today's results for the party and for me as leader. Both

:07:00.:07:07.

in pure terms and in contextually and an essay that, I mean the

:07:08.:07:16.

context of the context of three months, I have been criticising

:07:17.:07:20.

party leaders for not taking responsibility for actions that

:07:21.:07:23.

occurred on their watch so it would be the height of hypocrisy if they

:07:24.:07:27.

did not take full responsibility and the results today for the Ulster

:07:28.:07:31.

Unionists. And in pure terms, the buck stops here. I led into the

:07:32.:07:39.

selection, I argued it should be a referendum on RHI and on ten years

:07:40.:07:45.

of the DUP and Sinn Fein leading the Executive government. I am the one

:07:46.:07:50.

who suggested that in a normal society people would vote on

:07:51.:07:54.

performance and the DUP and Sinn Fein did not earn another mandate.

:07:55.:07:59.

And I am the one who said this should be Northern Ireland's first

:08:00.:08:06.

post-sectarian election based on economy, education, health and

:08:07.:08:08.

housing and I had a different vision. But the electorate

:08:09.:08:15.

disagreed. They did not give me a mandate big enough for me to feel

:08:16.:08:20.

justified in continuing in this position. So I shall not continue in

:08:21.:08:24.

this position. I have spoken to the party chairman and I have informed

:08:25.:08:29.

him I will not allow my name to go forward for this year's collection

:08:30.:08:33.

as party leader. He will call the party officers as a matter of

:08:34.:08:38.

urgency and they will define the way forward in selecting my successor. I

:08:39.:08:41.

will stay in post until that process has been completed. I want to thank

:08:42.:08:48.

the party chairman, Jim Nicholson, who is here. All of our elected

:08:49.:08:54.

representatives and staff and all of the party members who have given me

:08:55.:08:58.

the most fantastic support over the last five years. It has been an

:08:59.:09:02.

absolute honour to have led the Ulster Unionist Party and a

:09:03.:09:07.

challenge like no other I have ever experienced in my life. I will never

:09:08.:09:12.

forget it and I will be forever grateful. My only regret is the

:09:13.:09:18.

result seems to indicate that this society is more polarised than ever

:09:19.:09:22.

rather than more united in a shared future, which was my aspiration. But

:09:23.:09:28.

we will get there. Someday Northern Ireland will vote as a normal

:09:29.:09:33.

democracy, we will vote in a post sectarian election, but it is clear

:09:34.:09:37.

it will not happen during the duration of my political life. But

:09:38.:09:44.

it will happen. My final thought is, when I was a journalist, listening

:09:45.:09:51.

to politicians, I used to hear them saying they wanted effective family

:09:52.:09:54.

and I would think, what is that about? It is only a job. I

:09:55.:10:00.

understand what it is all about. And I will finish by thanking my family.

:10:01.:10:07.

Thank you very much. So, Mike Nesbitt has fallen on his sword. He

:10:08.:10:12.

was elected as leader of the UUP in March 2012, embracing his wife,

:10:13.:10:18.

Lynda Bryans, the former presenter, and his son, PJ. At the Park Avenue

:10:19.:10:24.

hotel in East Belfast. I have a panel of guests who will reflect on

:10:25.:10:27.

mathematical development, it has to be said. John McCallister, in March

:10:28.:10:34.

2012 he defeated you for that position. How do you feel as the

:10:35.:10:38.

person who lost out to him, witnessing him announcing his

:10:39.:10:44.

resignation? I get no pleasure from this because I have not been in

:10:45.:10:50.

politics, having tasted success and defeat, whether it is going for

:10:51.:10:56.

party leader or indeed in the election last year, it is tough. And

:10:57.:11:01.

he is right to thank his family, families make huge sacrifices that

:11:02.:11:08.

politicians can do jobs like this with. Often it is discounted or

:11:09.:11:15.

overlooked. I do feel for Mike Nesbitt, it was an honourable

:11:16.:11:20.

decision, I do not know that he had any great choice. It comes back to

:11:21.:11:27.

defining what the party is about, is it unity or opposition? There have

:11:28.:11:34.

been too many mixed messages over the years and that has been a

:11:35.:11:38.

problem. That is not all his fault. I am not sure the party always would

:11:39.:11:43.

have let him go to the places that perhaps Mike Nesbitt wanted to go.

:11:44.:11:48.

Even if you take something like equal marriage, he was challenged, I

:11:49.:11:52.

think we're on the wrong side of history this. Yet he was not able to

:11:53.:11:58.

move the party on with something like that, around the issues of the

:11:59.:12:02.

party broadly on things like unionist unity. Some of the party

:12:03.:12:06.

feel closer to Nigel Dodds and Arlene Foster and some feel closer

:12:07.:12:12.

to Naomi Long. And that has been a problem, getting that carved out. On

:12:13.:12:16.

a personal level, I feel sorry for Mike having to do that. It was a

:12:17.:12:21.

brave and courageous thing to announce, particularly on a dreadful

:12:22.:12:26.

day. Pretty dreadful day, described as a miserable night, he might have

:12:27.:12:31.

been referring to the weather. The end of his political career. I want

:12:32.:12:37.

to cross over to the Park Avenue hotel and hear from Gareth Gordon,

:12:38.:12:40.

who was in the room for that news conference. He said he spent the

:12:41.:12:46.

last three months criticising another leader, Arlene Foster, for

:12:47.:12:51.

her handling of the situation. It would be the height of hypocrisy if

:12:52.:12:55.

he did not take responsibility for his party's poor performance. The

:12:56.:13:02.

buck stops here? Yes, you could say of the UUP were to make inroads on

:13:03.:13:07.

the DUP it would have been this election, the DUP did not want the

:13:08.:13:12.

selection under these circumstances, but only as the Ulster Unionist

:13:13.:13:15.

Party failed to make inroads, it looks like they're heading for their

:13:16.:13:18.

worst ever Assembly election result and as a result, Mike Nesbitt feels

:13:19.:13:26.

he has no other option but to go. He said he will stand down but will

:13:27.:13:29.

remain in post until a successor is found but tonight it is a pretty sad

:13:30.:13:37.

end to a man, who came to the top of the party almost five years ago.

:13:38.:13:43.

Almost in post for five years. Promising something new, radical

:13:44.:13:46.

type of Ulster Unionist leader but it looks like ending up as other

:13:47.:13:53.

recent leaders, in failure. Did he give any indication as to whether or

:13:54.:13:57.

not he will continue in the medium to long-term a mLA? He did win his

:13:58.:14:06.

seat in Strangford this evening. He did not allowance to ask any

:14:07.:14:10.

questions, his press officer was shaking his head. He does not intend

:14:11.:14:20.

to remain, I would take that as. Not only is Mike Nesbitt not going to be

:14:21.:14:25.

the leader of the Ulster Unionist Party... Actually, I am told that he

:14:26.:14:31.

will remain as a Ulster Unionist MLA in Strangford, this is a very

:14:32.:14:35.

confused press conference. We were not allowed to ask any questions,

:14:36.:14:40.

that does not make it easy. He will remain as a mLA but will not be the

:14:41.:14:45.

Ulster Unionist Party leader. Who will follow him? The natural

:14:46.:14:49.

successor was perhaps Danny Kennedy but he lost his seat in Newry and

:14:50.:14:53.

Armagh so the party tonight is in a state of chaos. I was asking you to

:14:54.:15:00.

engage in some mind reading. You are looking past the camera to the press

:15:01.:15:05.

officer to see what he was trying to indicate by semaphore! Let me ask

:15:06.:15:10.

you something you can answer. Did he simply make mistakes? Did he over

:15:11.:15:16.

claim? Saying he would return as the largest unionist party? And by

:15:17.:15:21.

suggesting that his voters would want to transfer high up in this PR

:15:22.:15:28.

election to the SDLP? He seemed to do that without talking to key

:15:29.:15:32.

members of his party. Ambition is not a crime for any political leader

:15:33.:15:37.

so of course he was going into that election making big claims but after

:15:38.:15:40.

the second part of that question, when he indicated he would make a

:15:41.:15:46.

second preference to the SDLP, was at a fatal mistake? It did not help.

:15:47.:15:51.

It gave a boost to the DUP because it took them off the top of the

:15:52.:15:55.

agenda for Sundays and it seemed to not go down very well with lots of

:15:56.:16:02.

the party's traditional grassroots. Was that the fatal flaw? Would it

:16:03.:16:07.

have made any difference? We simply do not know. No doubt, this message

:16:08.:16:12.

did not resonate through the party and Danny Kennedy was the first one

:16:13.:16:15.

to make it clear that he did not agree with what Mike Nesbitt said

:16:16.:16:20.

and Danny Kennedy has lost his seat as well. The Ulster Unionist Party

:16:21.:16:26.

is a difficult party to lead, a very broad church. It gives out

:16:27.:16:32.

confusing, mixed messages. Certainly, Mike Nesbitt, the

:16:33.:16:35.

moderniser who felt it would take it in a different direction, he has

:16:36.:16:39.

failed to do so and tonight, what is next for the Ulster Unionist Party?

:16:40.:16:43.

That is the question. Thank you for that. Gareth Gordon. Doug Beattie is

:16:44.:16:52.

an Ulster Unionist Party member who has won his seat, he retained his

:16:53.:16:56.

seat in the Upper Bann constituency. Good evening. Congratulations.

:16:57.:17:01.

Congratulations on a personal level. I need to ask you for your rip

:17:02.:17:06.

action to the dramatic development where your party leader has said he

:17:07.:17:11.

is standing down. Did you know he was about to do that? No, I didn't

:17:12.:17:16.

know he was about to do it, Mark and I have to say that I am sorry and I

:17:17.:17:20.

am saddened that Mike has decided to stand down. Mike has been a

:17:21.:17:26.

fantastic leader. He has been a personal friend and a great

:17:27.:17:30.

colleague. I think he is an incredibly noble man and I think he

:17:31.:17:34.

has taken a noble decision. I think he believes, whether rightly or

:17:35.:17:38.

wrongly, that our poor showing in this election and I know it hasn't

:17:39.:17:41.

finished yet, but our poor showing in this election may well be down to

:17:42.:17:46.

his leadership. I don't necessarily agree with that but he has made that

:17:47.:17:49.

decision and like I said earlier I am sorry he is leaving but beneed as

:17:50.:17:53.

the Ulster Unionist party to move on, we need a new leader as quickly

:17:54.:17:57.

as we can. We need stability, we need to organise ourselves and carry

:17:58.:18:02.

on. Well, that leads me neatly on to my next question, will your name be

:18:03.:18:05.

in the frame for the leadership of the party because Gareth Gordon was

:18:06.:18:09.

making the point, Danny Kennedy might have been seen as one of the

:18:10.:18:15.

frontrunners, he has lost his seat in Newry and Armagh. You are there,

:18:16.:18:21.

you are high profile, do you fancy the job? Well, first thing I will

:18:22.:18:25.

say is that I have only heard this news ten minutes ago. So I am still

:18:26.:18:30.

sucking in that information. I still want to speak to Mike personally.

:18:31.:18:35.

Because he is a friend and he was my party leader. He had my 100% loyalty

:18:36.:18:41.

as a party leader and as this election draws to an end he would

:18:42.:18:46.

still have had that a pun % loyalty as leader. -- 100% loyalty as

:18:47.:18:52.

leader. I have only been an MLA for about nine months. It would not be

:18:53.:18:56.

right for me to lead the party, I do not have the political nuances that

:18:57.:19:00.

many other people have. I will be there to support whoever is the

:19:01.:19:04.

leader. Maybe in five or six years if we had time I could have grown, I

:19:05.:19:08.

could have done my apprenticeship as an MLA, and then I could maybe stand

:19:09.:19:12.

for being the leader of the Ulster Unionist party but I don't have that

:19:13.:19:15.

depth of political knowledge at this moment and I have to be honest...

:19:16.:19:18.

Just to be clear you are ruling yourself out of the contest at this

:19:19.:19:22.

stage, you are saying no matter what happens you will not be a candidate?

:19:23.:19:26.

Well, absolutely not as we speak now, Mark, ten minutes after I heard

:19:27.:19:32.

the news about Mike. I am ruling it out right now. If things change,

:19:33.:19:34.

then maybe I could think about it but right now as I speak to you, it

:19:35.:19:38.

would not be right that I stand. There is other people there, there

:19:39.:19:41.

are good people there who could lead the party, the likes of Robin Swann

:19:42.:19:46.

who is incredibly diligent and a good man who could lead the party.

:19:47.:19:50.

So I leave it for the time being. It's a discussion we have to have as

:19:51.:19:55.

a party. And come up with a decision on the best way forward and get the

:19:56.:19:58.

right person in place. Somebody who can bring a bit of stability. That

:19:59.:20:01.

doesn't necessarily mean it has to be the next leader who is going to

:20:02.:20:05.

fight the election but just get a bit of stability in the party and

:20:06.:20:08.

then maybe even get in a leader who can battle the next election. We

:20:09.:20:13.

have to look at this. Let me ask you quickly, Danny Kennedy has gone.

:20:14.:20:17.

Joanne Dobson has gone, as well. And we hear that Sandro Overend is

:20:18.:20:23.

struggling. It is a bad day for the Ulster Unionist party, is it not?

:20:24.:20:28.

Well, if you look at it like that it is a bad day. I think our share of

:20:29.:20:31.

the vote and I haven't got all the information, I think our share of

:20:32.:20:34.

the vote is slightly up on the last election. But the reality is it's

:20:35.:20:39.

all down to seats. Therefore, it is going to be a bad day. But you know

:20:40.:20:43.

what, the Ulster Unionist party brought hope to Northern Ireland, we

:20:44.:20:47.

wanted change. We wanted to show absolute respect for all people

:20:48.:20:49.

within our community and that's the ticket that we stood on. We stood on

:20:50.:20:55.

integrity and respect and commitment and loyalty. Yes, the electorate may

:20:56.:20:58.

have turned their back on us, but that's not an aspiration we should

:20:59.:21:03.

give up on easily. I won't be giving up on it easily. Appreciate your

:21:04.:21:09.

time, thank you very much. Congratulations on your success on

:21:10.:21:12.

what has been nonetheless as Mike Nesbitt says a miserable night for

:21:13.:21:16.

the Ulster Unionist party. Nigel Dodds, I want you to reflect on that

:21:17.:21:22.

and want to tell you that Nelson McCausland is out in North Belfast.

:21:23.:21:26.

Well, first of all, can I just say I am sorry to hear that news, it was

:21:27.:21:30.

always going to be a difficult task although we are still the largest

:21:31.:21:33.

party in North Belfast, actually increased our vote at this election.

:21:34.:21:39.

To get three seats out of five on some - a third of the vote was

:21:40.:21:42.

always going to be an enormous stretch. Nelson has contributed

:21:43.:21:46.

enormously to the DUP and to the unionist cause and will continue to

:21:47.:21:51.

do so. And I think that it's important that be put on record. Was

:21:52.:21:55.

that bad vote management that meant he was number three of your three

:21:56.:21:58.

candidates, because he is high profile, he is a former Minister.

:21:59.:22:01.

Some people might look at North Belfast and look at the other two

:22:02.:22:07.

candidates with the greatest of respect, William Humphrey and Paula

:22:08.:22:10.

Bradley and think Nelson McCausland may have come in ahead of them, how

:22:11.:22:14.

come he was trailing in third place Our vote management in North Belfast

:22:15.:22:18.

was pretty good. Both, all three candidates... Nelson McCausland

:22:19.:22:22.

might not be thinking that. Nelson agreed to the strategy and was very

:22:23.:22:25.

much part of it and we worked together as a team. They all were

:22:26.:22:31.

within, as I understand it, 70 votes of each other, I think that's good

:22:32.:22:37.

among - 700. In this election there was an increased nationalist

:22:38.:22:40.

turnout, it was always a massive stwrech to take three seats on one

:22:41.:22:45.

third of the vote. Look, we fully expected that this might happen. We

:22:46.:22:49.

did our best and the vote was well managed. It hasn't quite come off,

:22:50.:22:53.

but Nelson has an enormous contribution still to make. Can I

:22:54.:22:57.

just say in terms of the other piece of news that we heard there, Mike

:22:58.:23:02.

Nesbitt, I want to say first of all to wish Mike and Linda his wife and

:23:03.:23:05.

his family all the very best going forward. Going into politics, taking

:23:06.:23:09.

on positions of leadership, as he did, are not easy. It's very, very

:23:10.:23:14.

difficult. He is right to point to the burdens that are placed on

:23:15.:23:20.

people's families and it is a 24-hour schedule. It is very taxing

:23:21.:23:23.

and burdensome and stressful and I understand entirely what he is

:23:24.:23:27.

saying. You can hear the emotion in his voice. You know, politicians

:23:28.:23:31.

today come under a lot of scrutiny and a lot of pressure and criticism

:23:32.:23:36.

and rightly so, we volunteer for these jobs, we put ourselves up

:23:37.:23:40.

there but there is a human dimension to it and today we are seeing people

:23:41.:23:43.

who have lost their seats and Mike Nesbitt falling on his sword and I

:23:44.:23:46.

appreciate the human dimension of that. The political side of it and

:23:47.:23:51.

the analysis will follow but I think tonight in the immediate aftermath

:23:52.:23:54.

of this I want to express my personal best wishes to Mike, Linda

:23:55.:23:58.

and his family. OK. Nigel, thank you very much for that. I want to cross

:23:59.:24:02.

over to the Titanic Exhibition Centre and hear from our reporter

:24:03.:24:07.

David Maxwell. Just to pick up on the elimination of Nelson

:24:08.:24:11.

McCausland, the DUP former DUP MLA, high profile. What is the reaction

:24:12.:24:16.

there in the count centre, were people genuinely surprised that such

:24:17.:24:24.

a big name should fall? Well, definitely another dramatic moment,

:24:25.:24:27.

another big name gone here at the Titanic Exhibition Centre. But I

:24:28.:24:31.

have to say the last time I was speaking to you I had mentioned that

:24:32.:24:36.

nk was looking vulnerable and for -- Nelson McCausland was looking

:24:37.:24:38.

vulnerable. For sometime the DUP have come to realise he wasn't going

:24:39.:24:41.

to hold on in North Belfast. We have a word with him a few minutes ago.

:24:42.:24:45.

He's now left the exhibition centre here. He said that there was a life

:24:46.:24:51.

beyond politics and and he was going to reflect on his future and decide

:24:52.:24:54.

whether he will ever run again or whether this is the end of his

:24:55.:25:02.

political career. Well, it's obviously to some degree a little

:25:03.:25:07.

bit disappointed, but, in the context of the day we increased our

:25:08.:25:10.

vote in North Belfast. That was good. Didn't translate to seats. It

:25:11.:25:13.

didn't translate to seats, that's right, there was a bigger increase

:25:14.:25:17.

on the nationalist side and there will be an opportunity over the next

:25:18.:25:21.

while to have a review of what happened, how it came about, and we

:25:22.:25:24.

will build from it. What does it mean to you, you are a senior figure

:25:25.:25:28.

in the DUP, a former Minister. It means that there is a life beyond

:25:29.:25:32.

politics. And there are lots of other things that I want to do and

:25:33.:25:36.

intend to do. Is that it, Nelson is your political career finished? Did

:25:37.:25:40.

I say that? You said you had a life beyond it. In the short-term, yes. A

:25:41.:25:45.

difficult day, Nelson, for you and your staff, as well. Well, indeed.

:25:46.:25:49.

It's particularly, I think of the interests of the staff who work in

:25:50.:25:53.

the office and the impact it has on them. And that's I think the human

:25:54.:26:00.

thing to think about. But, you know, I fought many elections, there have

:26:01.:26:04.

been all sorts of changes today. I am relaxed about the whole thing.

:26:05.:26:11.

You will be back? There are a lot of things to think about. I don't make

:26:12.:26:15.

any predictions. There you go. Nelson McCausland

:26:16.:26:20.

talking to David Maxwell and not committing himself to a political

:26:21.:26:24.

return but not ruling it out, it has to be said. He is been around for a

:26:25.:26:29.

long time. Caitriona Ruane, you must have got to know him a bit at the

:26:30.:26:33.

Assembly, how do you feel about his departure? I knew him in City Hall,

:26:34.:26:39.

as well, I was the director of - he was one of the people at the time

:26:40.:26:42.

who voted against many projects we were involved in, I knew him in the

:26:43.:26:47.

Assembly, I was in the Executive with him. Look, I just know how

:26:48.:26:54.

tough it is to put yourself forward for election. I am speaking not just

:26:55.:26:58.

in terms of Nelson here, but also Mike Nesbitt and Danny Kennedy

:26:59.:27:02.

and... Philip Smith has also gone. Sandra. You know, it's tough.

:27:03.:27:07.

Politics is a tough, tough game. I know I am repeating what other

:27:08.:27:11.

people have said. You are just out there, you are in the public eye.

:27:12.:27:15.

People don't see what happens behind the scenes. What did you make of

:27:16.:27:19.

that Mike Nesbitt announcement, it was short, it was sharp and anything

:27:20.:27:26.

but sweet? Yeah, well, I think Coe have picked a better time to do it.

:27:27.:27:31.

I don't want to be critical... Do you mean because it was very quick?

:27:32.:27:36.

It might have been better to have discussions with his party and - I

:27:37.:27:42.

think sometimes and I don't want to focus on some of the maybe

:27:43.:27:48.

criticisms I have of the way maybe Mike managed the party, but

:27:49.:27:52.

party-building, for me, is very important. And I think you need to

:27:53.:27:57.

put time into the building blocks and I think sometimes Mike put more

:27:58.:28:03.

into the media and maybe the Assembly team. It's important - I

:28:04.:28:08.

don't think candidates should be hearing about resignations as

:28:09.:28:11.

they're in count centres. Having said that, I wish Mike all the best.

:28:12.:28:16.

I always found him a pleasure to work with. Indeed, all his party

:28:17.:28:22.

when I was in the Chair in the Assembly, I never had any issues

:28:23.:28:26.

with any of his party. OK. Let's talk to Fionnuala and Alex. Alex,

:28:27.:28:30.

you are a former director of communications for the you will

:28:31.:28:35.

unionist party, the party that Mike Nesbitt still leads but not for much

:28:36.:28:39.

longer, he threw himself under the bus this evening in dramatic

:28:40.:28:43.

fashion, catching people on the hop, not least Doug Beattie who obviously

:28:44.:28:47.

did not know that was coming and was somewhat wrong-footed by it. What do

:28:48.:28:51.

you make of his decision to go and to go so quickly? I think the

:28:52.:28:55.

decision was inevitable. I tweeted before lunch that barring a miracle

:28:56.:29:00.

that his leadership was untenable. I agree, one of the problems Mike had

:29:01.:29:06.

with this campaign was that he was accused of bouncing his candidates

:29:07.:29:09.

by telling you about transferring to the SDLP. None of them knew about

:29:10.:29:14.

it. He did exactly the same with his resignation. Straight over to Doug

:29:15.:29:20.

Beattie, he knows something about it. I presume others know nothing

:29:21.:29:25.

about it. Some elected for the first time have no idea now who will be

:29:26.:29:28.

leading the party. To go back to a clip earlier with Harold McKee, the

:29:29.:29:33.

defeated candidate in South Down, when asked about the campaign said I

:29:34.:29:37.

had to go on the door-steps and tell people it was me campaigning, not

:29:38.:29:42.

Mike Nesbitt. I think that, take all that in, the fact that I think the

:29:43.:29:48.

UUP were not expecting the spectacular, I think they would be

:29:49.:29:51.

lucky to get 13, I said if it fell below 13 he had problems, this is

:29:52.:29:56.

catastrophe, when you lose people like Joe and Dobson, Danny Kennedy,

:29:57.:30:07.

and Sandra Overend. You win and lose battles according to circumstances.

:30:08.:30:11.

In this case I think a lot of people, will blame him personally.

:30:12.:30:14.

Fionnuala? Well, we were talking about psychology earlier. I was

:30:15.:30:20.

thinking two things there. Listening to Nigel and Caitriona Ruane, Nigel

:30:21.:30:25.

in particular, first making that handsome reference and tribute to

:30:26.:30:29.

Mike and listening to Jim Wells earlier doing the decent thing about

:30:30.:30:33.

PJ Bradley. It was a great relief to hear all those things because it has

:30:34.:30:38.

been so unpleasant over the last six months. Listening to people doing

:30:39.:30:42.

the decent thing and saying the decent thing after an election like

:30:43.:30:46.

this is very important for it, it's important for us too. We sit here

:30:47.:30:52.

and we do, we only see what goes on in front of the camera. We don't see

:30:53.:30:59.

the strains and the emotion behind it as Nigel has suffered and

:31:00.:31:04.

Catriona has suffered in different ways. Then the Mike phenomenon, a

:31:05.:31:09.

media man to his finger tips, brought in really to improve their

:31:10.:31:13.

PR image. He did that in ways but also did it - he did it by being

:31:14.:31:18.

pleasant and smooth in performance. But he also did it by bouncing all

:31:19.:31:22.

over the place. He didn't just bounce people individually, and this

:31:23.:31:25.

is, I am doing now what the politicians didn't do, I am being

:31:26.:31:29.

brutal immediately after the event. I won't do it in much more detail.

:31:30.:31:36.

But he didn't just do trying to run a non-sectarian campaign and a

:31:37.:31:41.

non-sectarian Ulster Unionist party, he richo... There was a Westminster

:31:42.:31:47.

fight two years ago. There was that loyalist forum he joined, that

:31:48.:31:51.

period of the flags protest. I think he bewildered a lot of people in the

:31:52.:31:55.

party and voters too and that you can not do. OK. Stay with me. I do

:31:56.:32:00.

want to hear more from you shortly. I want to go to Fermanagh and South

:32:01.:32:07.

Tyrone and to Omagh Leisure Centre and join Michelle Gildernew from

:32:08.:32:10.

Sinn Fein who has been returned, held on to her seat as an MLA in

:32:11.:32:16.

that constituency. First of all, congratulations to you. That's a

:32:17.:32:22.

good result from your point of view. Also home for you is Gemma Dolan. It

:32:23.:32:26.

looks like Sean Lynch could be in trouble.

:32:27.:32:31.

He is still in there and I want to congratulate all of our successful

:32:32.:32:39.

candidates, it has been a great day and we hope that Sean and Declan

:32:40.:32:44.

McAleer will be returned before we leave the leisure centre and I am

:32:45.:32:48.

personally saddened at losing Oliver McMullan, not just a great friend

:32:49.:32:52.

but a great worker and a big loss to the Assembly but so far a great day

:32:53.:32:56.

and please God we will have shone and Declan over the line. Philip

:32:57.:33:02.

McGuigan, your party colleague in North Antrim, who replaced the

:33:03.:33:07.

haematite, has been successful and he is in. We can see Michelle

:33:08.:33:12.

O'Neill congratulating him. And he is beaming like the proverbial

:33:13.:33:17.

Cheshire cat. That will not surprise you. No, he is a great fellow and we

:33:18.:33:23.

are delighted to see him in the Assembly and there have been great

:33:24.:33:28.

results across the board today. This election was based on integrity and

:33:29.:33:33.

respect and equality and the electorate have had their say and I

:33:34.:33:37.

would hope the DUP will listen to what they have said today. We need

:33:38.:33:43.

to go back to the Assembly and into negotiations with a fresh mandate

:33:44.:33:47.

and a fresh approach and a different approach and an approach that does

:33:48.:33:51.

have respect and equality at its core. I have been very disappointed

:33:52.:33:55.

in things that have been said and done in my time in the Assembly and

:33:56.:33:58.

I hope this mandate will be different. This election was a

:33:59.:34:06.

difficult 1,000 of people wiped off the register in Fermanagh-South

:34:07.:34:08.

Tyrone and we have a huge amount of work to do to get them back on and I

:34:09.:34:13.

am proud to be the only woman, as far as I know, to have fought every

:34:14.:34:18.

single Assembly election since the Good Friday Agreement and to win a

:34:19.:34:24.

seat. I am deeply appreciative of the brilliant people are

:34:25.:34:27.

Fermanagh-South Tyrone who have returned us so far and they are

:34:28.:34:30.

fabulous people and I want to say thanks a million. Go raibh maith

:34:31.:34:39.

agat. I can just hear, Sean Lynch has been deemed elected. Three Sinn

:34:40.:34:43.

Fein in Fermanagh-South Tyrone. We are over the moon. You could get a

:34:44.:34:50.

job as a results tally person. Some people cheering over your shoulder,

:34:51.:34:55.

I wondered what was happening. He was in a tight fight but he has been

:34:56.:35:01.

successful? It has been confirmed. And I would take from that that the

:35:02.:35:06.

candidate who lost was Maurice Morrow and the DUP will have to

:35:07.:35:11.

reflect on that and the result they have here today and listen to the

:35:12.:35:17.

people, we absolutely need to see a different tenor in the Executive and

:35:18.:35:22.

the Assembly. We all about building and Ireland of equals and we will

:35:23.:35:26.

not start by being trampled over in Belfast. Thank you for joining us

:35:27.:35:32.

and keeping us up to speed with developments. We don't have

:35:33.:35:36.

confirmation that is the case but we did know that Maurice Morrow was in

:35:37.:35:40.

difficulty. That would mean that Rosemary Barton of the European

:35:41.:35:47.

might well have held onto her seat in Fermanagh South Tyrone. Jenny

:35:48.:35:51.

Palmer of the Ulster Unionist Party, formerly of the DUP, is out in Lagan

:35:52.:35:57.

Valley. Another body blow to the Ulster Unionist Party and Mike

:35:58.:36:03.

Nesbitt. Let us hear more from the Belfast counts at the Titanic

:36:04.:36:04.

Exhibition Centre. Tara Mills... I am with the SDLP's Nichola Mallon,

:36:05.:36:16.

we will keep you occupied because nobody is elected yet in north

:36:17.:36:21.

Belfast? We are working through the motions, Nelson McCausland has been

:36:22.:36:25.

eliminated so hopefully in the next couple of hours we will have the

:36:26.:36:28.

candidates declared and we will know the result. Whenever it comes to the

:36:29.:36:33.

broader picture, we will talk about the SDLP but I want your reaction to

:36:34.:36:39.

Mike Nesbitt's news. The issue of leadership by the Ulster Unionists

:36:40.:36:42.

is a matter for the Ulster Unionists. Emma Hurd Mike Nesbitt

:36:43.:36:47.

saying he was not clear his message resonated and I think it was heard

:36:48.:36:51.

in North Belfast, if you look at the transfers from the Ulster Unionist

:36:52.:36:55.

candidate, a significant portion went to the centre ground and they

:36:56.:36:58.

know from speaking to people that are numbered of unionists did vote

:36:59.:37:02.

for me so the message of partnership in the centre ground did resonate

:37:03.:37:07.

somewhat in North Belfast. Is there any sense of frustration? People are

:37:08.:37:12.

talking about opposition, is any frustration that he did not have

:37:13.:37:16.

long enough in opposition to produce any viable alternative to the big

:37:17.:37:21.

parties? Opposition is a new dynamic and it was only gathering momentum.

:37:22.:37:25.

We were beginning to work together and produce motions but we never

:37:26.:37:30.

expected the starting pistol to be fired so early. We would have wanted

:37:31.:37:35.

more time but we have to build on that and there are areas, including

:37:36.:37:39.

North Belfast, where people want that choice. North Belfast is

:37:40.:37:44.

considered one of the most fractious and polarised constituencies but

:37:45.:37:46.

clearly people have chosen the centre ground and that is a positive

:37:47.:37:50.

message that we need people to be aware of. And a bigger nationalist

:37:51.:37:56.

voice given that Nelson McCausland has been eliminated? There was a

:37:57.:37:59.

bigger turnout in North Belfast and that was strongly

:38:00.:38:22.

connected to be tried for the Brexit referendum. That was an issue around

:38:23.:38:26.

the doors and I am an Irish nationalist and I am confident that

:38:27.:38:29.

did not stand on the orange or Green ticket, I did not use sectarian

:38:30.:38:31.

language, I stood with a partnership approach on bread-and-butter issues

:38:32.:38:33.

and that worked for us in North Belfast so there is an appetite. We

:38:34.:38:36.

needed longer to build on this. People went to the polls and they're

:38:37.:38:38.

facing direct rule. This is an outcome that is in nobody's

:38:39.:38:41.

interests. It is about what happens after the results and we need to get

:38:42.:38:43.

around the table. We need devolved government based on power-sharing.

:38:44.:38:47.

Your vote has held up but there are losses with Alex Attwood

:38:48.:38:51.

disappearing from West Belfast. What do you think the SDLP will reflect

:38:52.:38:55.

upon afterwards? After every election, we sit down and look at

:38:56.:39:01.

the figures and we look seriously at what lessons can be learnt. We have

:39:02.:39:07.

taken a blow in West Belfast with Alex but we will take a seat back in

:39:08.:39:11.

Upper Bann so we need to look at the whole picture and learn from that,

:39:12.:39:16.

definitely. We might be getting something from North Belfast?

:39:17.:39:21.

Hopefully! Thank you very much. We will bring you that North Belfast

:39:22.:39:27.

result if it comes. Thank you. We can come back to this end of the

:39:28.:39:34.

table and talk to vanilla and Alex. A quick word about what we have been

:39:35.:39:40.

hearing about. It looks like bad news for the DUP in Fermanagh-South

:39:41.:39:45.

Tyrone but potentially good news in the other constituency of Lagan

:39:46.:39:49.

Valley, when they might hold onto that seat they thought might be

:39:50.:39:54.

going because Gerry Palmer is out? This is it for Arlene Foster and the

:39:55.:40:02.

DUP, it has been a curious turnout. Up in some ways, just holding in

:40:03.:40:08.

orders. Morris Mauro going out is another big blow for Arlene Foster

:40:09.:40:13.

in that constituency, they have been shoulder to shoulder, how close they

:40:14.:40:17.

actually are, I do not know. They have been trotted out together and

:40:18.:40:23.

appearing together and making jokes together, he once stalwart companion

:40:24.:40:28.

and he is out. Alex? Fionnuala is right. In Lagan Valley the DUP will

:40:29.:40:34.

be delighted, they will not have said publicly but it was always

:40:35.:40:39.

going to be difficult holding the three but that point about another,

:40:40.:40:49.

Jimmy -- Jenny Palmer going out, the Ulster Unionist Party can only get

:40:50.:40:56.

ten and that is devastating. You were talking about three seats for

:40:57.:41:01.

the DUP, that was the third seat, Sean Lynch for Sinn Fein in

:41:02.:41:04.

Fermanagh-South Tyrone, a very impressive performance by Sinn Fein.

:41:05.:41:10.

Sinn Fein and the DUP have reason to be happy, they did what parties have

:41:11.:41:17.

to do, they got the vote out, Mike Nesbitt might complain, the reality

:41:18.:41:21.

is, these parties did deliver on that day and the smaller parties

:41:22.:41:24.

with the exception of the Alliance Party did not deliver. The Ulster

:41:25.:41:31.

Unionist Party and the SDLP will have to consider the relevance of

:41:32.:41:34.

their parties and if there is any room for them electorally in

:41:35.:41:40.

Northern Ireland. We talked about Oliver McMullan, who lost his seat

:41:41.:41:43.

after many years at the Assembly and he has not been well. That is good

:41:44.:41:50.

news for Sean Lynch? It is good news for Sinn Fein in Fermanagh-South

:41:51.:41:55.

Tyrone and it shows how things can change, in the last election we did

:41:56.:41:59.

not do well in Fermanagh-South Tyrone and we ran too many

:42:00.:42:02.

candidates and be learnt from that and we went in there... You made a

:42:03.:42:08.

complete dog's breakfast of it last time! We should not have put up four

:42:09.:42:17.

candidates. It is phenomenal we have three out of five and people will be

:42:18.:42:21.

surprised to hear this, Maurice Morrow and myself had political

:42:22.:42:25.

differences but he is a very funny man and I was on the Business

:42:26.:42:28.

Committee with him and he has a quirky sense of humour and he is one

:42:29.:42:32.

of the people I will miss! On a personal level, sad to see him

:42:33.:42:39.

going? On a personal level? For the personal level. I was with Jenny

:42:40.:42:46.

Palmer today at the Lisburn count. She really tried her best in the

:42:47.:42:51.

Assembly. She really wanted to make a difference. It is tough. She put

:42:52.:43:00.

herself forward. She has had a tough time, there have been internal

:43:01.:43:03.

issues between herself and the DUP in the past and she was working with

:43:04.:43:09.

the UUP. It is tough. She is going home tonight and probably just wants

:43:10.:43:13.

to close the door. It is a brutal game. Nigel Dodds, Maurice Morrow

:43:14.:43:19.

going, he is a friend of yours. Popular in the party, is that a body

:43:20.:43:24.

blow to Arlene Foster? In many senses he was her mental? That is a

:43:25.:43:32.

big blow to the DUP family, Maurice Morrow is the chairman and has given

:43:33.:43:36.

a lifetime of service. He was elected to the local council in the

:43:37.:43:42.

early 70s. He has been around a long time. His career is not over? No, he

:43:43.:43:49.

is a member of the House of Lords and there is no retirement from

:43:50.:43:56.

that! It is an enormous blow. I will hold Maurice Morrow in the highest

:43:57.:44:02.

esteem, he piloted through the last Assembly an important piece of

:44:03.:44:05.

private members legislation in terms of human slavery and trafficking and

:44:06.:44:11.

so on and he has been talking to people across Europe and elsewhere

:44:12.:44:16.

about that. He made an enormous contribution to the Assembly and

:44:17.:44:20.

will continue to make a contribution to the party so I wish them well and

:44:21.:44:26.

it is very sad but in this election, we are seeing some very well known

:44:27.:44:31.

household names not returning to the Assembly and the people have spoken.

:44:32.:44:36.

We must always remember, at the end of the day the other servants of the

:44:37.:44:41.

people and can be brutal and very difficult. But we have to respect

:44:42.:44:45.

that. I am very gratified that Nelson McCausland, Maurice Morrow,

:44:46.:44:51.

other people from other parties, Danny Kennedy made an extremely

:44:52.:44:56.

gracious speech... On a personal level, can you feel Jenny's pain? I

:44:57.:45:05.

fought and lost an election, it is not very pleasant. Of course. People

:45:06.:45:11.

will be going home tonight to families, very upset and emotionally

:45:12.:45:16.

distraught and all the rest of it. The others, looking at Nelson, my

:45:17.:45:21.

colleague, who was very philosophical and he will take that

:45:22.:45:24.

in his stride and others will take this in a difficult fashion but

:45:25.:45:28.

certainly Maurice Morrow will be greatly missed. Danny Kennedy is

:45:29.:45:35.

quoted as saying, when he was asked how he felt, I am too tired to love,

:45:36.:45:41.

and I am too old to cry and his voice cracked. You could see the

:45:42.:45:48.

pain and sadness. One of the remarkable things is those who have

:45:49.:45:54.

died out today, it was with gracious fashion and with a very good

:45:55.:45:58.

response and that is a tribute to democracy. Naomi Long joins us.

:45:59.:46:06.

Welcome. We heard from the earlier time and the count centre, who

:46:07.:46:11.

topped the poll in East Belfast and as things stand, according to my

:46:12.:46:16.

computer, you are the only MLA for East Belfast at this stage? So far,

:46:17.:46:24.

yes. Although I think both Joanne Bunting and Chris Liddle are close

:46:25.:46:29.

behind. Only 25 votes between them, one or the other if not both will be

:46:30.:46:35.

elected during the next round. What then? Andy Allen from the UUP

:46:36.:46:40.

hanging on? And one of the two DUP... Yes, Robin Newton is ahead of

:46:41.:46:48.

David Douglas but that is difficult to judge because with transfers,

:46:49.:46:52.

people might just vote in order of alphabet and that might benefit

:46:53.:46:57.

David Douglas so we will not know until the last votes are counted.

:46:58.:47:02.

David Douglas, the son of Sami Douglas, he has the name but Robin

:47:03.:47:05.

Newton has been around for a very long time. He has been caught up in

:47:06.:47:11.

some controversy, it is fair to say. Interesting to see how that plays

:47:12.:47:17.

out. Down to the wire. We will get a good idea after the transfers. Once

:47:18.:47:25.

Chris and July get over the line, then it is things like what happens

:47:26.:47:30.

to this PUP vote? That should give us a clear picture of which of the

:47:31.:47:33.

remaining DUP candidates will go through.

:47:34.:47:36.

What is your reading at this stage of proceedings as to what the

:47:37.:47:42.

public's verdict is because it seems to me you can read it in several

:47:43.:47:46.

different ways. How do you read it? Well, in terms of their verdict on

:47:47.:47:50.

what we did over the election, I think it's a positive verdict. It's

:47:51.:47:56.

the best result we have had since 1969 in terms of votes and vote

:47:57.:48:00.

share -- 1979. The share is up. It is, we have seen our vote double and

:48:01.:48:04.

triple in some constituencies which was important because I said I

:48:05.:48:08.

wanted to reach out beyond the East of Northern Ireland and actually

:48:09.:48:12.

make inroads in the West. We have seen some improvement in our vote

:48:13.:48:15.

share there in those places. We were starting from a low base. But we

:48:16.:48:19.

have the potential there in future to be able to build for council

:48:20.:48:23.

seats and that's a Goodway for us to be coming out of this election. The

:48:24.:48:27.

wider picture, the one message we can take away is that the increase

:48:28.:48:32.

turnout is very clear to me it's the best turnout I think there's been in

:48:33.:48:36.

an Assembly election since the one immediately after the Good Friday

:48:37.:48:39.

Agreement. I think that shows when people see the institutions in peril

:48:40.:48:42.

they care about it. I think the message people are sending from

:48:43.:48:45.

their vote yesterday regardless of whether they voted DUP or Sinn Fein

:48:46.:48:48.

or Ulster Unionist or SDLP or whoever they voted for is they want

:48:49.:48:53.

the institutions to work. That's a challenge, because I think DUP and

:48:54.:48:55.

Sinn Fein in terms of their campaign have set themselves at loggerheads.

:48:56.:48:58.

It's going to be very difficult to climb down from some of the

:48:59.:49:01.

positions taken. But they've got to do it. Because it's very clear they

:49:02.:49:05.

were given a mandate to run an Assembly and an Executive that works

:49:06.:49:08.

and it's got to happen, that's what people want. We will hear lots more

:49:09.:49:12.

from you shortly. For now, thank you. Thank you to the rest of you.

:49:13.:49:19.

Let's cross back to Mark Devenport with Nicholas Whyte who has been

:49:20.:49:23.

looking at the ups and downs of leadership within unionism down the

:49:24.:49:25.

years. Thank you very much, Mark. We have

:49:26.:49:30.

decided to change academic disciplines, we are going to become

:49:31.:49:36.

amateur historians, you have it in your blood. Your dad was Professor

:49:37.:49:40.

JJ Whyte, a noted historian of the Troubles and I have dabbled with

:49:41.:49:43.

history myself. The reason for all of this talk of history is let's

:49:44.:49:46.

look at the history of the Ulster Unionist party because we have seen

:49:47.:49:50.

yet another dramatic move with Mike Nesbitt stepping down.

:49:51.:49:54.

This follows what was for a long period of time Ulster Unionist

:49:55.:49:57.

leaders seemed to be staying there forever. James Molyneaux 16 years.

:49:58.:50:10.

Lord Craigavon for 19 years. When Molyneaux was the leader, they were

:50:11.:50:15.

the dominant party. The 1993 local Government elections, 29%. They were

:50:16.:50:19.

basically double what the DUP had. They held the majority of the

:50:20.:50:24.

parliamentary seats, as well. Then David Trimble, obviously he came in.

:50:25.:50:29.

The historic leader of the Ulster Unionists who signed the Good Friday

:50:30.:50:33.

Agreement. That cost him a lot of - caused him a lot of pain but they

:50:34.:50:38.

were still maintaining dominance. I think on 21%, DUP on 18%, closing

:50:39.:50:44.

the gap. Much closer than would really had been comfortable. They

:50:45.:50:47.

had been leading 2-1 and we saw the peace process closing that gap.

:50:48.:50:51.

David Trimble still in power when the DUP went into the ascendancy. If

:50:52.:50:56.

we stick with Assembly elections, I think 2003 we had the DUP coming up

:50:57.:51:02.

to 26%. The Ulster Unionists tailing them on 23%. Then a party in

:51:03.:51:09.

problems, three leaders in relatively quick succession, in the

:51:10.:51:14.

space of about 12 years. They're trying whatever they can to

:51:15.:51:18.

find the magic recipe, be it linking up with the Conservatives or pacts

:51:19.:51:23.

or whatever. In terms of Assembly elections we have a graph that

:51:24.:51:27.

doesn't appear to show very much. The fact is it doesn't show very

:51:28.:51:30.

much. It doesn't show any progress at all.

:51:31.:51:36.

This is starting up the Reg Empey period.

:51:37.:51:39.

The tables have turned. The Ulster Unionists on about double the vote.

:51:40.:51:44.

This masks how bad the situation is. In terms of votes the DUP are on

:51:45.:51:47.

twice as many. In terms of seats they're going to finish today with

:51:48.:51:52.

three times as many I reckon. I think the Ulster Unionists will

:51:53.:51:55.

probably end on about nine. Tom Elliott not ail to close the gap.

:51:56.:52:00.

Mike Nesbitt's problem has been in 2016 the gap was still about 2-1,

:52:01.:52:05.

13%. 29%. In 2017, he hasn't closed the gap either. It's much the same.

:52:06.:52:10.

Expect that it's worse. Today the Ulster Unionists probably losing

:52:11.:52:13.

seven of their 16 seats. In seats, yeah. In vote share much the same

:52:14.:52:18.

but in seats he hasn't made any mark. He has made a loss in seats.

:52:19.:52:24.

They haven't had an uptake since the 1990s. Politics is about more than

:52:25.:52:30.

just changing your leader? You have to try something and keep on trying

:52:31.:52:34.

until something else works. Try, try and try again. The Robert the Bruce

:52:35.:52:42.

strategy. That's not really my historical period.

:52:43.:52:45.

It isn't mine either, but thank you very much.

:52:46.:52:47.

That's interesting. Let's hear from Stephen Walker following

:52:48.:52:51.

developments in Strangford. There is a battle for that final 5th

:52:52.:52:59.

seat. There is. Surprisingly it's Joe Boyle of the SDLP right at the

:53:00.:53:03.

death, a lot of people thought it would be Philip Smith of the Ulster

:53:04.:53:07.

Unionists but he has been excluded. They're looking at his vote at the

:53:08.:53:11.

moment. Everyone is saying it will be Peter Weir that will take that

:53:12.:53:16.

5th seat in Strangford, it means the DUP will have three seats in

:53:17.:53:20.

Strangford. Obviously it means that DUP gamble of moving Peter Weir from

:53:21.:53:24.

North Down to Strangford will have paid off. If that's the case. So of

:53:25.:53:29.

the two constituencies, Strangford and North Down, four elected in

:53:30.:53:32.

Strangford and four elected in North Down. The final seat in North Down

:53:33.:53:38.

looks as if it is going to go to Stephen Agnew. We are moving to the

:53:39.:53:41.

final stages here in Strangford and North Down. Thank you very much.

:53:42.:53:47.

Dramatic developments with Julian Fowler in Fermanagh and South

:53:48.:53:50.

Tyrone. Maurice Morrow is sought. That's right. You heard it when

:53:51.:53:55.

Michelle Gildernew was speaking to you earlier, I have been given the

:53:56.:54:03.

final tally. Rose marry Barton 8442 votes. Sean Lynch, Sinn Fein, 7717

:54:04.:54:12.

and Maurice Morrow 7411, just over 300 votes short of that final seat.

:54:13.:54:19.

That means three Sinn Fein, one DUP, Arlene Foster and one Ulster

:54:20.:54:22.

Unionist, rose marry mar ban elected. Still waiting for the final

:54:23.:54:26.

declares declaration to be made and the candidates to make their

:54:27.:54:31.

speeches. Earlier Arlene Foster declined a request to be interviewed

:54:32.:54:36.

by the BBC. I have been speaking to other journalists here who said they

:54:37.:54:40.

- she has told them she has no intention of standing down, no real

:54:41.:54:44.

surprise there. She said she has a job of work to do which has been

:54:45.:54:48.

made more challenging by tonight. So, hopefully we will still get an

:54:49.:54:51.

opportunity to speak to Arlene Foster later.

:54:52.:54:54.

We look forward to that. Thank you very much.

:54:55.:55:04.

From one Julian to another. Julian O'Neill at the Lagan valley count.

:55:05.:55:07.

Things are interesting, Lagan valley and of course South Down you are

:55:08.:55:12.

keeping an eye on. What can you tell us? I am, Mark. The latest, I

:55:13.:55:21.

believe it is the SDLP who have requested a recount of stage five of

:55:22.:55:28.

the Lagan Valley count. This I think relates to the redistribution of

:55:29.:55:32.

votes of two candidates who were eliminated. I don't think it's going

:55:33.:55:36.

to change the fact that Jenny Palmer has lost her seat as a result of

:55:37.:55:43.

that stage. But the SDLP want that stage recounted. I think it probably

:55:44.:55:45.

stems from the fact that they do believe that they are in with a very

:55:46.:55:51.

slim chance of taking the 5th and final seat here in Lagan Valley. Let

:55:52.:55:57.

me recap. At this stage we have only one candidate returned in Lagan

:55:58.:56:01.

Valley, that is Paul Givan who topped the poll for the DUP. I would

:56:02.:56:05.

fully expect Edwin Poots, his party colleague, to join him, Trevor Lunn

:56:06.:56:11.

of the Alliance Party also to be elected and Robbie Butler of the

:56:12.:56:14.

Ulster Unionists who has outpolled Jenny Palmer. That leaves the final

:56:15.:56:20.

seat which the DUP are now confident that Brenda Hale will take, so the

:56:21.:56:24.

DUP would retain three seats in Lagan Valley, but that's all looking

:56:25.:56:28.

into the future. No one knows whether this count will finish

:56:29.:56:32.

tonight or carry into tomorrow. Things are much more advanced in

:56:33.:56:39.

South Down. We currently have two Sinn Fein candidates elected along

:56:40.:56:45.

with Sinead Bradley of the SDLP and Jim Wells of the DUP. A 5th seat

:56:46.:56:50.

there remains to be filled. It looks like it will go to Colin McGrath of

:56:51.:56:56.

the SDLP giving them the two seats that they came into this election

:56:57.:57:00.

with. Harold McKee, who won the 6th seat for the Ulster Unionists last

:57:01.:57:05.

May, lost out. That's the latest situation from Lisburn where both

:57:06.:57:08.

counts are still continuing. Thank you very much.

:57:09.:57:15.

Two counts still continuing in Ballymena. Joining us is Maggie

:57:16.:57:21.

Taggart. North Antrim and Mid Ulster. North Antrim, after a long

:57:22.:57:28.

delay has elected its first MLA and that ironically for a strong

:57:29.:57:32.

loyalist area is Sinn Fein's Philip McGuigan. We think that two of the

:57:33.:57:37.

three DUP candidates, the previous MLAs, are likely to be re-elected,

:57:38.:57:43.

Mervyn Storey and Paul Frew. The third is vulnerable, that is Philip

:57:44.:57:48.

Logan from the DUP. It's likely that he will lose out to Robin Swann of

:57:49.:57:53.

the Ulster Unionist party, in the spotlight at the moment and he is

:57:54.:57:56.

obviously hoping he will get in. We should hear shortly because I

:57:57.:58:01.

understand earlier Doug Beattie was mentioning that Robin Swann could

:58:02.:58:05.

likely take over from Mike Nesbitt as leader of the Ulster Unionist

:58:06.:58:09.

party. In Mid Ulster, three Sinn Fein elected, one DUP. We are likely

:58:10.:58:16.

to have a casualty in the Ulster Unionist party, Sandra Overs end,

:58:17.:58:21.

she is likely to have lost out to Patsy McGlone of the SDLP, only 500

:58:22.:58:25.

votes short of a quota now. Thank you very much.

:58:26.:58:33.

Let's talk to John O'Dowd from Upper Bann, a Sinn Fein candidate, former

:58:34.:58:39.

Minister. Evening to you, thank you very much for joining us. First of

:58:40.:58:45.

all, congratulations to you on retaining your seat. Thank you very

:58:46.:58:50.

much. A lot more comfortable this time than ten months ago when we

:58:51.:58:55.

were discussing the possibility of you having to find some alternative

:58:56.:58:59.

employment. I think you were discussing put ago bet on me losing

:59:00.:59:03.

my seat at that time. Lucky for you you didn't put it on. I am not a

:59:04.:59:07.

betting man, John! I might have been thinking about other people or

:59:08.:59:09.

encouraging other people to take a bet. But I wouldn't be that easily

:59:10.:59:15.

parted with my money, you know! It was 168 votes that time. You are

:59:16.:59:19.

through this time. Does it look to you like - the battle for the 5th

:59:20.:59:26.

seat is between your party colleague Nuala Toman and the SDLP's Dolores

:59:27.:59:31.

Kelly. Someone saw her looking happy within the last five minutes, so do

:59:32.:59:36.

you think she's going to retake her seat? It's unlikely that we will

:59:37.:59:41.

take two seats in Upper Bann and Dolores Kelly will be returned.

:59:42.:59:44.

That's the decision of the electorate. Now we have increased

:59:45.:59:51.

our vote in Upper Bann by around 3,000 votes which is a remarkable

:59:52.:59:55.

turnaround in events. It's a clear signal from the people, the

:59:56.:59:57.

nationalist people in Upper Bann, that they want to move forward, they

:59:58.:00:00.

want power-sharing but on the basis of the agreements we have signed up

:00:01.:00:05.

to. They want it on the basis of equality and respect and they want

:00:06.:00:07.

to weed out corruption at the heart of Government. We have a strong

:00:08.:00:10.

mandate. We have to use it wisely, we have to use it sensibly. Over the

:00:11.:00:16.

next number of weeks through our leadership and Michelle guilder New

:00:17.:00:19.

And Gerry Adams and others we will enter those negotiations in a bid to

:00:20.:00:25.

return power-sharing but on the basis of the terms outlined and the

:00:26.:00:30.

basis of the agreements signed up to previously and that integrity and

:00:31.:00:33.

equality is at the heart of the Government moving forward. You know

:00:34.:00:36.

that the DUP is sensitive about what you have just said. And will say

:00:37.:00:40.

categorically there is no evidence of corruption at the heart of

:00:41.:00:44.

Government. There are alcombagss -- allegations made by Sinn Fein but

:00:45.:00:49.

now a public inquiry into the RHI scandal and it will report in due

:00:50.:00:54.

course and then we will make our judgments. So, those suggestions of

:00:55.:00:58.

corruption are nothing more than suggestions at this stage. Well,

:00:59.:01:02.

there is allegations from sources within the media, sources from

:01:03.:01:06.

within the DUP itself and sources elsewhere. As you say, the public

:01:07.:01:10.

inquiry will find the truth out about exactly what was going on in

:01:11.:01:15.

relation to RHI. It will investigate all those matters and we will have

:01:16.:01:18.

the truth eventually come out about that matter. We also have to deal

:01:19.:01:21.

with the issue of Brexit. We also have to deal with the issue of

:01:22.:01:27.

inequality in our society and we have to deal with the issue of

:01:28.:01:31.

power-sharing on the basis of equality, of partners in that

:01:32.:01:35.

power-sharing arrangement. If, as expected, that the DUP and Sinn Fein

:01:36.:01:38.

will be returned out of this election, as the two largest

:01:39.:01:43.

parties, then the only way pow irvrer-sharing can be restored is

:01:44.:01:46.

upon that basis. Congratulations, John. Thank you very much for

:01:47.:01:52.

joining us. We will look for confirmation of that result shortly

:01:53.:01:56.

in that particular constituency. Let's go to Fermanagh South Tyrone

:01:57.:02:00.

and hear from Arlene Foster, the DUP leader, that count is now finished.

:02:01.:02:06.

Arlene Foster topped the poll. But she's proved a little bit elusive as

:02:07.:02:11.

far as the BBC is concerned. She's declined an invitation to talk to us

:02:12.:02:14.

directly at this stage. Hopefully we will hear from her maybe later this

:02:15.:02:19.

evening or indeed tomorrow. She has spoken from the platform at her

:02:20.:02:22.

count and this is what she had to say.

:02:23.:02:26.

Can I first of all thank Martin by the way in which we have run the

:02:27.:02:34.

count and in your usual professional way and all of staff, who have

:02:35.:02:39.

engaged here tonight. Can I thank the police Service of Northern

:02:40.:02:43.

Ireland for the security they have provided during yesterday in the

:02:44.:02:47.

election and here tonight in Omagh again. Can I thank those who have

:02:48.:02:54.

voted for the Democratic Unionist Party in this election, our vote has

:02:55.:02:59.

increased in Fermanagh-South Tyrone and I want to thank all of those who

:03:00.:03:03.

have put their faith in us. I want to thank our election agent, Clement

:03:04.:03:11.

Cuthbertson, and all the volunteers from the DUP who have been working

:03:12.:03:18.

so hard over the past number of weeks for Morris and myself. Of

:03:19.:03:27.

course, I want to pay tribute to a dear friend, Maurice Morrow, my

:03:28.:03:33.

mentors in many ways, since I joined the DUP. In PR elections, sometimes

:03:34.:03:38.

it can be tough between running mates and I am delighted to say that

:03:39.:03:43.

Maurice Morrow and myself have never had across word between us and I

:03:44.:03:49.

want to think himself and Jennifer for their friendship and Maurice for

:03:50.:03:54.

his courage and everything you have contributed to the Northern Ireland

:03:55.:03:58.

Assembly, Fermanagh and South Tyrone as a constituency is worse off for

:03:59.:04:01.

you not being there and there are many who will agree. Personally, I

:04:02.:04:09.

want to thank my family and for all of the support they have given me

:04:10.:04:12.

over what has been a challenging time. In some ways. And I thank them

:04:13.:04:20.

for the love they have provided to me and the support and to all of

:04:21.:04:23.

those who have been supporting me in practical ways and three players as

:04:24.:04:31.

well. I am honoured and humbled to be standing here at the moment and I

:04:32.:04:34.

want to personally thank everyone who has come out for me and to thank

:04:35.:04:40.

everyone who has supported the team of DUP candidates across the

:04:41.:04:44.

province and beyond that, I want to thank everyone who has come out to

:04:45.:04:47.

vote in this election and has shown support for the Democratic process

:04:48.:04:53.

and the desire to see the restoration of the Assembly

:04:54.:04:56.

structures. There is no mandate across Northern Ireland for direct

:04:57.:05:02.

rule, no consensus for any end to local democracy and no desire to

:05:03.:05:07.

silence our collective and distinctive Northern Ireland voice

:05:08.:05:10.

at this critical time. The people have spoken. All public

:05:11.:05:14.

representatives of goodwill must move forward into these negotiations

:05:15.:05:21.

with a view to forming a Northern Ireland government and let us move

:05:22.:05:25.

forward with hope, hope that the common good will be able to prevail

:05:26.:05:31.

over narrow, divisive interests. Hope that civility can return to

:05:32.:05:35.

politics, hope that a functioning Assembly can be restored and hope

:05:36.:05:42.

that a Northern Ireland with so many overlapping cultural identities can

:05:43.:05:47.

be home to all of us and all of our children and, indeed, the

:05:48.:05:50.

generations to come. There is work to be done. Work to quickly meant

:05:51.:05:57.

the relationships which have been frayed by the discord of this

:05:58.:06:02.

election, work to improve our real lives with more and better jobs,

:06:03.:06:08.

better Health Service and education system and better infrastructure and

:06:09.:06:11.

the real issues that matter to people on a day by day basis. We go

:06:12.:06:18.

to the table with a renewed mandate and I will guarantee for my part, a

:06:19.:06:24.

willingness to meet those challenges, to seize the

:06:25.:06:26.

opportunities, not for narrow political advantage but for

:06:27.:06:29.

everybody in Northern Ireland. Thank you.

:06:30.:06:34.

APPLAUSE Arlene Foster, the DUP leader,

:06:35.:06:39.

making her acceptance speech in Fermanagh-South Tyrone, she topped

:06:40.:06:42.

the poll but regretting hugely the fact that running mate, Maurice

:06:43.:06:47.

Morrow, did not make it home in this particular instance. There has been

:06:48.:06:51.

a lot happening in the last hour, it is fair to say. We have lots of

:06:52.:06:56.

graphics to bring us up-to-date with the story. Over to you, Mark. We are

:06:57.:07:02.

more than halfway through! More than 50 seats, 53 seats in total, have

:07:03.:07:08.

been filled. We can look at the virtual map.

:07:09.:07:12.

We are hoping to show you the entire map, squeezing 18 constituents

:07:13.:07:20.

together to make our own map and we can see from the colours spread

:07:21.:07:25.

around the map, those constituencies have some seats filled, there are a

:07:26.:07:30.

couple of exceptions. First, let us look at how the DUP are getting on

:07:31.:07:34.

in Strangford because in some ways, this tells you the story of the

:07:35.:07:39.

election within unionism. As we know, there are three outgoing DUP

:07:40.:07:43.

ministers running. How many are back? We can see Shell Michael Green

:07:44.:07:49.

is back, Simon Hamilton is back and were told that Peter Weir, even

:07:50.:07:54.

though he has been parachuted from neighbouring North Down, is almost

:07:55.:07:57.

certain to get back. In a sense this is the story of the election, Perot

:07:58.:08:03.

like Nesbitt at the bottom, small consolation being re-elected but it

:08:04.:08:08.

looks like there are going to be three DUP back in in Strangford

:08:09.:08:11.

despite all of the problems the DUP have had and the story of the

:08:12.:08:15.

election, the Alliance doing well in Strangford. Not everyone has filled

:08:16.:08:22.

their seat belt, North Antrim has got one, East Londonderry do not

:08:23.:08:29.

have any, some people are comparing this to blockbusters. How dare they!

:08:30.:08:37.

They must be over 40! North Belfast, they do not have anybody elected but

:08:38.:08:41.

I am told it will be soon. We can look at the neighbouring

:08:42.:08:45.

constituency, West Belfast, and again, one of the stories of this

:08:46.:08:49.

election, look at the number of Sinn Fein MLAs elected. Yes, Gerry

:08:50.:08:57.

Carroll got back for People Before Profit but where is the SDLP's Alex

:08:58.:09:02.

Attwood? Nowhere to be seen. Older viewers will remember Joe Hendron

:09:03.:09:06.

topping the poll in the Westminster election back in 1992, seeing off

:09:07.:09:13.

Gerry Adams. Those days are definitely over for the best LP. The

:09:14.:09:18.

new political map is starting to take shape. As you can see, lots of

:09:19.:09:23.

seats still to be filled. It is going to be a long night! It looks

:09:24.:09:25.

fantastic! What is at the top of those stairs

:09:26.:09:35.

behind you? Do you know what? We will show you at the end of the

:09:36.:09:41.

night. Can you just dander up then? If people children after 11 o'clock!

:09:42.:09:46.

We will hold you do not -- to that! Becky! Mark Simpson with the

:09:47.:09:56.

numbers. -- thank you. Are you on course for eight seats? We are still

:09:57.:10:02.

in contention although less so than about one hour ago in South Down.

:10:03.:10:07.

And we are the runner-up in north Belfast so that is the second time

:10:08.:10:11.

we have been runner-up there in eight months, even though we managed

:10:12.:10:16.

to add to the vote, it was not enough on this occasion. That was

:10:17.:10:21.

Nuala McAllister? Yes, the runner-up and next to that, Nelson McCausland.

:10:22.:10:26.

What about predictions for the Ulster Unionist Party and the SDLP?

:10:27.:10:31.

Alex reckons the Ulster Unionists cannot get any more than ten? We

:10:32.:10:38.

don't have a figure on the SDLP. We'll both parties be significantly

:10:39.:10:41.

down? Even allowing for Assembly triggered? That doesn't have the

:10:42.:10:48.

case, if the Ulster Unionists, if we maintain our position we would be on

:10:49.:10:52.

seven so if the Ulster Unionists did the same they would have 12 or 13

:10:53.:10:57.

and they will be below that and similarly with the SDLP, although

:10:58.:11:01.

they are helped slightly in South Down at our expense because

:11:02.:11:04.

whichever of us does not take the final seat will be the runner-up so

:11:05.:11:08.

that is a tussle for the last seat and that will help them. But not a

:11:09.:11:16.

good collection for either party. Not as bad, I will be honest, as

:11:17.:11:21.

Mike Nesbitt seems to think as it is for him and I was shocked at just

:11:22.:11:26.

how swiftly he departed. It seems to be quite a remarkable decision to

:11:27.:11:31.

have made so swiftly without talking to colleagues and the rest of it, it

:11:32.:11:35.

seems quite a bizarre way to do things. Did he want to go at the

:11:36.:11:43.

first sign he thinks would not be going in the way he hoped in his

:11:44.:11:48.

head? I have to say yes, at the leaders debate before the election,

:11:49.:11:53.

he did seem even then to have the demeanour of somebody who felt

:11:54.:11:57.

defeated so from that perspective I don't think he had a happy election.

:11:58.:12:03.

We have fought really good campaigns and have enjoyed the campaigns and

:12:04.:12:07.

have been gutted when we get to the count centre. It happens to all of

:12:08.:12:11.

us. But I do not think he had a good campaign, he did not feel confident

:12:12.:12:15.

going into the election or throughout. It has left him in a

:12:16.:12:20.

difficult position. They have lost three out of the four women they had

:12:21.:12:25.

in the election, that is a big blow, and they have lost Danny Kennedy,

:12:26.:12:30.

who was probably the most obvious person to take over as leader if

:12:31.:12:35.

Mike Nesbitt stood aside. That is a huge loss. And to the Assembly. I

:12:36.:12:41.

was his vice chair in the OFMDFM committee days in the Assembly and I

:12:42.:12:47.

have huge respect and affection for Danny Kennedy, he is a gentleman and

:12:48.:12:51.

I am genuinely sorry to see him going because he has a great sense

:12:52.:12:55.

of humour and somebody who I think will be a great loss to the chamber.

:12:56.:13:00.

You will have felt the same thing, working with him in the role

:13:01.:13:03.

speaker. Somebody who genuinely could bring wit and humour to the

:13:04.:13:09.

role he had. And he will be a great loss to the party and the Assembly.

:13:10.:13:15.

Stay with us. Tom Elliott joins us from the Fermanagh-South Tyrone

:13:16.:13:18.

count in. You were in Belfast earlier today. You have made the

:13:19.:13:24.

journey back home. West of the river bank. What do you make of the

:13:25.:13:30.

picture unfolding tonight? We know all of the seats have been declared

:13:31.:13:35.

in Fermanagh-South Tyrone and Arlene Foster topped the poll, Maurice

:13:36.:13:42.

Morrow did not make it, any relief that Rosemary Barton held onto her

:13:43.:13:47.

seat? It is a tribute to Rosemary, she is a hard worker on the ground,

:13:48.:13:51.

she gets around a lot of issues and I am pleased that she has made it.

:13:52.:13:56.

Clearly within that there are casualties and I am sorry to see

:13:57.:14:00.

Maurice Morrow going, he is a stalwart of the Assembly. Richie

:14:01.:14:05.

McPhillips was making a huge contribution also but unfortunately

:14:06.:14:10.

that is politics. The biggest casualty is your party leader, Mike

:14:11.:14:13.

Nesbitt, who has fallen on his sword. Some people are effectively

:14:14.:14:19.

describing this as a pre-emptive strike. Did he really need to do

:14:20.:14:27.

that quite so soon? I am not sure of the entire circumstances because I

:14:28.:14:31.

was not aware of it but he has taken that decision in a very emotional

:14:32.:14:36.

time. You're not even at the end of the election count but clearly he

:14:37.:14:40.

has taken that decision at an early stage, he feels that it was a poor

:14:41.:14:48.

result, not what he was anticipating what was calculating. It is a

:14:49.:14:54.

difficult time and I just hope that himself and the family can spend

:14:55.:14:57.

some time together that he may be did not have the opportunity to do

:14:58.:15:02.

over the last five years. You have been in a difficult situation as the

:15:03.:15:07.

leader of the party and Alex Kane earlier said that it is not an easy

:15:08.:15:12.

party to lead because in a sense, it looks in two directions, one way and

:15:13.:15:22.

the other. Here is the point... Mike Nesbitt has made a decision to go.

:15:23.:15:29.

And people are not quite clear by he has made that decision. And they are

:15:30.:15:34.

not quite sure what he believed whenever he said in interviews, that

:15:35.:15:38.

the Ulster Unionist Party would come back as the biggest unionist party.

:15:39.:15:43.

Was he just talking things up or did he actually believe that? When you

:15:44.:15:48.

are in an election campaign, you do your best to try to rally the troops

:15:49.:15:53.

and get people behind you and get people to support you. That is what

:15:54.:15:59.

you do. Every party does that. Mike made the calculation that he would

:16:00.:16:02.

like to come back with more seats than he did and he just feels, I am

:16:03.:16:07.

sure, that he has not lived up to expectation. It was a very brave

:16:08.:16:17.

decision. Visit? If you wildly over claim when you rally the troops, the

:16:18.:16:22.

difficulty is, you back yourself into a corner because even though

:16:23.:16:25.

you might not have done very badly, you look like a failure, condemned

:16:26.:16:33.

by your own expectations? Yes but I do keep saying, in the election

:16:34.:16:38.

campaign you do the best for the party and you try to get people to

:16:39.:16:42.

come behind you and you will not go on the Trail and say, we will lose

:16:43.:16:47.

all of the seats. You try to make the best of it. And Mike feels he

:16:48.:16:53.

has not been able to make the best of it and I am sure he would have

:16:54.:16:58.

been more contented baby if it was not the largest party but if he had

:16:59.:17:03.

more seats and at least kept the seats that we did that. He has taken

:17:04.:17:09.

the decision, was a brave? Nothing is easy. There been a brave but not

:17:10.:17:14.

easy. And filled with an emotionally charged evening. And I hope that he

:17:15.:17:19.

can have some peace and tranquillity in the days ahead.

:17:20.:17:24.

Thank you very much, next time I want your prediction as to who the

:17:25.:17:29.

next leader will be. I presume you won't be throwing your hat in the

:17:30.:17:32.

ring for another go? I would suggest you are presuming right, Mark. Fair

:17:33.:17:35.

enough. Can't say I am surprised. Tom, thank you very much. Let's hear

:17:36.:17:41.

from Doleres Kelly from Upper Bann. SDLP candidate. Good to see you.

:17:42.:17:47.

Doesn't seem so long since we were having a conversation in which we

:17:48.:17:55.

were discussing the end of your political career. It looks like

:17:56.:17:58.

maybe you are about to come back from the dead. Rumours of my death

:17:59.:18:04.

have been much false as Mark Twain said. It is looking very positive.

:18:05.:18:09.

More or less I think Sinn Fein have conceded. They are doing the surplus

:18:10.:18:14.

at the moment. But I think I am on target to be indeed back in the

:18:15.:18:19.

Assembly. So, three MLAs have been returned for Upper Bann. You are in

:18:20.:18:25.

a scrap for the final seat with Sinn Fein's Nuala Toman. Can you give us

:18:26.:18:29.

a sense of how the transfers are looking? Do you reckon you have it

:18:30.:18:34.

in the bag, is it a possibility or a probability probableability? It's a

:18:35.:18:37.

probableability at this stage. I think I am over 1,000 in front. And

:18:38.:18:42.

there is even Beattie surplus distributed at the moment and I am

:18:43.:18:47.

ahead on those. Any idea when that declaration is likely to be made and

:18:48.:18:51.

when you are confirmed as an MLA once again? I would hope within the

:18:52.:18:56.

next 20 minutes or so. Yes, we are progressing quite well here in Upper

:18:57.:19:01.

Bann for a change. It's always been a rollercoaster, doesn't matter if

:19:02.:19:04.

it's over one day or two, it's always a difficult time. Sometime

:19:05.:19:08.

within the next 20-30 minutes it will be confirmed as having retaken

:19:09.:19:12.

the seat. We will hold our congratulations until it is

:19:13.:19:17.

official. Let me ask you, sorry to bring this up... It ain't over until

:19:18.:19:21.

it's over, that's for sure. There was controversy in the press during

:19:22.:19:27.

the campaign about the inappropriateness in inverted xhas

:19:28.:19:31.

of you receiving a significant pay-off, I think last May when you

:19:32.:19:36.

lost your seat. And you hold on to that money but you are running

:19:37.:19:41.

again. Where are we with that and if you do indeed win the seat does that

:19:42.:19:47.

make you uncomfortable? Well, Mark, can I just say what makes me

:19:48.:19:51.

uncomfortable is how I have been singled out for a particular type of

:19:52.:19:55.

rumour and almost slander and defamation of my own good character.

:19:56.:19:58.

I didn't receive all of that sum of money. A lot was spent on the

:19:59.:20:02.

rundown of my office and my staff pay-offs. I also would have to say

:20:03.:20:06.

that I don't know why I was treated differently to any other MLAs who

:20:07.:20:11.

lost or retired last year. Nor indeed those other MLAs or MPs or

:20:12.:20:16.

MEPs who stood down from other parliaments and took seats in other

:20:17.:20:20.

parliaments, not only in this jurisdiction but elsewhere and the

:20:21.:20:24.

same question and the same hints of scandal weren't thrown at them.

:20:25.:20:29.

Today I am going... Just to be clear, nothing defamatory in what I

:20:30.:20:32.

am saying to you and the reason I am talking is because I am interviewing

:20:33.:20:35.

you at the moment, I don't know if you were singled out but you are one

:20:36.:20:39.

of the MLAs who stood for election once again. The point was made about

:20:40.:20:44.

John Dallat as well. He is not I think - I think he has been elimb

:20:45.:20:49.

Nat Nated in East Londonderry -- eliminated. But you understand why I

:20:50.:20:51.

am asking you because we are having a conversation and it looks like you

:20:52.:20:55.

are about to win your seat again. There was a public debate about the

:20:56.:20:58.

appropriateness of you holding on to that money. I am just asking if you

:20:59.:21:02.

are comfortable with that. I think that's a fair question. Well, I

:21:03.:21:07.

think what is a fair question is the whole principle of severance

:21:08.:21:10.

payments to all parment tarrians and that's a debate to be had, not only

:21:11.:21:15.

with me but with the Assembly and in other parliaments. Right. I have

:21:16.:21:19.

news for you. You might be a little bit annoyed for asking that question

:21:20.:21:23.

but I can tell you formally officially you are an MLA you have

:21:24.:21:28.

been returned because my little screen has got a green tick beside

:21:29.:21:31.

your name. Maybe you will forgive me that rudeness. Wonderful news. How

:21:32.:21:38.

do you feel, congratulations. Thank you very much, Mark. It's just

:21:39.:21:41.

wonderful U I didn't expect to be back here and I want to thank my

:21:42.:21:45.

marvellous campaign team that worked really hard. I want to say a

:21:46.:21:48.

particular thanks to each and every voter in Upper Bann who came out for

:21:49.:21:54.

the SDLP, who put their faith in the SDLP and me to represent them again

:21:55.:21:59.

in this constituency, thank you all. Well, genuine congratulations. That

:22:00.:22:02.

brought a mile to your face, I have to say. -- a smile to your face. You

:22:03.:22:07.

can go and celebrate. No chat we will chat again soon. Thank you for

:22:08.:22:10.

your time. Good talking to you, Mark. Good to

:22:11.:22:17.

talk to you, as well. Fionnuala, nonetheless delighted to be

:22:18.:22:22.

returned. Must have been delightful, I believe Nuala Toman rused to work

:22:23.:22:27.

in Brid Rodgers office, maybe a long time ago and to be in a run-off with

:22:28.:22:34.

her for the seat must have been something. Apparently. Do you know

:22:35.:22:37.

if that's the case? I wasn't aware of that. It was a long time ago. I

:22:38.:22:44.

know Nuala, she never mentioned that. It may have been at school.

:22:45.:22:49.

May have been a holiday job but she did apparently work for sometime.

:22:50.:22:52.

She is Sinn Fein through and through. There was a tight fight at

:22:53.:22:56.

the end. She didn't make it. First of all, I would congratulate

:22:57.:23:03.

Dolores, it is tough coming back having lost her seat and also John

:23:04.:23:10.

O'Dowd but Nuala Toman polled very well. She should be very proud. She

:23:11.:23:15.

was in 4th place in terms of first preference votes. 6100. She didn't

:23:16.:23:19.

pick up the transfers to bring her home. An excellent first preference

:23:20.:23:27.

vote. And replacing an effective and popular person in Katherine Sealey

:23:28.:23:31.

who is popular. She's gone back to teaching. A loss I think to Sinn

:23:32.:23:35.

Fein. A lot of people feel a loss to Sinn Fein and a loss to politics

:23:36.:23:39.

because she was articulate and had things to say and a fresh

:23:40.:23:42.

perspective. No matter what you think about Sinn Fein's position on

:23:43.:23:46.

things. A lot of people liked the fact she brought something new to

:23:47.:23:50.

the table. Here is the interesting thing about that. She wonder if that

:23:51.:23:57.

says something about a young person's commitment to politics or a

:23:58.:24:00.

young person's view of what politics has to offer and where politics is

:24:01.:24:07.

going here at the moment. Well, first of all, I think the school is

:24:08.:24:12.

lucky to have Cat because she's a really good teacher and as a former

:24:13.:24:17.

Education Minister looking at raising standards and tackling

:24:18.:24:20.

underachievement I know that is Cat's goal in a disadvantaged area.

:24:21.:24:24.

In terms of young people and politics, of course young people

:24:25.:24:26.

raise questions but look at the number of young people that have put

:24:27.:24:30.

themselves forward. That don't know what's going to happen next week or

:24:31.:24:33.

the week after. You take the point, she was in the Assembly for a matter

:24:34.:24:39.

of months, she had an opportunity to get her feet under the table. People

:24:40.:24:41.

thought she had something to offer and she was there, got a feel of it

:24:42.:24:45.

and decided you know what, I am not going to bother, I will go back to

:24:46.:24:49.

teaching. That sends out a negative message about politics. Well, yeah,

:24:50.:24:53.

but politics doesn't have to be for life. I think that we have to

:24:54.:24:58.

change... Often it's for more than eight months. We have to dhang the

:24:59.:25:02.

way we think about things. If you go into a job and don't like the job,

:25:03.:25:07.

then you change it. People should be entitled to. But look at Megan

:25:08.:25:15.

Fearon, she's 25 years of age and in her third - won two elections and

:25:16.:25:18.

was co-opted in one. There are young people who stayed on and young women

:25:19.:25:22.

who stayed on. Politics is a tougher game for women than men, I don't

:25:23.:25:29.

care what anyone says. Loads of other, Elisha McCallion, Sinead,

:25:30.:25:32.

Nichola Mallon, all the different women that have gone forward again.

:25:33.:25:36.

I think what we have to do is make it a better place for women and men.

:25:37.:25:41.

Also you doint have to stay there for life as I know. Yes, you bailed

:25:42.:25:45.

out a relatively young age it has to be said. A lot were surprised you

:25:46.:25:50.

decided to go. Well, yeah, I have probably a different view. I have

:25:51.:25:53.

done different things from being a professional tennis player, to being

:25:54.:25:59.

an act srifs in the third world to a human rights activist, 14 years in

:26:00.:26:05.

poll tishgs, four terms. You are not going to go back to being a senior

:26:06.:26:08.

tour tennis player. I am probably old for that now. It's good to have

:26:09.:26:11.

change and to have younger people in. I am glad I could use my

:26:12.:26:18.

experience to get a younger woman like Sinead in and in in style. We

:26:19.:26:24.

are going to look at pictures of Arlene Foster leaving the count

:26:25.:26:29.

centre in the Fermanagh and South Tyrone. There she is heading out in

:26:30.:26:32.

the dark. Seems to have dried up down there in that part of the

:26:33.:26:37.

world. She's getting into her Land Rover there. She has a fair bit of

:26:38.:26:43.

security around her. She's heading off. She chose not to speak to the

:26:44.:26:46.

BBC on this occasion. With any luck we will catch a word with her

:26:47.:26:53.

tomorrow. There is Maurice Morrow who was unsuccessful. Arlene Foster

:26:54.:26:58.

referred to Lord Morrow as her mentor. Difficult for him. I suppose

:26:59.:27:03.

a bit of a mixed night for Arlene Foster. She will be genuinely

:27:04.:27:09.

personally dispointed he is not back. When you run as a candidate

:27:10.:27:13.

the thing that's worse than losing your own seat is watching your

:27:14.:27:19.

running mate go out because actually particularly if you have done well

:27:20.:27:22.

as Arlene did in terms of topping the poll, to see the person you ran

:27:23.:27:26.

with, your colleague who supported you, to see them go out, it's a very

:27:27.:27:30.

painful experience. I am fortunate enough while I was here I saw my

:27:31.:27:33.

running mate flash up on the screen as elect. I am relieved about that

:27:34.:27:39.

because Chris polled really strongly and I am delighted to see Chris

:27:40.:27:45.

Lytlle back in. We were delighted last time to get two Alliance people

:27:46.:27:49.

elected we didn't get the third. It's gutting when that happens

:27:50.:27:52.

because you desperately want to see the whole team over the line and

:27:53.:27:55.

it's very difficult and it's hard when you see it happen to somebody

:27:56.:27:58.

else, it's easier to deal with in some ways when it is yourself. OK.

:27:59.:28:05.

Let's talk to Robin Swann, the Ulster Unionist from North Antrim.

:28:06.:28:11.

He joins us from the count there in Ballymena. You have been returned.

:28:12.:28:16.

The second candidate in North Antrim to be returned. First of all,

:28:17.:28:21.

congratulations to you on a personal basis because a lot of people said

:28:22.:28:24.

that you might have a bit of a struggle to hang on to a seat there

:28:25.:28:28.

but you have done it and done it comfortably. Well, I think that was

:28:29.:28:36.

what the local papers were having, when you were talking to David

:28:37.:28:41.

McIlveen the other night, describing me as the underdog. I have increased

:28:42.:28:49.

my vote from May from 4400 to over 6,000 so a 36% increase in the

:28:50.:28:53.

Ulster Unionist vote is a great recommendation for the work that we

:28:54.:28:56.

have been doing here. Just to be clear, the other candidate, is it

:28:57.:29:03.

the case that the DUP will get two home in Paul Frew and will Philip

:29:04.:29:09.

Logan lose out? It's looking like that at this moment. That seems to

:29:10.:29:13.

be the lie of the land into the last stage here. Let me ask you about

:29:14.:29:20.

your party. It's been a miserable night, according to Mike Nesbitt.

:29:21.:29:24.

You will know that he has in rather dramatic fashion called a news

:29:25.:29:27.

conference in East Belfast and announced that he is standing down

:29:28.:29:32.

as leader of the Ulster Unionist party. He can not in all honesty, he

:29:33.:29:37.

says, criticise other unionist leaders and then not deliver himself

:29:38.:29:42.

in terms of what he had said the Ulster Unionist party would achieve.

:29:43.:29:48.

Are you surprised, disappointed at his decision? I suppose one of the

:29:49.:29:53.

first things Mike did as leader was appoint me Chief Whip and what I

:29:54.:29:56.

have come to know from working with the man, if he commits himself to

:29:57.:30:01.

something he sees it threw and Mike always said his measure of

:30:02.:30:04.

leadership will be about what he achieves and how he achieves it. In

:30:05.:30:08.

his comments today and the reasons that he has stood down I think it

:30:09.:30:13.

shows the leadership quality of Mike Nesbitt. He's taken that personal

:30:14.:30:20.

stand, what he has committed to he didn't achieve in this election and

:30:21.:30:23.

he is standing by his word and that's what I found out about Mike

:30:24.:30:26.

Nesbitt, he is a man of his word and he will honour that. Here is the bad

:30:27.:30:30.

news for you, I spoke to Doug Beattie, who was successful in Upper

:30:31.:30:33.

Bann and asked if his name would be in the frame for the leadership

:30:34.:30:36.

whenever Mike Nesbitt finally stands down and he said absolutely not. The

:30:37.:30:41.

man for the job is Robin Swann in North Antrim. He is the man I think

:30:42.:30:45.

at this stage I would back for it. Are you up for it? Well, look, I

:30:46.:30:51.

don't know, I know Doug maybe told the BBC that, I don't know if he

:30:52.:30:55.

spoke to my wife yet, that's where a lot of the decisions have to be made

:30:56.:30:58.

for me first of all. We are a Democratic Party. We are going into

:30:59.:31:03.

our AGM in a few weeks. How that falls out, I think will be decided

:31:04.:31:07.

by the party officers. We are a party that represents one member,

:31:08.:31:09.

one vote and it's down to the membership of our party who will

:31:10.:31:14.

lead us, it's the done by MLAs or MPs or by a council, it's done by

:31:15.:31:19.

the membership. It's not been a great night. Danny Kennedy is out.

:31:20.:31:25.

Joanne Dobson is out. Philip Smith is out. Sandra Overend is

:31:26.:31:30.

struggling. Those are big names, significant figures within your

:31:31.:31:32.

party at Stormont who are not going to play a part next week or next

:31:33.:31:39.

month. Well, the names you mentioned, I think maybe, and they

:31:40.:31:42.

are a loss to the Ulster Unionist Assembly team, they're also a loss

:31:43.:31:45.

to the Northern Ireland Assembly because some names you mentioned

:31:46.:31:53.

there, Joanne Dobson and her organ donation bill, the work Danny

:31:54.:31:56.

Kennedy did, they're big losses to the Assembly. It's something we have

:31:57.:32:01.

seen from the reduction to five seats and the increased quotas, as

:32:02.:32:04.

well. I think the loss of those unionist seats are down to an

:32:05.:32:09.

increased Sinn Fein vote and that's what we are seeing across Northern

:32:10.:32:11.

Ireland. I think one of the things you are not balancing that with is

:32:12.:32:16.

the success we have had in John Stewart and taking a Sinn Fein seat

:32:17.:32:20.

in East Antrim. OK, thank you very much indeed. Have

:32:21.:32:23.

a word with your wife and let us know if she says you are allowed to

:32:24.:32:26.

put your name forward for the leadership in due course. We would

:32:27.:32:30.

be interested in having a conversation with you about that.

:32:31.:32:34.

I want to hear Alex's thoughts in a second, before that I want to go

:32:35.:32:38.

over to Tara at the Titanic exhibition centre to hear what is

:32:39.:32:43.

happening there. It's getting late in the night. What

:32:44.:32:47.

is the mood It is fair to say that all of the

:32:48.:32:57.

politicians and party workers are exhausted at this stage because they

:32:58.:33:02.

have had a long day yesterday and a very long couple of weeks, two

:33:03.:33:07.

elected with me and one hopeful. Clare Bailey from the Green Party

:33:08.:33:13.

and Paula Bradley from the DUP. Chris, congratulations. Are you

:33:14.:33:18.

pleased with the Alliance vote? It is a good day. Delighted to have

:33:19.:33:25.

such assault -- strong showing of support, one and two in East Belfast

:33:26.:33:29.

and that is a huge privilege to serve East Belfast and we are

:33:30.:33:34.

delighted they want to see a united community, they want effectiveness

:33:35.:33:39.

and power-sharing government and that is what myself and Naomi Long

:33:40.:33:44.

will be working to achieve. Looking at some of the pictures of the

:33:45.:33:48.

announcement. What can you say to those people who voted for Alliance?

:33:49.:33:54.

I asked Naomi Long about the possibility of nonexecutive seat but

:33:55.:34:00.

do you think it is time to stay as opposition and consolidate that

:34:01.:34:05.

position? We need to see the final numbers and we have clear issues

:34:06.:34:09.

that we will assess whether or not to take any position or to continue

:34:10.:34:17.

to hold the Executive to account. We have had strong leadership from

:34:18.:34:22.

individual MLAs on integrated education, health and other issues

:34:23.:34:26.

and we think we will be an effective party with the strong mandate we

:34:27.:34:30.

have been given. Will there be different decisions to be made next

:34:31.:34:35.

time around? There will be constituencies you will look at,

:34:36.:34:39.

perhaps in Strangford putting up two candidates? We talk to the Alliance

:34:40.:34:45.

all the time about this breakthrough and breaking away from East? Naomi

:34:46.:34:51.

Long had a very clear aim to build the base across Northern Ireland and

:34:52.:34:56.

we have had strong performances, in South Down, Patrick Brown was close

:34:57.:35:01.

to securing a seat and we have had a very good turnout today, our biggest

:35:02.:35:07.

vote across Northern Ireland in 30 years, our biggest ever Assembly

:35:08.:35:13.

result in South Belfast. We have some capable candidates across

:35:14.:35:17.

Northern Ireland and are very mobilised membership with good

:35:18.:35:19.

support from people in the community. Clare Bailey, you are

:35:20.:35:27.

hopeful to get through? Yes and I am thrilled because I was only elected

:35:28.:35:31.

back in May for the first time so it has been a short period I have held

:35:32.:35:36.

the office. To see the increase in the vote this time around has been

:35:37.:35:41.

heartening and Steven Agnew is looking very solid in North Down. A

:35:42.:35:48.

good day for the Green Party, we have increased first preference

:35:49.:35:50.

votes and we are looking likely to hold onto both seats. Going around

:35:51.:35:55.

the doors, what was that down to? People Before Profit have only one

:35:56.:36:00.

and from their point of view you want to hold onto two, what is the

:36:01.:36:07.

difference? Are the people younger, the younger demographic? We appeal

:36:08.:36:13.

across the board. We have younger activists in the party in terms of

:36:14.:36:18.

membership but when we're on the door is canvassing and speaking to

:36:19.:36:21.

people, it is our response right across and we started this time at

:36:22.:36:28.

the Belfast City Centre of South Belfast and worked our way right

:36:29.:36:31.

through the constituency into four wins, getting carried off, so it

:36:32.:36:38.

comes from everywhere. We will see that in the transfers we get after

:36:39.:36:44.

the first preferences. We are very transfer friendly, people like to

:36:45.:36:48.

give us some support and once we have earned their trust we will see

:36:49.:36:53.

that they usually stick with us. Paula, congratulations, the first in

:36:54.:37:01.

North Belfast. Absolutely, I am delighted to be the first in North

:37:02.:37:06.

Belfast and the first unionist in the entire Belfast constituency.

:37:07.:37:11.

After last, we had to wait such a long time to get to the stage. It is

:37:12.:37:15.

bittersweet personally because of what happened to Nelson McCausland?

:37:16.:37:22.

Yes, there is no doubt about that, we will miss him greatly as part of

:37:23.:37:26.

the MLA team, he will always be there for advice because he is a

:37:27.:37:31.

mine of knowledge but that has taken the shine off. On the other side,

:37:32.:37:36.

our vote has held in North Belfast, my personal vote has increased so

:37:37.:37:42.

that is a positive or so. Talking to yourself and Diane Dodds about

:37:43.:37:49.

transfers and Mike Nesbitt has resigned as party leader, but some

:37:50.:37:54.

of those transfers that did go elsewhere in North Belfast,

:37:55.:37:56.

potentially they have cost Nelson his seat? We need to look at those

:37:57.:38:03.

figures in greater detail. But I know by looking at the entire

:38:04.:38:07.

province, some of those transfers have hurt the DUP greatly from the

:38:08.:38:12.

Ulster Unionist Party. In North Belfast I know that quite a

:38:13.:38:17.

proportion of Robert Foster's transfers went to the Alliance Party

:38:18.:38:22.

and the SDLP. Chris will not complain! No, he will not! In terms

:38:23.:38:28.

of the overall picture for the DUP, what is your hope for an Executive

:38:29.:38:33.

and the Assembly running again, given the stalemate over Arlene

:38:34.:38:38.

Foster? My hope, and I went to the doors and what I said was I want to

:38:39.:38:42.

be back at work, doing the job I enjoy, I want to be back as part of

:38:43.:38:47.

the ruling of Northern Ireland and I hope whenever we go back we will be

:38:48.:38:52.

part of those negotiations, to get things back, up and running again.

:38:53.:38:57.

Whether that will happen, I do not know but I have to be positive. Has

:38:58.:39:03.

this been nerve-racking for you? I asked the others as well, in terms

:39:04.:39:08.

of a personal level, you are the MLA, you have been a mLA for quite a

:39:09.:39:14.

long time, were you thinking about the future? Absolutely. You take

:39:15.:39:22.

nothing for granted in this job. We have mortgages and children to look

:39:23.:39:27.

after, things that everyone else in society has and it is emotionally

:39:28.:39:32.

draining. Absolutely emotionally dreading. I very much look forward

:39:33.:39:38.

to a very quiet weekend! The same question to both of you... Sleepless

:39:39.:39:44.

nights? I am extremely tired but you take great encouragement from the

:39:45.:39:47.

people who give you their vote and they want you to get on with the job

:39:48.:39:50.

at the Assembly, it is huge privilege we have as a result of

:39:51.:39:54.

this and I am looking forward to getting back and working on the

:39:55.:39:57.

issues people want to see us working on. Are you keeping fingers crossed?

:39:58.:40:03.

Yes, indeed. And I think the energy that comes from the campaign, with

:40:04.:40:07.

everybody rallying behind you and supporting you and in South Belfast

:40:08.:40:14.

we had support from across the island, the Green Party in Scotland,

:40:15.:40:19.

Dublin, Glasgow, they came here to support us and you get energy from

:40:20.:40:24.

that. Thank you, all three of you. Back to Mark. Interesting to see

:40:25.:40:30.

some smiling around the table, people happy. Naomi Long happy to

:40:31.:40:37.

see Chris Lyttle home and dry. The final result for Mid Ulster, Patsy

:40:38.:40:43.

McGlone has taken the fifth seat at the expense of the Ulster Unionist

:40:44.:40:48.

Party's Sandra Overend, she sighed and Patsy McGlone is safe. He was

:40:49.:40:55.

predicting that 40 minutes ago. I want to talk to Fionnuala about a

:40:56.:41:01.

couple of things, about how you read the Sinn Fein and the SDLP result.

:41:02.:41:07.

Is Sinn Fein's result as good as some people are suggesting and the

:41:08.:41:13.

SDLP vote as bad? Sinn Fein's is as good and the SDLP's not as bad. Sinn

:41:14.:41:22.

Fein is masked by the DUP result, which is better than some people

:41:23.:41:25.

thought, it was always going to be very good, they have had more than

:41:26.:41:31.

the odd bad reverse and Arlene Foster clearly has not recovered her

:41:32.:41:36.

equilibria with you guys but Sinn Fein's result has coasted past in

:41:37.:41:43.

the midst of that. Those various trios of successes, which are quite

:41:44.:41:49.

remarkable. Because they are hard to like and so bumptious in so many

:41:50.:41:54.

ways, it is hard for us to give them credit for this. Having said that, I

:41:55.:42:00.

think they got away with murder, oops, must not say that! They got

:42:01.:42:08.

away with some fraud, on a big skill in West Belfast, going out to get

:42:09.:42:12.

People Before Profit on the Brexit issue. By not exerting themselves

:42:13.:42:16.

one bed or spending very much money to combat Brexit. They have knocked

:42:17.:42:24.

People Before Profit back? Eamonn McCann will not keep his seat in

:42:25.:42:27.

Foyle and Gerry Carroll has not done as well. They came out punching, I

:42:28.:42:36.

have to watch my verbs... They came out in strength, saturating

:42:37.:42:40.

doorsteps in West Belfast, to knock the stuffing out of People Before

:42:41.:42:43.

Profit and they did that mainly on the Brexit issue and that was such a

:42:44.:42:48.

fraud because they were not exercised on Brexit, they were like

:42:49.:42:54.

Jeremy Corbyn, and the other fraudulent, of these are fraud in

:42:55.:42:58.

any sense that you need to worry, they would say it is not defamatory,

:42:59.:43:03.

it was on the public enquiry issue... They will bang on about the

:43:04.:43:09.

public enquiry that will examine all of these issues and adjudicate and

:43:10.:43:14.

find the truth. They opposed the public enquiry to the very last

:43:15.:43:18.

minute. You mean smoke and mirrors when you say fraud? More smoke than

:43:19.:43:26.

anything else. And they got away with it because Arlene Foster

:43:27.:43:29.

brought out the vote by being obnoxious and because they mustered

:43:30.:43:34.

themselves and went all for it, hell for leather, and did very well. It

:43:35.:43:41.

is fair to say that Sinn Fein did support the public enquiry quite

:43:42.:43:45.

late on and Mairtin O'Muilleoir but that in place but not long before

:43:46.:43:50.

they were against it? They took their sweet time and we still do not

:43:51.:43:54.

know why. The SDLP did not have as bad a time as they could have and

:43:55.:43:59.

they deserve that, they deserved to have done better because they fought

:44:00.:44:05.

a very good fight in many ways. And it was sad and ironic in some way to

:44:06.:44:09.

see them fighting the good fight with young candidates, having looked

:44:10.:44:16.

grizzled for so long and we mocked them for saying we deserve better

:44:17.:44:20.

than this. They pulled themselves together and they had very good

:44:21.:44:23.

young candidates and Colum Eastwood find his feet and his voice in the

:44:24.:44:28.

last debate he was very good and I have not been impressed by him

:44:29.:44:32.

before that at all. I could see he was a nice fellow, he looked well

:44:33.:44:37.

and sound good but not strong. And partly because problem remains for

:44:38.:44:42.

them, what I therefore? What is their selling point? Nichola

:44:43.:44:48.

Mallon... A very good performer but what are their selling? And they

:44:49.:44:53.

have to find a place to stand, something to be. They went for

:44:54.:45:00.

opposition and that was a mistake. I think. And I can see where they do

:45:01.:45:05.

that, they would dam declared dead and they did not. And they went for

:45:06.:45:09.

that with Mike Nesbitt and he blew it. That is not to say that if he

:45:10.:45:16.

did not blow it it would have worked well, it probably would not have and

:45:17.:45:20.

it was doubtful if he could have sold that to the Ulster Unionists, a

:45:21.:45:24.

party that is unreadable and barely exists as a party. Naomi Long, very

:45:25.:45:31.

quickly, what about where the Alliance Party will be once we get

:45:32.:45:36.

through these talks, if Stormont gets up and running? If you are

:45:37.:45:40.

entitled to a position in the Executive, would you take that? In

:45:41.:45:45.

theory, yes, but in the right count of Executive. What does that mean?

:45:46.:45:51.

We spilled the site in detail last time, we said that if the parties in

:45:52.:45:55.

the Executive were willing to do with getting rid of the petition of

:45:56.:45:58.

concern, in terms of limitations on when it could be used, dealing with

:45:59.:46:03.

integrated education and doing something about that, dealing with

:46:04.:46:07.

division and reinvesting that so we set those five things out clearly.

:46:08.:46:14.

That has not changed? They have not because those things have unpacked

:46:15.:46:18.

this Executive, the scandals were around money being channelled into

:46:19.:46:21.

paramilitary organisations through the Executive, if you look at RHI,

:46:22.:46:26.

the lack of openness and transparency and accountability so

:46:27.:46:29.

all of the issues we were raising... In fact, the anger you see from Sinn

:46:30.:46:34.

Fein in many ways stems from the fact that DUP arrogance was built on

:46:35.:46:39.

the back that they could wipe everybody else out with the petition

:46:40.:46:43.

of concern and for that reason, they will have to be addressed and we

:46:44.:46:46.

will have to see an attitude change. Very quickly, would you be

:46:47.:46:53.

optimistic, and you have listened to a lot of people have said in 12

:46:54.:46:58.

hours, would you be optimistic, seriously, but at the end of this,

:46:59.:47:02.

in weeks or months, the DUP and Sinn Fein, both parties having done

:47:03.:47:06.

pretty well, we'll be able to get things together to work in an

:47:07.:47:10.

Executive, perhaps with the support of the Alliance Party and start

:47:11.:47:14.

moving things forward? Are you optimistic they can back themselves

:47:15.:47:15.

out of the corners they have We have seen them do remarkable

:47:16.:47:28.

u-turns in the past. You mentioned the public inquiry, you could smell

:47:29.:47:32.

the burning rubber as they were making u-turns in the last week to

:47:33.:47:35.

grasp the issue of the public inquiry. When people say it's not

:47:36.:47:39.

going to happen, it's never going to happen, it's a meaningless exercise

:47:40.:47:42.

because five minutes later they're saying the opposite. I think we need

:47:43.:47:46.

to actually park what has been said in the election campaign, accept

:47:47.:47:50.

that some of that was about electioneering and start to move

:47:51.:47:53.

forward. I have to say I hope the DUP have listened carefully to what

:47:54.:47:56.

happened because Sinn Fein did mobilise their vote, no question

:47:57.:48:00.

about that. They did the work on the ground in West Belfast, but the

:48:01.:48:05.

biggest recruiting agent for Sinn Fein in this election was Arlene

:48:06.:48:08.

Foster. Every time she spoke, every time she acted she added fuel to the

:48:09.:48:13.

fire and made it much more easy for Sinn Fein to gain ground in this

:48:14.:48:17.

election than it would have been had she taken a different approach to

:48:18.:48:20.

the election. I think it has backfired tremendously on them and I

:48:21.:48:24.

would reckon there will be more than a few DUP people sitting at home

:48:25.:48:28.

this evening wondering if they could not have handled RHI better and

:48:29.:48:31.

avoided this election altogether. John, I will come to you in a

:48:32.:48:35.

moment. I want to test the waters in some of our count centres and talk

:48:36.:48:41.

first of all to Julian O'Neill in the Lagan Valley. What's happening?

:48:42.:48:55.

Well, I think we are about to get what will be the final declaration

:48:56.:48:59.

for South Down, Mark. I can hear it now. I haven't got the figures but I

:49:00.:49:04.

believe that Colin McGrath of the SDLP has taken the 5th and final

:49:05.:49:10.

seat. That means that there will be two SDLP MLAs elected in South Down

:49:11.:49:21.

with two Sinn Fein MLAs, Sinead Ennis and kriz Hazzard and Jim Wells

:49:22.:49:27.

of the DUP making it five in total. The loser in South Down was Harold

:49:28.:49:32.

McKee of the Ulster Unionists. I hear applause which tells me there

:49:33.:49:37.

is also going to be some action in Lagan Valley, we are one MLA across

:49:38.:49:41.

the line. I am hearing that count, even though one is just across the

:49:42.:49:46.

line, will conclude tonight so a lot of activity in Lagan valley very

:49:47.:49:50.

soon. Thank you very much.

:49:51.:49:58.

Let's hear from Julian Fowler keeping abreast of developments in

:49:59.:50:02.

Omagh. Yes, Fermanagh South Tyrone have

:50:03.:50:06.

packed up and the West Tyrone counters are also going home. Still

:50:07.:50:11.

waiting for the final declaration and the final tally there, but we

:50:12.:50:22.

are expecting three Sinn Fein, to be elected with the DUP's Tom Buchanan

:50:23.:50:28.

and the SDLP's Daniel McCrossan picking up a final seat too. Ulster

:50:29.:50:34.

Unionists will have dropped their seat. Previously held by Ross Hussey

:50:35.:50:41.

who wasn't standing this time, replaced by a new candidate, Alicia

:50:42.:50:50.

Clarke. It looks like they're down one here. Thank you very much.

:50:51.:50:58.

Appreciate that. Let's hear from David Maxwell in

:50:59.:51:01.

Belfast for us at the four Belfast counts at the Titanic Exhibition

:51:02.:51:09.

Centre. Any news? Well, no new news. Nine candidates elected so far. 11

:51:10.:51:13.

still to go. We are halfway through. We expect the rest to come in

:51:14.:51:18.

quickly, especially with regards to East Belfast and North Belfast. Two

:51:19.:51:23.

to eliminate in East Belfast and one to eliminate in North Belfast before

:51:24.:51:26.

we expect to be able to complete those counts. We have been told this

:51:27.:51:30.

count will go on into the night and will be completed tonight. Still

:51:31.:51:36.

interesting stories to be told here. The last seat battle in East Belfast

:51:37.:51:41.

will likely be between Robin Newton, the former Speaker and David

:51:42.:51:47.

Douglas, we expect John Kyle's transfers to decide that and they

:51:48.:51:53.

will be redistributed soon. In South Belfast, again that's fascinating

:51:54.:51:59.

for the last two seats it's going to come down to between Emma

:52:00.:52:02.

Little-Pengelly, Chris Stalford and the Green Party's Clare Bailey. I

:52:03.:52:07.

spoke to Clare, she's confident she can be returned in South Belfast.

:52:08.:52:12.

But the fact remains that Michael Henderson, the UUP's candidate, when

:52:13.:52:16.

he is eliminated, he has 4,000 votes, they'll transfer at full

:52:17.:52:19.

value. They're likely to go to the DUP candidates, so the DUP could

:52:20.:52:23.

potentially return both Emma Little-Pengelly and Christopher

:52:24.:52:26.

Stalford in South Belfast. So, we wait to see that result. Could be

:52:27.:52:31.

dramatic indeed. South Belfast shaping up to be very interesting.

:52:32.:52:35.

Clare Bailey will be hugely disappointed if she doesn't retain

:52:36.:52:37.

that seat. David, thank you very much. Let's go to Bangor, the North

:52:38.:52:42.

Down and Strangford counts happening there. Steven Walker is there. Any

:52:43.:52:48.

white smoke? Yes, here is some figures I would like to share with

:52:49.:52:53.

you. Philip Smith from the Ulster Unionists was eliminated, his votes

:52:54.:52:59.

have been transferred. 934 from Philip Smith have gone to the SDLP's

:53:00.:53:08.

Joe Boyle. 910 to Peter Weir. Joe Boyle is 62 votes ahead, although

:53:09.:53:12.

when they transfer Michelle McIlveen's surplus it looks as if

:53:13.:53:17.

Peter Weir will get other the line. In the final stages here and also in

:53:18.:53:22.

the final stages of North Down. I have been speaking to Steven AgNew

:53:23.:53:27.

Of the Green Party. He hopes there will be a declaration by midnight.

:53:28.:53:30.

The problem is he didn't specify which day.

:53:31.:53:38.

Let's hope it's midnight tonight and not midnight tomorrow. I will not be

:53:39.:53:42.

here at midnight tomorrow, that's for sure. The Green Party scrapping

:53:43.:53:49.

for both of those seats, to be fair, Stephen Agnew is going to get that

:53:50.:53:53.

seat in North Down, but maybe not for a while. Two counts in Foyle.

:53:54.:54:01.

They're both really interesting. Yes, Mark, that's right. The count

:54:02.:54:06.

is continuing apace here in the Foyle Arena for East Londonderry and

:54:07.:54:09.

Foyle. East Londonderry is getting very interesting, more about that in

:54:10.:54:16.

a moment. Clare Sugden, the outgoing justice Minister, has tweeted she's

:54:17.:54:20.

been elected but nothing official yet. We are set to get some

:54:21.:54:25.

announcement at 10pm, so perhaps confirmation of that. Nothing

:54:26.:54:28.

official. It's looking like the DUP could lose a seat down from three to

:54:29.:54:34.

two. The caveat is always that it has to play out. It really is down

:54:35.:54:41.

to the wire. Sinn Fein should retain their existing seat. It's that last

:54:42.:54:49.

seat that's proving very interesting and a great tussle with Sinn Fein

:54:50.:54:59.

with Cathal OhOisin. He could be in the running for a second seat for

:55:00.:55:04.

Sinn Fein. He is battling for that last seat with John Dallat, that

:55:05.:55:09.

veteran SDLP member. He came back to fight this election, brought back by

:55:10.:55:12.

the party. At one stage about two hours ago on the radio he conceded

:55:13.:55:17.

and said that he wouldn't get elected. But there is life there

:55:18.:55:23.

yet, he says. He said a few moments ago that he had written his

:55:24.:55:27.

political obituary too early. All to play for in East Londonderry.

:55:28.:55:33.

You see, the old PR system is a tricky one. Just when you think

:55:34.:55:37.

somebody's down and out, they bounce back up off the canvas again. Thank

:55:38.:55:42.

you very much. Let's talk to Ita in Newtownabbey

:55:43.:55:48.

where counting is completed in the East Antrim and south Antrim

:55:49.:55:54.

constituencies. Yes, indeed. The declarations are just being done

:55:55.:55:58.

here behind me. South Antrim, a battle Royal for those last two

:55:59.:56:02.

seats. Three DUP candidates were slugging it out between the two of

:56:03.:56:07.

them, between themselves. The two successful new MLAs are Paul Girvan

:56:08.:56:12.

and Pam Cameron. Trevor Clarke lost on his seat. South Antrim now is one

:56:13.:56:21.

Sinn Fein, one Ulster Unionist, one Alliance, and two DUP. Two hours

:56:22.:56:25.

earlier it all finished in the East Antrim constituency. The first four

:56:26.:56:30.

announced were all sitting MLAs, Ulster Unionist Roy Beggs begs,

:56:31.:56:36.

alliance Stewart Dickson, the DUP's David Hilditch and Gordon Lyons.

:56:37.:56:40.

Then a surprise, on a day with little good news for the Ulster

:56:41.:56:45.

Unionist party, UUP councillor John Stewart took the last seat there,

:56:46.:56:50.

making it two in East Antrim for the Ulster Unionists. Sinn Fein's Oliver

:56:51.:56:55.

McMullan lost his seat and the DUP dropped down from three to two. So

:56:56.:56:59.

south and East Antrim all done and dusted here at the Valley Leisure

:57:00.:57:04.

Centre. Thank you very much. All done and dusted as well in

:57:05.:57:08.

Banbridge. What's the situation for Upper Bann

:57:09.:57:13.

and Newry and ash mar? Yeah, that's right. We are packing up here in

:57:14.:57:18.

Banbridge. We have had the final declaration from Upper Bann in the

:57:19.:57:23.

last couple of minutes. It finished two DUP, one UUP, one Sinn Fein and

:57:24.:57:28.

one SDLP. That's Dolores Kelly who is delighted to have won back a seat

:57:29.:57:32.

she lost to Sinn Fein back in May 2016. There was a nice moment there

:57:33.:57:38.

in the wrapping up speeches where the candidates give their thanks,

:57:39.:57:42.

Doug Beattie, the Ulster Unionist candidate dedicated his victory to

:57:43.:57:47.

his grandson Cameron who died around the time of the May 2016 election

:57:48.:57:52.

and that was very warmly received by everyone in the room. Turning to

:57:53.:57:55.

Newry and Armagh. It wrapped sometime ago. The big story was the

:57:56.:58:01.

loss of the seat by Danny Kennedy. He said that his seat had been

:58:02.:58:11.

washed away in the away -- we were the last count centre to wrap up

:58:12.:58:14.

last time around. This time we are one of the first for which we will

:58:15.:58:18.

be eternally grateful. Absolutely. Thank you very much.

:58:19.:58:24.

Let's get a look at the state of the parties now with Mark Simpson.

:58:25.:58:28.

It is starting to get really interesting. Around two-thirds of

:58:29.:58:34.

the seats are now filled. The largest party is still Sinn Fein.

:58:35.:58:39.

23 seats. How close are the DUP? Well, they've got 17 at the moment.

:58:40.:58:43.

They got 38 last time. They want at least 30 this time. They look

:58:44.:58:47.

unlikely to get it. What about the other parties? The

:58:48.:58:51.

Ulster Unionists have only nine seats. That's why Mike Nesbitt has

:58:52.:58:55.

quit. On the other side of the chamber, over there, we can see the

:58:56.:59:00.

SDLP have seven seats so far. Speaking of seven seats, the

:59:01.:59:04.

Alliance Party, in contrast, have had a good day, they've seven seats.

:59:05.:59:09.

They only got eight last time. Two more other seats to tell you about,

:59:10.:59:13.

Gerry Carroll from People Before Profit has been returned to Stormont

:59:14.:59:18.

from West Belfast. And the independent Clare Sugdeen is back.

:59:19.:59:21.

Those are the scores on the doors at the moment. All eyes on the front of

:59:22.:59:26.

the chamber to see if the DUP can overtake Sinn Fein or could it even

:59:27.:59:32.

be a draw? 28-28? We will have to wait and see. We will, thank you

:59:33.:59:39.

very much. A quick word from John, what do you make of where we are and

:59:40.:59:42.

particularly as far as the Ulster Unionists are concerned, there is

:59:43.:59:46.

good news and bad news? That's the one gain, the Ulster Unionists have

:59:47.:59:52.

had in East Antrim. It's the one bit of good news. The rest is pretty

:59:53.:59:57.

grim. Holding on to Fermanagh South Tyrone was good news at the expense

:59:58.:00:03.

of Lord Morrow, it's obviously difficult for any party losing

:00:04.:00:08.

people. But some of those seats, but losing across the board losing

:00:09.:00:11.

people like Danny Kennedy, a disaster. And their party leader, as

:00:12.:00:15.

well. We will come back and talk to you later. For now, thank you very

:00:16.:00:19.

much. That's it from us for now. We have had some shocks and surprises

:00:20.:00:24.

through the day. The biggest casualty, curiously wasn't someone

:00:25.:00:28.

who lost a seat, it was the Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt, he

:00:29.:00:33.

fell on his sword at 8pm this evening saying he failed to

:00:34.:00:36.

breakthrough and eat into the DUP vote. Despite the DUP success, the

:00:37.:00:42.

partied did lose big names, Lord Morrow and of course Nelson

:00:43.:00:45.

McCausland in North Belfast. Other big names taking a hit, the Ulster

:00:46.:00:49.

Unionist Danny Kennedy, mentioned there by John. People Before

:00:50.:00:53.

Profit's Eamonn McCann. He said he was out, might not be out but it

:00:54.:00:56.

looks like he is in a scrap for that last seat. And, of course, the

:00:57.:01:00.

SDLP's Alex Attwood in West Belfast. However, there was good news for

:01:01.:01:08.

Colum Eastwood with the political resurrection of Dolores Kelly. Sinn

:01:09.:01:11.

Fein and the DUP will be the two largest parties with Arlene Foster

:01:12.:01:15.

and Michelle O'Neill topping the poll in their own constituencies. We

:01:16.:01:17.

are back at 10. 30pm. For now, bye. but the vast majority of people

:01:18.:01:21.

in Northern Ireland Being a Muslim makes

:01:22.:01:27.

everything easier for me.

:01:28.:01:36.

An election programme special presented by Mark Carruthers and Tara Mills, with reporters at every count centre across Northern Ireland and experts on hand to analyse the latest assembly election results.