Results Part 1 Northern Ireland Elections

Results Part 1

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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We don't know what it is yet but we're here to find out.


We're with you right through the day here on BBC1 bringing you each


and every result as it happens in what's shaping up


to ba a remarkable Assembly election battle.


The outcome will determine the path of our politics


Will it be deal or deadlock; devolution or direct rule?


Results are already starting to come in.


The story we'll be bringing you today is not only about how


the parties may or may not be able to work together on the other


side of the election, it's also about the impact


of the reduction in the system of Assembly seats from 108 to 90.


It means a day of drama for all of us, as some big names


face the prospect of falling foul of that significant change.


Before we head off out and about to hear from our team


of reporters and correspondents across all the count centres,


let's bring you the very latest news with Donna Traynor.


The official turnout figure for the Assembly election is 64.78%.


That's up about 10% on the election last May.


The first declarations are expected this afternoon,


although the final make-up of the new Assembly


is unlikely to be clear until tomorrow afternoon.


I am joined from the Belfast count centre at Titanic by our political


A significant increase in turnout. Take us through the figures. Well,


it feels as if we have turned the clock back here in Northern Ireland


in terms of interest in this particular election because as you


say the 64% turnout is a full 10% higher than the Assembly election


ten months ago. There are striking figures across the constituencies,


if we look at them. My shell O'Neill's constituency in Mid Ulster


-- Michelle. 13% increase from the last time around. It was the same


story in West Tyrone, 13%. And there's been similar increases as


well across what we perceive to be Unionist constituencies. Strangford


where there is a great interest with seven MLAs vying for five seats,


there was 11% increase there in Strangford. Arlene Foster's


constituency, 9% point increase there, as well. You can see across


the board, across all the constituencies it looks as if voters


were mobilised to vote this time. What impact that will have in the


final shake down it's too early to say, but it adds that


unpredictability factor that was already there with the fewer number


of seats available. We are at an early stage. What are you hearing


about party representation? Well, if you look across the constituency


turnout, Sinn Fein, for instance, would say they're bullish about


their party's performance. The crucial factor is there are 18 fewer


seats to fill. For the parties it's about damage limitation. They're not


going to be banking gains here, it's about managing losses and Sinn Fein


say they're in a good position right now to ensure they keep their losses


to a minimum. The DUP, we can see they're starting to struggle in a


number of constituencies, which is to be expected, of course, the


larger party is going to lose more in the final shake down. Key for


them is going to stay above 30 seats, 31. If they do that they'll


consider it a pretty successful election. The SDLP vote it seems is


holding out but not so for the Ulster Unionists. It's very early


but the indications are it looks as if the Ulster Unionist vote might be


down. There is a lot at stake, not least for some high profile


candidates. Yes, there is 11 sitting MLAs standing in the election who


are guaranteed to lose seats. There is great drama, we know we will get


that, some names to look out, Nelson McCausland is in for a fight in


North Belfast to retain his seat. Emma Little-Pengelly in South


Belfast is goes to face a battle because we have had the tally


figures through and it looks as if her party colleague Christopher


Stalford has polled ahead of her and that could be crucial. We know for


Sinn Fein in East Antrim, Oliver McMullen. Jonathan Bell of course


the man who was central to the whole RHI crisis, looks as if he hasn't


polled very well in Strangford. He may well also lose his seat. There


is certain for Philip Smith in terms of whether or not he is going to


retain his seat. It looks as if there is going to be pain as we


expected shared among all the parties in this election. But we are


only five hours into the count, so a long way to go. The final make-up


won't be known until tomorrow afternoon.


Thank you. A man wanted over the murder


of the prison officer David Black Damien McLaughlin, who had failed


to answer to his bail in Northern Ireland,


was arrested yesterday I'm joined by our Dublin


correspondent Shane Harrison. Remind us about the background to


this case. In November 2012 David Black, a prison officer was ambushed


on his way to Maghaberry prison. He was the first prison officer to be


murdered in 20 years. A few days later a group calling itself the New


IRA said it was responsible. Damien McLaughlin was charged with aiding


and abetting that murder. He was on remand for a period but was given


bail in May 2014 and was due to stand trial last month but a court


hearing in January heard that he wasn't residing at the address he


was supposed to, under the terms of his bail conditions. Yesterday he


was arrested in County Donegal under the terms of a European arrest


warrant designed to make extradition easier in a joint Garda-PSNI


operation that was intelligence-led. What was said in court about the


circumstances surrounding his arrest? Well, a detective Garda


sergeant gave evidence that they did not know when they were arresting


him whether he was armed or not so he was handcuffed, he was dragged


from the car, he had his jumper pulled over him and he was


cable-tied. The same sergeant said that he was a flight risk and a


terrorist on the run. He was remanded in custody until March 20th


but he can apply for bail on March 13th.


. Significant quantities of human


remains have been discovered at the site of a former


mother-and-baby home in Tuam, County Galway.


Test excavations are being carried out by


a Commission of Investigation. It was set up following allegations


about the deaths of 800 babies It's believed the remains that have


been found range from those of unborn foetuses to infants aged


two to three years. A judge has ruled that the Northern


Ireland Executive has failed in its legal duty to adopt


an Irish language strategy. The group Conradh na Gaeilge had


challenged the Executive saying that a pledge made in the 2006


St Andrew's Agreement and plans laid out last March should have


been adopted by now. This was a significant victory for


supporters of the Irish language. Today the judge ruled that the


Executive was in breach of a requirement imposed a decade ago.


The judge said the Executive had failed to adopt a strategy setting


out how it proposes to enhance and protect the Irish language in


Northern Ireland. He said it cannot have been the intention of


parliament that after nearly ten years from the coming into force of


the act in 2007 that this obligation should remain unfulfilled. He said


the required outcome is an adoption of the plans laid out. The Irish


language group which challenged the Executive Conradh Na Gaeilge said it


is historic. This obligation falls on somebody, it was on the Executive


primarily. Whether we go to direct rule or have a joint kind of


agreement between direct rule and the Assembly but the judge has


demanded of the parties that are responsible here they must bring


forward this Executive. As per their legal obligation. A a barrister


representing the Executive counted there had been inertia on the issue


and rejected any suggestion of a sham process. The judge says the


Executive remains the key body which has been at the centre of delivery


of Government in Northern Ireland and it can in the simply avoid doing


what the law requires. The biggest gas supplier


in Northern Ireland has Customers of SSE Airtricity


will see their bills go up by just over 7.5% from the end


of this month. Our economics and business editor


John Campbell is in the newsroom. This is all about the price of


energy on the global markets. For the past four or five years we have


been living through a period where energy prices have been flat or


falling. That's been reflected in people's bills. But over the last


year or so prices have been rising. I was checking this morning one of


those global indexes for gas prices and it shows they've risen more than


70% in the last year. For that reason SSE said they've had to


react. They're putting prices up by over 7. 5%. That will add about ?36


a year to the typical household energy bill bringing the total bill


to around ?500 a year. They're emphasising that really this was


done because of the rising global prices and it's the first increase


they've had in four years but it is another sign as we look at the


general economy that inflation is returning. The prices of goods and


services are heading up and that's likely to be a trend that will


continue throughout this year. A High Court judge has ruled


that the PSNI lacks the necessary independence to oversee further


investigations into an alleged army killing in West Belfast


nearly 45 years ago. Jean Smyth was shot as she sat in


a car on the Glen Road in June 1972. Lawyers acting for the family


of Jean Smyth had claimed that documents uncovered


at the National Archives in London pointed towards undercover


soldiers from the army's Military Reaction Force


carrying out the shooting. Today a judge ruled that a proposed


investigation by the PSNI's Legacy Investigations Branch


would breach human Absolutely delighted. At least Jean


has some justice now. The family is just delighted. In respect of Jean's


family, we would say now that there are steps that have to be taken by


the PSNI to recluse themselves of any further involvement in the case


and steps need to be taken in terms of who is going - a decision about


who's going to investigate this murder.


Geoff Maskell has a weather forecast for us.


It is a wet day in a run of wet days at the Met Office has issued a


severe weather warning for rain coming into force from six o'clock


and it is not because it is terribly heavy, it will just go on for a long


time. This is the picture this afternoon, grey clouds, a very dull


end to the working week. Temperatures between six and 7


degrees at best but a pretty miserable day. Through this even


England overnight, the rain is driven by low pressure sitting in


the Irish Sea, that will work northwards but the rain stays with


us overnight. Not as cold tonight as last night because of the cloud


cover but the weekend has a soggy start, the rain with us through the


morning. As that tracks north, we should see brighter and drier spells


in the East but we then open the door to the next area on Monday and


on Tuesday another low-pressure front bringing more rain. Sunday is


looking like the best of the next few days, still rain in the forecast


but between those showers, at least there will be brighter weather so a


chance to get outside on Sunday and on Monday, starting reasonably dry,


but not long before the rain threatens from the West. It is a


pretty soggy outlook for the next few days. That's it, back to Mark


Carruthers. Ten months ago, no one


could have predicted this. Last year's election came


after a political agreement But this election comes


after political disagreement, a fracture so big at Stormont,


in fact, that no one is quite sure Our reporters are live at every


count centre across Northern Ireland and as the day unfolds they'll be


bringing us all the developments as they happen and we'll hear


from them in a moment. And pulling together the results,


analysis and interviews with me is Tara Mills,


who's at the biggest count at the Titanic


Exhibition Centre in There was drama in how the election


was called and the campaign and the outcome will be on a knife edge for


many because the deal last time around was to cut the number of MLAs


in every constituency from six to only five.


That means some big names could have a very sudden retirement


We'll be down on the floor of the count centre to grab those


Our commentators will also be on hand with their take


and our resident election cartoonist Brian John Spencer returns with his


We have our panel here, of course, some may be quite glad they're


in the studio rather than waiting to hear their fate


There's so much to discuss, not only the strengths of the parties,


It's all about the numbers game, though, and keeping a close eye


as they come in is our political editor Mark Devenport.


This election is also about turnout and transfers.


As you have no doubt already heard, there's been quite an increase


Nicholas Whyte is our elections expert.


What do you make of this rise? Very interesting, turning out


consistently across the country, most in East Belfast, most in


Ulster. -- least in East Belfast. The one thing that is certain is if


there are more votes, it will take longer to kind. -- kind.


And transfers, they've always been a part of elections to the Assembly


but what about Mike Nesbitt's decision to give his


How many voters followed his lead to give a second


We'll examine each stage of the vote in every constituency.


This is what it is all about, seats in the chamber and here is a


reminder of how things looked at the last election when 108 MLAs were


elected. This is smaller with only 90 seats up for grabs and some


politicians are going to be very disappointed. Who will fill these


empty benches? Any party, if they get more than 30 seats, and will


watch closely as the new chamber takes place. -- takes shape.


So, let's get down to the individual constituencies.


There are 18 of them and Strangford is normally one


We'll be hearing a lot from our political correspondent


Stephen Walker today, I imagine.


There is a lot of big beasts going for those five seats. We have seven


sitting MLAs and just five seats, they cannot all win? No, obviously


seven trying to get in with only five seats and DUP are looking the


happiest because it looks like Michelle McIlveen and Simon Hamilton


will get in and Mike Nesbitt for the Ulster Unionists and Paul Wells of


the Alliance, it is a battle for the fifth seed, between Philip Smith and


Peter Weir, with Peter Weir in the ascendancy and Jonathan Bell has not


done enough, so the DUP look happiest in Strangford and in terms


of North Down, we have had some results. Alan Chambers has been


collected, Stephen Farry and Alex Easton elected. Three from those


five, no great surprises from North Down but the big story will be in


Strangford and we know can go to Keiron Tourish. The big story at the


foil arena is the turnout. Turnout here is 10% and East Londonderry up


by 12% so that is quite significant. How can that play out in the


election? The big news is that the outgoing Deputy First Minister


Martin McGuinness is not standing due to ill-health but he will hope


that his two party colleagues retain those seats for Sinn Fein and the


SDLP leader Colum Eastwood will be fairly confident they can retain


their two seats and the most impressive -- and present unionist


showing has been Gary Middleton for the DUP and he will be hopeful of


keeping his seat. Where does that leave Eamonn McCann? It just goes to


prove that the last seat here in Foyle will be a very big scramble


for the last seat. And people in the Eamonn McCann camp are worried. It


is early days. In East Londonderry, again, all to play for, three DUP


MLA 's have those seats, one each for the SDLP and Sinn Fein and the


outgoing Justice Minister Claire Sugden will hope to get re-elected


and finish the job. We will have to watch those final two seats in those


constituencies. Over two David Maxwell in Titanic. Welcome to the


Titanic Exhibition Centre, only one announcement, cheering in West


Belfast or the election of order he flown. I knew candidate, she


replaced Jennifer McCann. Sinn Fein say that they took more first


preference votes for all four candidates than People Before


Profit's Gerry Campbell, who topped the poll last time, he is confident


and time will tell. Alex Attwood of the SDLP is very vulnerable in that


constituency. Interesting stories, South Belfast is just behind me. We


thought that would be a run-off between the DUP's Christopher


Stalford and Clare Bailey from the Green Party but a lot of people are


saying that Emma Little-Pengelly is vulnerable. And Belfast East, strong


DUP constituency. It is thought that one of those seats will go, senior


sources indicate that it could be Robin Newton. And looking to North


Belfast, everything to play for here. Nichola Mallon and Caral Ni


Chuillin vulnerable but very interestingly, we think that Nelson


McCausland could also be vulnerable. Time will tell, it took 11 stages


for the final result last time so we could be here for a very long time


indeed. Julian Fowler is in Omagh. In the west the turnout was highest


once again, Fermanagh and South go in at 73% and West Tyrone at 70%,


the DUP leader Arlene Foster recently arrived and is hoping to


retain her strong personal vote. She topped the poll in Fermanagh-South


Tyrone last time around and that was enough to get Maurice Morrow across


the line. With two DUP candidates. Both DUP and Sinn Fein say they have


been polling strongly in East constituency, Sinn Fein hoping to


win three seats in each and that could be bad news for the Ulster


Unionists, they are the most nervous party here. They could lose both


seats in Fermanagh South Tyrone held by Rosemary Barton and the seat in


West Tyrone also. An interesting point about the increased turnout,


the quotas are also up, the amount of votes needed for the candidates


to get over the line, by around 2000 in each constituency which means


transfers will come into play. In West Tyrone there are 18 candidates


standing and last year we took until Saturday before we got the first


result so it looks like another long kind is on the cards in Omagh. Thank


you. Welcome to what we refer to as the big table in the studio. And let


me introduce the guests. The first set of guests throughout this


marathon date of broadcasting is Tom Elliott, the former Ulster Unionist


Party leader and MP for Fermanagh-South Tyrone, Jeffrey


Donaldson, DUP MP for Lagan Valley, Stephen grimacing, former director


of Communications for the Executive and in a previous life was Political


Editor here in BBC Northern Ireland. We have had many conversations! And


we also have Catriona Ruane, who did not stand again for election but was


the Sinn Fein MLA for South Down. Welcome. You have been looking at


their tablets and films and checking out the results and talking to


friends and colleagues on the ground. Jeffrey Donaldson, picking


up on what we heard from some of my colleagues, these are straws in the


wind. I make no bones. Maybe Nelson McCausland is not doing as well as


some people thought? Emma Little-Pengelly, perhaps in a bit of


trouble in South Belfast. What is your general reading of where we are


at this stage? Firstly, we must recall the number of seats are


reducing so with the DUP holding three seats in a constituency, it


becomes a mountain to climb to hold three seats and inevitably there are


casualties. South Belfast, we took for the first time two seats last


year so it was always going to be difficult to hold those with the


reduction and overall the voters holding well. I think it is going to


be tight between the DUP and Sinn Fein as to who emerges as the


largest party, no doubt Sinn Fein are polling well in the


constituencies where they are strong and the DUP vote is holding up in


constituencies where we are strong and that is borne out by the early


declarations. Jim Wells, standing in South Down, says that he believes


the DUP will end up under the magic number of 30 and this will not


surprise you, that is the fault of the media? Do you agree? The media


do not vote. We do have a vote. We have been listening carefully to


what people have been saying on the doorsteps and there is no doubt


there is a lot of anger and the one thing I will say very clearly that


has come across to me is the body is voting for the collapse of Stormont,


everybody I spoke to, whatever their political persuasion, they want


Stormont up and running quickly, they realise there are big decisions


coming to be taken, not least in relation to Brexit, the economy and


dealing with the legacy of the troubled past. They want the parties


back, sorting these issues out. Whatever the political integration


of the results, I have no doubt that what people are voting for is for


Stormont to work. Catriona Ruane, at this stage, just a couple of


results. Or he Flynn in West Belfast. -- or a Flynn. And with


three candidates, second, third and fourth. And you have more Gilles in


South Belfast. I don't have the raw numbers. -- Mairtin O'Muilleoir. He


is past the quarter, just over 7000. Perhaps not quite the weight you are


expected to be? This is obviously a good election for Sinn Fein. You can


say that already? I was doing the South Down tally earlier on today


and I can see there has been an increased turnout and I can see from


particular constituencies that we are doing well and the interesting


thing is Lord of the women are doing very well. Topping the poll, as we


know, is not what Sinn Fein is about, it is vote management and


every party is not looking at topping the poll, it is managing the


vote. Mairtin O'Muilleoir must be happy he topped the poll? You manage


that vote very well in West Belfast? The key thing is managing the vote.


Can I just say, as we sit here, all of us, one of our colleagues, PJ


Bradley, is being buried this morning and we all want to give our


condolences to the family. It has been a difficult time for Sinead


Bradley, who has been a candidate and colour, and I want to say that


and I am sure everybody else will join me.


I am sure people would echo those sentiments it is a difficult time


for Sinead Bradley. You will know her well. She must have mixed


emotions today hoping she will be returned into the seat that was her


father's seat in the past. And she's had to lay him to rest this morning.


Yesterday she went to vote in the polling station. But getting back to


the results. I think we will have a good election today. I think it's


because of hard work, it's because of focussing on what needs to be


done. Tom Elliott, I suspect you are going to have to take a slightly


different tack. We were hearing from Enda Mc Clafferty again. It's early


to be definitive about this but it looks like it might be the day your


party leader Mike Nesbitt and Steve akin the other day on BBC Radio


Ulster was predicting would be a red letter day for the Ulster Unionist


party, you would be the main unionist party and would have more


seats than Sinn Fein. Can you say at this stage that isn't going to


happen? Well, obviously the mist is still there, Mark in almost all the


areas we have early results in, as you highlighted. But yes, it's


unlikely we are going to be the largest party. That's quite clear.


But obviously during an election campaign you battle for every vote


you can get. It's unfortunate we had to have this election at this time.


I think it has been a diversion from the situation. I have no idea why


Sinn Fein actually put it to the test at this time simply because at


an early stage in December they didn't appear to want to pressurise


the matter at now. All of a sudden, whether it was from pressure from


their own back bench people or whether they had done private


polling, I have no idea, but they obviously pushed a button to have


the election. OK. We want to hear from our reporters out on the


ground. Two interesting counts happening, Mid Ulster and North


Antrim. Our reporter is at the In Ballymena for us. What can you tell


us? Yes, they're trying to announce the quota here. This is Mid Ulster,


it's a strong republican nationalist area. The vote was a huge jump of


14% this time. Sinn Fein's leader in storm, Michelle O'Neill, is based


here and she arrived here to great applause from supporters. It


stretches from Maghera. In May all four nationalists in this


Three Sinn Fein, one sdlapd, one DUP, and one U. P. Now Sinn Fein say


they're managing their vote very well so they hope to get those three


Sinn Fein candidates back again. Patsy McGloen seems to be in a


strong position. That leaves a problem between the two unionists,


the one DUP and one UUP. We are hearing that the DUP's Keith


Buchanan looks in a strong position so that could leave the UUP Sandra


Overend in a vulnerable position. North Antrim, which is a mirror


image of Mid Ulster, because it is a strong DUP stronghold. Three DUP,


one UUP, one TUV. One Sinn Fein here. 10% rise in the turnout here.


It's a Paisley heartland. Ian Paisley skaup junior has


Last time it elected all five unionists including the TUV leader


Jim Allister. Jim Allister looks pretty strong. He has decided to run


with his colleague this time Timothy Gaston. It may have reduced his vote


this time. One Sinn Fein seat was drafted in after Daithi McKay. He


still has a strong vote here in the North Antrim constituency. Over now


to Lisburn. Two counts taking place here in


Lisburn. One predominantly unionist Lagan valley, the other nationalist


South Down. The indications are it will be the same story in respect of


the losers in each constituency, all the pointers being it will be the


Ulster Unionists who will lose the 6th seat in each of those


constituencies. First to Lagan valley, the DUP are confident of


returning three MLAs with Paul Givan, as last time, likely to top


the poll here. Robbie Butler of the Ulster Unionists looks like he is


polling better than Jenny Palmer, it could be her that loses the 6th seat


with alliance taking the other seat. In South Down, it looks like two


Sinn Fein, two SDLPed and Jim Wells of the DUP, again the Ulster


Unionists tipped to lose a seat there. Harald McKee could be out the


door rather quickly. We are about 30 minutes away from official first


preference vote declarations here but that is the mood music coming


out of Lisburn. Over to my colleague now in Banbridge.


Well, two constituencies counted here, Upper Bann and Newry and


Armagh. The turnout figures are both well up. Upper Bann at 62%. Up 8%


points. Newry and Armagh 69%, up 10%. The quotas will be roughly


around the 9,000 mark. Give or take a couple of hundred votes. Last time


this was two DUP, two UUP and two Sinn Fein. If the DUP can hold both


of their seats and they seem confident they can, then it looks


like one of those Ulster Unionist seats will very much be in jeopardy.


On the nationalist side a lot of interest here on whether or not


Dolores Kelly can take back a seat she lost to Sinn Fein by 168 votes.


There had been vote management issues for Sinn Fein in this


constituency, John O Dowd polling stronger in areas where Sinn Fein


would have preferred to see his running mate coming through. In


Newry and Armagh, it was three Sinn Fein last time. People may think


Sinn Fein holding three, given the reconfiguration of the seats, might


be a big ask. But it seems to be on. They seem to be confident. If that


happens, it looks like Danny Kennedy could be in big trouble here


potentially because looking at the other unionist candidate of the DUP,


he is all thumbs up and big smiles, he seems to think that he over now


to Ita. Turnout in South and East Antrim up


around 10 Persian too. -- The question this time around is can the


DUP hold on to three? The first count is in. David Hild was elected


after the first count last year. The Ulster Unionist Roy Beggs is doing


very well. The alliance Stuart Dickson is hoping that his name is


on his seat again. It could be two DUP and one UUP battling out for two


seats here. Sinn Fein's Oliver McMullin may well be vulnerable.


Over to South Antrim and all six winners in the 2016 elections are


standing again. It could be said can the DUP hold on to three? The first


count is in here again. But no one past the quota. It looks like Paul


Girvam and Trevor Clarke will be battling for those seats. Sinn


Fein's Declan Kearney lacks like he will be the republican


representative in this constituency. The Ulster Unionist receive aKen has


his eye on a seat, as well. And the former justice Minister David Ford


has done very well this time around on first preferences. That's it for


South and East Antrim, back to the studio.


Thank you very much. Let's hear more from my panel here. I want to bring


in Stephen, former political editor for BBC Northern Ireland. A word


about turnout, first of all. I wonder what you make of that. 65%,


it was 55%, ten months ago, last May. That's a 10% point increase,


although in raw percentage terms it's an increase of a whopping 18%,


18% more people came out to vote now than voted last May. It's a very


significant figure. We have some sense of what's happening on the


ground in some constituencies, but what's your reading of what might be


about to unfold today and tomorrow? The question is where do those


people come from and have they been scared out or have they been


aggravated out? If you think of it, the early hints we are getting and


it's early stages is that Sinn Fein's vote has come up, so there is


an aggravation factor Sinn Fein have tapped into. Also we are hearing


that while the Ulster Unionists will struggle here, the Alliance Party


have polled strongly. David Ford there doing very well. He was not in


that position a year ago at the early stages. So, it's a question,


the dynamics of this election, RHI, respect, all that sort of stuff, is


coming out now in the vote, I suspect. That engagement, if you


look at what happened with the viewing figures for the debates,


they were hugely up, there is some sense of engagement. An appetite for


it? An interesting in politics, whether it is because in terms of


the DUP were very much putting out the bogeyman of Gerry Adams, but by


the same token Sinn Fein were saying this is about giving us equality and


respect and we need to move on with that agenda. We have some winners of


course already at this early stage. Elisha McCallion has got in on the


first count. Does that surprise you? Well, Elisha is very popular. A


former mayor. Mayor of Derry. Also I think, I mean, right across the


north of Ireland, indeed across the island of Ireland, huge support and


sympathy for mar begin McGuinness. -- Martin. Emwere just saying he had


given so much, such a states person. I just think a lot of people, you


were saying about aggravation, what I got on the doors and I was at


thousands of them, just the lack of respect for things, it's not even


just the Irish language, the way it was talked about. The lack of


respect for in many cases rights for people. The lack of respect for the


LGBT community, that lack of respect was an issue that came up time and


again on the doors. The other thing I think, there is a reignition of


people interested in politics. I think it's because we have more


diversity in politics. We have women leaders, it's not male, pale and


grey like the past. We have women of all ages. It's really exciting time


in politics. You mentioned that a number of women had been successful.


A number of Sinn Fein women candidates, in particular. We were


talking about Elisha McCallion. I am glad to say she can join us now from


the count in Derry. Can you hear us? Congratulations. No, she can't hear


us. Looks like she's having a conversation with one of our team


there. OK. We will leave that. When we manage to establish contact we


will hear from her. She's obviously almost ready to talk to us but not


quite ready. A quick thought from Tom Elliott


maybe. We often think during election campaigns it is nationalism


versus unionism. When you break it down it can be a battle within


nationalism and within unionism, isn't that right? There are


different elections happening at the one time. There are and it's the


same all over, it's been the same forever and a day in Northern


Ireland, it's not going to change quickly. There is a battle within


unionism and a battle within nationalism but then you have the


broader battle and constitutional issue that we always had,


constitutional battle between unionism and nationalism. But, maybe


slowly we are moving away from that because we have our own Assembly,


because we have our own Executive people are more focussed on


day-to-day issues now. Health, education and it is interesting one


of the biggest aspects that we got around the doors was health. Major


health issues, long waiting lists, but it doesn't seem to have


resonated into the votes. There is a gap there. OK. We will come back to


pick up on that. I think Elisha can now hear us. Congratulations. Thank


you very much, Mark. I am looking at the figures, you topped the poll.


9205 first preferences, how much of that was down to former mayor of


Derry, very well known in your own right and some people are saying the


fact that you are taking over where Martin McGuinness left off? Well, I


think the politics of the day was the winner and very clearly what we


heard on the door of the entire campaign is that people understood


our politics and accepted it and appreciated it. Whilst there may be


an element of individualism, I think on the whole the party and its


stance and stand up against corruption and integrity and indeed


the stand that Martin McGuinness took in January has fed us well.


When you look at the numbers does it look like you will hold your two


seats, the SDLP will hold two, and the DUP will get one, so the loser


would be Eamoning man, is that how you read it. ?


It is hard to say, it is fair to say that it is likely that ourselves and


the SDLP will have two seats and for the final set, but remains to be


seen and I would not want to call Matt. We're fairly confident that


Raymond McCartney and myself will be elected shortly. You broke your arm?


What were you doing? I was running after my children and I have been


running around on the campaign for five days with a broken arm


unbeknownst to myself. Make sure you don't leave that count centre


without Eamonn McCann signing it! We will talk to you later. Thank you


for that. We can crunch the numbers, they are coming in and we need some


number crunching. Analysis from Mark Devenport. This increased turnout,


there is a mixture of factors that might have built into this but


clearly one of those was the Renewable Heat Incentive saga and if


we look at one constituency where there are many personalities


involved and that, it has to be Strangford, where Jonathan Bell, the


former DUP minister who gave that remarkable interview on the BBC, was


standing and the place were Simon Hamilton while standing and the


Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt. Let us look at the figures in


Strangford. It always was a DUP stronghold and they remain at the


top with nearly 40% but we can look at what has happened on the change.


What do you make of that? The DUP vote is down and the Alliance vote


is up, this is what we have seen in all of the declared constituencies,


the DUP have taken a small head over recent issues but not as big as some


thought and a vote for independence -- independence is down. And in


terms of personalities. Simon Hamilton topping the poll,


previously he was not a great vote getter for the DUP but whether they


have changed territorially or something has happened, he was


associated with the recent develops -- developments in relation to RHI.


Not all news is bad news. His increased public profile has helped


and interesting we have three DUP in the top five with only five being


elected and in sixth place, perennial runner-up Joe Boyle, SDLP


runners-up in every Assembly election in Strangford since 98 and


this will be no exception. Is it fair to say that four of these are


certain, Michelle Michael Flynn, Kellie Armstrong and Mike Nesbitt


and the fifth place, can we call that? Nobody can catch Phil -- Peter


Weir? The loss of Philip Smith? He would need to make 1000 votes and I


do not see that happening. West Belfast, we have an early


declaration of Orlaithi Flynn, the new MLA, elected. This has been a


case where Sinn Fein has energised the vote, people dressed up in


crocodile uniforms going to the polls and Arlene Foster has been a


good recruiting sergeant in these areas for Sinn Fein. Sinn Fein


nearly 62% and what has happened... People Before Profit did very well


last time around in this constituency. Any thoughts on that?


Massive increase for Sinn Fein, the vote is up across the board, in all


seven constituencies we have seen, as with the Alliance. People Before


Profit, supporters said they would get a second MLA in West Belfast?


They would need a lot more votes. And the personalities... They have


managed to balance the vote, Sinn Fein. Will they get all four? More


likely than not and the alternative would be if enough transfers go to


Alex Attwood from the smaller parties to pull ahead of the DUP. I


cannot see it, DUP runners up every election except for 2003 with Diane


Dodds. Gerry Carroll hit with the fact he has a running mate and the


People Before Profit vote dropped, can he hold onto the fifth seed?


Solid performance, nearly 6000, it would be surprising if they did not


pick up the extra 700. Alex Attwood, beaten by the DUP, this is a


constituency where in the 1990s the SDLP held the Westminster seat, the


entire seed? It shows how the map has changed and next-door the Ulster


Unionists eliminated, they held that seat until even more recently. Over


to Tara Mills in the Titanic counting centre. Welcome back to the


Exhibition Centre, the Belfast counts are taking place and I have


Mairtin O'Muilleoir, Alice Morris from the Irish news and Professor


John Tong, who has written a book on the DUP. 2000 votes, adding to your


performance from last year? I think this an astounding performance by


the electorate because they are ahead of the politicians and when it


comes to issues of equality in South Belfast, crucially important and


issues of respect for all people, diversity, but also against Brexit,


ordinary people voted against Brexit and I can see the vote that I got as


a republican vote, it was for equality and liberty and the DUP


were about arrogance and this respect and scandals and we have an


opportunity to have a true fresh start and that is a mandate I will


bring with me in the days ahead. The election result is not about those


things, it is about Arlene Foster and comments about crocodiles? The


DUP have helped you? I was at the holy Rosary polling station and a


lady said, I was married here and my brother had to emigrate to London


because he is gay. Some of the Roma have been exploited terribly by


landlords in the holy lands, working in my part, not treated fairly. And


an Irish language school in the heart of South Belfast, a pupil's


mother said that he not be a first-class citizen like everyone


else? Without this rioting at the back of the bus? Let us have


integrity in the institutions and proper equality in institutions. We


have a declaration from Banbridge. This is the deputy returning officer


in Banbridge leisure centre, we will hear something about Upper Bann or


Newry and Armagh. Both of which should be interesting. Conor


Macauley is there. We will hear from him in due course. We will get some


numbers. We will stay with this and hear them. Upper Bann was the last


constituency to make its final declaration in May. Lots of people


saying that Doug Beattie from the Ulster Unionist Party looks


vulnerable there and Newry and Armagh, all six outgoing MLAs...


They are standing again. Let us listen.


Each stage announcement will include the outcome of the stage and the


details of the next stage. The declaration of the result will take


place after five candidates have been deemed carded. There will be


speeches until after the declaration. This is the outcome of


the first stage of the Newry and Armagh constituency. The total


number of ballot papers counted was 55,000 625. There were 707 rejected


papers. The number of ballot papers was 54,000 918. The quota is 9154.


The number of first preference votes given for each candidate was as


follows... Cathal Boylan, Sinn Fein, 9197. Jackie Coade, Alliance Party,


1418. Emmet Crossan, independent social thought, 704. Megan Fearon,


Sinn Fein, 8881. William Urban, DUP, 9760. Danny Kennedy, Ulster Unionist


Party, 7256. Justin McNulty, SDLP, 8983. Conor Murphy, Sinn Fein, 8454.


Rowan Tunnicliffe, Green Party, 265. William Irwin and Cathal Boylan have


reached the quota and are deemed elected, the next stage will involve


the transfer of their surplus votes in accordance with the preferences


shown. If the total surplus of the candidates deemed elected was


transferred to the three candidates with the lowest votes, it will not


change the order of the remaining candidates. The next age is to


therefore be the exclusion of the three candidates with the lowest


votes. Rowan Tunnicliffe... Confirmation that Cathal Boylan Sinn


Fein and William Irwin from the DUP have been elected, deemed elected in


Newry and Armagh. And the last of the bunch, Megan Fearon, Danny


Kennedy, Justin McNulty and Conor Murphy, that'll be interesting


tussle for the three remaining seats. Back to Tara Mills at the


Titanic Exhibition Centre. We can go back to Mairtin O'Muilleoir, were


interrupted briefly. When it comes to the future, what are you going


into? What can you guarantee for the Sinn Fein electorate?


Congratulations to this long, wonderful result, being returned on


the first count. -- to Naomi Long. In East Belfast! Secondly, great to


talk about the future because the talk in government with the former


partners has always been about the past and dragging us back. On the


doorsteps, people talk about the future. People insisted that they


wanted to be represented by people who work for a progressive Belfast


and a united Belfast and that is a mandate we bring with us. You are


congratulating Naomi Long. Alison, while things shaping up? An amazing


collection for Sinn Fein, they have got their vote out, the increased


vote has benefited them. In nationalist strongholds, West


Belfast is looking like four Sinn Fein and People Before Profit. That


is being played out across the North. The story will also be East


Belfast and Naomi Long and the Alliance Party's massive success


because with the DUP, they look to be punished by the unionist


electorate for RHI and other scandals, those votes are not


transferring to other unionist parties, the UUP, we're going


towards moderate parties. That happened in Stratford with Kellie


Armstrong being 500 votes ahead. That'll be very interesting,


especially in East Belfast, that is such a unionist stronghold, with


votes going towards Lyons, that will trouble DUP greatly in that area. We


have seen that this was the election they said nobody wanted, people were


meant to be tired having gone to the polls 7.5 months ago but we wonder


if anybody is listening and you can see the electorate are very engaged


and they have made their voice heard. When we come to analyse this


in the days to come, we will have a feeling of how people feel and what


their opinions where given the recent political scandals with


greater numbers to analyse. Early days in terms of the DUP picture but


you see this move with Alliance coming through, what do you think


will be the postmortem the DUP will have? The Alliance Party are having


a good election, they are putting on votes as a consequence of the


increased turnout, and this is only anecdotally, amongst younger people,


they are least likely to adopt unionist or nationalised labels so


the Alliance Party is a natural. The DUP are taking a hit but it does not


quite seem to be huge at this stage, remember of the high watermark of


the DUP last time in 2016 and 2011, that would never be repeated, even


with RHI. The DUP got 86% of their candidates elected in 2016 and it


would always take a head today and the problem is on the side of the


UUP, the Ulster Unionists, they are not in significantly stronger


position to make the advances they should be making at the expense of


the DUP and that is where the real story and potentially -- story


potentially lies. Ulster Unionists is littered with people who


advocated compromise, Trimble, Mike Nesbitt, it was laudable in some


ways what Mike Nesbitt did, urging cross community transfers. Has that


gone against the UUP? Or generally Mike Nesbitt?


If you look at the level of cross-community transfers from


unionist parties it's low, less than 2% of U. P voters last time went to


the SDLP. So it was in many ways it was a laudable call but it was full


of political risk and I think that's why the DUP will probably, their


vote will probably hold up by default because of the weaknesses of


the Ulster Unionist party. In terms of the big parties then, it's


probably likely it will still be Sinn Fein and the DUP, so what hope


is there that there will be agreement? Well, there is always


hope and I take great hope from the remarkable result I have received in


South Belfast, my colleague Orlaithi Flynn has been returned and I hope


the Tories are listening and the DUP, because this election really is


about implementing previous agreements, previous Solemn


agreements, Maze, Long Kesh and the DUP went back on their word, Irish


language act, the Tories went back on their word and blocking equal


rights for Irish speakers and dealing with the past. So, we


actually have a difficult period ahead but it's about implementing


previous agreements and I am hopeful because the ordinary people have


spoken just as they spoke against Brexit and I hope the Tories turn


away from the lunancy of Brexit. They voted against it again today we


should hope the DUP is listening in terms of disrespect and arrogance


and their wish to drag us back to the past about I hope the Tories are


listening too because they've a part to play in making sure we make


progress. Alison, is it a wasted vote for alliance in a sense that if


they're not within the Executive then what real change can they make


to some of the issues that Martin is talking about? I don't think so, it


gives out a clear message, the DUP are likely to be returned as the


largest party, they're going to have to reflect on the election and the


hit they've taken to the Alliance Party and maybe reflect especially


on some social issues where they've used petition of concern to block


progress on things like same-sex marriage. I don't think that the


Tory Government will be listening, I think Theresa May has other things


on her mind with regards to Brexit. I think they'll be keen for the


parties to get some resolution in the next few weeks, I don't think


there is appetite for direct rule from Westminster. They've enough on


their plate, the last thing weigh want to do is take over control of


Northern Ireland. At the same time, we have seen a reduced number, we


will see a reduced number of DUP MLAs returned, that doesn't mean


there is massive change in the demographic of the coalition


Government. Let's face it, it's going to be a Sinn Fein and DUP


coalition. Before we leave it there, did you vote any unionist down your


ticket? No, I didn't... Have you ever, I wonder about that? I told


Stephen Nolan maybe if I live to be 105. At this stage I was really in


favour of progressive candidates and those against Brexit, those who were


for Irish uniteny and that's back on the agenda as part of my vote in


South Belfast, as well. Thank you. Back to you, Mark.


OK. Let me bring you up to speed with who has been returned at this


stage. We have had a little bit of a rush there. Naomi Long is returned


on the first count in East Belfast with over 7500. Elisha McCallion.


Michelle O'Neill in Mid Ulster topped the poll there. Also home


Keith bu Khan nan of the DUP with 9,000. William Irwin of the DUP


returned on the first count in their constituencies. And Danny Kennedy,


that's - Danny Kennedy is in trouble in Newry and Armagh. Mairtin


O'Muilleoir topped the poll in South Belfast. Orlaithi Flynn in West


Belfast, both Father Sinn Fein. Let's look at North Down. Alain


chambers and Steven Farry, deputy leader of the Alliance Party


returned in North Down on the first count and Steven Farry joins me now


from the count centre. Congratulations. Are you relieved?


Well, thanks, Mark. Certainly I am pleased in a personal capacity and


also pleased for the party in that it does seem we are set to hold all


eight of our current outgoing MLAs. And our votes will be up across


Northern Ireland as a whole. At the same time, I am certainly


apprehensive about the future. We are in extremely uncertain times.


People have come out and are more energised about our politics but


that happens in the context where we don't have a functioning Assembly or


Executive and there are challenges ranging from a budget through to how


we manage the implications on Brexit we have to get to grips with over


the weeks. Any sign of growth for alliance, it's difficult in a


shrinking Assembly but you are confident you will hold eight seats,


do you see anywhere you might seek a 9th or 10th? In the context of a a


shrinking Assembly holding all eight is a gain in terms of the


proportionate seats we have, so Alliance is on the March. On the one


hand you are seeing the centre ground with Alliance at the heart of


that exerting itself, particularly in the greater Belfast area and


across the other constituencies too. At the same time, we still have a


pollerised electorate with the DUP and Sinn Fein set to be returned as


the two largest parties. Outside of the current eight we are seeing


strong performances, for example, in West Belfast, one of our best


results for several years and that's a good sign as a fact of we are


being taken as a much more serious player across Northern Ireland. I


hear also in South Down we are outpolling the Ulster Unionist party


and no one saw that one coming. Congratulations again, thank you. No


doubt we will speak to you again. Let's come back to the panel.


Stephen, just to pick up, contradictory trends he talked about


and Alliance looks as if it will hold firm in the middle ground but


opposite ends of the political spectrum appear to be doing well.


Yes, differentential turnout, west and east of the Bann, which has


always been the case here, it requires more nationalists to get a


seat in the Assembly than it does in the east of the province where


unionists are in the majority. So, it is, I think it's going to take us


quite a while. The broad sweep is there. But it's going to take a


while before we can establish exactly what has happened here. Are


you concerned that Danny Kennedy could be in difficulty in his count?


Clearly Danny has been a long-term representative there and hopefully


will be returned again. It's going to be hard for him, he is in 6th


place fighting for five seats. It is hard to see where he will pick


transfers up from. Given those figures clearly it is difficult. I


am still confident there are a number of transfers still to come


and I think from memory the Alliance Party had a number of transfers to


come there. Look, it is unfortunate, as Stephen indicated, there seems to


be a pollerisation that's certainly increased the vote in Northern


Ireland and many people were predicting last week that the vote


would decrease in Northern Ireland. But against all the odds and the


same as in many other cases this last 12 months, you know, the


predictions have been wrong and the vote has increased and there is that


pollerisation. Thank you. I will come back to the rest of you.


Michelle O'Neill, Sinn Fein's leader in Stormont, has joined us now from


Ballymena. First of all, congratulations to


you. You topped the poll with 10258 first preferences. No huge surprise.


I think you are the first person to be returned with a vote over 10,000


first preferences, is that right? I am not sure. I have been here all


morning, but obviously I am delighted to receive the vote which


I have. I am also delighted that the people of Mid Ulster put their faith


in Sinn Fein. 26207 people send their best wishes to Martin


McGuinness today in the vote they've returned. We are date our other two


candidates will be returned. We fought a positive campaign. The


public have responded well. Here in Mid Ulster we have seen a 14%


increase which is significant given that the average across the North


has been a 10% increase. I think that sends a strong signal that the


campaign we fought, people were motivated to vote because they


understood the message, they understood the need for this


election. It's a good day for Sinn Fein in Mid Ulster and obviously a


good day across the board, some other counts are coming in. It is


hard to read at this stage, we were just hearing from Stephen Farry and


one of our guests in the studio saying there are contradictory


trends and appears to be pollerisation, Alliance seems to be


doing well in the middle ground. The DUP is also performing well in, so


far as we know at this stage, you clearly have had some successes. So,


one end of the spectrum, the other end and the middle ground all seem


to be claiming some degree of success at this stage. I think it is


a very interesting election. We have always said it would be a watershed


election and it is early days so it's hard to predict the full


outcome at the end of tomorrow. For me it's about now making sure the -


when the votes are counted that my team's organised and will be over


the weekend that we are ready to deal with the issues that need to be


dealt with. There clearly are problems and I think particularly


here in Mid Ulster and I can speak for the electoral who returned us


and we are very grateful, I said it throughout the election campaign,


when Sinn Fein wins, we win for all. We have a job to do to restore


integrity and respect in the institutions, that's what I am up


for and our team will be up for, we have a job ahead in the next three


weeks. Sinn Fein will be at Stormont on Monday, we will be dealing with


all the issues and we need to get down to trying to restore the lack


of public confidence there has been in the institutions and trying to


get to the bottom of all those serious issues, we don't need a new


negotiation, we don't need a new agreement. We need implementation of


what's been outstanding. Just to be clear, what does this mandate, if it


ends up being as strong a mandate as you are suggesting it could be, what


does that mandate give you you the right to demand, what will you do


with it next week and the week after? It's not about demands, it's


about people's rights, it's about the public having faith in the


institutions and those people that govern. It's about making sure that


we deliver for all citizens on the basis of equality and respect.


That's what my mandate will do, that's what the Sinn Fein mandate


will do, we will fight for the rights of all citizens, not just


those people that elect Sinn Fein but those people in society. We need


to have a society based on rights that people feel valued and


respected and that's what we will go into the negotiation to secure for


all those people that have come out in their numbers to vote in this


election. Whenever you and I had a conversation on The View before the


election you were clear about this and you said, I can't be any


clearer, you will not go back into an Executive if Arlene Foster is the


nominee of the DUP. You will not work with her on this side of a


public inquiry into RHI. If you go back with a strong hand the DUP also


has a strong enough hand and it says we are backing Arlene Foster to


continue as our leader, and nominating her we are stuck. We are


on a hook or have you thought of a way now on this side of the election


that you can share with us to get us off that hook? Well, obviously I


have said and it remains my position that we couldn't go into Government


with Arlene foser in the position of first or Deputy First Minister


whilst there is a cloud hanging over her, that remains the position. If


people are serious about making the institutions work, if people are


serious about power sharing, genuine power sharing, if people are serious


about equality and respect, then whilst we might have a difficult


period ahead in the next few weeks nothing that is unachievable if


people come with the right attitude. It does not mean an Executive cannot


be formed. You know Arlene Foster would say there is no cloud over


her, she was a Minister, she did nothing wrong. She acted on the


instructions or advice of her civil servants and the RHI public inquiry


will get to grips with what did and did not happen. Some of the claims


she says don't stack up. It's up to the DUP to decide what they do in


terms of their personnel. It's not up to Sinn Fein. It's not up to you.


I have always said it's not for me to dictate who leads the DUP. I am


only interested in Government and institution that is deliver for all


citizens. We can't be one-sided, we need to make sure we show


leadership. The office of first and Deputy First Minister needs to do


more, they need to step outside their comfort zone and through to


the principles of power sharing and make sure the Executive works on the


basis of equality. That's what our team are interested in. While we


have a difficult period ahead we can achieve a way forward if people come


at it with the right attitude, that's what Sinn Fein will do and


that's what I will lead my negotiating team in to do. We are


look to look at pictures of Gerry Kelly who topped the poll in North


Belfast. I haven't the data for North Belfast at this stage. Maybe


it's just... No, hasn't come in at the moment. He has been successful


as far as your party is concerned. Also Elisha McCallion and Orlaithi


Flynn, Mairtin O'Muilleoir, so a good day at the office from Sinn


Fein's point of view. Yes, it has and it's great to see those


candidates, first-class people who will work for all our citizens. We


have said throughout this campaign a very positive message, we want to


deliver for all citizens on the basis of equality and respect.


That's what all those people have received a mandate for. I am


delighted and proud of our team. I look forward to the rest of the


results coming in it throughout day and tomorrow.


Thank you very much. We can hear from Simon Hamilton, the


DUP, successful DUP candidate in Strangford, topping the poll.


Congratulations. Thank you. Was that a relief? Strangford was trailed as


the real impossible constituency to call because unique, you had seven


outgoing MLAs looking for only five seats. I am pleased with my personal


result but this is a good result for the party in Strangford, our hard


work through the years has been awarded once again by the electorate


and the vote has held up and myself and Michelle McIlveen have very high


first preference totals and I am glad that Peter Weir is polling


exceptionally well and we will wait for the later stages but we are


hopeful of holding onto three seats. Doesn't look like Philip Smith will


lose out at Jonathan Bell is pretty much already out? That is pretty


clear. Philip Smith is trailing by around 1100 votes so we will have to


go through some stages but we will be hopeful that Peter -- Philip will


join us. You have known Jonathan Bell for a very long time,


constituency and party colleague and Executive colour, he has been


suspended from the DUP, and he is still technically a member. Do you


shed any tears at the end of his political career? You will remember


before Christmas he predicted the end of his career and we will see


whether the result today is the end, I am disappointed with what Jonathan


did before Christmas, he took that decision for his own reasons and he


has put himself forward to the electorate in Strangford who have


not endorsed him in the way he thought. I am glad the people in


Strangford held faith with the DUP and have held up the vote and were


on course to hold onto three seats. Where have you been for the past six


weeks? You have been remarkably low-profile for a man who was put


forward at every opportunity by the DUP as a front-line spokesperson. I


have not seen you in weeks, since before Christmas. I don't think you


are vote in the Strangford constituency, I have been here


working hard and that has paid off in the election, working hard to not


just hold onto my own seat but also to help and ensure we get three


seats in this constituency and that is hopefully but we will do. How do


you read the overall picture in all seriousness? The contradictory


nature of the figures at this early stage, what do you think is


happening? More people voted this time than ten months ago. I think it


is very encouraging that there was an increased turnout, Strangford,


along with North Down, traditionally has had a very low turnout and it is


good to see more people participating in the democratic


process and the selection has engaged people and the issues have


been important and I have had a consistent message around the doors,


particularly yesterday, was people coming through the gates and they


want the institutions at Stormont to be up and running, the Executive to


be formed and the Assembly working on their behalf on the issues that


matter to them in health and education and jobs and we have work


to do over the next couple of weeks to ensure that this desire which was


uniform across the board over the election campaign is something that


we can deliver on. We get the Executive running again and the


Assembly working and we have an Executive delivering for people and


we continue the good work that was taking place with the new Executive


until December. Congratulations again, we will maybe talk again.


Simon Hamilton, thank you. We can go back to Tara Mills in Titanic. Naomi


Long is here. An increased turnout has helped you. It seems so. We had


a very good election, particularly in East Belfast, and a credible


election for us. We have polled based on what we have seen with the


best ever election result in East Belfast and beyond that, Stephen


Farry polling very strongly with the vote up in North Down and the same


with Kellie Armstrong, who was second in the poll, beating the


Ulster Unionist leader into third place. This has been a good day for


Alliance, and in constituencies where we traditionally have been


week we have seen the effort we have put into building the vote paying


off. In terms of the vote share. Very positive and I hope this


translates into something positive when it comes to what starts night,


getting devolution be established. So many interesting facets to that.


In terms of the vote, who has come out, why has your vote increased?


People who wanted to punish the DUP, instead of voting for the UUP have


voted for Alliance? We did not set out to be the protest vote, we were


clear that we wanted to offer a positive alternative and that is


what we did. We talked about what we would do differently and how we can


try to re-establish the Assembly on a sustainable footing that can


deliver for people and people responded and connected with that.


Rather than simply voting in protest or out of anger, they wanted to hear


the alternative because was a degree of despair when we ended up at the


election so quickly after the last one and people felt we had given up


and people said that the high turnout could be good news for some


of the established parties. We have found that lots of people turning


out had never voted before or have not voted for a very long time but


they were motivated because they were frustrated over what has


happened over the last eight months and that has benefited Alliance.


What guarantees can you give those people who are putting their faith


in you? What position can you have? This time, not going into


opposition, we will take one of those ministerial seats? We were


very clear. Whether we would be government or opposition and this is


about the quality of government and if there are other parties willing


to work with us and if there is an opportunity to be in government, but


if that government is open and accountable and delivering for the


people and dealing with issues like division in society and other


priorities, that we talked about in this election, we want to be part of


making that work. If other parties do not want to do with those issues,


we will go into opposition and hold them to account. We need to sit down


with other parties at the end of this and start to talk about what


we're going to do next week because we have a challenge. People want


devolution restored. They want to see the Assembly working. With the


obstacles that are in the way around Sinn Fein and the DUP, do you think


direct rule is inevitable? I do not, it would be disastrous for Northern


Ireland, a major step backwards. People were elected today to do the


job, to deliver government, they have the responsibility and other


roadblocks in the way, people need to remove them, to do what they have


been tasked with, to get around the table and get devolution restored


and start delivering for the people who voted. I am grateful to the


people who came out yesterday, particularly last night in some of


the worst weather of this campaign, and they were queueing up outside


polling stations to give us a mandate, a mandate to govern. It is


our responsibility to do that job and that goes double for those with


larger mandates than ours. John Tong, do you think direct rule is


inevitable? More probable than not, I cannot see any deal between the


DUP and Sinn Fein, Michelle O'Neill could not have been clearer, she


will not work with Arlene Foster, whether Sinn Fein is the largest


party, they will not accept Arlene Foster as Deputy First Minister or


as First Minister. There was no wriggle room. The DUP are likely to


put anybody else in? That would be Sinn Fein choosing a leader of the


DUP and it is possible they can temporarily put somebody else


forward but this campaign has been about the DUP arguing that the


sequencing was wrong, let us have the enquiry into RHI and if the


enquiry is damning of Arlene Foster, there is case for her to go. I do


not see any ground for movement on that. What you are looking at


potentially is an Assembly sitting but basically scrutinising the


decisions of James Brokenshire. 90 people will be places but in effect


James Brokenshire has been elected because he will be the person making


key decisions for the next nine months. I am also concerned that the


enquiry, people assume that will clear the air, I would not expect


the parties to cherry pick the findings down the line so we might


have this hiatus after that. Sorry to be gloomy but this is not the


road back to full blown devolution. In 2003 I was here electing to a


government that did not actually exist. Naomi Long has shown that


East Belfast is always seen as this loyalist citadel but that has not


been the case for a very long time. Two Westminster elections with only


a minority of people voting for the DUP and you are seeing today the


Alliance Party performing strongly so the nature of that constituency


is changing but the narrative today will be Alliance doing very well but


the major narrative is the onward march of Sinn Fein. Glutton for


punishment! Always coming back! Back to the studio. As John Tong said, we


may not be electing an Assembly but just negotiators in the talks but


nevertheless it is important to see what the strengths of the parties


will be because that will determine what the bargaining power is. We are


looking at a couple of swing constituencies, first of all, South


Belfast. Many moons ago was an Ulster Unionist stronghold, hard to


imagine that right now! The DUP topping the poll in South Belfast,


closely followed by the SDLP but I very even spread. What has happened


to the share? Just above the quarter. I was fast, there. We shot


past Mairtin O'Muilleoir. One of the reasons he got elected so quickly


was Sinn Fein added 3.5%. We're still waiting for any constituency


where Sinn Fein or Alliance have a drop in their vote share. Mairtin


O'Muilleoir at the top in South Belfast. Lots of talk about Emma


Little-Pengelly. Possibly not making it. She is in fifth place. Why are


people thinking she might not be the fifth MLA? Going back one step,


there might be only one DUP MLA because Clare Bailey of the Green


Party, less than 200 votes behind. She has a lot of potential votes


that will come to her before they go to the DUP. Hoovering up from


Alliance and People Before Profit. Does Emma Little-Pengelly stay


behind Christopher Stalford? One of them is more transfer toxic and


which one is more friendly? The last seat could be between both DUP


councillors. Sinn Fein, SDLP, Alliance Party, pretty much home.


Which DUP candidate comes through? And the Green Party might have a


seat. And in Foyle. Elisha McCallion, elected on the first


card. Impressive given that Martin McGuinness was not in the fray. We


can see that Sinn Fein maintain dominance over the SDLP. The first


time they have beaten the SDLP. Despite the fact that the SDLP have


a party leader and the Minister and this is the change. Enormous rise in


the Sinn Fein vote? Here we go. This is that swing. More than 3% from the


SDLP to Sinn Fein. Pretty drastic and Sinn Fein is out polling the


SDLP in South Down, that was the other remaining stronghold. Elisha


McCallion is already there. Raymond McCartney will come through and both


SDLP candidates but what about the fifth set? It is likely that Gary


Middleton will keep that for the DUP, there are enough unionist votes


in the Ulster Unionists and the Conservatives that I think will


prove sufficient. That means Eamonn McCann, after decades of getting


elected, trying to get elected, this could be a very truncated medical


career? He has had a very early -- long career outside of the Assembly,


it is too early to say goodbye to him! Eamonn McCann is not the driver


and he won't have to wait for all of those lifts and trains and buses to


take him back to Derry! Thank you. I want to speak to Paul Givan of the


DUP, topping the poll in Lagan Valley. And he joins us. From the


count centre. Congratulations, well done. 8035


first preference votes, are you a relieved man this mid-afternoon?


Well, obviously, I am personally delighted with the vote that I


received, to get over 8,000 votes is obviously an endorsement from my own


constituency. I am more interested in obviously the final tally when it


comes to the end of the day as to how many seats the party gets and I


will be watching as the count proceeds. We are clearly getting two


seats comfortably in Lagan Valley, the last seat here will go down to


the wire. It's between us, the Ulster Unionists and the SDLP. There


has been an increased turnout amongst the nationalist voting base


here in the constituency and that's going to make for an interesting and


possibly protracted number of stages here in Lisburn. If you lose one of


your three seats it would be Brenda Hale on the face of it. Pat Catney


is a bit behind but it depends, as it will in many constituencies, it


will come down to the transfers and who could Hoover them up? It will.


It is Brenda, Jenny and Pat I think will be the last three candidates


vying for that last seat. There is a Sinn Fein vote there, obviously to


transfer to Pat Catney and that's going to increase his first


preference tally. So, this one we will have to wait and see. They're


redistributing my surplus, there is a TUV vote, we expect to benefit


through those stages and other independents, I would anticipate


some parties will benefit from. That's obviously the way the PR


system works, it's too close to call here in Lagan Valley. We fought a


tough campaign. We increased our vote in the last election. Other


parties were able to increase the turnout in their areas, as well.


That's obviously now made that last seat something that I think everyone


will be watching closely. Obviously we fought a hard campaign over the


last four weeks. There are a range of issues that were brought up.


Undoubtedly, people consolidated here around the DUP, they recognised


that we were the party that they wanted to vote for. We need to have


a strong party and today it's very clear we will be easily the largest


unionist party in Northern Ireland and obviously the challenge now


rests with us to find a way through the difficulties that exist at


Stormont, people need to respect our mandate and we need to respect the


mandate other parties are going to be receiving in this election.


Ultimately, I do believe that we have to find a solution, that's what


the people expect us to do. Good to talk to you,


congratulations, thank you very much indeed for having a word with us.


Paul Givan has been successful there. Topped the poll with over


8,000 first preference votes. We have refreshed our panel. Good to


see some new faces. Sir Jeffrey Donaldson is staying with us, we


have been joined by the Sinn Fein MEP Martin in a Anderson. Professor


Rick Wilford. No stranger to our output and also Newton Emerson.


Martin in a, first of all, you clearly within Sinn Fein have had


some strong performances, you have had a few poll toppers, we were


talking to your party leader here, Michelle O'Neill, and she was saying


she was pleased with how things are going but there is a long way to go.


Without doubt there is a long way to go. When you consider Elisha


McCallion has topped the poll in Derry, first time out, a magnificent


performance. Not just for Elisha but all of the candidates that were


involved across the north, but her and Raymond, our vote is up, 16300


in the Foyle constituency, that's the highest vote I think that Sinn


Fein has ever received since we went out, Mitchell McLawing cane came


close to that at one time or another. Here is good news, in South


Down, 10256 first preferences for Sinead and Chris Hazard 8827. I know


that Catriona Ruane was pleased, she was her election agent. She has been


fantastic, Sinead. We have - there is a trend and a pattern across the


north where young republican women are topping the poll and I think


that's something we have seen as a trend the last time around, as well.


We had a leader in Michelle O'Neill that has led from the front. People


have said about this election and what it was all about. The election


was about equality and respect and integrity at the heart of the


political institutions. And that message resonated across, not just


the city of Derry, but across the north. It is also to be fair, it's


also the case that a lot of unionists have come out. The centre


ground has held up well, the DUP has had good successes so far. We have


spoken to some of the successful candidates. They were presumably


voting for different reasons for a different agenda, for a different


manifesto than Sinn Fein. You can't say the election was just about Sinn


Fein's agenda. Jeffrey has a different agenda. Of course. I think


that's going to be the story of the election. Martin McGuinness left a


sick hospital bed to go up to the Assembly to say to Arlene Foster, to


try to get her to try to instill a bit of humanity into that lady. And


when you consider that Martin McGuinness faced down arrogance and


disrespect, I can tell you across the North that was felt in a lot of


republican nationalist homes. Jeffrey, I will give you an


opportunity to respond. Presumably you would see things very


differently. I do. And I think a lot of people, Martina, out there, will


just think a little about what you have just said about humanity and


Sinn Fein lecturing anyone on humanity when your leader stood and


exonerated and eulogised members of the IRA who did a lot of... And you


were a member of the UDR, you are not the person to be sitting there


lecturing me about the whataboutery about the IRA. With all due respect


to you... I didn't interrupt you. You are not the person to be


lecturing republicans about the role of the UDR and the conflict. Hang


on, let Jeffrey make his point. Respect means you let the other


person speak. It means freedom of speech. I listened to you and didn't


interrupt. Show this unionist a little bit of respect. I know it's


really difficult for Sinn Fein to show any unionist respect. That's


not true. You can't even use the term Northern Ireland, the very


country you want to aspire to govern. You don't respect the


country you are supposed to be governing. This does not augur well


for partnership Government on the other side of the election. Let's be


honest. Sometimes, Mark, you have to cut across the can't of Sinn Fein.


Let's deal with the results. Martina is sitting here and it's almost as


if everybody out there agrees with the Sinn Fein agenda. I have to


challenge that. The DUP vote has held up well, despite the difficult


circumstances that we are in, in the Foyle constituency the DUP vote is


up. We have had some incredible results, in mid always, for example,


our candidate there got over 2,000 more votes in this election. So, you


know, Martina with the greatest of respect, I think Sinn Fein need to


understand that there are still many people out there who do not accept


the kind of agenda that you are talking about, Irish unity, Mairtin


O'Muilleoir talked about, in South Belfast, the DUP beat you, the DUP


is the largest party in South Belfast. People who voted for the


DUP were not voting for Irish unity, they want a stable Northern Ireland,


they want a Northern Ireland that works. They don't want, with


respect, Martina, people setting preconditions, they voted, they


voted for people to go back into Government. They voted for people to


make Northern Ireland work. They want to see that happening. Remember


that in the next three weeks, the DUP stands ready to go into


Government. We will not be setting preconditions. So do we. We stand


ready. We will not be going back to the status quo, that's something to


be very mindful and clear about as we go forward. We need to treat each


other and our constituencies with respect. And that means the DUP


reaching out to the nationalist community, the Irish language


speakers, Irish culture, changing names on boats, lifting Irish


bursaries, the things that the DUP has done to Irish language speakers


and our culture, that needs to stop. On this side of the election, the


campaign is now over. We have fought the campaign. People have voted. We


are now assessing what those votes mean. Somehow or other we have to


put the pieces back together. Of course. And it's a question of


whether the will is there on the part of the DUP and Sinn Fein, if


they are returned as the two big he is parties t looks like they're


going to be, is the will there to put the pieces back together?


Absolutely, the will is there. Based on a political institution that's


based on equality, it's based on respect and based on integrity. I


need to pause there. The political will is definitely there from Sinn


Fein. I will come back, we have breaking news in West Belfast.


Let's hear from David Maxwell. Yes, welcome back to the Titanic


Exhibition Centre. We have just heard in the last few minutes that


Alex Attwood has been eliminated in West Belfast. That's a huge day for


the SDLP, the SDLP represented in West Belfast for decades. That is


now it appears at an end. We haven't seen Alex Attwood here in the hall


today. We are trying to find members of the SDLP to get some reaction


from them on it. But that appears to be it. We have it there. There it is


in black and white, Alex Attwood, he got 4,000 total votes. But now


excluded. We expect in that constituency that Sinn Fein will


return all four of the candidates they put up, they spread their vote


very evenly. Gerry Carroll is confident that he will take a seat


there, as well. A remarkable day and remarkable news here.


Thank you very much. We did predict there would be big name casualties


in there, and there is a big name, Alex Attwood, definitely out, not in


the next Assembly. It looks like there are interesting things


happening in Newry and Armagh. Danny Kennedy is having a tough


fight on his hands to hang on. Yeah, it's a torrid time for him at the


moment. We have had two elected, William Irwin and Cathal Boylan also


elected. A quota of 9154. Conor Murphy and Megan Fearon are close to


the quota. Justin McNulty is just shy of it. They were doing a line-up


and cheer in the media room, he said he wasn't celebrating prematurely


but it looked like it to me. That means is that clearly it looks like


Danny Kennedy is very much in the drop zone at the moment. He is on


7256 first preferences, the foet at that is 9154. He would have to catch


Connor Murphy, but he is around about 1200 votes ahead. It's quite


hard to see where the transfers might be for Danny Kennedy at this


moment in time now, we are dividing up - redistributing the votes of


three candidates who have been excluded, the Green candidate, and


the Alliance candidate, again as I said talking to people they can't


see a way back for Danny Kennedy at this particular time.


Thank you very much. That's interesting, if Danny Kennedy


goes out, he is a former deputy leader of the Ulster Unionists


party, at Stormont. He is a former Minister in the Executive, he would


be another big name casualty. We will hear from Rick and Newton and


also Jeffrey and Martina again shortly and get their thoughts on


what's been happening. Let's look at some results so far from Mark


Simpson. Sglp


What we have done is squeezed the 18 constituencies together. Made them


all the same size. And made up kind of our own virtual map.


We can see from some of the colours spread around most of the


constituencies have at least some of the seats filled.


They're marked on the floor. Red is the DUP. Let's take a closer


look and look at North Down. As you can see, three seats filled there so


far. We can take a closer look and see who the three new MLAs are.


No big surprises there. Let's look elsewhere on our virtual map. Let's


look at Mid Ulster. Of course that's Michelle O'Neill's constituency.


Is she back in? Yes, we heard from her earlier, back along with the


DUP's Keith Buchanan, Sinn Fein and the DUP together. We haven't seen


that often in recent weeks but we saw it in the studio a short time


ago. Let's move on, let's have a quick


look elsewhere. Let's look maybe at Newry and Armagh. There it is.


Finding my bearings! Two seats filled so far. One for the DUP and


one for Sinn Fein. That's really been the pattern so far. The DUP and


Sinn Fein neck-and-neck, more or less, across the 18 constituencies.


But it's early days. As the day unfolds, you heard Jeffrey Donaldson


say that, they're hoping that the DUP are hoping that more of this map


will turn red. That's the situation so far.


The new political map is starting to take shape.


And it is absolutely fascinating, I can confirm that Michaella Boyle and


Eric McElduff have been elected in West Tyrone. Colum Eastwood, the


SDLP leader, joins us from his constituency in Derry. You did not


top the poll but you came in a couple of thousand first preference


votes behind Elisha McCallion, you will hang onto that seat. Any idea


how soon that announcement will be made? We're not sure, we're going


through a number of counts, we have increased our vote in this


constituency and are very happy, two elected, Sinn Fein have had a


fantastic result and across the North. Coming in ahead of us but the


SDLP vote has held up and is going up and were very content. Confident


that Mark H Durkan will be successful? Two Sinn Fein and SDLP


and the fifth seed going to Gary Middleton, that would be the end of


Eamonn McCann? That is most likely but I would not count out Eamonn


McCann, there are a lot of transfers yet but Gary Middleton is the


favourite. As far as the SDLP is concerned, the headline bad news is


Alex Attwood, the very high-profile member of the party, first elected


to the Assembly in 1998, has been eliminated? Were very sorry about


that, Alex was in a very uphill battle and he has given his life to


Ireland and the party and the peace process and was so involved in


bringing about many important changes that we have seen in the


country and we can be very proud of him and we will miss him very much


in the Assembly team. He understood himself he was in a battle with


proceeds going down to only five and the obvious Sinn Fein surge and the


polarised nature of this election but Alex has been a true and good


servant to the people of this country for many years and the SDLP


in terms of the Assembly team will miss him. I wonder what he will do?


It is very tough somebody to find the door closed on a pretty


successful career. He was the minister in the Executive and a


significant backroom tactician. What does the future hold for somebody


like him? It has just happened, he will have time to think about what


he will do next and Alex was a fantastic minister and very


important to us in the Assembly team, I relied very heavily on him


and if you think back to the years of service he gave through very


difficult times in that tough constituency, and he also was at the


forefront of turning around the policing structures in the north to


make it easier for people from my community to join the police or


easier for us to see change in the policing service and he has done so


many things to be proud of in his record of delivery for people across


this country and he should be very proud of himself. If you are looking


for shafts of light, not many for the SDLP at the moment, Joe Boyle in


Strangford is still in the mix for that fifth seat? The best


performance by a national list there. He was almost there last May,


there has never been a nationalist member returned in that


constituency. He might just be able to sneak in? Yes, go has had a poor


-- a fantastic performance, and all of our candidates across the North


have been putting up our votes and I have been in this game too long to


make any predictions, we are in the hunt for a lot of those fifth seats.


The public have voted, but let the counters do their job and we will


not make any predictions! I have got that wrong before. Many of our


people are in the hunt for those seats and it is clear this has been


utterly polarising election and nationalists have been so angry and


they have come out in big numbers and Sinn Fein have the beneficiary.


Thank you for giving us your time. We will talk to you when you are


returned later on in the day. Thank you. SDLP leader Colum Eastwood at


the Foyle College. We can hear from Newton Emerson and Professor Rick


Wilford. -- Foyle count. The mixed message across the board, the Ulster


Unionists for the SDLP are squeezed, the Allianz seem pretty happy, you


would wonder how all of those things are possible at the same time? --


the Alliance Party. The combined nationalist vote over the last cycle


has fallen and this time it has uplifted considerably and Sinn Fein


by the net beneficiary. You might argue this is an indication of the


decision to trigger the election by Martin McGuinness but you could


argue that was because the Sinn Fein leadership were pretty slow


learners, it took them a number of months to gauge the antipathy felt


within heartland areas in terms of their general distaste with the way


in which the last ten months had gone prior to this election. It


looks to me like Sinn Fein proportionately, their vote is


increased in terms of the relative number of seats they will win. The


DUP have gone down a little and the bad news is for the Ulster Unionists


and the SDLP, I am not sure they will reach double figures. That is


bad news for Mike Nesbitt and Danny Kennedy, unsuccessful in Newry and


Armagh, there is no obvious successor to Mike Nesbitt because he


cannot survive that count of hit he might get from the voters. The


Alliance vote has held up because they are much more transfer friendly


compared to other parties. Mike Nesbitt, that strategy of voting for


me has not worked. That has not chimed with the voters. The DUP


played that old trick, if you don't want a Sinn Fein First Minister, you


must back the DUP and it has worked again. They are safe in terms of


getting beyond the 30 mark. I think they will sneak over that line.


Just. Sinn Fein will be very close on their tail and not very far


behind the 28 seats they had in me. It is obvious but in our model of


devolution there is only room for three parties- unionist,


nationalists and other and if devolution is going to come back


under this model, which is dubious in the short term, the long-term


lesson is that going into opposition was toxic for the UUP and the SDLP,


they are about to be crushed out of existence and that three party era


has arrived. West Tyrone, Thomas Buchanan of the DUP topping the poll


with over 9000 first preferences and Michaella Boyle and Barry McElduff


aren't Sinn Fein in second and third. That personifies this, these


big beasts, Sinn Fein and the DUP, slugging thing site in West Tyrone


and they are at the top of the leaderboard. The story of the


election and the anger that Colum Eastwood referred to at Martina


Anderson talked about in the nationalist community is what this


mandate for Fein means? To go back into Stormont reject Stormont? This


was a campaign fought on anger at Stormont politics. What is the Sinn


Fein message to take from the voters? Stay away or go storming


back in? I have not done countless doors and have spoken to thousands


of people over the past number of weeks through talking to people on


the phone and at the doorstep and there is a genuine hunger and thirst


for a political institution that is based on equality and respect and


integrity. Is that Stormont? That is Stormont. You think Sinn Fein voters


want Stormont to work? Based on the principles of the Good Friday


Agreement. Based on what people voted for. For instance, you cannot


ignore this, in the middle of this election we had this tsunami of


Brexit coming down the line and there was debate within


republicanism about consent but as stated in the Good Friday Agreement,


an international agreement, it was lodged at the United Nations, which


Jeffrey left his party over, it stated that the constitutional


position of the North would not change without the consent of the


people. Not exactly, that Northern Ireland would cease to become of the


UK and become part of Ireland. There is no legal breach of the agreement


and if there is any political bridge, that is a political issue.


It does not have to be... I sat on the constitutional committee in


Brussels and we commissioned legal advice and searched... I read that


advice. Not in relation to the Human Rights Act, entrance of this advice,


the committee report states clearly that Brexit will require an


alteration to the Good Friday Agreement. There are to be no


alterations to the agreement without the consent of the people. In this


60 page report, one unreferenced line mentions that as an aside. It


is more than one mentioned, there is a paragraph. Here is the issue. We


are where we are and there are elements of that which you do not


like and we have to move forward and the Supreme Court has made its


ruling in London and whether people like this or not, Brexit is


happening. There might be flexibility on precisely what that


means but nobody is realistically suggesting that this will not


happen? There is a lot of goodwill in Europe for the case we have made


for designated special status, there are 25 overseas territories in


Europe who don't have the starters were looking for because that is


something additional but there is political will and I have met with


the negotiator, I am one of those negotiators in the parliament on


Brexit, we have met with commissioners and talked to parties


whose government is around the council table and we have talked to


hundreds of MEPs and they are all willing to assist us. In not


wrecking the peace process and having a hard border in the middle


of Ireland. Don't make problems when do not exist. Where does that leave


the DUP? I have not met anybody talking about the need for a hard


border. If Martina is going to get what she is aiming for, some count


of special arrangement, she is going to have to get the agreement of the


DUP for that. And we don't have any government here, we don't have a


chance of achieving any of the things that Martina is talking


about. Because the decision will be made by James Brokenshire and his


team? Exactly right, we have three weeks from this election, it looks


like the DUP and Sinn Fein as the largest parties, the people voted


for us to get back into government and the challenge is... This is why


I think it is incredibly counter-productive for Sinn Fein to


be talking about preconditions and red lines, the people have voted,


they want a government formed and they wanted formed right now. Is the


flexibility going to be there on the part of the DUP over the next few


weeks to make this happen? Clearly you will have a mandate but


Martina's party will also have a real, fresh mandate for people who


took the time to vote in considerable numbers? And we respect


that mandate and we ask that Sinn Fein respect the DUP mandate. What


people voted for with the DUP is something different to people who


voted for Sinn Fein and we have to agree a programme for government and


get the budget agreed and move forward. I am saying that we can


only do that with the government, we have three weeks to form a


government and the DUP is ready to do that. We are not setting


preconditions or any red lines, get the government running and deal with


these issues, including how we handle the question of Brexit. I


want to let people know that Carla Lockhart topped the poll in Upper


Bann. We have some pictures of her at the count centre. Professionally,


you spend a lot of time looking at this. How do you square that circle?


It seems that there is not a lot of common ground between Martina and


Jeffrey on this subject? Big picture politics but this will influence


what happens in the coming months? And on Brexit, squaring the circle


will be difficult. The default position is that Sinn Fein will rely


on primarily the Irish government and other friendly voices in the EU


and Jeffrey Donaldson must be prepared to rely on the proxy of


James Brokenshire to conduct Brexit negotiations for us. Jeffrey says


there is no red line but there is one. You will not let Sinn Fein


determine who will be First Minister if the DUP emerges as the single


largest party. Sinn Fein say it cannot be Arlene Foster until a


report exonerates her and that could take another year. In the interim,


the risk is that on Brexit in particular and closer to home, the


absence of any budget or a programme for government, we will have to rely


on others to act on our behalf. In a part of the UK which is deeply


divided over the issue of Brexit. I cannot see at the moment, given the


clear antipathy is between Sinn Fein and the DUP that we will see any


Executive in the next few weeks. What might happen is it might be


like the wake of the 2003 election with the transition Assembly, bodies


being given work to do to prepare for government and agree a


programme, I can see the Assembly sitting but I cannot see at the


moment there being any Executive. Plus OFMDFM. That comes back to the


point that Newton Emerson made, what is Sinn Fein going to do? Where do


they think the most political leverage they can exercise is, this


is an existential issue, Brexit, and on this island. Where are they going


to have any agreed plan from where our own Executive is about the


Brexit position is going to be? We must rely on proxy.


We can continue that conversation in due course. I want to give you all


an update on numbers. I mentioned that car la Lockhart topped the poll


in Upper Bann. Doug Beattie outpolled Joanne Dobson, that's not


what happened last May. The raw figures, Doug Beattie 5467. Joanne


Dobson 5132. Then Dolores Kelly. It's interesting down there. People


thought based on last May Doug Beattie could be in trouble. Fill


Lib Mc Guigan of Sinn Fein is not elected yet but probably will be


soon. We have got... Deputy leader of Sinn Fein arriving at the Belfast


count centre. There she is. Being embraced by party workers. There is


Pat Sheehan. Alex Maskey, who else, Gerry Kelly there, as well. Fra


McCann. Getting a warm welcome. A short time ago in Belfast at the


Titanic Exhibition Centre our reporter spoke to people before -


spoke to People Before Profit Gerry Carroll and asked if Sinn Fein had


taken the wind out of their sails. As the campaign went on it didn't


really feel - it felt more like the last stand, the establishment


parties in West Belfast threw a hell of a lot of resources against People


Before Profit and they misrepresented our critique and


tried to put us in a box with the DUP, which is ironic because they


were in power with the DUP for ten years. I think also there is an


element of people thinking the best way to stand against Arlene Foster


and her arrogance and her refusal to support equal marriage, there was an


idea that people thought initially the best way was to vote Sinn Fein.


But the question for Sinn Fein now is are they going to go into a


Government without... Were they trying to steal your... They were


talking about equality, our politics is red, our material is red, there


was an element of that. It's worth saying that Sinn Fein in terms of


RHI had their hands all over it. They were very late in the day to


have any action and to call action and to do something concrete about


RHI. I felt pressure on parties like People Before Profit in West Belfast


and Derry. To what extent did your stand on Brexit have an impact? I


think it had an impact because like I said it was all over West Belfast,


there was posters put up misrepresenting People Before


Profit's left-wing socialist critique of the EU, there were


posters put up saying hard border wraut to you by People Before


Profit, it's worth saying nobody is calling for a hard border.


That was Gerry Carroll talking to our reporter David Maxwell at the


Titanic Exhibition Centre. He didn't do as well this time as last May.


Although he should, it looks like he should keep his seat. Let's hear


more from the panel. Martina, Rick was putting forward a question to


you, which is what precisely does Sinn Fein do next? You have raised


your concerns, raised the issues, Jeffrey has talked about them, as


well, we heard from Newton and from Rick. But what happens next? When


you are faced with a possibility of either making Stormont work again or


direct rule, which do you go for? Well, it's obviously about making


Stormont work, based on the principles of equality, respect and


integrity. I don't know what Jeffrey finds offensive about any of those


words. I would actually conclude, dare I speak for the DUP voters, I


wouldn't attempt to do that, we actually do respect the fact that


you have got a mandate, but I do believe that for the few unionists


that I have spoken to, I have heard comments made to me personally and


on programmes that people found Arlene Foster's arrogance as


offensive in that community as it was deeply offensive in my own. With


respect, republicans don't have a monopoly on respect. Absolutely. And


equality and integrity. Those are words. God bless us, we want...


Sure, we want everyone, we would love everyone to use them, if


everyone would use them and we would all start to apply them. It's


practising them that counts. Exactly. The Good Friday Agreement


promised 20 years ago a bill of rights for people in your community


that would be able to have rights in addition to the European convention


of human rights. What's offensive about that, Jeffrey? That's about


your constituency and my constituency and all of the people


benefitting regardless of what political party they vote for or


what tradition they come from. Is that not an oversimplification of


it? It's not. There is no such things for rights for one


constituency. Of course it is. I am not going to repeat and get into the


whataboutery, I could go on all day about Sinn Fein's lack of respect


for Northern Ireland's identity, for the British identity of the unionist


community. You know, but let's look ahead. Our colleagues here have made


some very I think important points. The greatest issue here is where is


Northern Ireland going in the wake of Brexit, in the wake of all of the


big things that are happening out in the world? Northern Ireland is not


immune from what's happening in the wider world. We need a Government to


sort that out. Do you want to work together, can Sinn Fein and the DUP


work together on a common goal of avoiding direct rule? I suppose


that's the question people would like an answer to. It's a question


we want an answer to. Let me be clear, I can only speak for the DUP.


You are part of this conversation. I am going to speak... Absolutely, I


am going to speak for the DUP. We want this to work. We are up for it.


We stand ready. We will be at the door of Stormont on Monday ready


within the next three weeks to form a Government. We will not be setting


preconditions. We want to get, because we believe that you have to


be in the Government to take the decisions to enable Northern Ireland


to move forward. Now the question for Sinn Fein is will they be there,


are they ready to be in Government? Are they prepared to take that step?


OK. Newton, quick thought? The red line on the First Minister does


appear to be the only red line Sinn Fein has drawn, does appear to be a


stalling motion for at least six months to a year, presumably to see


how Brexit works out, it appears so obvious that Gerry Adams is kicking


the ball up in the air to see where it lands. I agree, I think we will


get an Assembly all right, we won't get an Executive. If Brokenshire


takes over what kind of direct rule are we going to get? Is it going to


be a hard Brexit approach or not? What would it take to lever Sinn


Fein into an Executive if the DUP then insist as they - would be


appropriate for them to do, to insist that Arlene Foster is their


nominee for First Minister. We will give people time to think about


that. We will leave that question hanging in the air and come back and


hear what people think about it. I want to go back to Tara. We have


been on air, I thought it was three hours, it's a couple of hours on


air. We have a few results. . How would sum up the mood where you are


at the Titanic Exhibition Centre? Lots of issues to discuss. Mary Lou


McDonald just arrived to a rapturous welcome as you saw earlier on. Let's


talk about some stories now with Chris Donnelly, political


commentator and Michael Mc Gipsey. You would be best known as health


Minister. What's the story today, can you give a sense of what numbers


you think it's going to be, do you think around ten? I think it's very


hard to tell. We have a long way to go. It's fair to say we haven't done


as well as we had hoped and there would be a measure of disappointment


in the number. I think probably ten is on the low side. Ten to 12, but


it's not the breakthrough we were hoping for. I have to be honest and


admit that. What do you think that is down to? Well, I think we got


caught between the two big parties. It's like a tribal vote. A tribal


class. Sinn Fein galvanised their vote and at the same time the DUP to


an extent got their vote out, as well. There is very little room left


for manoeuvre for ourselves and the SDLP. Was it down to Mike's comments


about transferring to the SDLP? I think there is a lot more to it than


that. Certainly if you want to win elections and do well you have to


have a clear message, you have to sell that message with sincerity and


you must not make mistakes. I think we would look at that and in terms


of our organisation and in terms of the way we go forward perhaps there


are lessons to be learned. I think it's early days yet. There will be a


few surprises left in this count before it's all over. If it is


around ten or 11 do you think Mike's leadership is in question? I think


the fact is we are a Democratic Party. We have an election for


leader every year. Our AGM is at the end of March so you will not have


long to wait to get the answer to that question. You have to say who


else is standing in the wings looking to carry the gauntlet, carry


the torch? I would have thought that - I would be surprised if we saw a


challenge to Mike's leadership at the current moment and time. When


you are looking at our performance at council and at Westminster, we


have a very big membership, it hasn't worked on this occasion,


perhaps the way we wanted it to. We will look at that and we will look


at how we could have done things better. Really in this election this


was the time you should have been able to capitalise on the anger that


people feet about RHI. They should have been switching to the Ulster


Unionist party, but in some cases it looks as if they were switching to


the Alliance Party. I think that's certainly in Belfast, that appears


to be the case. At the same time we have done well in North Down and in


East Belfast. It looks like it was a swing to Alliance Party in


Strangford. In Strangford, they have one MLA. In Strangford, so it's by


no means the breakthrough, they already had an MLA. Although the


vote increased and she outpolled Mike Nesbitt who topped the poll


last time. That's true, but it didn't affect the seats. We have to


wait and look at how we do overall. We will be looking carefully at all


of those seats, and those constituencies where the DUP hold


three seats and how well those three seats or DUP constituencies will


survive and we will look at it again, coming from 108 to 90 is


always difficult, the quota going up to over 7,000, it's difficult for


us. We will analyse it better once we get the full result. Chris, a


quick word on the nationalist story. Obviously, big gains for Sinn Fein,


they've got the vote out, they've done well. Some could argue it


wasn't that difficult given some ammunition they were given from the


other side. Yes, I think that's true, Tara. The main story of this


election is the reawakening of nationalism from a slumber which had


been a theme over the last four or five elections. Just thinking last


year, the 2016 election, the nationalist party, Sinn Fein, the


SDLP, only managed to Garner 36% of the vote between them. There are -


overall share of seats fell to 40. Sinn Fein are on course to perhaps


at the minimum get 26 seats now, they could even match the 28 seats


they had in the Assembly chamber last year when there was 108 seats


overall. Right across the north we are seeing nationalists coming out


and crucially in a number of constituencies the turnout with


nationalism and unionism is such that the likes of Newry and Armagh,


west Tyrone, Mid Ulster, and even in North Belfast which is in a


psychologically sense a significant development there could be three


nationalists and two unionists elected. We will hear more from you


later. For now, Michael and Chris, thank you very much.


Thank you very much. Interesting battle is developing in East


Londonderry. I am pleased to say we are joined about by the independent


candidate Clare Sugden. Nobody returned as yet but you have a


decent vote just under 5,000 first preferences, you are in 4th place in


a five-seater at the moment. Are you quietly confident?


Yes, I am quietly confident, increasing my vote by over 1,500


votes as of last year. So delighted with the turn out and the people


that came out to vote for me yesterday.


Talk me through the numbers, Keith arch I bald, 5800, and then the


second Sinn Fein candidate and yourself and George Robinson and


Caral Ni Chuilin of the DUP, does it look like the DUP will lose a seat


and the SDLP will lose a seat as there was a split there? No.


Certainly I think that the third DUP seed is vulnerable, as is the SDLP


seat. We are in a position where there will be transfers before


anyone is elected. I am transfer friendly, being independent so I


hope to put up my numbers up to get to the quota, hopefully today but


maybe Saturday. There is a changing representation in East Londonderry,


with the turnout, I'm delighted to see so many voting. The people have


spoken and when the political parties are negotiating post


election, I hope that they take it into account.


Turnout in the constituency is up 11.9 percentage points. And broadly


in line with what is happening elsewhere. Claire, transfers, you


are hoping to pick up transfers, maybe even from Gerry mull yen,


former SDLP, now Independent, so you should hoover up. I wonder what your


reading is across Northern Ireland, though? It looks like the DUP has


done well. Like Sinn Fein has done very well it looks like Alliance has


held on. The opposite ends of the spectrum doing well, the middle


ground doing well but a squeeze on the Ulster Unionist Party and the


SDLP? I'm not surprised. It is all very well, saying we must change the


status quo but there must be an alternative. The SDLP and the Ulster


Unionist Party have been jumping on the coat tails of the RHI scandal.


Not taking leadership. It disheartens me as well.


I would be a moderate candidate. I would like to see progressive


politics moving forward. Hopefully there can be a solution to get back


up and running. OK. We will see. Those are the


numbers for a while today and maybe tomorrow.


Claire Sugden joining us there from the Foyle arena in Derry.


Now to the Aaura Leisure Centre in Bangor.


And Steven Warren has a guest. The only Ulster Unionist Party with a


success so far is that right? That's right.


There is a successful candidate with me, Alan Sheamus, congratulations.


The sole Ulster Unionist Party in Northern Ireland going to the


Assembly. How does it feel? A huge responsibility. But I'm up for it.


A bad day for the party? Well it is not looking good in some areas at


the moment. But with the way that PR elections have gone, I've been


around elections in Northern Ireland for 25 years, I've seen people


salvage seats in the last-minute in the last count. So imoptimistic.


Your party could be down to single figures? It's been put forward but


the sad thing is that some of the people we may lose them but I hope


not. They are good people. I'ved worked with them in Stormont. They


are making a contribution to Northern Ireland.


It would be sad to lose them. Why couldn't you make a break


through? We hope that Northern Ireland will have elections on bread


and butter issues but it keeps getting caught back to the orange


and green election it is really very sad. You wonder when will we ever


have normal politics? What about the comments to the vote transfers? The


comments resonated positively for me as can be seen from my personal


vote. It went up from 3,000 to almost 7,000.


But it is not the same story in Strangford? I'm not so sure. But we


will wait and see at the final count. I don't see the difference in


Strangford until it was in May? Confident of the leader. I am.


Thank you very much. Back to Belfast.


Stephen, thank you very much. Let's get another story from one of our


correspondents, Julian Fowler is giving us the story at Fermanagh


South Tyrone. Arlene Foster top the poll but not


elected yet? No. A different to last year, Arlene Foster polled 8101


votes. But this time the quota increased with the higher turnout.


It would have been enough to get her elected but she polled 8479 first


preference votes, leaving her 232 votes short of the quota. Her


running mate has increased his vote on the last time. In real terms, the


DUP vote is slightly up on last year. The other interesting story


here is in the Sinn Fein vote. No surprise Michelle Gildernew is the


top of the three candidates there but in second place for Sinn Fein is


the new young candidate, Gemma Dolan, 1,500 votes ahead of Shaun


Lynch outgoing from the MLA. We have been talking about the Ulster


Unionist Party lagging behind and rosemary Barton is 200 votes behind


Shaun Lynch. But looking at the transfers and it came down to that


the last time, she could pick up from the Air lines and the SDLP and


she does have the fifth seat in her sights. So don't write off the


Ulster Unionist Party yet. So, a lot of big names chasing the


five seats down there. Big name casualties but let's drill


to the numbers. So many numbers, not enough time. Before we get on to a


couple of constituencies and do the number drilling, a word about the


overall picture here. We have been hearing about


Fermanagh, a constituency where it looks like the Ulster Unionist Party


and the SDLP could take a hit. It is the picture of the election. In


terms of the strength of the party groups, how is that looking? The DUP


have a maximum of 32 seats to win, the Ulster Unionists, a maximum of


11. Throwing in Claire Sugden, that adds up to 45. That is half of the


seats in the Assembly. Some of the seats are marginal. So we can


definitely say that there will not be as many as 45 unionists in the


new assembly. Maybe 44 or 43. That is a contrast to the old


assembly where 52% were unionists? That's right.


56 out of 108. To 44. And the SDLP and the Ulster Unionist


Party could shrink? They are going down badly. The Ulster Unionists


could go down to eight. The SDLP could go down to six. An awful


decline from where they were. We heard about West Belfast, where


Alex Howard has been eliminated now to Newry Armagh. There is a


veteran of Northern Ireland politics who may be in trouble. William Irwin


of the DUP came up. And Boylan as we can see. Here is


the share of the vote. Sinn Fein is dominant in the constituency. Let's


have a look at how it worked out. There were fears on the part of Sinn


Fein that they might lose the third seat but not on that 7% rise.


No. Sinn Fein was vulnerable earlier but it has stayed the same if not


increased. And firstly, let's have a look a the


swing between Sinn Fein and the SDLP, Sinn Fein putting on 4.5%age


points. Let's have a look at the personalities. Cathal OhOisin and


Megan Fearon, they are keeping their noses ahead of Danny Kennedy. Is he


in trouble? Worse so. I don't think he will be elected. 600 transfers


coming from surplus. No unionist transfers coming to take Danny


Kennedy to take him to less than half the distance. I don't think he


will keep a seat. He was saying there are just not the


votes for him? Yes. Now, South Down. Some extraordinary


individual performances, especially from Sinead Ennis. But Sinn Fein, we


can see there, oops, we have shifted through. Sinn Fein putting on more


than 7.5%. And this is an in area that was historic SDLP stronghold?


Yes, and Sinn Fein is now in the lead.


And a quick look at the swing. There is Sinn Fein, 7% swing. That is


remarkable. Margaret Richie is in trouble? She


may have to rely on the unionist voting? That is the case.


And if we look at who could lose out, and pointing out that Sinead


Ennis is well connected. And Jim Wells is looking well.


Are they safe, or is there a way that Patrick Brown could make a


break for the Alliance? It is possible. Looking at where the votes


are going to go, 4,000 could go to Jim Wells.


There could be 3500 transfer votes to Jim Wells, which it depends on


whether or not they follow Mike Nesbitt's advice and transfer to the


SDLP or the Alliance. It could be tight for them for the final seat.


And Carroll McKee, he will not have a seat for very long. It looks like


he is well and truly out. An interesting situation.


There have been surprises. I suspect that throughout the rest of the


today, tonight and tomorrow there will be a few more as well. Martina,


Jeffrey, Newton and are Rick are with me. We were looking at


the numbers, having a conversation. Gives your thoughts on where you


think we are now after a few hours of detailed results coming in? The


story of the election is the huge rise in the Sinn Fein vote a small


rise in the DUP vote and the centre degree is fated parties being


crushed. The story being missed is Allianced a the Greens having a


large rise. The Alliance up 4%. It fits in with the model. The future


at Stormont is a three party system, unionists, nationalists and other.


That is the only space that is left. Pictures of Alex Attwood coming into


the Titanic Exhibition Centre. And it doesn't matter who or how


important you are, you have to get a wrist band. Alex Attwood will be


disappointed. If you are joining us he lost his seat in West Belfast, he


has been an SDLP, MLA there since 1998. He will be gutted.


He will. But a question mark as to who would survive. The story is what


has opposition gained the SDLP? They have not had much time to develop


but they have been destroyed. Claire Sugden has risen her votes,


becoming the only successful independent MLA, elected because of


personal appeal. Doing it by being transfer friendly and also by going


on to the executive. She went into office, that is how she grew her


professional. Operation risky but it paid off? It


worked and proved that opposition in our system does not work.


And a quick word, Nicola Manageon from the SDLP there giving moral


support to Alex, Jeffrey, how do you feel looking at the pictures? You


will know Alex well. You can't be involved in politics foe in Northern


Ireland for 20-plus years without having fairly close relationships


with people. Do you feel sorry for him on a day like today? I do. Alex


is a decent colleague, one of the most decent I have worked with over


the years. We have shared many experiences in political terms. My


heart goes out to all of the candidates who are feeling as Alex


does. Alex has been around a long time in a major contribution to the


political negotiations and the peace process.


You know, it must be really tough to take that walk that he's taking now.


Yes, because there is no question about it, we were saying earlier, it


will be interesting to see when Alex Attwood appears, if so, what he will


say but there is a huge media interest in him being there. It


takes guts to do what he is doing in the full glare of the public? Yes. I


think that any candidate and let's face it, there will be 18 MLAs that


will be subjected to that scrutiny, and human beings being what we are,


you know, we would all feel that for any individual. I certainly feel it


for Alex and for any... On a personal level are you happy to see


the SDLP wiped out in we have Belfast by your party? What I am


happy about in West Belfast, we look like we are getting four Sinn Fein


MLAs. That is important. I would say as an observer, and it is not


something that the SDLP will listen to what I would say but I would


detect that there is a lot of negativity that sounds the


commentary of the SDLP. It doesn't sit well within our constituency. I


think, you know, there are a number... Negative commentary from


where? From individuals, within the SDLP, that the focus, the attack is


on Sinn Fein. Well, they are political opponents?


Of course, we have broad shoulders and can take it but being in


opposition, I don't think listening to Sorcha Eastwood, there today, I


found him subdued, I think we have to listen to the mood of the people.


There are things where we have common ground and there are issues


we could engage. It is easy to say that after the


election, you would not say that a week ago? We are trying to get the


SDLP not to support this going through... Let's not go back.


To be honest, with all due respect to you all, sometimes you are


attacking, you are who you are. That's like a get out of trouble,


let's not face the reality charge. We have to deal with the things that


impact on our constituents. That was my point. Rick, you know Alex well.


How will he be feeling? He is a gentleman. I'm sure his departure


will mark the character of the moment. It will be a graceful


departure, you will be graceful leaving the stage. Yes, one can't


help but feel something for him. I would like to come back to the point


made earlier about opposition and whether it's a vindication to go


into the executive, where is the Ulster Unionists and SDLP chose to


go into opposition. Strategically, in a sense, it wasn't necessarily a


mistake. I think the mistake was, you have to you will burn in. So


what the SDLP failed to do, I think, is articulate a coherent opposition


programme. I don't think they ever got that together. Certainly when


Mike said, vote for me and get Colin and so on, that was met not only


with antipathy among his own party, I think the initial response from


the SDLP was rather less fulsome. The logic of that announcement was,


both those parties effectively become a split Alliance party. We


have just a confirmation that in Newry and Armagh the SDLP have an


MLA returned at this stage. What the election has done in terms of Sinn


Fein, it's reverse a trend in terms of the downward share of the


nationalist vote. The SDLP is continuing a serial decline. I think


for the SDLP it's a really existential moment. What do they do


now? They could be less than double figures. The irony is, when you look


at the coverage after the BBC lead a debate on Tuesday, just about


everybody I saw on Twitter and social media and in the newspapers


said that very possibly Colin eastward was... It proves the total


irrelevance of social media. Also the newspapers, established


newspapers, where saying the same thing. He wanted debate, but the


debate itself will not influence a significant number of voters. People


cheer on their own side in those debates and that's the extent of it.


If you look at the polling after the leaders debates, and look at the


actual results, and we now have the first preference results all in. The


DUP is the largest party followed closely, and it's very tight,


followed closely by Sinn Fein. That could be significant. The fact that


DUP have edged ahead on first preference votes could be


significant when it comes to the final seat tally. Just to make the


point, the results, the actual voting results are the mirror


opposite of the polling after the Leaders' Debate. It goes to show


that in the end people vote for parties. That's what's been


happening here. The DUP, and I'm bound to say to the voters out


there, thank you for sticking with the DUP in what were very difficult


circumstances and returning us as the largest party in vote terms.


That's a remarkable achievement. I want to break in. It almost sounded


like a party election broadcast even know the election is over. Speaking


to Steven Agnew, the Green party leader at North Down in his count at


the aurora leisure Centre. I think you are still in the hunt, hopefully


you will get the fifth seat. But it's tight. No, it's not tight in


North Down, there is a huge gap between myself, over 5000 votes, and


the sixth candidate who is on just over 1000. It's fairly comfortable


but it could still be a long wait thanks to the vagaries of STV. Four


people already returned. Looking for the fifth seat, you are streets


ahead of everyone else. Are you hoping to pick up transfers from


people as they are eliminated. You might be returned under the quota,


that's possible, but whatever happens, it will take time. I will


achieve the quota again. I'm confident of that, I'm looking at


the parties that will be eliminated and votes will come my way. It's a


matter of when rather than if. I'm pleased that in North Down our vote


is up approximately 25%. It's been a very good election here. We had a


bit of a situation whereby the DUP stud two instead of three, almost


accepting they would be the party to lose the sixth seat, and the rest of


us would remain as we were. It was almost a case of, who would get


elected where rather than who would get elected. The ranking doesn't


really matter at the end of the day from your point of view, as long as


you are one of the five, that's all that matters. Thank you to Steven


Agnew. We will keep a close eye on it, and we will chat when there is


some movement and the numbers become clear. We can go back to the Titanic


exhibition Centre, joined by the man of the moment Alex Attwood. I'm sure


you are disappointed, but put into words what you feel about it. I'm


bitterly disappointed, but more disappointed for the party in west


Belfast and very disappointed for SDLP supporters in west Belfast. I


feel much more for the party and people in the constituency than I do


for myself. It's disappointing, the outcome of the election after so


many elections and so many close calls. Last year it was described as


the great escape, but it wasn't to be this time. It wasn't. As an Irish


Democrat I live with the will and wishes of the people, even if on the


far side of this election there might be outcome is that I don't


think are good for the future of our country, nonetheless as an Irish


Democrat I accept that. I have always accepted that, that's part of


the calibre of the SDLP, its culture and ethic. It always will be. The


SDLP held the MP seat, the Westminster seat 20 years ago. You


have previously had two MLAs in the assembly. In terms of the narrative,


what went wrong. Even when there was a bit of a protest last year towards


Gerry Carroll from Sinn Fein, should that have been yet still be that


capitalised on that? I think there was a surge towards a radical


alternative, and maybe that surge in respect to Gerry Carroll has been


brought back a bit in respect of this election. But yes, there was


ground the SDLP could have better occupied. If there are any failings


in that regard them first and foremost they fall to me. I have


never been one in politics, be it in government or policing or in the


constituency that has walked away from what I failed to contribute and


what was primarily my responsibility. That's the way I


feel about it. Yes, we should have occupied more ground. Gerry Adams is


just arriving at the Titanic. It has been a good election for Sinn Fein


so far. People have come out and the protest has gone their way. What is


next for you personally? Will you stay in the party or go elsewhere


for a career in a different field? I have been a political activist since


my teenage years. I don't think political activism will go away.


Really what's not important is who wins and loses today. It is, is our


country winning or losing today? How do we now work through a pathway to


get through where we want to be. We will hear from Gerry Adams. I want


to thank all of those who voted for Sinn Fein. I want to commend a very


positive campaign. This is a huge vote of thanks to Martin McGuinness


and his family. It's a vote and a mandate that will have to be


respected by the two governments, by all the other parties, for a step


change, an end to the old status quo and a new beginning to how we do our


business here. It's also a reassertion of our position on


Brexit, that this part of Ireland should have special designated


status. Whatever your issue with the constitutional staters, the only way


to stop a land frontier between the European state and the British state


on this island is to make sure there is a special designated status


within the European Union for this part of the island. And finally it's


a vote for Irish unity, for us to gather as a people, as Ian Paisley


famously told Martin McGuinness, we don't need in this meant to govern


us. Will your politicians take this in the next few weeks? Michelle has


already indicted all the parties and the two governments to talk. We will


do it this evening, tomorrow, Saturday, Sunday, Monday. We are


there to do the business and we have a mandate to do that. We stood with


a very positive agenda and we are clear on what we need. Essentially,


what it is about, it's about agreements that have already been


made being implemented. That's essentially what it's about. You


probably can't legislate for this, a wee bit of manners, respect,


treating other people the way you want to be treated yourself. There


has been a lot of talk about red lines, what are those now the


election is over? We have stayed away from putting out any red lines


publicly. That's the way you do your business. That's not true, one of


your candidate is talked about the Irish line which act as a public red


line. If you knew that, why did you ask me the question? You said there


were no red lines but a candidate standing beside you said there were.


I said there were not any red lines clearly in terms of the all the


issues that are agreements not delivered on, that are huge issues.


What I am making as a clear point is, we don't need a really big


renegotiation of what has already been agreed. Let's talk about


delivery of what has been agreed. That includes the language act, a


bill of rights, the proper working of the power-sharing core and the


allied nature of this agreement. Has this strengthened your hand at storm


at? It's a matter of us wisely using the mandate we have used. We would


argue very clearly that we have done that so far and we will continue to


do that. I suppose that is best personified by Martin McGuinness's


commitment as our leader at that time to the process. As I said


earlier to your college, I think it's also a huge vote of thanks to


Martin and the whole McGuinness clan. Gerry Adams just finishing his


comments in the media scrum at the front of the Titanic exhibition


Centre. We will hopefully get him to the platform and drill down into


some of the comments he made there to find out what his voters can


expect after this election. Alex Attwood is still here. You were


saying you have been a party political activist since your


teenaged years. Can you imagine a role within the party that isn't


unelected one? That's for another day. Given what I think of eastward


and the new SDLP leadership, I will do whatever I can and whatever I am


asked. If that is much or little, that's the approach I will adopt.


Because the great project of the Good Friday Agreement, the concept


of the accommodation of unionists and nationalists, the comments that


have informed the democratic struggle over 60 years and the


Democratic negotiation and agreement, those remain and must


endure. Questions must be asked over the next while over whether all are


going to ensure that they prevail and endure in our politics. We are


now in a volatile situation. Hydro you see at playing out? I could give


you four or five different answers do that. -- how do you see it planed


out. British government might want to go in One Direction. Other


parties might want to go in another. Are you worried about direct rule.


Is that the worst-case scenario? We said in the STL P, especially in the


latter days of the campaign, because red lines have been created with one


side against the other, that trying to emerge from that with a fully


functioning devolution that lives up to all the requirements of the Good


Friday Agreement and all its strands, was problematic, and


therefore there was a risk we were digging ourselves into a hole that


would lead to direct rule, the end of evolution for now, and a hard


unionist, hard Tory and hard government in London running the


place. east Does it frustrate you are no


longer involved with the system that was part of the Good Friday


Agreement? Well, hopefully, I will have made some difference to many


people, a large number of people in Northern Ireland.


So, we haven't seen the last of you? Look, I'm not going to brow phrases


like that from somebody else. All right, Alex. Commiserations to


you. Thank you very much, Tara. Instead


of drilling down to a constituency, let's have a look at the overall


picture as it is emerging. This is the state of the parties in the new


assembly. We should bear in mind there have been 24 of the 94 seats


declared. So a long way to go. Sinn Fein are topping the table with 11


MLAs voted for. They have done well. In every


constituency the vote has gone up and good at dividing the votes


between the candidates. And symbolic of how bad it has been


for the official parties? OK, let's go on to the share of the vote. We


have that. This is the first preference votes for the parties.


Here we see that the DUP, even though under pressure, they just


marginally are still the largest party in terms of first preference


votes? Yes. And not totally unprecedented for Sinn Fein to be


one of the biggest parties. But this would have been, they are


close to being the first party in the assembly election for the first


time. And the two big power brokers, the


Sinn Fein and the DUP. Let's have a look at the movement.


The DUP under pressure in the campaign. In relation to the


Renewable Heat Incentive saga. Do you think that they will be happy


with the drop? I think that they will and expect it to go down


further. The opinion polls suggested it would be worse. It increased


although in South Down and in Upper Bann, up 7%. So chinks in the light.


But Sinn Fein are the big winners so far in the election. At one point


considered the mud guards to the executive but their decision to cut


loose and allow the people to have their say seems to have paid off? It


seems to have justified a strategy, if it was, of course.


We will be hearing where the unionists and the SDLP got it wrong.


But the SDLP have just dropped marginally, and the DUP put on in


some circumstances? Well, there was a shift from two/five to six and


what it would mean. But thoufr is the worth result for the SDLP. The


worst ever result for the party. So, clinging tonne the seats.


They needed to do more. And the Alliance doing well in percentage


terms? A good result in share increase and a good result in terms


of keeping seats. All eight of their seats are safe and a chance of a


gain in South Down. My reading of the maths of the new assembly, is


that under the rules you must have 8% of the new assembly to qualify


being in the same position? So by staying the same they should


qualify? Indeed, and the SDLP may not.


Thank you very much. There we leave it on that note. Back


to you, Mark. Thank you very much. Interesting to


see the overall picture in and it's facts, counterfacts and


contradictions. I want to go to Stephen Walker,


following the counts in North Down and Strangford. Kelly Armstrong of


Alliance has been returned. What is the Ulster Unionist Party


picture in Strangford? Have you worked it out yet? Just before you


came to me, I had a word with Mike Nesbitt, below me in the counting


hall. I asked if he would be talking to the media. He said not today. The


body language was not very good. He looked despondent. The camp here has


looked gloomiment the biggest smiles on the faces of the DUP activist


supporters. So a bad day for the Ulster Unionist Party in Strangford.


Hoping to get the fifth seat with Phillip Smith. As the numbers are


being crunched it looks like Peter Weir is in the driving seat for the


fifth seat in Strangford. Mike Nesbitt will hold on to his


seat, though, he will be disappointed that Phillip Smith may


lose out, he will be back but not clear how many he will have with


him? That's right. There is no confirmation that Mike Nesbitt is


home and dry but the expectation is that he will take the seat. He was


hoping to bring his running mate, Phillip Smith along with him. In the


last election, Smith did not poll well. But there were transfers. That


may not happen as much as last time Mike Nesbitt topped the poll but on


this occasion, it didn't happen, Simon Hamilton did.


In North Down, Allen Chambers polled well but in terms of Strangford,


they had high hopes to bring in Phillip Smith as the second


candidate. As we are going from six seats to


five seats, we made the point earlier, the quota is up from 14.3%


2016.7%. So a bigger ask to win a seat this time around. And the


complicating factors of the other issues in the election.


Let's have a chat with Eida Duncan. What is happening where you are? The


first headline we have heard about is that Declan Kurney has been


elected with more than 7,000 votes. But things are happening differently


here. We are not getting the declarations with everybody gathered


around. There is a clap from below and we are handed a piece of paper


that says somebody has been elected. Declan concerny is the first elected


in South Antrim. In the east we have had David hilled itch and the


electorate officer spoke to the candidates and agreed that they will


not have individual declarations after each person that has been


elected. They are to wait until the end and then announce all five


together. So we will have to wait and see and we'll get all of the


applause all in one go. They say it's an attempt to speed things up.


But we have had one person elected in South Antrim and one person


elected in East Antrim. In the south, Declan concerny has topped


the vote. David Ford is doing well. The DUP, Paul Girvan is polling


well. There is Pam Cameron and Trevor Clark also from the DUP it


looks like they are battling it out for the seats.


Thank you very much. We will stay in touch as the afternoon unfolds.


Let's go to Foyle. Let's join my colleague there with


Raymond McCarthy. He just held on to his seat, Kieron? That's right.


Stephen Walker was talking about body language. I think that the body


language of Sinn Fein in Foyle is one of jubilation.


Your party delivered on the two seats here in Foyle? We have fought


an energy gettic campaign. To set the target to return two MLAs back


to the assembly. We have seen on the doors, the mood of the people. I


think most people understood Martin McGuinness and how he was very much


a matter part of the campaign, even if he was not on the campaign trail,


he was a great motivating factor. Yesterday we knew early on that the


vote was responding. Today with the size of the vote, I think it is the


highest total that Sinn Fein has gotten in Foyle. So it sent a clear


message in terms of whether or not the right decision was made to


collapse the executive. A day of mixed emotions but also for


the republicans here? Absolutely. The Sinn Fein in the city were


outstanding. Martin was at each of the collections, and told people


that it broke his heart he could not stand in the election. I have no


doubt he will be watching the programme and will have a smile on


his face. He mows what the average was put on Derry but looking at the


rums, he will be saying job well done.


I know that health is a private matter but a lot of people are


wanting to know, how is Martin McGuinness? Well, he is a private


family, and we respect that. He is going through his treatment. We hope


he will be well soon and that we see him again.


On Monday, when the dust settles, what happens then? We have to see


how the results pan out today and tomorrow. The electorate will have


sent a clear message to us. That we did the right thing. And we are


going back to the negotiations, to be saying clearly, that there are


agreements previously made. We must treat people with dignity and


respect, that is the basis on the assembly and how it functions. So


that is how we are talking with our negotiations with any party.


Do you think that there could be an executive, given the level of


insults that that you your party has traded with the DUP and the poisoned


atmosphere that is there at the moment? Absolutely. We told it as we


see it. That is our duty. We make pledges to people when we stand in


elections. So therefore, if we say we are standing up for citizens'


rights, that is not insulting language. If we stand for the Irish


language, the gay community, any of those citizens that feel left out,


who are telling us clearly, that they are not trading insults, that


is telling it as it is. That is what Palestinianings is about.


You are confident about that? There is no disagreement. If the


electorate is responding to us, we should listen to the electorate.


Thank you very much for that, Kieron. Now to the Lagan Valley


Centre in Lisburn. I'm sure you have looked at the 23478s, and Sinead has


but it looks like Sinead is second in the leaderboard two votes behind


Sinn Fein's Stormont leader, Michelle O'Neill? I wonder if she


would have been pleased if she had been knocked off the top spot? I


don't know about that but I'm sure that Sinn Fein are delighted with


the performance in South Down. Chris has been elected as well. Topping


the poll, Sinead Ennis, and Sinn Fein overtaking the SDLP. Do you


think that was inevitable in this election? I think it was. It has


been on the cards for a number of elections. I'm delighted to have


done it in spectacular fashion this time around.


Does it matter who tops the poll from the party's perspective?


Topping the poll is not what we go into the election to achieve. We


want to increase the mandate. I am glad we've been able to play a part


in that. How much are you looking forward to


serving in an assembly? You come from the council. But there is a


doubt as to when we will have an executive and an assembly? As I


said, we are going to let the results sink in. Going into the next


few weeks with an open mind and hearts. We want to see the executive


up and running. Obviously I'm a councillor, it is a step up but


ready for the job and excited to see the assembly up and running.


Talking to Jim Wells earlier, he said that RHI was no the an issue in


South Down, was he rapping the wrong doors? What were you hearing? It was


a huge issue for people. People wanted to engage like never before.


I was commented, that this election is not about street lights but civil


rights. So I don't know what doors he was knocking. They were not the


same as ours. What will Sinn Fein do with the


mandate it gets? What will it deliver? We said it was about


fighting Brexit, returning integrity to Government. They want the


executive to work. So that's the priority, to deliver for people.


That is what we are going into the negotiations to achieve.


Are you intimidated by going to the assembly from the council. Many have


done it before but no apprehension there? Och, no. Obviously it is a


big step up. But Chris is a seasoned politicians, and he was with the


minister for infrastructure last time. So I have lots of help and


support. Chris and I are a team. We'll do the job together.


And briefly, the DUP will poll strongly, one assumes, we don't have


the final figures, will that make reaching an agreement more difficult


to make with both parties potentially coming from a position


of strength? It is early days. We have to see the final count. But I


can only speak for ourselves. We're getting into this to make sure that


the institutions are back up and running and delivering. I hope that


the DUP approach it from the same perspective as well.


Thank you very much for joining us. With that from the Lagan Valley, it


is back it you in the studio. A few more results to share with


you. Sinn Fein has secured his seat and


from Ulster, we have been joined by Michelle O'Neill, in as well. So


three seats there. It looks like the Ulster Unionist parties could


anybody difficulty there. I will keep you up-to-date with the


developments as they happen. Let's go back to my panel.


We will consider some of what we have been listening to.


Rick, no huge changes. It is pretty much as we were in terms of the


direction of travel. I wanted to ask you about what Newton was saying


earlier on, if we can deduce anything it may be that the decision


to move into opposition by the SDLP and the Ulster Unionist Party was a


big mistake? It was because I don't think they


made a good fist of it. It was a hard thing to do. And they haven't


had much time, to be fair, only eight months before the election was


called. Nevertheless, one would expect to see some coherence evident


as they approach the election campaign proper. It really wasn't


there. The spirit was willing, but the flesh was decidedly weak. Many


in the STL P were rather about the idea anyway. They're bigger battle


was with Sinn Fein and they have clearly lost that battle. I don't


know if the SDLP will get enough seats to go into opposition in this


coming Assembly. A formal opposition as it were. We talked about this


earlier and they said eastward did well in the debates, there was an


appetite for change and people came out to vote because they were


energised in a way they were not ten months ago. You think that might


have percolated through in a way that the SDLP might have done


better. -- Colum Eastwood. Looking back, the trajectory of vote share


of the both DUP and Sinn Fein, they virtually run in parallel. This time


they have almost converged. I think the DUP is just 0.2% in terms of


vote share ahead. They are converging the electorate. There is


a sense now that Northern Ireland, as Newton hinted at earlier, it's


now a 2.5 party system we have. The two big parties in our alliance, I


think quite frankly the one party leader who will not survive this is


a Mike Nesbitt. I think he will be gone and if BT is elected back to


the assembly I think he can be brought in. Why would he go? Has he


over claimed? He over claimed, overpromised, and the delivery of


vote transfers between the UUP and SDLP doesn't look like it has


materialised. To the extent it has, it doesn't matter because the SDLP


have taken a hammering. The UUP have not done at all well and have lost


key figures, looks like Sandra Irving will lose her seat as well. I


think Nicholas Whyte made the point earlier that this is the first


devolution assembly we have had where there will not be a unionist


majority. I want to talk about mandates again. Arlene Foster said,


vote for the DUP on Thursday because you need to stand up against Sinn


Fein's radical republican agenda. That's how she characterised it. You


are going to have a good mandate, so if Sinn Fein. Is the DUP's mandates


to work with Sinn Fein and make storm on tap in, or is the DUP's


mandate is not to work the mandate and not operate alongside Sinn


Fein's radical Republican agenda. It can be both -- it can't be both. And


out on the doorsteps it was absolutely clear across the


political spectrum, regardless of who people were voting for, they


were voting for the parties to come back in and make storm at work.


That's clear, and we are committed to doing that. -- and make Stormont


work. We don't elect Sinn Fein, it's the nationalist community that


elects Sinn Fein and we recognise that's what's happening again. Sinn


Fein and the DUP are neck and neck, that's what we predicted, and that


the outcome. In the end, Sinn Fein have a mandate, and we have a


mandate, and there has to be respect for both of those mandates and we


have to get a government formed in the next three weeks. That's what we


want to achieve. The answer to that question is very clear, yes, we're


up for doing this. Just to pick up on that specific point. Martina made


it very clear earlier, and Michelle O'Neill made it clear earlier, what


she said to me today and a couple of weeks ago, she said Sinn Fein will


not work in the executive with Arlene Foster. This side of the RHI


public enquiry reporting. Is there flexibility within that as far as


the DUP is concerned? Can you find a creative way to not dance to Sinn


Fein's tune, but still not stop storm aren't getting up and running


again. I hope the Sinn Fein will draw back from setting preconditions


and red lines. We could take a view, and could have taken the view a long


time ago that until we deal with the legacy of our troubled past, we are


not prepared to go into government with Sinn Fein or with anyone in


Sinn Fein who has been associated with that troubled past. We didn't


do that because people have voted for us to get into government and


make this work. I would say to Sinn Fein, that's what their mandate is


for. It's not about bringing Stormont down, it's about relaxing


the government at a time when big decisions are being made about our


future. Let's take a look at some pictures of Mike Nesbitt, I think


he's walking across the car park at the aurora leisure Centre in Bangor.


There's an Ulster Rugby top he has on. Apparently, according to my


colleagues, that's a pretty rare sighting of Mike Nesbitt today.


Stephen Walker told us, down at the count, he talked to Mike Nesbitt,


and Mike Nesbitt said he wasn't prepared to do interviews today.


Holding fire until tomorrow. We will see what he has to say in due


course, but everyone will say is not a great day for the UUP just yet.


Not a great day for Eamon McCann. The outgoing candidate of the people


before profit party. Your share has gone up a little bit. Your vote


tally has gone up a little bit. But the chance of you holding onto that


seat are a bit less than 50-50. You were searching for the phrase there,


went to! Chances are less than 50-50. Looking at the figures,


there's no point in trying to blind oneself with some imagined silver


lining. The fact is, the seat is going to go unless something


extraordinary happens in the pattern of transfers. The last seat will go


to the DUP. That's regrettable, obviously, from our point of view,


but we have to be realistic, that's the way to looks and I think that's


how it will be. The whole thing at this stage is to pick up transfers


as others are eliminated, but you are chasing a quota of about 7500,


nearly 2000 up on what it was last year in May. The DUP candidate, Gary


Middleton, he's moving candidate. The target is disappearing out of


sight. But I'm just repeating myself. Just looking at the figures,


everybody knows people before profit are realistic enough to know that


it's very unlikely to hold the seat here. That's the reality of the


situation. We have to look to the future. My voice will not be heard


in the Assembly in the next session, but my voice will be heard clearly


around Derry and the north generally because there are a lot of things to


speak loudly about. If you don't hold onto the seat, how will you


feel about that? You and I have had many conversations over the years.


The first entered the political race in 1969 when some of us were still


in nappies. You are very successful last year. People who didn't


necessarily share your worldview were pleased for you that you had


secured that seat. But you didn't really like Stormont, you weren't


sure it was doing what it should be doing to the best of its ability. Do


you have a mixed view of not being back there? Personally, I might have


a view about how enjoyable Stormont was or wasn't. Not very, presumably.


But there was a job to do. You have lost me a little... You are saying


we might wonder about your view of how enjoyable Stormont was, and I'm


saying, presumably not very. To be honest, it wasn't me, it's not my


style, the constrictions and the limits one has to operate in at


Stormont. But all that said, lots of people go to work every day, and it


doesn't mean I have to work into work with a lilt in their step all


the time. I was very pleased to do the job. What was interesting,


fascinating, and I wouldn't miss the experience for the world. That


doesn't mean I have to regard it as a laugh a line during my time at


Stormont, and it certainly wasn't. My main feeling, despite my own


personal views might be about being in Stormont, is one of great


disappointment we haven't held onto the seat. That overwhelms any


personal feelings I might have. There is a delay on the line but I


will ask one final question. Do you think the people before profit's


position on Brexit has been a problem because the ground has moved


from under you on that issue. Maybe the people who lent you a vote last


time round might have been supportive this time, but couldn't


bring themselves to do it because they don't like where you stand on


the prospect of Brexit? It would be idle for me to deny that Brexit


didn't do us any favours. It was certainly a negative factor as far


as we were concerned in the campaign. We took a stand, we didn't


flip-flopped on the issue of Europe. It's a position we have held for 30


years, we stood by it and there are times in politics that even though


you know something is proving unpopular, you have to take your


stand and say what you really believe. I think people will agree


you have certainly done that over the years. Great to talk to you.


We'll keep an eye on that and see how the numbers shake down in the


final analysis. Thank you for talking to us. Eamonn McCann there,


the people before profit candidate who admits he is unlikely to hold


onto his in foil. Let's look at some of the numbers, the bigger picture.


Mark Sampson in our future virtual Stormont chamber. A quarter of the


seats being filled, let's look at the early state of play. The largest


party so far is Sinn Fein with 14 seats. 14 out of 27. If my maths


teacher is watching, she will be proud of me because I think it's


more than half of the seats so far settled. A good day for Sinn Fein is


so far and the new leader Michelle O'Neill. No Martin McGuinness, but


no problems so far. The DUP got 38 seats last time. It's early days,


have eight. No way they will get 38, but they still want 30. The third


biggest party at the moment, the Alliance party, good collection so


far for Naomi Long. She has five already so far. One Ulster Unionists


so far. Sneaking in there, a blue looking Alan Chambers in North Down.


Not good news for Mike Nesbitt. The SDLP, looking at the other side of


the chamber. They also have only one MLA re-elected so far. That's the


state of play so far in the chamber. The big picture is, the DUP have a


lot of work to do, not just to get past the magic 30 number to give


Arlene Foster a petition of concern, but would be a satisfactory result


for her as party leader, they also want to catch up with Sinn Fein. The


number of seats could be very close. As things stand at the moment, it


doesn't look like any party will get past 30 seats, but it's early days,


we are only about a quarter of the way through. Thank you to mark.


Feels like we should be a bit further on many quarter, but there


you go. Gives you a good sense of how the numbers are stacking up. As


Mark said, heavily caveat it with the reminder that it's extremely


early and we can't draw any huge conclusions. Back to the panel.


Martina, we touched earlier on the idea of direct rule as an option if


the two main parties don't manage to agree to resurrect Stormont, or how


it can be resurrected in the short term. Are there any circumstances in


which direct rule is an attractive option for Sinn Fein, the most


attractive option for Sinn Fein? I want to say to Rick and two other


commentators that I have listened to over the last few weeks, sometimes


when we go over the negotiations that have been made and the


commitments that have been made and not honoured, you seem to get a bit


defensive or dismissive. I'm not saying you personally, but that


seems to be the category. The Saint Andrews agreement had a joint


statement from the two governments, British and Irish, and it said,


never again will there be direct rule from London only. That's a


quote from the joint statement from the two governments. Sometimes I


find, Rick, that is dismissed. By me bust in yellow not you generally, --


by me? Not you generally. They talked about joint authority. It


could be a greener form of direct rule. It could be joint authority


and we don't know the form of that. I'm not saying that's the direction


of travel, but I want to put it on the table. Let's see what Rick has


to say. Is that actually on the table? There is no textual warrant


for joint authority over Northern Ireland. What is, if you remember,


it was floated by both Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern, there could have


been devolution, what they referred to as a form of joint stewardship. I


remember speaking to senior officials at the time who did use


the phrase, a greener form of direct rule, but it was never pinned down


and there is no legal or textual warrant for joint authority, none.


That would be a breach of UK sovereignty if that was to be the


case, but it's not provided for in the Saint Andrews agreement, or in


the subsequent Saint Andrew's act. What we were left with was a


beguiling prospect of joint stewardship, but it was never pinned


down. Newton is nodding. You just have to listen to what Gerry Adams


is saying if you want to know what's going on. Earlier in the broadcast


at the election count he said he wanted to focus on outstanding


commitments. He said he wanted the executive restored, and has listed


nine of them previously. All bar one were at British and Irish government


level. In fact, the executive is rather irrelevant to the Sinn Fein


process now. They want agreements delivered by the British and Irish


governments. A dispute over whether its outstanding comedy bill of


rights for example. The text or process was met but didn't produce a


bill. The Irish language act was to be delivered by Britain but it was


then devolved by virtue of the St Andrews agreement so handed back to


the DUP, a negotiating mistake at best. All of these things to be


resolved. When promised that the executive by passing it. It's a


mixed message. You were taking issue with what


Martina Anderson was suggesting. But can you see what she was suggesting,


it is not in the letter but part of a wider conversation that clearly


Martina would like to see resurrected? And no doubt Sinn Fein


would like to see it resurrected but it is going nowhere, and it has been


said that joint authority is not on the table. The idea that is


catastrophe Conservative government, that is unionist, looking to fight a


battle, possibly in a referendum, would all of a sudden turn union is


bizarre. At a time when they are focussing on Brexit and the


negotiations with the European Union, that they would introduce


constitutional calamity in Northern Ireland is unthinkable. So I would


say to Sinn Fein, you have been given a mandate, the mandate given


is to get back to government. People elected you to be in government.


Elected the DUP to be in government. They want to see a Government


formed. They want to see the government taking decisions, getting


on with governing Northern Ireland. They want to see that government


setting out its plan for how we handing Brexit. If we have direct


rule, and the irony is, the direct rule suits the DUP more than Sinn


Fein, we have a government that relies on our votes on a significant


number of occasions, I could make an argument for direct rule but it is


not the mandate we sought. We want a government in Stormont.


But it was said that this is a vote for the united Northern Ireland. But


the hope is to have these arguments and keep the ball in the air.


We will come back to this, you both seem to like the direct rule but not


agree on the circumstances of that. And I want to talk with Ian Paisley,


at the North Antrim and Mid Ulster count in Ballymena. Good afternoon.


The DUP has held on to its seat. It looks like you might lose a seat is


that a possibility? Well, Mid Ulster has been an excellent result. 10,000


votes, probably the strongest voice west of the position for us as a


Unionist Party and a voice for the community west of the ban. And it is


difficult for us to secure three seats on 40% of the votes. I think


we have to recognise it is probably beyond reach with about 3 or 400


votes short. But the election was about resetting the clock. Sinn Fein


did not like that the DUP had ten seats ahead of them. A lot of things


were put into the mix, pressing the reboot button and seeing if Sinn


Fein can get close to us. That possibly and more than likely has


happened. Are you confident that the DUP will


be coming out on top? If you have not seen it, you will have heard


from the comments on The View, David McIlveen said a couple of things,


much about charisma, and predicted that Arlene Foster would not be the


leader of the DUP by Monday. His dad and your dad are big friends. A huge


fan of your father's legacy, as you are, how many people in the DUP does


David McIlveen speak for? Well, I must say, I personally rent people


popping up now, claiming the mantle of my father, claiming that they


speak for him and know what his mind would have been. Frankly, that is an


insult to him. I resent it, my mother resents it, my family resents


it, stop doing it. A number of people have been doing it. Stop


doing it. You are obviously angry about that.


Will you have words with David about what he said last night? Honestly,


for people to start name calling, saying this person is not


charismatic, when perhaps it is not the word you associate with the


person making the comments, I would have liked David to continue to be a


strong voice for the DUP policies on the ground here in north Antrim. He


came close to holding his seat. That is what he should have focussed on.


But what has been said has been said. Our party is always good at


this. Discipline internally, and if there are issues we wish to say to


each other, we say them behind closed doors, man to man, face to


face. But the clock was reset in terms of trying to get more people


over the line for Sinn Fein in terms of the assembly seats


proportionately seeking, and that is what they are trying to achieve.


This is a tight election. It will throw up big issues. I believe in


taking the issues a step at a time. No knee-jerk reactions but crossing


the badges as we come to them. And Gerry Adams said there was no need


for any big renegotiation. A couple of things needed sorting out.


Everyone knows in this room, in your studio, across Northern Ireland that


the ordinary man and woman in Northern Ireland wants an assembly


up and running and working for them. They want my party and the other


parties playing that role. We are up for that. We are calling for the


other parties to do that, and stop wrecking the devolution and the


hopes and the aspirations of the entire party.


Thank you for that. He did not know what was coming next


but he has set it up perfectly, that is Tara the Titanic Exhibition


Centre, I understand she has been joined by the Sinn Fein President,


Gerry Adams. Tara? You are at a disadvantage as


you didn't know what was said there. But he said he was fed up at Sinn


Fein, directing the remarks playing about with the assembly, with


devolution, that people want an assembly and want it up and running


soon. If that is the case, I take him at his word. We have invited the


DUP to talks. And all of the other parties of course and the two


governments. But not with Arlene Foster? No. Of


course we will deal with Arlene Foster. She is the leader of the


DUP. But you are not going to an


executive with force Foster? We need an agreement on the terms, firstly,


for the executive to run. Let's recap that. That is what the vote is


about. It's about the political institutions being run based on the


agreements that they were founded on. It is not a matter of having a


big negotiation about issues which have been agreed. It is a matter


about agreeing how they could implement it in terms of Arlene,


look, she needs the party, these accusations have been made against


her. We have not pronounced nor judged on that. She says she is


innocent. I hope that she is. She needs to get it cleared up. That's


what we are saying. Get it cleared up.


Do you not realise from a DUP point of view you are putting her in an


impossible position. If she says OK, put somebody else in as the joint


First Minister or First Minister or whatever it turns tout be that is at


Sinn Fein's behest? You asked me the question. We have not been making a


headline of this. Martin McGuinness went and privately spoke to Arlene


Foster and said to her, allegations have been made by Jonathan Bell that


puts a different complex on what we are doing here. We need an inquiry,


to stand aside without prejudice temporarily. She said no. That


became the issue of contention between us. Let's take our foot off


that peddle for the moment. That can't be sorted out. She's the


leader of the DUP, I'm the leader of Sinn Fein. I didn't nominate myself


to be the deputy, or the First Minister First Minister. I nominated


Martin McGuinness and incidentally, this vote for Sinn Fein is a huge


vote of thanks to Martin McGuinness and to the McGuinness family. This


time around, if we have the opportunity I will nominate Michelle


O'Neill for the position of deputy or First Minister First Minister. As


Arlene says she is innocent of the charges so let's go it cleared up


and move forward. So when it comes to the gamble to


bring the assembly down, has it paid off? It is not about that, with


respect. If you read Martin McGuinness's letter, he was a


reluctant reseenee. Making it clear that the position was untenable. If


we had been hammered in the elections, Martin McGuinness's


action would still have been the right reaction. As it is, people


responded. I want to commend Michelle O'Neill for the positive


campaign she led. I wanted to thank the members, the families, the


people that travelled from the south to work with us in the north and all


of those that voted. On the collapse of the Assembly, did


you force his hand? Were you part of that? The belligerent element that


Peter Robinson referred to? I have worked with Peter. He knows I am the


least most belligerent person in Sinn Fein. Peter should know, better


than most felt, that the position was untenable. And by the way, why


did he do that? So that the people should have their say and the people


have had their say. And in terms of the increase and the turnout, that


is vindication of. Did the DUP make the selection easy,


with some of the things that were said, the crocodiles, the social


media hype. Did they help you gain the results you had? I think that


they made it more difficult for themselves to resolve those issues


in terms of agreements that were already made. I mean an Irish


Language Act is in place now for Gaelic speakers in Scotland. They


have their Scots Gaelic Act, the same with Welsh speakers in Wales.


So why can't it have the same status as other parts of the United


Kingdom? I think this is an important point, some members of my


family are Irish speakers from birth, some kids in my street have


never spoken English to me. I can tell you that the DUP have done more


to radicalise and to politicise those very intelligent, wonderful


young people with a great deal of potential and have done more to


radicalise and politicise those young people than I could ever have


done as all that they wanted was to be treated with respect.


When it comes to going forward, can you guarantee the people that voted


for you and came out in the numbers yesterday, that there will be no


return to direct rule? We can't guarantee that but what we can


guarantee is that Sinn Fein wants to see an end of any sort of English


interference and I refer to the late Ian Paisley and the statement he


made to Martin McGuinness, he said Martin, we don't need English men to


govern us and we don't. That is what may be around the corner? Not if the


parties take the mandates that they have been given, or has been art I


can lated that they want back into the institution. And when dealing


with jobs, so on, that there is a basis of doing that, it is scald


equality, it is called honouring agreements made and doing what many


of us were taught when we were kids, treating people the way that we want


to be treated ourselves. Thank you very much. We refreshed


the panel, Sir Jeffrey Donald left us to be replaced by Sammy Wilson,


the DUP for East Antrim. How are you? Fine, thank you.


It's good of you to spare as some of your time on a busy day. The mood


where I have been as being very good as far as our boat was concerned,


despite all the efforts from the BBC over the last four months, our vote


has held up very well. What efforts are those? I think anybody who has


watched and listened to the BBC and the four months of attacks on Arlene


Foster, the four months on attacks on the DUP, rolling out every


commentator you could, packing audiences with people who were


opposed to Arlene Foster, you have used every programme, good morning


Ulster, evening extra, the view, Spotlight, the Nolan show, Talkback,


for four months it has been incessant bombardment against the


party. Despite that, we held our vote. I thought he told me you


haven't watched TV and don't listen to the radio. I do not, but I have


got very good informants who tell me all the time. BBC's Northern Ireland


briefing of Radio 4, I assume that's where Northern Ireland got their


briefing from, even they had the skewed view that Arlene Foster had


had to resign because of a financial scandal caused by the RHI scandal. I


wonder where that came from. I suspect it came from a briefing they


got from BBC Northern Ireland. But that spider by. I've no idea where


came from. You must be feeling better now you've got that off your


chest. I've been waiting all day to say that! The rotten old BBC never


let you have your say! You looked the better for it. You look like a


great pressure has lifted off your shoulders. I'm glad I got it off my


chest. Are you ready to answer my questions, give me straight answers


to my questions. I always give you straight answers. That's very


decent. Out of curiosity, you probably think that I dream to this


up in advance, but do you recognise the broad media coverage, skewed in


one particular direction, Martina? I think what Sammy has done here today


epitomises what Arlene Foster and the DUP have been doing for weeks,


they are in denial. Not listening to the mood of the wider constituency,


about the arguments in the DUP, and they will blame it on everybody, the


world and its mother is to blame here. It's... Sammy, there was a


problem with relation to a scheme that the First Minister designed and


stripped out 17 words from a renewable heating scheme that were


about cost controls. Which is now the subject of a public enquiry


Reece Topley and by meeting with the Commissioner next month, the


competition commissioner with regards to it. -- and -- which is


now the subject of a public enquiry. And I am meeting with the


competition Commissioner next month. Everybody else created the


environment that got us to where we are today. I say to Sammy, that


yourself, your leader, and a number of others have been in denial.


Martina... You are the party that cost this country ?174 million


because you would not accept the changes in welfare reform. I am


proud of what we did, we are protecting the most vulnerable in


society. As a result you deny people the opportunity to have the changes


that were agreed by the executive and the government in the United


Kingdom. And austerity driven government. You promised you would


stand up for those people by handing it back to Westminster. Don't talk


about arrogance or wasting money. Here is the point. Even know Sammy


was kicking my shins, I will be fair to Sammy because I have broad enough


shoulders, and I think the BBC has the broad shoulders to take the


criticism he wants to throw in my direction or in our direction. That


is fine. To be fair to Sammy Wilson, his party has actually performed


pretty well so far. We are far enough away from knowing the final


tally, but it's a pretty creditable performance so far and it looks like


they might go back with 30 seats, they could reach the magic number.


If they dipped below, it will only be by a little bit. You talk about


this about being some sort of referendum or plebiscite on


integrity and equality and so far. The DUP have done well so far. In


the republican and nationalist community it was. Arlene Foster's


so-called comments about so-called crocodiles and so on. It wasn't just


republicans voting in this election. I'm talking about a constituency I


am in contact with an engaging with the most. We take a read from the


people we talk to. We have to translate that and feed it back. Our


constituents are saying to us that this is not a Sinn Fein just demand.


Constituents are saying we cannot go back into government unless we have


a situation where the leader of the DUP is not tarnished in the way that


she currently is. I will put it to Sammy because Gerry Adams just made


that point as well. Two bits of news. Simon Hamilton has just been


returned in his constituency of Strangford. He topped the poll in


there. Danny Kennedy, the Ulster Unionists, is out in Newry and


Armagh. Looking at pictures of Simon Hamilton, I think that's Jim Sharman


and Peter Weir, Michelle McIlveen as well. Not the end of his political


career necessarily, but it is for today, hitting the buffers. He was


in a fight, and a lot of people thought he would probably prevail at


the end of the day. I certainly thought he would. I didn't think he


would be eliminated. For him and the DUP, this is a real blow. All three


Sinn Fein candidates got in in Newry and Armagh. Reign this is, I


suspect, another nail in his Coffin. This might be over egging the


pudding, but Mike Nesbitt said in the week he would transfer to the


SDLP. Almost immediately Danny Kennedy said he would certainly not


follow his lead in my constituency. We had that slightly awkward moment


where Mike Nesbitt said that's what he would be doing, and Danny Kennedy


was over his shoulder smiling. It was awkward. It was very awkward.


This is where the DUP and Sinn Fein, it's where I think they are


incredibly strong, they gave every appearance, at least on the surface,


of being united and strong parties, the DUP in particular. Occasionally


you looked a bit more like the Osmonds and the Bogrias. But the UUP


have never looked like that. There are enormous tensions in that party.


There is something about Mike Nesbitt's leadership that has come


to the fore. People have spoken to me about it. I think Danny Kennedy


going is symptomatic of a party that is divided. Some people said in


advance, if you talked to them quietly, if Mike was to go after a


bad election, who would be the characters to take over, and Danny


Kennedy's name was in the mix. Not any more it's not. There was the


view he would take on it had he had thrown his hat in the ring. Had he


had known. I suspect if Mike Nesbitt does go, although I suspect he will


be re-elected in Strangford, but my money would be on Doug Beattie. The


Ulster Unionist Party is quite unusual in that it's leadership


election selector at who vote for the leader is the members, like


Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party. If you have somebody like Doug Beattie who


is personally very popular with members, then he has a very good


chance to break through the Parliamentary politics. Stephen


Aitken is another. You tend to analyse leadership party elections


in terms of their party politics, but somebody like Doug Beattie could


rise to the ranks overnight in a party like the UUP. Perhaps because


he was a very well-known figure after his time as a high-profile


television journalist. There was a familiarity death and people felt if


he was successful... It was actually because he had an argument about


going into opposition with the other candidate Jim McAllister and he


argued against it. Another irony. A supreme irony. We will hear from Jim


Mackay star later. You must have got to know Danny Kennedy pretty well


down the years. I'm sorry to be, because Danny was a good, strong


unionist representative, he held unionist views that I would be


comfortable with. I think you'll be a great loss to the community there.


I will also say that it will increase the sense of isolation from


any unionists along the border, that a unionist has been replaced by a


Sinn Fein representative. That's what people voted for, that's


democracy. Yes, it's what people voted for, but I believe the


unionist community at the border will feel more isolated now as a


result of the emergence of more Sinn Fein. Sinn Fein has adopted this


harder line and, despite all their talk about respect and everything


else, they have shown little or no respect to the people who have been


the victims of IRA terrorism along the border. One of the first things


Michelle O'Neill did was honour people who went out to murder


policemen. I thing it will increase a sense of isolation and anger


amongst the unionist population. I'm sorry to see Danny go on a personal


level because I got on very well with him. During my time in the


Assembly we were able to work together on a number of things. A


little update, we referenced earlier, Sinead Bradley in the


neighbouring consistency of Southdown, the SDLP candidate, has


been returned. Good news for her, but a bittersweet day because she


buried her father today, PJ Bradley, who formerly served as an MLA for


that constituency for the same party, and a lot of people had a


great fondness for him. Again, PJ Bradley was in the Assembly from


when I was there at the very start. He was a real gentleman. A lot of


people have said that, and a lot of people have said Sinead Bradley was


an impressive MLA for the eight months she was in the chamber. And


her media performances. I want a very short answer to tee up a


discussion we will have later, but how do you respond to Martina


Anderson and how do you respond to Gerry Adams speaking to Tara there


whenever he said that the DUP are not going to be back in government


with us if Arlene Foster is their nominee for first or Deputy First


Minister. Is there a way of squaring circle? A very simple answer to him,


we will choose who will be our leader, we will choose who we


nominate as First Minister and Arlene Foster, if there is this


cloud which he says hangs over her head, it's only there because Sinn


Fein delayed and deliberately delayed any investigation in the RHI


scheme so that it would not be resolved before this election, and,


indeed, they were the people who insisted that could be an inter-rim


report. They were the people who insisted it had to be a six-month


investigation by the judge. If there is any delay in finding out what


role Arlene Foster and other ministers, because don't forget Sinn


Fein ministers were involved. Michelle O'Neill was involved. She


is as culpable as Arlene Foster. There are questions about the role


of other Sinn Fein members who asked for this. It will all be


investigated during the public enquiry. All I am saying is we will


not let Sinn Fein tell us who our leader will be. Just to clarify,


even if that means storm at doesn't get back up and running again? --


Stormont doesn't get up and running again. Michelle O'Neill and her


department ran exercises at the time when it was known RHI was being


overspent. We haven't insisted she stand aside. We didn't at insist


Michelle O'Neill stand aside because she commended IRA murderers who were


trying to kill policeman. We will not dictate their lead and they


shouldn't dictate hours. Now to let you know about, we have a


re-count from Fermanagh South. Nobody elected, so, Stuart Dixon,


the Alliance candidate is in East Antrim and South Antrim.


And David Ford looking comfortable with 5278, first preferences. Declan


concerny has been returned. He is the only person that is in. David


Ford looking likely to get in there, maybe not immediately but a bit of


redistribution going on there. When we hear more we will bring you up to


speed. But let's go and crunch a few more numbers with mark.


The purists tell you that single transferrable voting elections are


not about counting up big piles of numbers but the clever party


balances the votes between a number of candidates. Clever strategies.


Not a beauty contest but in defiance of that, let's have a beauty contest


and look at who has been piling up the votes! Let's have a look at the


top ten vote-getters in the election and the five in contention for the


wooden spoon. So, no question about it, Sinn Fein


has done well in the election. And the Sinn Fein leader in Stormont,


Michelle O'Neill topping the pile there.


It is well to say you must balance the votes to maximise your chance of


winning seats but if the vote share is up overall you don't have to


worry so much. So here are the beneficiaries. Last night figures of


80% vote in Michelle O'Neill's home tricked area, or where the ballot


boxes were. So more than 10,000. And a remarkable vote for Sinead Ennis.


In South Down. That was remarkable. And in Foyle in fifth place there,


the new candidate. The DUP we knew that they would take


hits but to the west, the candidates are putting in credible


performances. William Irwin, and Keith but Canaan.


Those are the seats where the Mike Nesbitt transfer will have had the


worst reception. That's the top five. Let's have a


look at the next set of vote-getters. One politicians that


keeps in, Justin McNulty. And he is from Newry Armagh.


He is the only non-non-candidate. And let's turn, by definition rather


less well known characters. We don't have photographs of all of them.


This is the lowest five vote-getters in Northern Ireland.


So we'll move from this end where we have Adam Millar standing in North


Belfast. He came from a family in the Shankill. He said he had family


involvement, his father with the paramilitaries, helping those who


had similar experiences to move away from them.


Involved in social media but it does not get you votes.


Arthur McGuinness. He has stood in Donegal. He lives across the border.


Susan White. Well known. A strong Christian with fundamentalist views.


Yes, and rather fewer people than last time. Those perhaps moving on.


And there another candidate, and the ultimate wooden spoon going to Roger


Lomas. And this is actually a worse


performance than the Conservatives had in West Belfast in the


Westminster election two years ago, that itself was the worst


performance on record by a Conservative candidate in any main


stream election. So, Roger Lomas, not a happy man


tonight. Thank you very much. Not a great day


at the office for Roger Lomas. The Conservative candidate. Interesting


things happening in Fermanagh South Tyrone. What is happening


Julian? Well, an announcement was made that a re-count is under way in


Fermanagh South Tyrone. I suppose it would not be an election here


without a re-count. We are used to this. But no reason has been given.


This is the sec stage of transfers. Nobody deemed elected on the first


preference votes. So a number of candidates eliminated. The Alliance


candidate, the Conservatives, TUV, Green and the Labour Alliance. So


3480 votes being redistributed. Arlene Foster topped the poll but


didn't get enough to get over the quota. She was 232 votes short. Her


personal vote dropped slightly on the election last year. If she had


maintained the vote she received last year it would have been enough


to get across the increased quota. Interestingly, Lord Morrows vote


went up and the DUP vote increased slightly. So it seems there was some


vote management to play here. Not just Arlene Foster's vote dropping


from the last election. The other thing to keep an eye on is


Sinn Fein. The former MLA, Shaun Lynch is sitting third out of the


three candidates. He is some 1700 votes behind and the Ulster Unionist


is hoping that they can pick up some of the transfers and they may secure


the final seat. At the moment they are breaking open the votes again


and going through the transfers. If I find out more as to why they are


re-counting, I will let you know. Julian, thank you very much.


Julian Fowler at the firm firm re-count.


We saw shots of the DUP leader, Arlene Foster reading the Daily


Telegraph alongside Lord Morrow. They seem to have done well. Any


thoughts as to what may be going on there? A total re-count or just at


this stage? Probably of the stage. They can do that rather than a full


re-count. You would re-count a full at the end of stage one.


Who gets the re-counted distributors? Yes.


It makes a difference? Yes. You can't make or break who makes it


through. I didn't introduce you, welcome,


Stephen Farry, of the Alliance. Yes.


We spoke to you earlier, basking in the glory of your re-election to


what, precisely? Indeed. That is the issue that we are tempered by.


Exactly what we are getting ourselves into. Obviously the party


is having a good day. Our best result in terms of the number of


votes achieved for 30 years and also in terms of the share vote as well.


But the rest of the middle ground is falling away. Claire Sugden has had


a good day. We have spoken to her. She's not secured the seat. But is


on course to holding on to the seat. That is great for an Independent.


Not easy to do. You have done well in the Alliance Party. It looks like


you can hold on to the eight seats but not good for the Ulster Unionist


Party? Looking at my constituency, 40% of the votes were cast away from


the two main unionist parties. In what was a traditional unionist


bastion. So there is a difference in how people are viewing politics. The


party is growing across Northern Ireland. We are up in almost every,


or all 18 of the constituencies and well up in some places.


Somebody said to me last night the first turn out figures were coming


in, we were getting ready to go on air, with a view, it was said, if


the figures go up, this group here are back out, it could be a good day


for the Alliance Party and for the Ulster Unionist Party but clearly it


was not the case, it was not Garden Centre Unionists? Clearly no. There


is a rise in the Sinn Fein that vote has been mobilised more than in the


past. There was an association that the nonvoters are more centrally


minded on the hole. That may be true on the margins. So it is very much a


mixed factor. What I believe is significant is an evolution in terms


of sections of the electorate away from the traditional unionist and


nationalist politics. In the election campaigns we have spoken


about the battle for the unionism and for the nationalism, and now


that is changing. The aligns is now at the heart.


But the DUP vote was strong last May. It is only down 1.1 verse. The


Sinn Fein vote was not out in the number it is is now. It is up 3.9%.


It may have held solid in the middle. But it is doing well at


opposite ends of the spectrum as far as the DUP and Sinn Fein are


concerned? Indeed. And we have a clearly dominant unionist and


nationalist party. The aft and the -- the unionist and the nationalist


parties are strong but the bottom line is that the DUP cannot govern


Northern Ireland alone, the Sinn Fein cannot govern Northern Ireland


alone. We are seeing that the DUP cannot govern Northern Ireland


alone. We must work together on the mandates for the common good. If we


are just looking after our own interests, it is the road to


nowhere. Does that mean if you are in a


position to take the seat in the executive, if the Assembly is up and


running that the Alliance will do that? We don't run to be in


opposition. We want the maximum influence. We can have it on the


floor of the Assembly and the executive but the decision is taken


based on policy and how the executive works and our bill is to


deliver on our mandate and to see the seed of the common good in


Northern Ireland reflected in the way that the party is working.


So we are up for discussion. I want to look in detail about the


unfolding situation in Newry Armagh. A short time ago we heard


Danny Kennedy, the Ulster Unionist candidate, the former Deputy Leader


had lost his seat in Newry Armagh. He gave his reaction to our


reporter. It hurts, and it hurts a lot. I have


had the honour to represent this constituency since 1998. It's been a


huge honour and a responsibility to me.


I want to thank those who supported me down through the years and the


party election team and my wife and family.


Yes, it is disappointing but these things happen in politics.


Enoch Powell said all political careers end in tears but I prefer


Adelaide Stephenson who said when he was defeated he said he was too


tired to laugh and too old to cry... What do you think were the factors


that went against you in this fight? I think there was clearly a surge


from the Sinn Fein and we always knew that was possible. I had


warned, with that, through the campaign and sometimes when that


tide comes in it simply washed us away. I am disappointed from a


pro-union point of view. Because 17,000 unionist votes to have only


one seat I think is not a fair representation for the constituency.


There was controversy in the campaign when Mike Nesbitt said he


was giving his number two to the SDLP and you wanted to vote down the


unionist ticket, did that work against you? And perhaps the


nationalists who may have given a number two decide not to do so in


the context of that? I think that the welcome Twort tide produced by


the Sinn Fein swept everyonels away, and the second unionist seat. It was


always possible no matter who said what.


What is the future for you now Mr Kennedy? I will have to look at


that. I'm a grandfather. There is more to life than politics.


There are people facing serious issues in their personal life. This


is a disappointing and a political setback. Yes, it is fair to say that


I'm very disappointed. But there are other things there.


I have the support of a wife and family and we'll look to a better


day. No surprise that Danny Kennedy


should be bitterly disappointed. He said he was too tired to laugh,


and too old to cry at the news that he has lost his seat in Newry


Armagh. That will be a bitter blow to him. He was the deputy speaker in


the last Assembly. Confirmation that in West Belfast, Alex Maskey of Sinn


Fein and Jerry Carol of People Before Profit Alliance have been


returned. There is Jerry Carrol with his supporters. Basking in the glory


of holding on to his seat. There is Alex Maskey and the Sinn Fein


supporters pleased with that result from his point of view.


No representation from the SDLP any more in west Belfast. Once upon a


time the SDLP held the Westminster seat in west Belfast. Let's take a


look at the Newry and Armagh result in full. I have it here. Taking a


look. That's the result after three stages. William Irwin, Cathal


Boylan, Justin McNulty and Conor Murphy returned. The turnout was


69.4%. It pretty impressive turnout by any standard. That's with five of


the five seats returned. There is the share. 48.3% for Sinn Fein. Way


ahead of everybody else. DUP at 17.8%.


The interesting one, there should be change, from last May, the Sinn Fein


vote is up 7.4%. The DUP up a little bit, SDLP and UUP down a little bit,


and Alliance up a little bit. There you go, that's the picture in Newry


and Armagh, the first completed a result that I have worked my way


through. David Ford, the former Alliance party leader is joining me


from his count, the South Antrim count. David Ford, good afternoon,


thank you for joining us. We saw a picture of you earlier talking to


your party colleague Stewart Dickson, a life link has been


returned in East Antrim. -- who I think has been returned. That's


confirmed, Stewart Dickson has taken a second seat in East Antrim. And


you are pretty confident, in third position at the moment. I have been


third all the way through and will almost certainly when that third


seat in South Antrim, yes. It was not possible to be sure quite what


would happen here. Some said you needed to watch yourself, there was


a possibility in a certain scenario you could lose that's it. Were you


concerned that could be the case? The reality is last year I was


fairly busy as a minister of justice leading up to the election. But I've


had more time to concentrate on the constituency recently. That has been


part of the fact, as well as a wider swing to Alliance across Northern


Ireland, so I'm pleased to see that. When you start in third and know you


will finish third, it's very satisfactory compared to a bit of


concern last year. What's your reading, and we have heard from


Stephen Farry, who has shared his thoughts with us, what's your


assessment? You like the numbers as well of precisely what we are


witnessing here. The centre ground around Alliance has held firm but


fallen away for the UUP and SDLP. But Sinn Fein looks to have had a


great election and DUP has held firm. Make of that what you can.


There has clearly been a differential turnout that has


increased the Sinn Fein vote significantly. One of the funny


things about being at an election count is that you get so wrapped up


with your own constituency you forget about the whole. You in the


studio get a better picture of the whole of Northern Ireland. It's


clear that significantly our vote has gone up percentage wise and


overall terms. It's very encouraging, and in areas where we


have not previously done well, we have respectable votes in areas like


Southdown and North Antrim, as well as into the West. What do you


attribute that to? There has been a change of leadership. You were busy


doing the Justice job and handed on the baton of leadership to Naomi


Long. People said she put in strong performances leading up to the


election. Your share of the vote is up 2.1%, 7% last time to 9.1%.


That's not insignificant under the circumstances. What do you think the


reason for that is? Faced with the fact four parties are going through


difficulties because of the reduction in a number of seats, to


see Alliance holding solid on eight, and at other couple of


constituencies as well, and Naomi Long has looked strong on


television. We have heard positive things on the doorstep in South


Antrim about the Alliance leadership. It's clear we are seen


as representing something different. An entirely different set of values


from the slightly more moderate unionism nationalist sentiment.


Eight out of 90 is a significantly higher proportion than eight out of


108. Thank you for sparing us a few minutes at this stage. We will no


doubt talk later tonight or tomorrow. Let's hear from Julian


Fowler. We were talking about the recount in Fermanagh and South


Tyrone. Do you have more information on what is happening? I have been


told the recount was requested by the SDLP because they are currently


lying in last place. 48 votes behind Sinn Fein's Sean Lynch, following


the redistribution of the votes of five candidates, following the first


preference votes. That amounts to some 3480 votes that they are


redistributing. They say they want to go through them again and make


sure no mistakes have been made. If Richie McPhillips is in last place,


he would be eliminated at this stage. I am also hearing that


following the redistribution of those votes, Arlene Foster would be


deemed elected, but we have to wait for the outcome of this recount


before we know for sure what the state of play is. Just to be clear,


who would be in contention for the fifth and final seat? The fifth and


final seat will come down to Sean Lynch from the Sinn Fein, former


MLA, and also the Ulster Unionists' Rosemary Barton. It seems she might


have leapfrogged Sean Lynch following the redistribution of the


first preference votes. But it will then come down to where the SDLP


votes will be transferred. Will they be cross community transfers as


happened last week? Richie McPhillips won the sixth seat last


year by getting UUP votes, but this time will be is SDLP votes go to


Sinn Fein to help Sean Lynch or will they help Rosemary Barton?


Fascinating, because we know Richie McPhillips picked up a lot more


transfers than he needed to secure the sixth seat last May. We also


know Sinn Fein isn't necessarily terribly transfer friendly. It will


be a very interesting one to keep an eye on. Thanks for keeping us up to


speed. We can go to Tara who I think has been joined by Gerry Carroll,


who has been celebrating his success, returned as an MLA for West


Belfast. Congratulations to Gerry Carroll. Not taking away from your


victory, but it's not the one it was last year. It was a smaller


constituency, five seats. We had two candidates, myself and the excellent


candidate, Michael Collins. It's been an excellent campaign. It's a


great result for People Before Profit in west Belfast. It's fair to


say the establishment parties threw everything at us. Sinn Fein and the


DUP, and on the ground in west Belfast it became about throwing


everything against People Before Profit. To get 6000 votes in West


Belfast in that context is a good result for People Before Profit. Do


you think the drop in your personal vote, you are spreading it between


two candidates, but is there still a Brexit element, people who are


unhappy with you, who don't agree with your views on Brexit. Brexit is


a media creation. We opposed the EU on a left-wing, socialists and


point. Look at what the EU has demanded of the people on the south


of Ireland. Demanding water charges. People in Greece said no to


austerity and the EU said you have to do have austerity whatever what.


The EU represents austerity. People Before Profit opposes the EU on


those terms. There was a lot of scaremongering, particularly in West


Belfast, by establishment parties. And also people voted Sinn Fein,


there was an increase across the North because people thought that by


voting for Sinn Fein it would be the best way to stand up against


corruption as they see it and stand up against the DUP. If they call for


the books to be opened on things like RHI among others. Performing


well in West Belfast but not so good elsewhere. Your colleague has


conceded in foil, is that right? The latest I have heard is that a has


conceded in Foyle it was always going to be a tough seat. But the


team did a great job in Derry. They put everything into it and is vote


went up in the end but it doesn't much like it went up enough for


Eamon to retain the seat. What can you do going back in if the Assembly


gets up and running again? We will have two feet in Stormont but we


will have thousands of feet in the streets. Around 6000 people behind


us in West Belfast. The vote overall in other areas went up overall. Even


in Derry it went up. The campaign in South Antrim, we got more than 500


votes there. South Belfast as well, more than 500 votes. The vote has


gone up and we have a bigger mandate across. For ourselves in Stormont,


it will be a voice for people power, against cutbacks, and a voice


encouraging people to stand up and fight back against the


establishment, be it Brussels, London or Stormont itself. Gerry


Carroll, thank you and well done in your election. We have refreshed the


table once again. Speaking about South down first where you were an


MLA. Sinead Ennis replaced you, got 10,256, and she is the


second-highest first preference vote getter, two votes behind Michelle


O'Neill. How embarrassing would it have been for her to beat Michelle


O'Neill at the top table? It wouldn't have been embarrassing I


was Sinead's election agent. I am delighted that we have a woman


replacing me. I'm the chair of the woman's caucus in Stormont and I


want to see good and radical women in politics. Here is the ultimate


young radical woman as far as your party is concerned, Michelle


O'Neill, live pictures of her arriving at the Titanic exhibition


Centre. Let's see if we can hear what she is saying. Archibald,


Sinead Ennis, it's an amazing day and thank you so much to the Electra


two came out in strong numbers. The vote has increased and I think


that's because people knew action had to be taken. They have had their


say and we need to get down to the business of fixing what is wrong and


do well for all citizens because we are against inequality. Michelle


O'Neill's comments to the media as she makes her way through the scrum


surrounded by significant figures in Sinn Fein. Some of them you will


know, some of them you probably won't recognise. They are backroom


staff at Stormont. It's a good day for her, she's obviously pleased to


be returning. Just to finish on South down, what is significant in


Foyle and South down, for the first time ever Sinn Fein have


significantly outpolled the SDLP. I think that's very significant.


Sinead Ennis has done marvellously, as has Chris Hazard. We saw Flynn


alongside Michelle O'Neill as well. It's something parties need to look


at, young women, it's what the electorate want, a diversity of


candidates, and they want women candidates. We are seeing more and


more young female candidates doing very well. There are other women


doing well in other parties as well. I am talking about all parties. I do


want to see young women in all parties doing well. I have friends


in every single party and I want to see them doing well because there


are far too few women in politics. I hope this is the beginning of change


in that. Do you look forward to the time when we don't even have to make


that point, it's not a conversation piece? But we still do have to make


it. When you look at the figures in terms of the last Assembly, the


number of women LMA 's was significantly. We don't know what it


will be at this stage, in the south of Ireland it went up. I see there


are a couple of women in trouble and I am sad to see that. I don't like


to see Sandra in trouble. I don't know what the situation is in


relation to that now. I hope Paula Bradley does well in north Belfast.


I hope women from all across the political spectrum do well. Alliance


have some very strong women. In second place was Carol McKinnon


but pretty comfortable, I would have thought with 5900. Nuala McAllister


looks like she will not make it for the Alliance Party. And many doing


well. Carla Lockhart is doing well in her constituency.


There is a sea change. Where does Arlene Foster fit into


the sisterhood here? What I would like to see Newton, what I think is


important is that women are represented at all levels of the


political level. Arlene Foster is not somebody with the same opinions


as I. I think we can safely say that is


true, Nuala! But I believe in quotas, I'm a feminist but I


welcomed the fact that Arlene Foster was elected the leader.


Arlene Foster said she was a feminist because she didn't believe


in quotas? I believe we need quotas. If you look at over the decades, in


the north and the south, we've got some of the worst records in Europe


in the world. And so has ngland because of their first-past-the-post


system. I want to see a range of women. What is fascinating about


this Assembly is the number of pregnant women getting elected. That


shows that no longer is the preserve, one of men and two, of


maybe older women, who have raced their families, like me, I am on the


second generation of grandchildren, as in the past that has happened.


It is good. That number is two? It is more than


two. It is three. Two that we know of? Three that we


know of. Well I know of two.


It is better to see women making it and I'm pleased for the women fwh


our party who have done well and added to our vote, I believe, as we


did have them but they have done it on their merit. They did not do it


because of a quota, there was a special place held for them, they


did it as they competed with men, they were the better candidate, they


were chosen by the electorate. I love the way merit comes up when


women start doing well. Fair play to them.


Let's pause for a second or two. There are many more numbers to be


crunched. The man to be doing that on our behalf is of course Mark


Davenport. One constituency where we reported


last year on the loss of a most long standing women politicians was Upper


Bann, when Dolores Kelly lost out. But look at what's happening here


right now. This could be a long and a complex count. Carla Lockhart, who


we were talking about got a good personal vote. She has been elected.


That was on the basis of the DUP again topping the poll for vote


share. Let's have a look at how things were changing. A very good


result for the DUP and Sinn Fein. That's right. The Sinn Fein vote is


up and the SDLP up is up as well. The Ulster Unionist Party defending


two seats, looking likely to be voted down.


Let's have a look at the count. Kara Lockhart at the top of the pile is


elected. Doll are yes, sir Kelly is down there in sixth position --


DDolores Kelly is down in seventh position, looking like she will miss


out in stage one. But let's hop through it is interesting now on


stage two isn't it? We are getting to a point where Tara Doyle, the


Alliance candidate will be eliminated. 3,000 votes. Who will


they go to? There are three unionist and three nationalist candidates.


The nationalist candidates 2.2 quotas between them, the unionist,


2.3 quotes between them. So, the two nationalist seats, the two unionist


seats but which will they be? At the moment, Dobson and Kelly are behind


but Tara Doyle could transform that. They could pull ahead. This is a


seat where there is still a lot to play for.


Not a done deal. And another area where it is not a done deal is north


Belfast. Here is the DUP the top of the pile. Sinn Fein is close behind.


Let's have a look at how it changed. A drop for the DUP.


Absolutely, two quote Cold Wars. But both nationalist parties put on


votes? There was a sense that they had underperformed but this cowl be


a reverse to the mean. And hopping ahead to see how the


personalities are doing, Sinn Fein are the top two. But Nichola mallion


also doing well. Is there a possible three nationalist quotas? Yes, and


also a possible three unionist quotas.


We are to hop a stage to hurry this up. Here we can see potentially


there will be unionist eliminated from the bottom. This will be pull


the DUP candidates up. Indeed, and adding the votes


together, there are 277 quotas for the nationalist candidates and 2.6


quotas for the unionist candidates. Not counting the Alliance, 0.6,


which is to decide if they are a nationalist or a unionist? So we


cannot count Nichola mallion out. But it is remarkable we are talking


about the possibility of three DUP to be elected when they have less


than two Croatars to begin with. Thank you very much -- less than two


quotas to begin with. So, let's clarify what is going on.


Not too many candidates, or nonsnapping at heels for Mr Crawford


but the situation in Strangford, Stephen, what can you tells about


the situation in Strangford, is it becoming clearer? It will be clearer


as the minutes tick by the situation is that Kelly Armstrong Alliance has


been elected. And Simon Hamilton so two for DUP. They think also that


mish I will McIlveen will be elected soon and the fifth seat, could be a


battle. The Ulster Unionist Party are confident that Mike Nesbitt will


be elected. So the way that the breakdown could go in Strangford is


three for the DUP, one for the Ulster Unionists and one for


Alliance and the challenge from Jonathan Bell did not really come.


Thank you very much. I think I'm in serious need of some more numbers


and graphics. Can you help us Mark? I have lots of them. 35 seats


filled. You can stheem spread around our virtual map. The 18


constituencies have squeezed together. Let's drill down the


numbers. West to West Tyrone to see who is in there. Three seats filled.


The best known figures is the one at the bottom, Barry McIll duff. So


from West of the Bann to the east to Roy Beggs. I think he is in. Roy


Beggs Junior keeping the flag flying for his dad. And well known face,


David hilled itch and Stuart Dickson of the Alliance Party.


Let's have a look at south down to see what is happening there. This in


terms of nationalismcism the story of the election. Sinn Fein are doing


well. Two people in so far, including the former minister, Chris


Hazard. So far, so good, for Sinn Fein! OK. Thank you very much Mark


for that. Very helpful indeed. Interesting pictures unfolding


across the constituencies and on the bigger picture as well. As far as


the parties are concerned we have in a couple of minutes before we hit


the 6.00pm news, folks, let's talk overview. Sammy, the thoughts of


where we are at this point in the day? We are pleased as a party that


the overall vote held up. Despite all of the difficulties we faced


during the election. It now faces a challenge, of course, after the


election as to whether or not Sinn Fein dig their heels in and don't


show the kind of respect that they have talked about, wishing to have


shown to them. Katrina? Sinn Fein are pleased with


their result. What is significant is the number of new people voting. And


Brexit was obviously such a key issue, some of the new people are


the ethnic minorities. I hope we get more.


Stephen? People are in touch with the politics, that is a good sign


but we need to keep them remaining to be engaged. We need to do a


massive job in the weeks ahead to keep a stable government in place.


We have seen some remarkable developments. It is clear that the


DUP and the Sinn Fein will be returning to Stormont as the largest


parties but it is not clear how many seats they will fill. Not a good day


for the SDLP and the Democratic Unionist Party both losing high


professional names. It looks likely to hold on to its


seats, the Alliance Party. Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill topped


the polls in their constituencies and the DUP, kept ahead by 1100


votes. There is lots nor play throughout the evening. BBC Newsline


is back before 6.30pm. And we are back with full coverage later. It


will be a very interesting evening. Stay tuned. We are with the count on


through to midnight. From then, from all of us. Thank you for your time.


We will have a panel of guests. There will be other politicians a


joining us. We are talking to the experts from the various centres and


a panel of experts and Mark Davenport and his guests, Nicholas


White and others crunching the numbers for us. Until then, from all


of us.


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.