Results Part 2 Northern Ireland Elections

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Results Part 2

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

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


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


Exhibition Centre, location of the count for the Belfast constituencies


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Barry McElduff for Sinn Fein and Michaella Boyle elected along with


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


he could lose out in East Londonderry but the outgoing Justice


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


representative, when he is eliminated and and south Belfast,


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


former Political Editor for BBC Northern Ireland so no stranger to


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


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


colleagues on Newsline with Donna Trainer and colleagues out and about


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


movement and something resembling coherence to emerge and to present


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


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


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


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


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


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


pictures from the count centre and your colleagues holding up four


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Let us develop this through the evening. Still some interesting


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


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


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


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


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


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


he said the increased turnout in this constituency had essentially


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


it appears from some Sinn Fein commentators that the fact of


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Fein candidate Philip McGuigan who has been celebrating on social media


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


up 57,000. Yes, and the really interesting


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


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


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


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


close. As I suggested earlier if you draw a


line down the middle of Northern Ireland you have a differentential


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


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


interesting numbers That's psychologically an important thing


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


largest party in Northern Ireland they might not be blatantly saying


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


much. We will come back to this in due


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


difficult and poisonous situation that we have had, the political


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


hold against us in a poisonous political atmosphere which was an


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


consolidating their consolidation. Sinn Fein, Elisha McCallion, the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Alex Attwood and West Belfast and Richie McPhillips losing out?


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


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


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


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


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


drama. With all the comings and goings of the new


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


redistribution of the surpluses and there is every possibility, is


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


idea of the timescale? Pistil redistribution of the surplus from


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


eliminated so there are transfers coming across so it seems hopeful


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


the electorate? Particularly towards the Ulster Unionist Party add your


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Unionist and former NI21 and former independent representative for South


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


confirmed returned in Strangford and Michelle McIlveen. Mike Nesbitt has


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


your initial thoughts about your party's performance this time


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


they have made it clear in terms of the nationalist republican


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Unionists that really effectively they were voting for people that


were going to be in opposition because no matter what people


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


something that Fionnuala said earlier, which is Arlene Foster to


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


concerned, but also deserves congratulations for mobilising the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


refusal to countenance Arlene Foster. There is more wriggle room


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


first time ever having more nationalists elected in a


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


the smaller parties within the unionist and nationalist blocks?


Mike Nesbitt said this felt different on the doorstep and yet


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


have seen Sinn Fein advances and probably arrived at the point


unnecessarily where unionism is no longer the majority control in the


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


unionism and the unionist party that given that Stormont will only


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


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


be asking themselves whether in these circumstances we really want


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


you say she bears some responsibility for what's happened


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


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


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


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


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


DUP by bringing Sinn Fein into Government created the crocodile


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


crocodile has grown stronger and more avarice and demanding the daily


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


turnout by the nationalist and republican movement particularly,


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


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


scrutiny off the back of the election result across Northern


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


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


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


are concerned a good enough performance from the Ulster


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


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


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


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


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


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


materialise. That was Harold McKee talking to our


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


United Kingdom on the BBC News channel for our continuing Assembly


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


onslaught every day since early December. It was an exceptional


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


government and delivering so we need discussions aimed at that deliver


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


that make the difference between a catastrophic result and a manageable


result but it is still a tremendously bad day for Mike


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


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


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


disappointing for Oliver. Congratulations to the UUP but it is


very disappointing and Oliver was a tremendous local representative. He


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


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


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


conference happening in East Belfast with the Ulster Unionist Party


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


party leaders for not taking responsibility for actions that


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


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


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


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


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


who suggested that in a normal society people would vote on


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


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


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


housing and I had a different vision. But the electorate


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


absolute honour to have led the Ulster Unionist Party and a


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


person who lost out to him, witnessing him announcing his


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


brave and courageous thing to announce, particularly on a dreadful


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


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


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


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


last three months criticising another leader, Arlene Foster, for


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


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


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


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


selection under these circumstances, but only as the Ulster Unionist


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


recent leaders, in failure. Did he give any indication as to whether or


not he will continue in the medium to long-term a mLA? He did win his


seat in Strangford this evening. He did not allowance to ask any


questions, his press officer was shaking his head. He does not intend


to remain, I would take that as. Not only is Mike Nesbitt not going to be


the leader of the Ulster Unionist Party... Actually, I am told that he


will remain as a Ulster Unionist MLA in Strangford, this is a very


confused press conference. We were not allowed to ask any questions,


that does not make it easy. He will remain as a mLA but will not be the


Ulster Unionist Party leader. Who will follow him? The natural


successor was perhaps Danny Kennedy but he lost his seat in Newry and


Armagh so the party tonight is in a state of chaos. I was asking you to


engage in some mind reading. You are looking past the camera to the press


officer to see what he was trying to indicate by semaphore! Let me ask


you something you can answer. Did he simply make mistakes? Did he over


claim? Saying he would return as the largest unionist party? And by


suggesting that his voters would want to transfer high up in this PR


election to the SDLP? He seemed to do that without talking to key


members of his party. Ambition is not a crime for any political leader


so of course he was going into that election making big claims but after


the second part of that question, when he indicated he would make a


second preference to the SDLP, was at a fatal mistake? It did not help.


It gave a boost to the DUP because it took them off the top of the


agenda for Sundays and it seemed to not go down very well with lots of


the party's traditional grassroots. Was that the fatal flaw? Would it


have made any difference? We simply do not know. No doubt, this message


did not resonate through the party and Danny Kennedy was the first one


to make it clear that he did not agree with what Mike Nesbitt said


and Danny Kennedy has lost his seat as well. The Ulster Unionist Party


is a difficult party to lead, a very broad church. It gives out


confusing, mixed messages. Certainly, Mike Nesbitt, the


moderniser who felt it would take it in a different direction, he has


failed to do so and tonight, what is next for the Ulster Unionist Party?


That is the question. Thank you for that. Gareth Gordon. Doug Beattie is


an Ulster Unionist Party member who has won his seat, he retained his


seat in the Upper Bann constituency. Good evening. Congratulations.


Congratulations on a personal level. I need to ask you for your rip


action to the dramatic development where your party leader has said he


is standing down. Did you know he was about to do that? No, I didn't


know he was about to do it, Mark and I have to say that I am sorry and I


am saddened that Mike has decided to stand down. Mike has been a


fantastic leader. He has been a personal friend and a great


colleague. I think he is an incredibly noble man and I think he


has taken a noble decision. I think he believes, whether rightly or


wrongly, that our poor showing in this election and I know it hasn't


finished yet, but our poor showing in this election may well be down to


his leadership. I don't necessarily agree with that but he has made that


decision and like I said earlier I am sorry he is leaving but beneed as


the Ulster Unionist party to move on, we need a new leader as quickly


as we can. We need stability, we need to organise ourselves and carry


on. Well, that leads me neatly on to my next question, will your name be


in the frame for the leadership of the party because Gareth Gordon was


making the point, Danny Kennedy might have been seen as one of the


frontrunners, he has lost his seat in Newry and Armagh. You are there,


you are high profile, do you fancy the job? Well, first thing I will


say is that I have only heard this news ten minutes ago. So I am still


sucking in that information. I still want to speak to Mike personally.


Because he is a friend and he was my party leader. He had my 100% loyalty


as a party leader and as this election draws to an end he would


still have had that a pun % loyalty as leader. -- 100% loyalty as


leader. I have only been an MLA for about nine months. It would not be


right for me to lead the party, I do not have the political nuances that


many other people have. I will be there to support whoever is the


leader. Maybe in five or six years if we had time I could have grown, I


could have done my apprenticeship as an MLA, and then I could maybe stand


for being the leader of the Ulster Unionist party but I don't have that


depth of political knowledge at this moment and I have to be honest...


Just to be clear you are ruling yourself out of the contest at this


stage, you are saying no matter what happens you will not be a candidate?


Well, absolutely not as we speak now, Mark, ten minutes after I heard


the news about Mike. I am ruling it out right now. If things change,


then maybe I could think about it but right now as I speak to you, it


would not be right that I stand. There is other people there, there


are good people there who could lead the party, the likes of Robin Swann


who is incredibly diligent and a good man who could lead the party.


So I leave it for the time being. It's a discussion we have to have as


a party. And come up with a decision on the best way forward and get the


right person in place. Somebody who can bring a bit of stability. That


doesn't necessarily mean it has to be the next leader who is going to


fight the election but just get a bit of stability in the party and


then maybe even get in a leader who can battle the next election. We


have to look at this. Let me ask you quickly, Danny Kennedy has gone.


Joanne Dobson has gone, as well. And we hear that Sandro Overend is


struggling. It is a bad day for the Ulster Unionist party, is it not?


Well, if you look at it like that it is a bad day. I think our share of


the vote and I haven't got all the information, I think our share of


the vote is slightly up on the last election. But the reality is it's


all down to seats. Therefore, it is going to be a bad day. But you know


what, the Ulster Unionist party brought hope to Northern Ireland, we


wanted change. We wanted to show absolute respect for all people


within our community and that's the ticket that we stood on. We stood on


integrity and respect and commitment and loyalty. Yes, the electorate may


have turned their back on us, but that's not an aspiration we should


give up on easily. I won't be giving up on it easily. Appreciate your


time, thank you very much. Congratulations on your success on


what has been nonetheless as Mike Nesbitt says a miserable night for


the Ulster Unionist party. Nigel Dodds, I want you to reflect on that


and want to tell you that Nelson McCausland is out in North Belfast.


Well, first of all, can I just say I am sorry to hear that news, it was


always going to be a difficult task although we are still the largest


party in North Belfast, actually increased our vote at this election.


To get three seats out of five on some - a third of the vote was


always going to be an enormous stretch. Nelson has contributed


enormously to the DUP and to the unionist cause and will continue to


do so. And I think that it's important that be put on record. Was


that bad vote management that meant he was number three of your three


candidates, because he is high profile, he is a former Minister.


Some people might look at North Belfast and look at the other two


candidates with the greatest of respect, William Humphrey and Paula


Bradley and think Nelson McCausland may have come in ahead of them, how


come he was trailing in third place Our vote management in North Belfast


was pretty good. Both, all three candidates... Nelson McCausland


might not be thinking that. Nelson agreed to the strategy and was very


much part of it and we worked together as a team. They all were


within, as I understand it, 70 votes of each other, I think that's good


among - 700. In this election there was an increased nationalist


turnout, it was always a massive stwrech to take three seats on one


third of the vote. Look, we fully expected that this might happen. We


did our best and the vote was well managed. It hasn't quite come off,


but Nelson has an enormous contribution still to make. Can I


just say in terms of the other piece of news that we heard there, Mike


Nesbitt, I want to say first of all to wish Mike and Linda his wife and


his family all the very best going forward. Going into politics, taking


on positions of leadership, as he did, are not easy. It's very, very


difficult. He is right to point to the burdens that are placed on


people's families and it is a 24-hour schedule. It is very taxing


and burdensome and stressful and I understand entirely what he is


saying. You can hear the emotion in his voice. You know, politicians


today come under a lot of scrutiny and a lot of pressure and criticism


and rightly so, we volunteer for these jobs, we put ourselves up


there but there is a human dimension to it and today we are seeing people


who have lost their seats and Mike Nesbitt falling on his sword and I


appreciate the human dimension of that. The political side of it and


the analysis will follow but I think tonight in the immediate aftermath


of this I want to express my personal best wishes to Mike, Linda


and his family. OK. Nigel, thank you very much for that. I want to cross


over to the Titanic Exhibition Centre and hear from our reporter


David Maxwell. Just to pick up on the elimination of Nelson


McCausland, the DUP former DUP MLA, high profile. What is the reaction


there in the count centre, were people genuinely surprised that such


a big name should fall? Well, definitely another dramatic moment,


another big name gone here at the Titanic Exhibition Centre. But I


have to say the last time I was speaking to you I had mentioned that


nk was looking vulnerable and for -- Nelson McCausland was looking


vulnerable. For sometime the DUP have come to realise he wasn't going


to hold on in North Belfast. We have a word with him a few minutes ago.


He's now left the exhibition centre here. He said that there was a life


beyond politics and and he was going to reflect on his future and decide


whether he will ever run again or whether this is the end of his


political career. Well, it's obviously to some degree a little


bit disappointed, but, in the context of the day we increased our


vote in North Belfast. That was good. Didn't translate to seats. It


didn't translate to seats, that's right, there was a bigger increase


on the nationalist side and there will be an opportunity over the next


while to have a review of what happened, how it came about, and we


will build from it. What does it mean to you, you are a senior figure


in the DUP, a former Minister. It means that there is a life beyond


politics. And there are lots of other things that I want to do and


intend to do. Is that it, Nelson is your political career finished? Did


I say that? You said you had a life beyond it. In the short-term, yes. A


difficult day, Nelson, for you and your staff, as well. Well, indeed.


It's particularly, I think of the interests of the staff who work in


the office and the impact it has on them. And that's I think the human


thing to think about. But, you know, I fought many elections, there have


been all sorts of changes today. I am relaxed about the whole thing.


You will be back? There are a lot of things to think about. I don't make


any predictions. There you go. Nelson McCausland


talking to David Maxwell and not committing himself to a political


return but not ruling it out, it has to be said. He is been around for a


long time. Caitriona Ruane, you must have got to know him a bit at the


Assembly, how do you feel about his departure? I knew him in City Hall,


as well, I was the director of - he was one of the people at the time


who voted against many projects we were involved in, I knew him in the


Assembly, I was in the Executive with him. Look, I just know how


tough it is to put yourself forward for election. I am speaking not just


in terms of Nelson here, but also Mike Nesbitt and Danny Kennedy


and... Philip Smith has also gone. Sandra. You know, it's tough.


Politics is a tough, tough game. I know I am repeating what other


people have said. You are just out there, you are in the public eye.


People don't see what happens behind the scenes. What did you make of


that Mike Nesbitt announcement, it was short, it was sharp and anything


but sweet? Yeah, well, I think Coe have picked a better time to do it.


I don't want to be critical... Do you mean because it was very quick?


It might have been better to have discussions with his party and - I


think sometimes and I don't want to focus on some of the maybe


criticisms I have of the way maybe Mike managed the party, but


party-building, for me, is very important. And I think you need to


put time into the building blocks and I think sometimes Mike put more


into the media and maybe the Assembly team. It's important - I


don't think candidates should be hearing about resignations as


they're in count centres. Having said that, I wish Mike all the best.


I always found him a pleasure to work with. Indeed, all his party


when I was in the Chair in the Assembly, I never had any issues


with any of his party. OK. Let's talk to Fionnuala and Alex. Alex,


you are a former director of communications for the you will


unionist party, the party that Mike Nesbitt still leads but not for much


longer, he threw himself under the bus this evening in dramatic


fashion, catching people on the hop, not least Doug Beattie who obviously


did not know that was coming and was somewhat wrong-footed by it. What do


you make of his decision to go and to go so quickly? I think the


decision was inevitable. I tweeted before lunch that barring a miracle


that his leadership was untenable. I agree, one of the problems Mike had


with this campaign was that he was accused of bouncing his candidates


by telling you about transferring to the SDLP. None of them knew about


it. He did exactly the same with his resignation. Straight over to Doug


Beattie, he knows something about it. I presume others know nothing


about it. Some elected for the first time have no idea now who will be


leading the party. To go back to a clip earlier with Harold McKee, the


defeated candidate in South Down, when asked about the campaign said I


had to go on the door-steps and tell people it was me campaigning, not


Mike Nesbitt. I think that, take all that in, the fact that I think the


UUP were not expecting the spectacular, I think they would be


lucky to get 13, I said if it fell below 13 he had problems, this is


catastrophe, when you lose people like Joe and Dobson, Danny Kennedy,


and Sandra Overend. You win and lose battles according to circumstances.


In this case I think a lot of people, will blame him personally.


Fionnuala? Well, we were talking about psychology earlier. I was


thinking two things there. Listening to Nigel and Caitriona Ruane, Nigel


in particular, first making that handsome reference and tribute to


Mike and listening to Jim Wells earlier doing the decent thing about


PJ Bradley. It was a great relief to hear all those things because it has


been so unpleasant over the last six months. Listening to people doing


the decent thing and saying the decent thing after an election like


this is very important for it, it's important for us too. We sit here


and we do, we only see what goes on in front of the camera. We don't see


the strains and the emotion behind it as Nigel has suffered and


Catriona has suffered in different ways. Then the Mike phenomenon, a


media man to his finger tips, brought in really to improve their


PR image. He did that in ways but also did it - he did it by being


pleasant and smooth in performance. But he also did it by bouncing all


over the place. He didn't just bounce people individually, and this


is, I am doing now what the politicians didn't do, I am being


brutal immediately after the event. I won't do it in much more detail.


But he didn't just do trying to run a non-sectarian campaign and a


non-sectarian Ulster Unionist party, he richo... There was a Westminster


fight two years ago. There was that loyalist forum he joined, that


period of the flags protest. I think he bewildered a lot of people in the


party and voters too and that you can not do. OK. Stay with me. I do


want to hear more from you shortly. I want to go to Fermanagh and South


Tyrone and to Omagh Leisure Centre and join Michelle Gildernew from


Sinn Fein who has been returned, held on to her seat as an MLA in


that constituency. First of all, congratulations to you. That's a


good result from your point of view. Also home for you is Gemma Dolan. It


looks like Sean Lynch could be in trouble.


He is still in there and I want to congratulate all of our successful


candidates, it has been a great day and we hope that Sean and Declan


McAleer will be returned before we leave the leisure centre and I am


personally saddened at losing Oliver McMullan, not just a great friend


but a great worker and a big loss to the Assembly but so far a great day


and please God we will have shone and Declan over the line. Philip


McGuigan, your party colleague in North Antrim, who replaced the


haematite, has been successful and he is in. We can see Michelle


O'Neill congratulating him. And he is beaming like the proverbial


Cheshire cat. That will not surprise you. No, he is a great fellow and we


are delighted to see him in the Assembly and there have been great


results across the board today. This election was based on integrity and


respect and equality and the electorate have had their say and I


would hope the DUP will listen to what they have said today. We need


to go back to the Assembly and into negotiations with a fresh mandate


and a fresh approach and a different approach and an approach that does


have respect and equality at its core. I have been very disappointed


in things that have been said and done in my time in the Assembly and


I hope this mandate will be different. This election was a


difficult 1,000 of people wiped off the register in Fermanagh-South


Tyrone and we have a huge amount of work to do to get them back on and I


am proud to be the only woman, as far as I know, to have fought every


single Assembly election since the Good Friday Agreement and to win a


seat. I am deeply appreciative of the brilliant people are


Fermanagh-South Tyrone who have returned us so far and they are


fabulous people and I want to say thanks a million. Go raibh maith


agat. I can just hear, Sean Lynch has been deemed elected. Three Sinn


Fein in Fermanagh-South Tyrone. We are over the moon. You could get a


job as a results tally person. Some people cheering over your shoulder,


I wondered what was happening. He was in a tight fight but he has been


successful? It has been confirmed. And I would take from that that the


candidate who lost was Maurice Morrow and the DUP will have to


reflect on that and the result they have here today and listen to the


people, we absolutely need to see a different tenor in the Executive and


the Assembly. We all about building and Ireland of equals and we will


not start by being trampled over in Belfast. Thank you for joining us


and keeping us up to speed with developments. We don't have


confirmation that is the case but we did know that Maurice Morrow was in


difficulty. That would mean that Rosemary Barton of the European


might well have held onto her seat in Fermanagh South Tyrone. Jenny


Palmer of the Ulster Unionist Party, formerly of the DUP, is out in Lagan


Valley. Another body blow to the Ulster Unionist Party and Mike


Nesbitt. Let us hear more from the Belfast counts at the Titanic


Exhibition Centre. Tara Mills... I am with the SDLP's Nichola Mallon,


we will keep you occupied because nobody is elected yet in north


Belfast? We are working through the motions, Nelson McCausland has been


eliminated so hopefully in the next couple of hours we will have the


candidates declared and we will know the result. Whenever it comes to the


broader picture, we will talk about the SDLP but I want your reaction to


Mike Nesbitt's news. The issue of leadership by the Ulster Unionists


is a matter for the Ulster Unionists. Emma Hurd Mike Nesbitt


saying he was not clear his message resonated and I think it was heard


in North Belfast, if you look at the transfers from the Ulster Unionist


candidate, a significant portion went to the centre ground and they


know from speaking to people that are numbered of unionists did vote


for me so the message of partnership in the centre ground did resonate


somewhat in North Belfast. Is there any sense of frustration? People are


talking about opposition, is any frustration that he did not have


long enough in opposition to produce any viable alternative to the big


parties? Opposition is a new dynamic and it was only gathering momentum.


We were beginning to work together and produce motions but we never


expected the starting pistol to be fired so early. We would have wanted


more time but we have to build on that and there are areas, including


North Belfast, where people want that choice. North Belfast is


considered one of the most fractious and polarised constituencies but


clearly people have chosen the centre ground and that is a positive


message that we need people to be aware of. And a bigger nationalist


voice given that Nelson McCausland has been eliminated? There was a


bigger turnout in North Belfast and that was strongly


connected to be tried for the Brexit referendum. That was an issue around


the doors and I am an Irish nationalist and I am confident that


did not stand on the orange or Green ticket, I did not use sectarian


language, I stood with a partnership approach on bread-and-butter issues


and that worked for us in North Belfast so there is an appetite. We


needed longer to build on this. People went to the polls and they're


facing direct rule. This is an outcome that is in nobody's


interests. It is about what happens after the results and we need to get


around the table. We need devolved government based on power-sharing.


Your vote has held up but there are losses with Alex Attwood


disappearing from West Belfast. What do you think the SDLP will reflect


upon afterwards? After every election, we sit down and look at


the figures and we look seriously at what lessons can be learnt. We have


taken a blow in West Belfast with Alex but we will take a seat back in


Upper Bann so we need to look at the whole picture and learn from that,


definitely. We might be getting something from North Belfast?


Hopefully! Thank you very much. We will bring you that North Belfast


result if it comes. Thank you. We can come back to this end of the


table and talk to vanilla and Alex. A quick word about what we have been


hearing about. It looks like bad news for the DUP in Fermanagh-South


Tyrone but potentially good news in the other constituency of Lagan


Valley, when they might hold onto that seat they thought might be


going because Gerry Palmer is out? This is it for Arlene Foster and the


DUP, it has been a curious turnout. Up in some ways, just holding in


orders. Morris Mauro going out is another big blow for Arlene Foster


in that constituency, they have been shoulder to shoulder, how close they


actually are, I do not know. They have been trotted out together and


appearing together and making jokes together, he once stalwart companion


and he is out. Alex? Fionnuala is right. In Lagan Valley the DUP will


be delighted, they will not have said publicly but it was always


going to be difficult holding the three but that point about another,


Jimmy -- Jenny Palmer going out, the Ulster Unionist Party can only get


ten and that is devastating. You were talking about three seats for


the DUP, that was the third seat, Sean Lynch for Sinn Fein in


Fermanagh-South Tyrone, a very impressive performance by Sinn Fein.


Sinn Fein and the DUP have reason to be happy, they did what parties have


to do, they got the vote out, Mike Nesbitt might complain, the reality


is, these parties did deliver on that day and the smaller parties


with the exception of the Alliance Party did not deliver. The Ulster


Unionist Party and the SDLP will have to consider the relevance of


their parties and if there is any room for them electorally in


Northern Ireland. We talked about Oliver McMullan, who lost his seat


after many years at the Assembly and he has not been well. That is good


news for Sean Lynch? It is good news for Sinn Fein in Fermanagh-South


Tyrone and it shows how things can change, in the last election we did


not do well in Fermanagh-South Tyrone and we ran too many


candidates and be learnt from that and we went in there... You made a


complete dog's breakfast of it last time! We should not have put up four


candidates. It is phenomenal we have three out of five and people will be


surprised to hear this, Maurice Morrow and myself had political


differences but he is a very funny man and I was on the Business


Committee with him and he has a quirky sense of humour and he is one


of the people I will miss! On a personal level, sad to see him


going? On a personal level? For the personal level. I was with Jenny


Palmer today at the Lisburn count. She really tried her best in the


Assembly. She really wanted to make a difference. It is tough. She put


herself forward. She has had a tough time, there have been internal


issues between herself and the DUP in the past and she was working with


the UUP. It is tough. She is going home tonight and probably just wants


to close the door. It is a brutal game. Nigel Dodds, Maurice Morrow


going, he is a friend of yours. Popular in the party, is that a body


blow to Arlene Foster? In many senses he was her mental? That is a


big blow to the DUP family, Maurice Morrow is the chairman and has given


a lifetime of service. He was elected to the local council in the


early 70s. He has been around a long time. His career is not over? No, he


is a member of the House of Lords and there is no retirement from


that! It is an enormous blow. I will hold Maurice Morrow in the highest


esteem, he piloted through the last Assembly an important piece of


private members legislation in terms of human slavery and trafficking and


so on and he has been talking to people across Europe and elsewhere


about that. He made an enormous contribution to the Assembly and


will continue to make a contribution to the party so I wish them well and


it is very sad but in this election, we are seeing some very well known


household names not returning to the Assembly and the people have spoken.


We must always remember, at the end of the day the other servants of the


people and can be brutal and very difficult. But we have to respect


that. I am very gratified that Nelson McCausland, Maurice Morrow,


other people from other parties, Danny Kennedy made an extremely


gracious speech... On a personal level, can you feel Jenny's pain? I


fought and lost an election, it is not very pleasant. Of course. People


will be going home tonight to families, very upset and emotionally


distraught and all the rest of it. The others, looking at Nelson, my


colleague, who was very philosophical and he will take that


in his stride and others will take this in a difficult fashion but


certainly Maurice Morrow will be greatly missed. Danny Kennedy is


quoted as saying, when he was asked how he felt, I am too tired to love,


and I am too old to cry and his voice cracked. You could see the


pain and sadness. One of the remarkable things is those who have


died out today, it was with gracious fashion and with a very good


response and that is a tribute to democracy. Naomi Long joins us.


Welcome. We heard from the earlier time and the count centre, who


topped the poll in East Belfast and as things stand, according to my


computer, you are the only MLA for East Belfast at this stage? So far,


yes. Although I think both Joanne Bunting and Chris Liddle are close


behind. Only 25 votes between them, one or the other if not both will be


elected during the next round. What then? Andy Allen from the UUP


hanging on? And one of the two DUP... Yes, Robin Newton is ahead of


David Douglas but that is difficult to judge because with transfers,


people might just vote in order of alphabet and that might benefit


David Douglas so we will not know until the last votes are counted.


David Douglas, the son of Sami Douglas, he has the name but Robin


Newton has been around for a very long time. He has been caught up in


some controversy, it is fair to say. Interesting to see how that plays


out. Down to the wire. We will get a good idea after the transfers. Once


Chris and July get over the line, then it is things like what happens


to this PUP vote? That should give us a clear picture of which of the


remaining DUP candidates will go through.


What is your reading at this stage of proceedings as to what the


public's verdict is because it seems to me you can read it in several


different ways. How do you read it? Well, in terms of their verdict on


what we did over the election, I think it's a positive verdict. It's


the best result we have had since 1969 in terms of votes and vote


share -- 1979. The share is up. It is, we have seen our vote double and


triple in some constituencies which was important because I said I


wanted to reach out beyond the East of Northern Ireland and actually


make inroads in the West. We have seen some improvement in our vote


share there in those places. We were starting from a low base. But we


have the potential there in future to be able to build for council


seats and that's a Goodway for us to be coming out of this election. The


wider picture, the one message we can take away is that the increase


turnout is very clear to me it's the best turnout I think there's been in


an Assembly election since the one immediately after the Good Friday


Agreement. I think that shows when people see the institutions in peril


they care about it. I think the message people are sending from


their vote yesterday regardless of whether they voted DUP or Sinn Fein


or Ulster Unionist or SDLP or whoever they voted for is they want


the institutions to work. That's a challenge, because I think DUP and


Sinn Fein in terms of their campaign have set themselves at loggerheads.


It's going to be very difficult to climb down from some of the


positions taken. But they've got to do it. Because it's very clear they


were given a mandate to run an Assembly and an Executive that works


and it's got to happen, that's what people want. We will hear lots more


from you shortly. For now, thank you. Thank you to the rest of you.


Let's cross back to Mark Devenport with Nicholas Whyte who has been


looking at the ups and downs of leadership within unionism down the


years. Thank you very much, Mark. We have


decided to change academic disciplines, we are going to become


amateur historians, you have it in your blood. Your dad was Professor


JJ Whyte, a noted historian of the Troubles and I have dabbled with


history myself. The reason for all of this talk of history is let's


look at the history of the Ulster Unionist party because we have seen


yet another dramatic move with Mike Nesbitt stepping down.


This follows what was for a long period of time Ulster Unionist


leaders seemed to be staying there forever. James Molyneaux 16 years.


Lord Craigavon for 19 years. When Molyneaux was the leader, they were


the dominant party. The 1993 local Government elections, 29%. They were


basically double what the DUP had. They held the majority of the


parliamentary seats, as well. Then David Trimble, obviously he came in.


The historic leader of the Ulster Unionists who signed the Good Friday


Agreement. That cost him a lot of - caused him a lot of pain but they


were still maintaining dominance. I think on 21%, DUP on 18%, closing


the gap. Much closer than would really had been comfortable. They


had been leading 2-1 and we saw the peace process closing that gap.


David Trimble still in power when the DUP went into the ascendancy. If


we stick with Assembly elections, I think 2003 we had the DUP coming up


to 26%. The Ulster Unionists tailing them on 23%. Then a party in


problems, three leaders in relatively quick succession, in the


space of about 12 years. They're trying whatever they can to


find the magic recipe, be it linking up with the Conservatives or pacts


or whatever. In terms of Assembly elections we have a graph that


doesn't appear to show very much. The fact is it doesn't show very


much. It doesn't show any progress at all.


This is starting up the Reg Empey period.


The tables have turned. The Ulster Unionists on about double the vote.


This masks how bad the situation is. In terms of votes the DUP are on


twice as many. In terms of seats they're going to finish today with


three times as many I reckon. I think the Ulster Unionists will


probably end on about nine. Tom Elliott not ail to close the gap.


Mike Nesbitt's problem has been in 2016 the gap was still about 2-1,


13%. 29%. In 2017, he hasn't closed the gap either. It's much the same.


Expect that it's worse. Today the Ulster Unionists probably losing


seven of their 16 seats. In seats, yeah. In vote share much the same


but in seats he hasn't made any mark. He has made a loss in seats.


They haven't had an uptake since the 1990s. Politics is about more than


just changing your leader? You have to try something and keep on trying


until something else works. Try, try and try again. The Robert the Bruce


strategy. That's not really my historical period.


It isn't mine either, but thank you very much.


That's interesting. Let's hear from Stephen Walker following


developments in Strangford. There is a battle for that final 5th


seat. There is. Surprisingly it's Joe Boyle of the SDLP right at the


death, a lot of people thought it would be Philip Smith of the Ulster


Unionists but he has been excluded. They're looking at his vote at the


moment. Everyone is saying it will be Peter Weir that will take that


5th seat in Strangford, it means the DUP will have three seats in


Strangford. Obviously it means that DUP gamble of moving Peter Weir from


North Down to Strangford will have paid off. If that's the case. So of


the two constituencies, Strangford and North Down, four elected in


Strangford and four elected in North Down. The final seat in North Down


looks as if it is going to go to Stephen Agnew. We are moving to the


final stages here in Strangford and North Down. Thank you very much.


Dramatic developments with Julian Fowler in Fermanagh and South


Tyrone. Maurice Morrow is sought. That's right. You heard it when


Michelle Gildernew was speaking to you earlier, I have been given the


final tally. Rose marry Barton 8442 votes. Sean Lynch, Sinn Fein, 7717


and Maurice Morrow 7411, just over 300 votes short of that final seat.


That means three Sinn Fein, one DUP, Arlene Foster and one Ulster


Unionist, rose marry mar ban elected. Still waiting for the final


declares declaration to be made and the candidates to make their


speeches. Earlier Arlene Foster declined a request to be interviewed


by the BBC. I have been speaking to other journalists here who said they


- she has told them she has no intention of standing down, no real


surprise there. She said she has a job of work to do which has been


made more challenging by tonight. So, hopefully we will still get an


opportunity to speak to Arlene Foster later.


We look forward to that. Thank you very much.


From one Julian to another. Julian O'Neill at the Lagan valley count.


Things are interesting, Lagan valley and of course South Down you are


keeping an eye on. What can you tell us? I am, Mark. The latest, I


believe it is the SDLP who have requested a recount of stage five of


the Lagan Valley count. This I think relates to the redistribution of


votes of two candidates who were eliminated. I don't think it's going


to change the fact that Jenny Palmer has lost her seat as a result of


that stage. But the SDLP want that stage recounted. I think it probably


stems from the fact that they do believe that they are in with a very


slim chance of taking the 5th and final seat here in Lagan Valley. Let


me recap. At this stage we have only one candidate returned in Lagan


Valley, that is Paul Givan who topped the poll for the DUP. I would


fully expect Edwin Poots, his party colleague, to join him, Trevor Lunn


of the Alliance Party also to be elected and Robbie Butler of the


Ulster Unionists who has outpolled Jenny Palmer. That leaves the final


seat which the DUP are now confident that Brenda Hale will take, so the


DUP would retain three seats in Lagan Valley, but that's all looking


into the future. No one knows whether this count will finish


tonight or carry into tomorrow. Things are much more advanced in


South Down. We currently have two Sinn Fein candidates elected along


with Sinead Bradley of the SDLP and Jim Wells of the DUP. A 5th seat


there remains to be filled. It looks like it will go to Colin McGrath of


the SDLP giving them the two seats that they came into this election


with. Harold McKee, who won the 6th seat for the Ulster Unionists last


May, lost out. That's the latest situation from Lisburn where both


counts are still continuing. Thank you very much.


Two counts still continuing in Ballymena. Joining us is Maggie


Taggart. North Antrim and Mid Ulster. North Antrim, after a long


delay has elected its first MLA and that ironically for a strong


loyalist area is Sinn Fein's Philip McGuigan. We think that two of the


three DUP candidates, the previous MLAs, are likely to be re-elected,


Mervyn Storey and Paul Frew. The third is vulnerable, that is Philip


Logan from the DUP. It's likely that he will lose out to Robin Swann of


the Ulster Unionist party, in the spotlight at the moment and he is


obviously hoping he will get in. We should hear shortly because I


understand earlier Doug Beattie was mentioning that Robin Swann could


likely take over from Mike Nesbitt as leader of the Ulster Unionist


party. In Mid Ulster, three Sinn Fein elected, one DUP. We are likely


to have a casualty in the Ulster Unionist party, Sandra Overs end,


she is likely to have lost out to Patsy McGlone of the SDLP, only 500


votes short of a quota now. Thank you very much.


Let's talk to John O'Dowd from Upper Bann, a Sinn Fein candidate, former


Minister. Evening to you, thank you very much for joining us. First of


all, congratulations to you on retaining your seat. Thank you very


much. A lot more comfortable this time than ten months ago when we


were discussing the possibility of you having to find some alternative


employment. I think you were discussing put ago bet on me losing


my seat at that time. Lucky for you you didn't put it on. I am not a


betting man, John! I might have been thinking about other people or


encouraging other people to take a bet. But I wouldn't be that easily


parted with my money, you know! It was 168 votes that time. You are


through this time. Does it look to you like - the battle for the 5th


seat is between your party colleague Nuala Toman and the SDLP's Dolores


Kelly. Someone saw her looking happy within the last five minutes, so do


you think she's going to retake her seat? It's unlikely that we will


take two seats in Upper Bann and Dolores Kelly will be returned.


That's the decision of the electorate. Now we have increased


our vote in Upper Bann by around 3,000 votes which is a remarkable


turnaround in events. It's a clear signal from the people, the


nationalist people in Upper Bann, that they want to move forward, they


want power-sharing but on the basis of the agreements we have signed up


to. They want it on the basis of equality and respect and they want


to weed out corruption at the heart of Government. We have a strong


mandate. We have to use it wisely, we have to use it sensibly. Over the


next number of weeks through our leadership and Michelle guilder New


And Gerry Adams and others we will enter those negotiations in a bid to


return power-sharing but on the basis of the terms outlined and the


basis of the agreements signed up to previously and that integrity and


equality is at the heart of the Government moving forward. You know


that the DUP is sensitive about what you have just said. And will say


categorically there is no evidence of corruption at the heart of


Government. There are alcombagss -- allegations made by Sinn Fein but


now a public inquiry into the RHI scandal and it will report in due


course and then we will make our judgments. So, those suggestions of


corruption are nothing more than suggestions at this stage. Well,


there is allegations from sources within the media, sources from


within the DUP itself and sources elsewhere. As you say, the public


inquiry will find the truth out about exactly what was going on in


relation to RHI. It will investigate all those matters and we will have


the truth eventually come out about that matter. We also have to deal


with the issue of Brexit. We also have to deal with the issue of


inequality in our society and we have to deal with the issue of


power-sharing on the basis of equality, of partners in that


power-sharing arrangement. If, as expected, that the DUP and Sinn Fein


will be returned out of this election, as the two largest


parties, then the only way pow irvrer-sharing can be restored is


upon that basis. Congratulations, John. Thank you very much for


joining us. We will look for confirmation of that result shortly


in that particular constituency. Let's go to Fermanagh South Tyrone


and hear from Arlene Foster, the DUP leader, that count is now finished.


Arlene Foster topped the poll. But she's proved a little bit elusive as


far as the BBC is concerned. She's declined an invitation to talk to us


directly at this stage. Hopefully we will hear from her maybe later this


evening or indeed tomorrow. She has spoken from the platform at her


count and this is what she had to say.


Can I first of all thank Martin by the way in which we have run the


count and in your usual professional way and all of staff, who have


engaged here tonight. Can I thank the police Service of Northern


Ireland for the security they have provided during yesterday in the


election and here tonight in Omagh again. Can I thank those who have


voted for the Democratic Unionist Party in this election, our vote has


increased in Fermanagh-South Tyrone and I want to thank all of those who


have put their faith in us. I want to thank our election agent, Clement


Cuthbertson, and all the volunteers from the DUP who have been working


so hard over the past number of weeks for Morris and myself. Of


course, I want to pay tribute to a dear friend, Maurice Morrow, my


mentors in many ways, since I joined the DUP. In PR elections, sometimes


it can be tough between running mates and I am delighted to say that


Maurice Morrow and myself have never had across word between us and I


want to think himself and Jennifer for their friendship and Maurice for


his courage and everything you have contributed to the Northern Ireland


Assembly, Fermanagh and South Tyrone as a constituency is worse off for


you not being there and there are many who will agree. Personally, I


want to thank my family and for all of the support they have given me


over what has been a challenging time. In some ways. And I thank them


for the love they have provided to me and the support and to all of


those who have been supporting me in practical ways and three players as


well. I am honoured and humbled to be standing here at the moment and I


want to personally thank everyone who has come out for me and to thank


everyone who has supported the team of DUP candidates across the


province and beyond that, I want to thank everyone who has come out to


vote in this election and has shown support for the Democratic process


and the desire to see the restoration of the Assembly


structures. There is no mandate across Northern Ireland for direct


rule, no consensus for any end to local democracy and no desire to


silence our collective and distinctive Northern Ireland voice


at this critical time. The people have spoken. All public


representatives of goodwill must move forward into these negotiations


with a view to forming a Northern Ireland government and let us move


forward with hope, hope that the common good will be able to prevail


over narrow, divisive interests. Hope that civility can return to


politics, hope that a functioning Assembly can be restored and hope


that a Northern Ireland with so many overlapping cultural identities can


be home to all of us and all of our children and, indeed, the


generations to come. There is work to be done. Work to quickly meant


the relationships which have been frayed by the discord of this


election, work to improve our real lives with more and better jobs,


better Health Service and education system and better infrastructure and


the real issues that matter to people on a day by day basis. We go


to the table with a renewed mandate and I will guarantee for my part, a


willingness to meet those challenges, to seize the


opportunities, not for narrow political advantage but for


everybody in Northern Ireland. Thank you.


APPLAUSE Arlene Foster, the DUP leader,


making her acceptance speech in Fermanagh-South Tyrone, she topped


the poll but regretting hugely the fact that running mate, Maurice


Morrow, did not make it home in this particular instance. There has been


a lot happening in the last hour, it is fair to say. We have lots of


graphics to bring us up-to-date with the story. Over to you, Mark. We are


more than halfway through! More than 50 seats, 53 seats in total, have


been filled. We can look at the virtual map.


We are hoping to show you the entire map, squeezing 18 constituents


together to make our own map and we can see from the colours spread


around the map, those constituencies have some seats filled, there are a


couple of exceptions. First, let us look at how the DUP are getting on


in Strangford because in some ways, this tells you the story of the


election within unionism. As we know, there are three outgoing DUP


ministers running. How many are back? We can see Shell Michael Green


is back, Simon Hamilton is back and were told that Peter Weir, even


though he has been parachuted from neighbouring North Down, is almost


certain to get back. In a sense this is the story of the election, Perot


like Nesbitt at the bottom, small consolation being re-elected but it


looks like there are going to be three DUP back in in Strangford


despite all of the problems the DUP have had and the story of the


election, the Alliance doing well in Strangford. Not everyone has filled


their seat belt, North Antrim has got one, East Londonderry do not


have any, some people are comparing this to blockbusters. How dare they!


They must be over 40! North Belfast, they do not have anybody elected but


I am told it will be soon. We can look at the neighbouring


constituency, West Belfast, and again, one of the stories of this


election, look at the number of Sinn Fein MLAs elected. Yes, Gerry


Carroll got back for People Before Profit but where is the SDLP's Alex


Attwood? Nowhere to be seen. Older viewers will remember Joe Hendron


topping the poll in the Westminster election back in 1992, seeing off


Gerry Adams. Those days are definitely over for the best LP. The


new political map is starting to take shape. As you can see, lots of


seats still to be filled. It is going to be a long night! It looks


fantastic! What is at the top of those stairs


behind you? Do you know what? We will show you at the end of the


night. Can you just dander up then? If people children after 11 o'clock!


We will hold you do not -- to that! Becky! Mark Simpson with the


numbers. -- thank you. Are you on course for eight seats? We are still


in contention although less so than about one hour ago in South Down.


And we are the runner-up in north Belfast so that is the second time


we have been runner-up there in eight months, even though we managed


to add to the vote, it was not enough on this occasion. That was


Nuala McAllister? Yes, the runner-up and next to that, Nelson McCausland.


What about predictions for the Ulster Unionist Party and the SDLP?


Alex reckons the Ulster Unionists cannot get any more than ten? We


don't have a figure on the SDLP. We'll both parties be significantly


down? Even allowing for Assembly triggered? That doesn't have the


case, if the Ulster Unionists, if we maintain our position we would be on


seven so if the Ulster Unionists did the same they would have 12 or 13


and they will be below that and similarly with the SDLP, although


they are helped slightly in South Down at our expense because


whichever of us does not take the final seat will be the runner-up so


that is a tussle for the last seat and that will help them. But not a


good collection for either party. Not as bad, I will be honest, as


Mike Nesbitt seems to think as it is for him and I was shocked at just


how swiftly he departed. It seems to be quite a remarkable decision to


have made so swiftly without talking to colleagues and the rest of it, it


seems quite a bizarre way to do things. Did he want to go at the


first sign he thinks would not be going in the way he hoped in his


head? I have to say yes, at the leaders debate before the election,


he did seem even then to have the demeanour of somebody who felt


defeated so from that perspective I don't think he had a happy election.


We have fought really good campaigns and have enjoyed the campaigns and


have been gutted when we get to the count centre. It happens to all of


us. But I do not think he had a good campaign, he did not feel confident


going into the election or throughout. It has left him in a


difficult position. They have lost three out of the four women they had


in the election, that is a big blow, and they have lost Danny Kennedy,


who was probably the most obvious person to take over as leader if


Mike Nesbitt stood aside. That is a huge loss. And to the Assembly. I


was his vice chair in the OFMDFM committee days in the Assembly and I


have huge respect and affection for Danny Kennedy, he is a gentleman and


I am genuinely sorry to see him going because he has a great sense


of humour and somebody who I think will be a great loss to the chamber.


You will have felt the same thing, working with him in the role


speaker. Somebody who genuinely could bring wit and humour to the


role he had. And he will be a great loss to the party and the Assembly.


Stay with us. Tom Elliott joins us from the Fermanagh-South Tyrone


count in. You were in Belfast earlier today. You have made the


journey back home. West of the river bank. What do you make of the


picture unfolding tonight? We know all of the seats have been declared


in Fermanagh-South Tyrone and Arlene Foster topped the poll, Maurice


Morrow did not make it, any relief that Rosemary Barton held onto her


seat? It is a tribute to Rosemary, she is a hard worker on the ground,


she gets around a lot of issues and I am pleased that she has made it.


Clearly within that there are casualties and I am sorry to see


Maurice Morrow going, he is a stalwart of the Assembly. Richie


McPhillips was making a huge contribution also but unfortunately


that is politics. The biggest casualty is your party leader, Mike


Nesbitt, who has fallen on his sword. Some people are effectively


describing this as a pre-emptive strike. Did he really need to do


that quite so soon? I am not sure of the entire circumstances because I


was not aware of it but he has taken that decision in a very emotional


time. You're not even at the end of the election count but clearly he


has taken that decision at an early stage, he feels that it was a poor


result, not what he was anticipating what was calculating. It is a


difficult time and I just hope that himself and the family can spend


some time together that he may be did not have the opportunity to do


over the last five years. You have been in a difficult situation as the


leader of the party and Alex Kane earlier said that it is not an easy


party to lead because in a sense, it looks in two directions, one way and


the other. Here is the point... Mike Nesbitt has made a decision to go.


And people are not quite clear by he has made that decision. And they are


not quite sure what he believed whenever he said in interviews, that


the Ulster Unionist Party would come back as the biggest unionist party.


Was he just talking things up or did he actually believe that? When you


are in an election campaign, you do your best to try to rally the troops


and get people behind you and get people to support you. That is what


you do. Every party does that. Mike made the calculation that he would


like to come back with more seats than he did and he just feels, I am


sure, that he has not lived up to expectation. It was a very brave


decision. Visit? If you wildly over claim when you rally the troops, the


difficulty is, you back yourself into a corner because even though


you might not have done very badly, you look like a failure, condemned


by your own expectations? Yes but I do keep saying, in the election


campaign you do the best for the party and you try to get people to


come behind you and you will not go on the Trail and say, we will lose


all of the seats. You try to make the best of it. And Mike feels he


has not been able to make the best of it and I am sure he would have


been more contented baby if it was not the largest party but if he had


more seats and at least kept the seats that we did that. He has taken


the decision, was a brave? Nothing is easy. There been a brave but not


easy. And filled with an emotionally charged evening. And I hope that he


can have some peace and tranquillity in the days ahead.


Thank you very much, next time I want your prediction as to who the


next leader will be. I presume you won't be throwing your hat in the


ring for another go? I would suggest you are presuming right, Mark. Fair


enough. Can't say I am surprised. Tom, thank you very much. Let's hear


from Doleres Kelly from Upper Bann. SDLP candidate. Good to see you.


Doesn't seem so long since we were having a conversation in which we


were discussing the end of your political career. It looks like


maybe you are about to come back from the dead. Rumours of my death


have been much false as Mark Twain said. It is looking very positive.


More or less I think Sinn Fein have conceded. They are doing the surplus


at the moment. But I think I am on target to be indeed back in the


Assembly. So, three MLAs have been returned for Upper Bann. You are in


a scrap for the final seat with Sinn Fein's Nuala Toman. Can you give us


a sense of how the transfers are looking? Do you reckon you have it


in the bag, is it a possibility or a probability probableability? It's a


probableability at this stage. I think I am over 1,000 in front. And


there is even Beattie surplus distributed at the moment and I am


ahead on those. Any idea when that declaration is likely to be made and


when you are confirmed as an MLA once again? I would hope within the


next 20 minutes or so. Yes, we are progressing quite well here in Upper


Bann for a change. It's always been a rollercoaster, doesn't matter if


it's over one day or two, it's always a difficult time. Sometime


within the next 20-30 minutes it will be confirmed as having retaken


the seat. We will hold our congratulations until it is


official. Let me ask you, sorry to bring this up... It ain't over until


it's over, that's for sure. There was controversy in the press during


the campaign about the inappropriateness in inverted xhas


of you receiving a significant pay-off, I think last May when you


lost your seat. And you hold on to that money but you are running


again. Where are we with that and if you do indeed win the seat does that


make you uncomfortable? Well, Mark, can I just say what makes me


uncomfortable is how I have been singled out for a particular type of


rumour and almost slander and defamation of my own good character.


I didn't receive all of that sum of money. A lot was spent on the


rundown of my office and my staff pay-offs. I also would have to say


that I don't know why I was treated differently to any other MLAs who


lost or retired last year. Nor indeed those other MLAs or MPs or


MEPs who stood down from other parliaments and took seats in other


parliaments, not only in this jurisdiction but elsewhere and the


same question and the same hints of scandal weren't thrown at them.


Today I am going... Just to be clear, nothing defamatory in what I


am saying to you and the reason I am talking is because I am interviewing


you at the moment, I don't know if you were singled out but you are one


of the MLAs who stood for election once again. The point was made about


John Dallat as well. He is not I think - I think he has been elimb


Nat Nated in East Londonderry -- eliminated. But you understand why I


am asking you because we are having a conversation and it looks like you


are about to win your seat again. There was a public debate about the


appropriateness of you holding on to that money. I am just asking if you


are comfortable with that. I think that's a fair question. Well, I


think what is a fair question is the whole principle of severance


payments to all parment tarrians and that's a debate to be had, not only


with me but with the Assembly and in other parliaments. Right. I have


news for you. You might be a little bit annoyed for asking that question


but I can tell you formally officially you are an MLA you have


been returned because my little screen has got a green tick beside


your name. Maybe you will forgive me that rudeness. Wonderful news. How


do you feel, congratulations. Thank you very much, Mark. It's just


wonderful U I didn't expect to be back here and I want to thank my


marvellous campaign team that worked really hard. I want to say a


particular thanks to each and every voter in Upper Bann who came out for


the SDLP, who put their faith in the SDLP and me to represent them again


in this constituency, thank you all. Well, genuine congratulations. That


brought a mile to your face, I have to say. -- a smile to your face. You


can go and celebrate. No chat we will chat again soon. Thank you for


your time. Good talking to you, Mark. Good to


talk to you, as well. Fionnuala, nonetheless delighted to be


returned. Must have been delightful, I believe Nuala Toman rused to work


in Brid Rodgers office, maybe a long time ago and to be in a run-off with


her for the seat must have been something. Apparently. Do you know


if that's the case? I wasn't aware of that. It was a long time ago. I


know Nuala, she never mentioned that. It may have been at school.


May have been a holiday job but she did apparently work for sometime.


She is Sinn Fein through and through. There was a tight fight at


the end. She didn't make it. First of all, I would congratulate


Dolores, it is tough coming back having lost her seat and also John


O'Dowd but Nuala Toman polled very well. She should be very proud. She


was in 4th place in terms of first preference votes. 6100. She didn't


pick up the transfers to bring her home. An excellent first preference


vote. And replacing an effective and popular person in Katherine Sealey


who is popular. She's gone back to teaching. A loss I think to Sinn


Fein. A lot of people feel a loss to Sinn Fein and a loss to politics


because she was articulate and had things to say and a fresh


perspective. No matter what you think about Sinn Fein's position on


things. A lot of people liked the fact she brought something new to


the table. Here is the interesting thing about that. She wonder if that


says something about a young person's commitment to politics or a


young person's view of what politics has to offer and where politics is


going here at the moment. Well, first of all, I think the school is


lucky to have Cat because she's a really good teacher and as a former


Education Minister looking at raising standards and tackling


underachievement I know that is Cat's goal in a disadvantaged area.


In terms of young people and politics, of course young people


raise questions but look at the number of young people that have put


themselves forward. That don't know what's going to happen next week or


the week after. You take the point, she was in the Assembly for a matter


of months, she had an opportunity to get her feet under the table. People


thought she had something to offer and she was there, got a feel of it


and decided you know what, I am not going to bother, I will go back to


teaching. That sends out a negative message about politics. Well, yeah,


but politics doesn't have to be for life. I think that we have to


change... Often it's for more than eight months. We have to dhang the


way we think about things. If you go into a job and don't like the job,


then you change it. People should be entitled to. But look at Megan


Fearon, she's 25 years of age and in her third - won two elections and


was co-opted in one. There are young people who stayed on and young women


who stayed on. Politics is a tougher game for women than men, I don't


care what anyone says. Loads of other, Elisha McCallion, Sinead,


Nichola Mallon, all the different women that have gone forward again.


I think what we have to do is make it a better place for women and men.


Also you doint have to stay there for life as I know. Yes, you bailed


out a relatively young age it has to be said. A lot were surprised you


decided to go. Well, yeah, I have probably a different view. I have


done different things from being a professional tennis player, to being


an act srifs in the third world to a human rights activist, 14 years in


poll tishgs, four terms. You are not going to go back to being a senior


tour tennis player. I am probably old for that now. It's good to have


change and to have younger people in. I am glad I could use my


experience to get a younger woman like Sinead in and in in style. We


are going to look at pictures of Arlene Foster leaving the count


centre in the Fermanagh and South Tyrone. There she is heading out in


the dark. Seems to have dried up down there in that part of the


world. She's getting into her Land Rover there. She has a fair bit of


security around her. She's heading off. She chose not to speak to the


BBC on this occasion. With any luck we will catch a word with her


tomorrow. There is Maurice Morrow who was unsuccessful. Arlene Foster


referred to Lord Morrow as her mentor. Difficult for him. I suppose


a bit of a mixed night for Arlene Foster. She will be genuinely


personally dispointed he is not back. When you run as a candidate


the thing that's worse than losing your own seat is watching your


running mate go out because actually particularly if you have done well


as Arlene did in terms of topping the poll, to see the person you ran


with, your colleague who supported you, to see them go out, it's a very


painful experience. I am fortunate enough while I was here I saw my


running mate flash up on the screen as elect. I am relieved about that


because Chris polled really strongly and I am delighted to see Chris


Lytlle back in. We were delighted last time to get two Alliance people


elected we didn't get the third. It's gutting when that happens


because you desperately want to see the whole team over the line and


it's very difficult and it's hard when you see it happen to somebody


else, it's easier to deal with in some ways when it is yourself. OK.


Let's talk to Robin Swann, the Ulster Unionist from North Antrim.


He joins us from the count there in Ballymena. You have been returned.


The second candidate in North Antrim to be returned. First of all,


congratulations to you on a personal basis because a lot of people said


that you might have a bit of a struggle to hang on to a seat there


but you have done it and done it comfortably. Well, I think that was


what the local papers were having, when you were talking to David


McIlveen the other night, describing me as the underdog. I have increased


my vote from May from 4400 to over 6,000 so a 36% increase in the


Ulster Unionist vote is a great recommendation for the work that we


have been doing here. Just to be clear, the other candidate, is it


the case that the DUP will get two home in Paul Frew and will Philip


Logan lose out? It's looking like that at this moment. That seems to


be the lie of the land into the last stage here. Let me ask you about


your party. It's been a miserable night, according to Mike Nesbitt.


You will know that he has in rather dramatic fashion called a news


conference in East Belfast and announced that he is standing down


as leader of the Ulster Unionist party. He can not in all honesty, he


says, criticise other unionist leaders and then not deliver himself


in terms of what he had said the Ulster Unionist party would achieve.


Are you surprised, disappointed at his decision? I suppose one of the


first things Mike did as leader was appoint me Chief Whip and what I


have come to know from working with the man, if he commits himself to


something he sees it threw and Mike always said his measure of


leadership will be about what he achieves and how he achieves it. In


his comments today and the reasons that he has stood down I think it


shows the leadership quality of Mike Nesbitt. He's taken that personal


stand, what he has committed to he didn't achieve in this election and


he is standing by his word and that's what I found out about Mike


Nesbitt, he is a man of his word and he will honour that. Here is the bad


news for you, I spoke to Doug Beattie, who was successful in Upper


Bann and asked if his name would be in the frame for the leadership


whenever Mike Nesbitt finally stands down and he said absolutely not. The


man for the job is Robin Swann in North Antrim. He is the man I think


at this stage I would back for it. Are you up for it? Well, look, I


don't know, I know Doug maybe told the BBC that, I don't know if he


spoke to my wife yet, that's where a lot of the decisions have to be made


for me first of all. We are a Democratic Party. We are going into


our AGM in a few weeks. How that falls out, I think will be decided


by the party officers. We are a party that represents one member,


one vote and it's down to the membership of our party who will


lead us, it's the done by MLAs or MPs or by a council, it's done by


the membership. It's not been a great night. Danny Kennedy is out.


Joanne Dobson is out. Philip Smith is out. Sandra Overend is


struggling. Those are big names, significant figures within your


party at Stormont who are not going to play a part next week or next


month. Well, the names you mentioned, I think maybe, and they


are a loss to the Ulster Unionist Assembly team, they're also a loss


to the Northern Ireland Assembly because some names you mentioned


there, Joanne Dobson and her organ donation bill, the work Danny


Kennedy did, they're big losses to the Assembly. It's something we have


seen from the reduction to five seats and the increased quotas, as


well. I think the loss of those unionist seats are down to an


increased Sinn Fein vote and that's what we are seeing across Northern


Ireland. I think one of the things you are not balancing that with is


the success we have had in John Stewart and taking a Sinn Fein seat


in East Antrim. OK, thank you very much indeed. Have


a word with your wife and let us know if she says you are allowed to


put your name forward for the leadership in due course. We would


be interested in having a conversation with you about that.


I want to hear Alex's thoughts in a second, before that I want to go


over to Tara at the Titanic exhibition centre to hear what is


happening there. It's getting late in the night. What


is the mood It is fair to say that all of the


politicians and party workers are exhausted at this stage because they


have had a long day yesterday and a very long couple of weeks, two


elected with me and one hopeful. Clare Bailey from the Green Party


and Paula Bradley from the DUP. Chris, congratulations. Are you


pleased with the Alliance vote? It is a good day. Delighted to have


such assault -- strong showing of support, one and two in East Belfast


and that is a huge privilege to serve East Belfast and we are


delighted they want to see a united community, they want effectiveness


and power-sharing government and that is what myself and Naomi Long


will be working to achieve. Looking at some of the pictures of the


announcement. What can you say to those people who voted for Alliance?


I asked Naomi Long about the possibility of nonexecutive seat but


do you think it is time to stay as opposition and consolidate that


position? We need to see the final numbers and we have clear issues


that we will assess whether or not to take any position or to continue


to hold the Executive to account. We have had strong leadership from


individual MLAs on integrated education, health and other issues


and we think we will be an effective party with the strong mandate we


have been given. Will there be different decisions to be made next


time around? There will be constituencies you will look at,


perhaps in Strangford putting up two candidates? We talk to the Alliance


all the time about this breakthrough and breaking away from East? Naomi


Long had a very clear aim to build the base across Northern Ireland and


we have had strong performances, in South Down, Patrick Brown was close


to securing a seat and we have had a very good turnout today, our biggest


vote across Northern Ireland in 30 years, our biggest ever Assembly


result in South Belfast. We have some capable candidates across


Northern Ireland and are very mobilised membership with good


support from people in the community. Clare Bailey, you are


hopeful to get through? Yes and I am thrilled because I was only elected


back in May for the first time so it has been a short period I have held


the office. To see the increase in the vote this time around has been


heartening and Steven Agnew is looking very solid in North Down. A


good day for the Green Party, we have increased first preference


votes and we are looking likely to hold onto both seats. Going around


the doors, what was that down to? People Before Profit have only one


and from their point of view you want to hold onto two, what is the


difference? Are the people younger, the younger demographic? We appeal


across the board. We have younger activists in the party in terms of


membership but when we're on the door is canvassing and speaking to


people, it is our response right across and we started this time at


the Belfast City Centre of South Belfast and worked our way right


through the constituency into four wins, getting carried off, so it


comes from everywhere. We will see that in the transfers we get after


the first preferences. We are very transfer friendly, people like to


give us some support and once we have earned their trust we will see


that they usually stick with us. Paula, congratulations, the first in


North Belfast. Absolutely, I am delighted to be the first in North


Belfast and the first unionist in the entire Belfast constituency.


After last, we had to wait such a long time to get to the stage. It is


bittersweet personally because of what happened to Nelson McCausland?


Yes, there is no doubt about that, we will miss him greatly as part of


the MLA team, he will always be there for advice because he is a


mine of knowledge but that has taken the shine off. On the other side,


our vote has held in North Belfast, my personal vote has increased so


that is a positive or so. Talking to yourself and Diane Dodds about


transfers and Mike Nesbitt has resigned as party leader, but some


of those transfers that did go elsewhere in North Belfast,


potentially they have cost Nelson his seat? We need to look at those


figures in greater detail. But I know by looking at the entire


province, some of those transfers have hurt the DUP greatly from the


Ulster Unionist Party. In North Belfast I know that quite a


proportion of Robert Foster's transfers went to the Alliance Party


and the SDLP. Chris will not complain! No, he will not! In terms


of the overall picture for the DUP, what is your hope for an Executive


and the Assembly running again, given the stalemate over Arlene


Foster? My hope, and I went to the doors and what I said was I want to


be back at work, doing the job I enjoy, I want to be back as part of


the ruling of Northern Ireland and I hope whenever we go back we will be


part of those negotiations, to get things back, up and running again.


Whether that will happen, I do not know but I have to be positive. Has


this been nerve-racking for you? I asked the others as well, in terms


of a personal level, you are the MLA, you have been a mLA for quite a


long time, were you thinking about the future? Absolutely. You take


nothing for granted in this job. We have mortgages and children to look


after, things that everyone else in society has and it is emotionally


draining. Absolutely emotionally dreading. I very much look forward


to a very quiet weekend! The same question to both of you... Sleepless


nights? I am extremely tired but you take great encouragement from the


people who give you their vote and they want you to get on with the job


at the Assembly, it is huge privilege we have as a result of


this and I am looking forward to getting back and working on the


issues people want to see us working on. Are you keeping fingers crossed?


Yes, indeed. And I think the energy that comes from the campaign, with


everybody rallying behind you and supporting you and in South Belfast


we had support from across the island, the Green Party in Scotland,


Dublin, Glasgow, they came here to support us and you get energy from


that. Thank you, all three of you. Back to Mark. Interesting to see


some smiling around the table, people happy. Naomi Long happy to


see Chris Lyttle home and dry. The final result for Mid Ulster, Patsy


McGlone has taken the fifth seat at the expense of the Ulster Unionist


Party's Sandra Overend, she sighed and Patsy McGlone is safe. He was


predicting that 40 minutes ago. I want to talk to Fionnuala about a


couple of things, about how you read the Sinn Fein and the SDLP result.


Is Sinn Fein's result as good as some people are suggesting and the


SDLP vote as bad? Sinn Fein's is as good and the SDLP's not as bad. Sinn


Fein is masked by the DUP result, which is better than some people


thought, it was always going to be very good, they have had more than


the odd bad reverse and Arlene Foster clearly has not recovered her


equilibria with you guys but Sinn Fein's result has coasted past in


the midst of that. Those various trios of successes, which are quite


remarkable. Because they are hard to like and so bumptious in so many


ways, it is hard for us to give them credit for this. Having said that, I


think they got away with murder, oops, must not say that! They got


away with some fraud, on a big skill in West Belfast, going out to get


People Before Profit on the Brexit issue. By not exerting themselves


one bed or spending very much money to combat Brexit. They have knocked


People Before Profit back? Eamonn McCann will not keep his seat in


Foyle and Gerry Carroll has not done as well. They came out punching, I


have to watch my verbs... They came out in strength, saturating


doorsteps in West Belfast, to knock the stuffing out of People Before


Profit and they did that mainly on the Brexit issue and that was such a


fraud because they were not exercised on Brexit, they were like


Jeremy Corbyn, and the other fraudulent, of these are fraud in


any sense that you need to worry, they would say it is not defamatory,


it was on the public enquiry issue... They will bang on about the


public enquiry that will examine all of these issues and adjudicate and


find the truth. They opposed the public enquiry to the very last


minute. You mean smoke and mirrors when you say fraud? More smoke than


anything else. And they got away with it because Arlene Foster


brought out the vote by being obnoxious and because they mustered


themselves and went all for it, hell for leather, and did very well. It


is fair to say that Sinn Fein did support the public enquiry quite


late on and Mairtin O'Muilleoir but that in place but not long before


they were against it? They took their sweet time and we still do not


know why. The SDLP did not have as bad a time as they could have and


they deserve that, they deserved to have done better because they fought


a very good fight in many ways. And it was sad and ironic in some way to


see them fighting the good fight with young candidates, having looked


grizzled for so long and we mocked them for saying we deserve better


than this. They pulled themselves together and they had very good


young candidates and Colum Eastwood find his feet and his voice in the


last debate he was very good and I have not been impressed by him


before that at all. I could see he was a nice fellow, he looked well


and sound good but not strong. And partly because problem remains for


them, what I therefore? What is their selling point? Nichola


Mallon... A very good performer but what are their selling? And they


have to find a place to stand, something to be. They went for


opposition and that was a mistake. I think. And I can see where they do


that, they would dam declared dead and they did not. And they went for


that with Mike Nesbitt and he blew it. That is not to say that if he


did not blow it it would have worked well, it probably would not have and


it was doubtful if he could have sold that to the Ulster Unionists, a


party that is unreadable and barely exists as a party. Naomi Long, very


quickly, what about where the Alliance Party will be once we get


through these talks, if Stormont gets up and running? If you are


entitled to a position in the Executive, would you take that? In


theory, yes, but in the right count of Executive. What does that mean?


We spilled the site in detail last time, we said that if the parties in


the Executive were willing to do with getting rid of the petition of


concern, in terms of limitations on when it could be used, dealing with


integrated education and doing something about that, dealing with


division and reinvesting that so we set those five things out clearly.


That has not changed? They have not because those things have unpacked


this Executive, the scandals were around money being channelled into


paramilitary organisations through the Executive, if you look at RHI,


the lack of openness and transparency and accountability so


all of the issues we were raising... In fact, the anger you see from Sinn


Fein in many ways stems from the fact that DUP arrogance was built on


the back that they could wipe everybody else out with the petition


of concern and for that reason, they will have to be addressed and we


will have to see an attitude change. Very quickly, would you be


optimistic, and you have listened to a lot of people have said in 12


hours, would you be optimistic, seriously, but at the end of this,


in weeks or months, the DUP and Sinn Fein, both parties having done


pretty well, we'll be able to get things together to work in an


Executive, perhaps with the support of the Alliance Party and start


moving things forward? Are you optimistic they can back themselves


out of the corners they have We have seen them do remarkable


u-turns in the past. You mentioned the public inquiry, you could smell


the burning rubber as they were making u-turns in the last week to


grasp the issue of the public inquiry. When people say it's not


going to happen, it's never going to happen, it's a meaningless exercise


because five minutes later they're saying the opposite. I think we need


to actually park what has been said in the election campaign, accept


that some of that was about electioneering and start to move


forward. I have to say I hope the DUP have listened carefully to what


happened because Sinn Fein did mobilise their vote, no question


about that. They did the work on the ground in West Belfast, but the


biggest recruiting agent for Sinn Fein in this election was Arlene


Foster. Every time she spoke, every time she acted she added fuel to the


fire and made it much more easy for Sinn Fein to gain ground in this


election than it would have been had she taken a different approach to


the election. I think it has backfired tremendously on them and I


would reckon there will be more than a few DUP people sitting at home


this evening wondering if they could not have handled RHI better and


avoided this election altogether. John, I will come to you in a


moment. I want to test the waters in some of our count centres and talk


first of all to Julian O'Neill in the Lagan Valley. What's happening?


Well, I think we are about to get what will be the final declaration


for South Down, Mark. I can hear it now. I haven't got the figures but I


believe that Colin McGrath of the SDLP has taken the 5th and final


seat. That means that there will be two SDLP MLAs elected in South Down


with two Sinn Fein MLAs, Sinead Ennis and kriz Hazzard and Jim Wells


of the DUP making it five in total. The loser in South Down was Harold


McKee of the Ulster Unionists. I hear applause which tells me there


is also going to be some action in Lagan Valley, we are one MLA across


the line. I am hearing that count, even though one is just across the


line, will conclude tonight so a lot of activity in Lagan valley very


soon. Thank you very much.


Let's hear from Julian Fowler keeping abreast of developments in


Omagh. Yes, Fermanagh South Tyrone have


packed up and the West Tyrone counters are also going home. Still


waiting for the final declaration and the final tally there, but we


are expecting three Sinn Fein, to be elected with the DUP's Tom Buchanan


and the SDLP's Daniel McCrossan picking up a final seat too. Ulster


Unionists will have dropped their seat. Previously held by Ross Hussey


who wasn't standing this time, replaced by a new candidate, Alicia


Clarke. It looks like they're down one here. Thank you very much.


Appreciate that. Let's hear from David Maxwell in


Belfast for us at the four Belfast counts at the Titanic Exhibition


Centre. Any news? Well, no new news. Nine candidates elected so far. 11


still to go. We are halfway through. We expect the rest to come in


quickly, especially with regards to East Belfast and North Belfast. Two


to eliminate in East Belfast and one to eliminate in North Belfast before


we expect to be able to complete those counts. We have been told this


count will go on into the night and will be completed tonight. Still


interesting stories to be told here. The last seat battle in East Belfast


will likely be between Robin Newton, the former Speaker and David


Douglas, we expect John Kyle's transfers to decide that and they


will be redistributed soon. In South Belfast, again that's fascinating


for the last two seats it's going to come down to between Emma


Little-Pengelly, Chris Stalford and the Green Party's Clare Bailey. I


spoke to Clare, she's confident she can be returned in South Belfast.


But the fact remains that Michael Henderson, the UUP's candidate, when


he is eliminated, he has 4,000 votes, they'll transfer at full


value. They're likely to go to the DUP candidates, so the DUP could


potentially return both Emma Little-Pengelly and Christopher


Stalford in South Belfast. So, we wait to see that result. Could be


dramatic indeed. South Belfast shaping up to be very interesting.


Clare Bailey will be hugely disappointed if she doesn't retain


that seat. David, thank you very much. Let's go to Bangor, the North


Down and Strangford counts happening there. Steven Walker is there. Any


white smoke? Yes, here is some figures I would like to share with


you. Philip Smith from the Ulster Unionists was eliminated, his votes


have been transferred. 934 from Philip Smith have gone to the SDLP's


Joe Boyle. 910 to Peter Weir. Joe Boyle is 62 votes ahead, although


when they transfer Michelle McIlveen's surplus it looks as if


Peter Weir will get other the line. In the final stages here and also in


the final stages of North Down. I have been speaking to Steven AgNew


Of the Green Party. He hopes there will be a declaration by midnight.


The problem is he didn't specify which day.


Let's hope it's midnight tonight and not midnight tomorrow. I will not be


here at midnight tomorrow, that's for sure. The Green Party scrapping


for both of those seats, to be fair, Stephen Agnew is going to get that


seat in North Down, but maybe not for a while. Two counts in Foyle.


They're both really interesting. Yes, Mark, that's right. The count


is continuing apace here in the Foyle Arena for East Londonderry and


Foyle. East Londonderry is getting very interesting, more about that in


a moment. Clare Sugden, the outgoing justice Minister, has tweeted she's


been elected but nothing official yet. We are set to get some


announcement at 10pm, so perhaps confirmation of that. Nothing


official. It's looking like the DUP could lose a seat down from three to


two. The caveat is always that it has to play out. It really is down


to the wire. Sinn Fein should retain their existing seat. It's that last


seat that's proving very interesting and a great tussle with Sinn Fein


with Cathal OhOisin. He could be in the running for a second seat for


Sinn Fein. He is battling for that last seat with John Dallat, that


veteran SDLP member. He came back to fight this election, brought back by


the party. At one stage about two hours ago on the radio he conceded


and said that he wouldn't get elected. But there is life there


yet, he says. He said a few moments ago that he had written his


political obituary too early. All to play for in East Londonderry.


You see, the old PR system is a tricky one. Just when you think


somebody's down and out, they bounce back up off the canvas again. Thank


you very much. Let's talk to Ita in Newtownabbey


where counting is completed in the East Antrim and south Antrim


constituencies. Yes, indeed. The declarations are just being done


here behind me. South Antrim, a battle Royal for those last two


seats. Three DUP candidates were slugging it out between the two of


them, between themselves. The two successful new MLAs are Paul Girvan


and Pam Cameron. Trevor Clarke lost on his seat. South Antrim now is one


Sinn Fein, one Ulster Unionist, one Alliance, and two DUP. Two hours


earlier it all finished in the East Antrim constituency. The first four


announced were all sitting MLAs, Ulster Unionist Roy Beggs begs,


alliance Stewart Dickson, the DUP's David Hilditch and Gordon Lyons.


Then a surprise, on a day with little good news for the Ulster


Unionist party, UUP councillor John Stewart took the last seat there,


making it two in East Antrim for the Ulster Unionists. Sinn Fein's Oliver


McMullan lost his seat and the DUP dropped down from three to two. So


south and East Antrim all done and dusted here at the Valley Leisure


Centre. Thank you very much. All done and dusted as well in


Banbridge. What's the situation for Upper Bann


and Newry and ash mar? Yeah, that's right. We are packing up here in


Banbridge. We have had the final declaration from Upper Bann in the


last couple of minutes. It finished two DUP, one UUP, one Sinn Fein and


one SDLP. That's Dolores Kelly who is delighted to have won back a seat


she lost to Sinn Fein back in May 2016. There was a nice moment there


in the wrapping up speeches where the candidates give their thanks,


Doug Beattie, the Ulster Unionist candidate dedicated his victory to


his grandson Cameron who died around the time of the May 2016 election


and that was very warmly received by everyone in the room. Turning to


Newry and Armagh. It wrapped sometime ago. The big story was the


loss of the seat by Danny Kennedy. He said that his seat had been


washed away in the away -- we were the last count centre to wrap up


last time around. This time we are one of the first for which we will


be eternally grateful. Absolutely. Thank you very much.


Let's get a look at the state of the parties now with Mark Simpson.


It is starting to get really interesting. Around two-thirds of


the seats are now filled. The largest party is still Sinn Fein.


23 seats. How close are the DUP? Well, they've got 17 at the moment.


They got 38 last time. They want at least 30 this time. They look


unlikely to get it. What about the other parties? The


Ulster Unionists have only nine seats. That's why Mike Nesbitt has


quit. On the other side of the chamber, over there, we can see the


SDLP have seven seats so far. Speaking of seven seats, the


Alliance Party, in contrast, have had a good day, they've seven seats.


They only got eight last time. Two more other seats to tell you about,


Gerry Carroll from People Before Profit has been returned to Stormont


from West Belfast. And the independent Clare Sugdeen is back.


Those are the scores on the doors at the moment. All eyes on the front of


the chamber to see if the DUP can overtake Sinn Fein or could it even


be a draw? 28-28? We will have to wait and see. We will, thank you


very much. A quick word from John, what do you make of where we are and


particularly as far as the Ulster Unionists are concerned, there is


good news and bad news? That's the one gain, the Ulster Unionists have


had in East Antrim. It's the one bit of good news. The rest is pretty


grim. Holding on to Fermanagh South Tyrone was good news at the expense


of Lord Morrow, it's obviously difficult for any party losing


people. But some of those seats, but losing across the board losing


people like Danny Kennedy, a disaster. And their party leader, as


well. We will come back and talk to you later. For now, thank you very


much. That's it from us for now. We have had some shocks and surprises


through the day. The biggest casualty, curiously wasn't someone


who lost a seat, it was the Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt, he


fell on his sword at 8pm this evening saying he failed to


breakthrough and eat into the DUP vote. Despite the DUP success, the


partied did lose big names, Lord Morrow and of course Nelson


McCausland in North Belfast. Other big names taking a hit, the Ulster


Unionist Danny Kennedy, mentioned there by John. People Before


Profit's Eamonn McCann. He said he was out, might not be out but it


looks like he is in a scrap for that last seat. And, of course, the


SDLP's Alex Attwood in West Belfast. However, there was good news for


Colum Eastwood with the political resurrection of Dolores Kelly. Sinn


Fein and the DUP will be the two largest parties with Arlene Foster


and Michelle O'Neill topping the poll in their own constituencies. We


are back at 10. 30pm. For now, bye. but the vast majority of people


in Northern Ireland Being a Muslim makes


everything easier for me.


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.