Too close to call!

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

ONCE again an election in Fermanagh & South Tyrone stands on a knife edge as Tom Elliott and Michelle Gildernew go head to head for a seat at Westminster.

Electoral battles here are more often than not decided by very fine margins and it looks like another nail-biter is in prospect this week.

The Ulster Unionist's Tom Elliott is the incumbent, having wrested the seat from Sinn Fein's Michelle Gildernew two years ago after the Brantry native had held the seat for 14 years.

Mr Elliott took the seat for the UUP with a 530 vote majority in 2015, the 15th smallest in the 650 seat Parliament.

It came after the agreed unionist candidate in 2010, Rodney Connor, lost out by four votes to Ms Gildernew, a result which was reduced to a single vote following an appeal.

Voters will go to the polls this Thursday, 8th June, with counting to take place overnight and results expected in the early hours of Friday morning.

Fermanagh & South Tyrone was one of the last constituencies to declare in 2015, at about 5.30am and in a constituency where a high turnout is routine, that will most likely be the case again.

Also on the ballot paper is Trillick SDLP Councillor, Mary Garrity, the Alliance Party's Noreen Campbell and the Green Party's Tanya Jones.

Meanwhile, in Mid-Ulster, the result is expected to be much less close, with Francie Molloy of Sinn Fein the odds-on favourite to retain his seat at a canter, with the rest playing for second.

Sinn Fein surged to a monster 26,000 votes in March's Assembly election, with DUP next on just under 10,000 votes.

Keith Buchanan will once again be on the ballot paper for the party, while the UUP will be represented by Westminster poll newcomer Mark Glasgow. Malachy Quinn is the SDLP candidate, having previously stood in 2015's election. Filling out the ballot paper is Fay Watson of Alliance.

The electorate in Mid-Ulster for this poll stands at 68,485, down from 69,396 back in March, a decline of around 900.

Check out next week's Tyrone Courier for full coverage of the election in both Fermanagh & South Tyrone and Mid-Ulster.

You can also follow our coverage live overnight on both our Facebook page and on Twitter.


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