Simpson holds Upper Bann seat as UUP vote plummets

Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland 8th June 2017

Westminster General Election 2017

The DUP's candidate for Upper Bann David Simpson pictured celebrating after he wins the seat at the election count at the Eikon Exhibition Centre Sprucefield for Lagan Valley, Newry & Armagh, South Down and Upper Bann.

Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland 8th June 2017 Westminster General Election 2017 The DUP's candidate for Upper Bann David Simpson pictured celebrating after he wins the seat at the election count at the Eikon Exhibition Centre Sprucefield for Lagan Valley, Newry & Armagh, South Down and Upper Bann. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com

Sitting DUP MP David Simpson comfortably held his Upper Bann seat in the Westminster election with a tally of 22,317 votes.

He added almost 7,000 votes to his 2015 score of 15,430, while the Ulster Unionist Party saw their votes plummet well below the 10,000 mark.

UUP candidate Doug Beattie took only 7,900 votes, well down from Jo-Anne Dobson’s 2015 total of 13,166.

Meanwhile, John O’Dowd of Sinn Fein amassed 14,325 votes, an increase on the party’s 2015 total of 11,593.

David Simpson said it was “plain to be seen” that he had received votes from supporters of other parties and this would not be taken for granted.

“We will fight for this country, for Northern Ireland, this part of the UK and in Brexit negotiations we will deliver for the people of Northern Ireland,” he said.

Sinn Fein’s John O’Dowd promised there would be a lot of difficult talking over the next couple of weeks to try to restore the devolved institutions.

The UUP’s Doug Beattie said it was right that the people of Upper Bann should hold the MP to account but it was also right that they should support him.

Earlier in the evening, he issued a warning to the Conservative Party about relying on the DUP.

“I would say, if they rely on the DUP they are relying on a party that won’t allow same sex marriage,” he said.