Simpson wins Upper Bann battle and slams ‘attacks’ on his family

David Simpson MP in jubilant mood with wife Elaine, daughters Leah and Kristy and son Steven �Paul Byrne Photography INBL1519-233PB
David Simpson MP in jubilant mood with wife Elaine, daughters Leah and Kristy and son Steven �Paul Byrne Photography INBL1519-233PB

David Simpson has retained his Upper Bann seat with a majority of 2,264 votes.

He received 15,430 votes with the UUP’s Jo-Anne Dobson polling 13,166 votes, Sinn Fein’s Catherine Seeley took third place with 11,593 Votes.

UUP candidate Jo-Anne Dobson pictured at the Upper Bann count with Mum Joannie, husband John and son Mark �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1519-234PB

UUP candidate Jo-Anne Dobson pictured at the Upper Bann count with Mum Joannie, husband John and son Mark �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1519-234PB

Dolores Kelly of the SDLP took 4,230 votes.

Delivering his victory speech, amid some heckling, Mr Simpson was clearly enraged by certain aspects of the campaign hitting out at what he described as ‘despicable attacks on his family’.

He said: “First of all I very humbly thank God for this victory today, despite what has been thrown at us this has been and is a fantastic victory.

“There’s some sore heads here. It hurts when the DUP has a victory.”

He thanked electoral staff for their efforts and added: “Can I also thank each and every voter who came out and supported us in this election,

“Can I also thank my family, my wife who is here tonight and my three kids. I have to say about the despicable attacks on my family over the past seven weeks. Disgraceful is the only word I can use.

“I have been in frontline politics for 18 years and I cannot believe what has been thrown at us over the past seven weeks.”

Speaking after the result was announced UUP candidate Jo-Anne Dobson quoted Arnold Schwarzenegger when she said: “I’ll be back.”

The DUP contingent, including Mr Simpson, had largely departed the hall as Mrs Dobson thanked electoral staff for all their efforts during the day.

She said: “I am a proud and unashamed Ulster Unionist. By increasing our vote in Upper Bann I and my team can be immensely proud of what we have achieved together.

“I want to thank each and very person, both party members and non-party members, who helped my campaign in any way. Their tireless efforts have meant so much to me.”

She added: “There has not just been an exhaustive effort for the Ulster Unionist Party but also for this country we love.

“I don’t think there has ever been such an effort made by our party with the grit and determination of this campaign, thank you all so much.

“I’ll be back as Arnold Swartzenegger said.”

She went on: “I can honestly look the people of this constituency in the eye and tell them that we ran a purely positive campaign.

“We did not scaremonger. We did not depend on the politics of fear.

“The results prove that the weasel words were totally unfounded. People can only cry wolf so often before they are found out. Next time folks.

“Roll on 2016, the Ulster Unionist Party is well and truly back.”