DUP’s hopes dashed at Westminister

Parliamentary election count at the Kings Hall Belfast for North Belfast, South Belfast, East Belfast, and West Belfast.''Nigel Dodds, Sammy Wilson and Gavin Robinson at the count.''Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Parliamentary election count at the Kings Hall Belfast for North Belfast, South Belfast, East Belfast, and West Belfast.''Nigel Dodds, Sammy Wilson and Gavin Robinson at the count.''Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
  • Conservatives win overall majority
  • Three party leaders resign
  • Unionists left empty-handed

The DUP’s hopes of forcing the government’s hand by holding the balance of power at Westminster were dashed as the Conservatives won the 326 seats needed for an overall majority at the House of Commons.

The Conservatives reached the overall majority at lunchtime today with 20 seats still to be declared from yesterday’s General Election.

With Sinn Fein’s policy of abstentionism they had only rally needed 323 but the result confounded all pollsters.

The election has seen the resignations of three party leaders as Ed Miliband quit Labour, Nigel Farage, who failed to win a seat, stepped down from UKIP and Nick Clegg resigned as Liberal Democrat leader.

The election has rewritten British politics with the Scottish Nationalists winning 55 of the 58 available seats, leaving the main three British party with just one seat left each north of the border.

In Northern Ireland the electoral pact between the Ulster Unionists and the DUP saw dividends with the DUP taking back East Belfast from Alliance with the Ulster Unionists gaining Fermanagh and South Tyrone from Sinn Fein. The party now has two MPs with Danny Kinehan unseating the DUP’s Willie McCrea in South Antrim leaving the DUP with eight representatives.