General election 2015: Poll puts DUP kingmaker and local party open to talks

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DUP candidate for Foyle, Gary Middleton, played down a UK General Election exit poll that made his party kingmakers in a hung parliament with enough seats to keep the Conservatives in power single-handedly.

According to the exit poll a DUP supported Conservative Government couldn’t be assailed by Labour, the SNP, the Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru, the SDLP and the Greens together.

Even if UKIP and the UUP chose to join this unlikely alliance it still wouldn’t have the numbers for an effective majority. The DUP and the Tories would.

Whilst Mr Middleton will not be elected in Foyle, he said his party is open to negotiations.

“We said before this election we’d be willing to sit down with whatever party, whatever is best for Northern Ireland and that’s the way it stands,” he said.

“We’re not going to put our priorities and our values up to the highest bidder, that’s not what it is going to be about.

“We are going to sit down and analyse the results afterwards. Hopefully, we have a good result across the province.

“It’s clear here that the DUP is the voice of unionism here and we want to continue on that.”

Meanwhile, it’s been confirmed that turnout is down in Foyle.

Only 37,528 electors of an eligible 70,035 turned out. That’s 53.58 per cent, down on 58 per cent five years ago.

And one SDLP tally has projected the party has a 3,000 lead over Sinn Féin.