Sinn Féin's Cathal Ó hOisín's transfer deficit his downfall again

East Derry
East Derry

Sinn Féin Cathal Ó hOisín's transfer deficit sees him pipped at the post for the last seat in East Derry by the SDLP's John Dallat.

Stage Twelve

Sinn Féin's poll-topping Caoimhe Archibald was declared elected along with the SDLP's John Dallat following the distribution of Claire Sugden's surplus at the end of the final stage of counting.

Ms. Archibald finished on 6,330 with Mr. Dallat on 6,091. Mr. Ó hOisín lost out, trailing behind with 5,238. All five seats in East Derry are now filled.

Stage Eleven

George Robinson's surplus was distributed. John Dallat got 266 of these and his tally rose to 5,709. Cathal Ó hOisín received 15 and lagged behind at 5,236.

Stage Ten

Following the distribution of Maurice Bradley's surplus, John Dallat crept further ahead of Cathal Ó hOisín, increasing his tally to 5,433 to the Dungiven man's 5,221.

Stage Nine

After Stage Nine when George Robinson and Maurice Bradley, both of the DUP, were deemed elected with 8,056 votes and 7,801 votes respectively, John Dallat had sneaked past Mr. Ó hOisín.

Mr. Dallat is up to 5,298, ahead of Mr. Ó hOisín, who trails on 5,211.

With Mr. Bradleys' surplus now been redistributed it is not looking good for the Dungiven republican.

Stage Eight

Following the distribution of UUP candidate, William McCandless' surplus - he and his 3,581 votes were excluded after Stage Seven - outgoing Justice Minister Claire Sugden exceeded the 6,979 quota by over 576 votes finishing on ,7,555 and was first elected in the constituency.

DUP incumbent Adrian McQuillan has also become one of the main victims of the six to five seat reduction in the constituency and was eliminated after Stage Eight.

His 4,566 votes will now be distributed, following which his running mate Maurice Bradley, on 6,739, will be elected.

George Robinson, on 5,335 after Stage Eight, will also be safe even if he does not reach the quota following the distribution of Mr. McQuillan's transfers.

Caoime Archibald is unassailable on 6,311 but her running mate Cathal Ó hOisín looks vulnerable to SDLP comeback candidate John Dallat, who picked up 777 of Mr. McCandless' transfers.

Mr. Dallat is on 5,143 after Stage Eight. Mr. Ó hOisín is on 5,202, just 59 ahead.

Mr. Ó hOisín received just six transfers from Mr. McCandless - contrast Mr. Dallat's 777 - and is unlikely to receive much more, if any, from McQuillan.

It will be a tense shoot out between the lower polling nationalists in East Derry for the last seat.

Stage Seven

After Stage Seven in East Derry, the outgoing Justice Minister Claire Sugden, was leading the pack on 6,561 votes: just 418 short of the quota of 6,979 and well poised to be the first seat filler in the constituency following the distribution of UUP candidate William McCandless' surplus.

Poll-topper Sinn Féin's Caoimhe Archibald was on 6,299 but was unlikely to attract many transfers from Mr. McCandless.

Coleraine DUP man, Maurice Bradley was, however. And he was sitting on 6,171 after Stage Seven.

He was followed by Sinn Féin's Cathal Ó hOisín who had 5,196. Interestingly, Mr. Ó hOisín has attracted far more transfers this year than last. He got 175 from Independent Gerry Mullan after Stage Six and 41 from the Alliance party's Chris McCaw after Stage Seven. He only received 40 transfers in total across the whole count last May.

The DUP's triangulation vote management, which saw Maurice Bradley, George Robinson and Adrian McQuillan hoover up loyal voters in their heartlands of Coleraine, Limavady and Garvagh respectively last year, may not be enough to return all three this time.

After Stage Seven, Mr. Robinson was on 4,993 and Mr. McQuillan was on 4,170, well short of the quota and split by SDLP candidate John Dallat who was on 4,366.