Ebullient after his re-election in East Londonderry, returned MP Gregory Campbell, rounded on the SDLP, accusing it of waging a failed negative campaign in the constituency.
“Most opponents fought a clean campaign but the SDLP tried petty inaccurate tactics, it backfired badly with their lowest ever share of the vote in the constituency,” he said.
The successful DUP candidate also aimed at dig at the rival UUP, whose pact-driven successes were far-removed from East Londonderry.
“The other factor that is borne out by the result is that despite East Londonderry being a strong unionist constituency the UUP vote share also fell to its lowest ever, it is now down in the last three successive Westminster elections from 21.1 per cent to 17.8 per cent to 15.4 per cent this time around.
“While obviously this problem is entirely a matter for the UUP to deal with, the Unionist pact which worked in three out of the four areas where it operated, can only flourish with strength if both parties can attract voters.
“The important issues now are to continue campaigning for the area, building inward investment, continue on the path for a better future, whilst never allowing those who done so much in causing our past, to re write the part they had in creating it.”
Mr Campbell thanked the 14,663 voters, his colleagues Adrian McQuillan MLA, George Robinson MLA as well as his election agent Mark Fielding regarding the phenomenal result.
In his acceptance speech he made specific reference to the late Alderman James McClure from Coleraine who had passed away in the past year and who had been a tremendous assistance to the party’s growth over the early years.