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21 May 2022

AE22 THROWBACK: Sinn Féin vote management made light work of Mid Ulster

Michelle O'Neill's surplus all but brought both her running mates home in 2017.

AE22 THROWBACK: Sinn Féin vote management made light work of Mid Ulster

The Mid Ulster count was wrapped up in six stages.

Traditionally an uneventful count, Mid Ulster threw up a surprise in 2016 when DUP newcomer Keith Buchanan beat party colleague Ian McCrea to the final seat.

The following year though, it was again fairly straightforward, as Sinn Féin's effective vote management saw them comfortably bring home three seats.

Michelle O'Neill cruised home well ahead of the 8,280 quota on the first count, polling 10,258 votes, while the Buchanan's 9,568 votes saw him home and hosed as well.

O'Neill's surplus was then transferred across the field, with 1,226 votes taking running mate Linda Dillon over the line and only 410 needed to bring Ian Milne into the fold as well.

With four of the seats filled by the time Keith Buchanan's transfers came to be distributed, the UUP's Sandra Overend had a 2,000+ deficit on the SDLP's Patsy McGlone.

Overend picked up just 740 of Buchanan's 1,288 surplus, and although she fared better after Loughrin, McCloy, Scullion, Taylor and Watson were eliminated, it wasn't enough to secure a seat.

Patsy McGlone picked up 1,033 on the fourth and final count, and though Overend netted 1,792 votes, the Ballinderry man took the final seat with 680 votes to spare.

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