Belfast West: Maskey wins biggest vote Sinn Féin has ever received in constituency
As voters flocked to DUP and Sinn Féin, smaller parties are the casualties
Paul Maskey (centre right) retained the Belfast West seat for Sinn Féin with 27,107 votes. Photograph: AFP Photo / Paul Faith
Paul Maskey retained the Belfast West seat for Sinn Féin with 27,107 votes on Friday. The result came as a surprise to no one.
Mr Maskey is now the only nationalist MP in the city.
He spoke of his delight at the huge mandate he had received, the biggest vote Sinn Féin has ever received in the constituency.
“The people of west Belfast have spoken,” he said. “I am delighted they have returned me in such great strength.”
Mr Maskey thanked the electorate for their confidence in “Team Sinn Féin”.
“I want to thank the electorate of west Belfast for putting their faith in me, for their confidence in myself and in Sinn Féin in greater numbers,” he said. “Many people have tried to knock them down, but the people of west Belfast have spoken and they have given us and me the mandate to continue on and fight and lobby for them.
“West Belfast is one of the finest communities on this island, one of the finest constituencies and the people in it are the backbone of Ireland. This day 34 years ago Gerry Adams took this seat for the first time for Sinn Féin. I will continue on in his footsteps . . . for our city and our community. I am delighted to be playing a part of that.”
As voters in the North have flocked in numbers to the DUP and Sinn Féin in this election, smaller parties have been the casualties.
In Belfast West, People Before Profit candidate Gerry Carroll received 4,132 votes, down from 6,798 in 2015.
The SDLP candidate Tim Attwood received 2,860 votes, down from 3,475 his brother Alex Attwood polled in 2015.
Recent Westminster elections
2010 – Gerry Adams (Sinn Féin) defeated SDLP’s Alex Attwood (22,840 votes to 5,261).
2011 (Byelection) – Paul Maskey (Sinn Féin) beat Mr Attwood (16,211 to 3,088).
2015 – Mr Maskey (Sinn Féin) beat PBP’s Gerry Carroll (19,163 to 6,798).