Newry and Armagh: Mickey Brady retains seat for Sinn Féin, but majority slips
Sinn Féin MP says Brexit is a nonrunner and ‘Remain parties are in the ascendancy’
Mickey Brady of Sinn Féin saw his majority drop from more than 12,000 in 2017 to just over 9,000 this time around, but his victory was never in doubt. Photograph: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press
Newry and Armagh was a comfortable win for Mickey Brady of Sinn Féin, the constituency’s MP since 2015. It has been in Sinn Féin hands since 2005; this Border constituency, with a large Sinn Féin majority, was always going to be a safe seat for Brady.
This was an election that saw the share of the vote of the two largest parties, the DUP and Sinn Féin, fall significantly, by 5.4 and 6.7 percentage points respectively, and the result here followed the pattern across Northern Ireland.
Although returned with a reduced majority – from more than 12,000 in 2017 to just over 9,000 this time around – the result was never in doubt. It demonstrated, Brady said, that Irish unity was no longer just an aspiration; many in this strongly pro-Remain constituency would agree.
Speaking from the podium as he was re-elected, Brady said Brexit was a “nonrunner” and the time had come for a united Ireland. “Newry and Armagh has spoken, Brexit has been rejected,” he said. “The Remain parties are in the ascendancy. Brexit, as far as we’re concerned, is a nonrunner.
“And as far as I am concerned I will work very, very hard to ensure that the people of Newry and Armagh constituency have a bright and positive future, and indeed all the people of this island. Unity is no longer an aspiration: it is a project.”
Brady polled 20,287 votes, with the DUP’s William Irwin on 11,000, followed by Peter Byrne of the SDLP, on 9,449 votes, and the Alliance Party and the UUP on just over 4,000 each. Aontú, which is standing in its first UK general election, polled 1,628.