North Antrim: Ian Paisley sees ‘unionism awakening’ after comfortable win

Paisley calls on politicians to ‘stop putting up obstacles’ and get back into Assembly

 

The DUP’s Ian Paisley has said he has seen “unionism awakening” after a comfortable victory in North Antrim.

The returning MP polled more than 28,000 votes, nearly 20,000 more than his nearest rival, Sinn Féin’s Cara McShane.

In his acceptance speech at Ballymena counting centre on Friday morning, Mr Paisley said the victory reinforced Brexit in Northern Ireland and the DUP would be looking to make its voice heard at Westminster.

“We will be a voice that speaks for all people and we will get the very best deal for the people in Northern Ireland in the Brexit negotiations,” he said. “There is no turning back, we are into new territory and it will be a good place for our country and for our nation.”

He also took the opportunity to call on politicians to “stop putting up obstacles” and get back into the Northern Ireland Assembly.

This victory marks the third time Mr Paisley has won the North Antrim seat, which his father, the late Rev Ian Paisley, former leader of the Democrat Unionist Party, held for 40 years until his retirement in 2010.

Previous Westminster elections

2010 – Ian Paisley Jr (DUP) defeated TUV’s Jim Allister (19,672 votes to 7,114).

2015 – Mr Paisley beat TUV’s Timothy Gaston (18,107 to 6,561).