Elisha McCallion has topped the poll in Foyle in what is turning out to be a historic day for Sinn Fein in Derry as they out polled the SDLP for the first time.
The Galliagh native and former Mayor of Derry was a clear winner in the battle for Foyle, attracting a mammoth 9,205 share of the first preference vote, to be announced the first new Foyle MLA just after lunch time.
The quota for a candidate to be deemed elected to the NI Assembly in Foyle is 7,437 votes.
There were cheers and shouts of ‘Go on Elisha!’ as the Deputy Returning Officer Patricia Murphy revealed the results of the first count at Foyle Arena.
Speaking after the declaration, Elisha McCallion said she was “delighted” with the result.
Ms. McCallion said she had dedicated the campaign to Martin MCGuinness from the outset and referred to him as a “giant” and a “hero”.
She also said she was delighted that for the first time Sinn Fein had outpolled the SDLP.
There were a total of 44,616 valdi votes in the Foyle constituency, with 701 rejected papers.
SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood is close to the quota on 7,240 first preference votes, closely followed by Sinn Fein’s Raymond McCartney on 7,145 votes and SDLP candidate Mark H Durkan on 6,948 votes.
The DUP’s Gary Middleton is sitting at 5,975 votes, while Eamonn McCann from People Before Profit has registered 4,760 first preferences.
Julia Kee from the UUP received 1,660 votes, followed by Alliance Party candidate Colm Cavanagh with a respectable 1,124.
Shanno n Downey from the Green Party netted 242, John Lindsay from the Citizens Independent Social Thought Alliance 196, Conservatives Stuart Canning 77 and Arthur McGuinness, Independent, 44. Voter turnout in Derry rose by 9% from last year’s election to 65%.