Local candidates thank voters as turnout rises

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Nationalist candidates in East Derry have issued public thanks to all those who turned out to support them following a surge in turnout across the constituency.

Sinn Fein saw their vote jump by massive 4,000 votes since the last parliamentary election.

Local Causeway Coast & Glens Councillor Dermot Nicholl received 10,881 votes, compared to the 6,859 the party received back in the 2015 Westminster election.

The SDLP candidate in East Derry, Councillor Stephanie Quigley has also thanked those who voted for her after her party’s vote increased by a few hundred to 4,423 votes.

Overall in East Derry voter turnout was up by over 10 percent on the 2015 election, with 61.57 per cent of those eligible turning out to vote.

The DUP’s Gregory Campbell took the seat as expected, but Mr Nicholl said that he was delighted with the surge in support for his party. He said: “We are very pleased. There has been a massive increase for the party and that is greatly appreciated. We knew we were going into a tough election but thankfully the people responded and we are delighted with that response. I want to thank all the 10,881 who did come out and endorse Sinn Fein.

“From our own area there was a 10 per cent increase in people turning out to vote and obviously the momentum has carried on from the March election. We know now that it is back to the drawing board now to get on with what we are supposed to be doing.”

SDLP candidate Stephanie Quigley meanwhile said: “Our vote has gone up considerably and against the background of polarisation this was a good result and I would like to thank the more than 4,400 people who took the time to go to the polls to support my campaign.

“My work as a councillor will, of course, continue for all the people who seek my help. The principles of power sharing and respect for diversity remain the same and given the outcome of the election must be stepped up because our future lies in working together for the common good of all our people. I am indebted to all those who joined my campaign day and daily to reach as many people as possible. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to reach everyone in the time given and wish to thank them for the trust they placed in me as the SDLP candidate in this election.”