Foyle Election 2022: Gary Middleton secures final Stormont seat narrowly ahead of unionist rival Ryan McCready

Gary Middleton has taken the fifth seat in Foyle and the ninetieth and final seat in the new Stormont Assembly on the third day of counting in the early hours of Sunday in Magherafelt.

The DUP candidate was a mere 95.39 votes ahead of Ryan McCready of the UUP who mounted the strongest challenge from that party in years.

The distribution of the surplus of Sinéad McLaughlin of the SDLP was not enough to see Mr. McCready pip his unionist rival at the finish.

Foyle Assembly Election Thirteenth Stage

Pádraig Delargy and Ciara Ferguson with colleagues in Magherafelt

Gary Middleton, DUP 4730.58 (+18)

Ryan McCready, UUP 4,635.19 (+120)

Foyle Assembly Election Twelfth Stage

Sinéad McLaughlin has been elected at stage 12 of the count for Foyle and the distribution of Shaun Harkin's transfers while Gary Middleton and Ryan McCready are within 197.39 votes of one another.

Mark Durkan with colleagues and his wife and father in Magherafelt

The new SDLP MLA McLaughlin is the fourth candidate elected after Sinn Féin's Ciara Ferguson.

The distribution of transfers from Brian Tierney's 3,967.02 accumulated votes after stage 11 made her vote unassailable but it was following the distribution of Shaun Harkin's transfers at stage 12 that she was formally deemed elected.

The UUP's Ryan McCready now depends on transfers if he is to pull off a major coup and unseat the DUP's Gary Middleton.

Barring a major political upset that would require 348.99 transferring from the socialist, reunification supporting Harkin to the unionist McCready, the former Executive Office junior minister will hold the seat.

Sinéad McLaughlin with her family at the count centre.

McCready received 189.37 transfers from Harkin while Middleton got 37.8 so the gap between the two has closed to 197.39.

He will now require transfers from McLaughlin's 794.45 surplus.

Sinéad McLaughlin, SDLP 8605.45 (+1,115)

Gary Middleton, DUP 4712.58 (+37. 8)

Gary Middleton with his wife Julie and DUP colleagues including party leader Jeffrey Donaldson.

Ryan McCready, UUP 4,515.19 (+189.37)

McLaughlin's 794.45 surplus now to be distributed

Foyle Assembly Election Eleventh Stage

Sinéad McLaughlin, SDLP 7490.45 (+3058.16)

Gary Middleton, DUP 4674.78 (+19.16)

Ryan McCready, UUP 4325.8 (+42.86)

Shaun Harkin, PBP 4264.25 (+231.28)

Foyle Assembly Election Tenth Stage

Brian Tierney has been eliminated at stage ten.

The Ballyarnett councillor received 3272 first preference votes, ahead of running mate Sinéad McLaughlin who had 3189.

However, by stage ten transfers left Tierney with 3,967.02 behind Shaun Harkin of People Before Profit (4032.97).

The distribution of Mr. Tierney's transfers is likely to make Ms. McLaughlin's lead over the other candidates unassailable.

Gary Middleton, DUP 4655.62 (+1.26)

Sinéad McLaughlin, SDLP 4432.29 (+21.42)

Ryan McCready, UUP 4282.96 (+0.63)

Shaun Harkin, PBP 4032.97 (+22.05)

Brian Tierney, SDLP 3967.02 (+16.38)

Foyle Assembly Election Ninth Stage

Sinn Féin's Ciara Ferguson became the third candidate to be returned as MLA for Foyle the distribution of Emmet Doyle's transfers after stage nine.

She was pushed 62.13 over quota so the next stage will involve the dispersal of her surplus votes.

Gary Middleton received 176.04 of the Aontú surplus suggesting pro-life voters transferring to the DUP.

Sinéad McLaughlin has now moved above Ryan McCready into the fifth seat position. Shaun Harkin of People Before Profit was a major beneficiary of Doyle's transfers receiving 564.7 and has moved above the SDLP's Brian Tierney into seventh position.

Ciara Ferguson, Sinn Féin 7873.13 (+243)

Gary Middleton, DUP 4654.36 (+176.04)

Sinéad McLaughlin, SDLP 4410.87 (+175.26)

Ryan McCready, UUP 4243.78 (+38.55)

Shaun Harkin, PBP 4010.87 (+564.7)

Brian Tierney, SDLP 3950.64 (+241.45)

Foyle Assembly Election Eighth Stage

The SDLP's Sinéad McLaughlin moved significantly ahead of running mate Brian Tierney after receiving 786.53 of Rachael Ferguson's transfers.

She is now 526.42 votes ahead of the Ballyarnett councillor in sixth position - just outside the seats.

UUP candidate Ryan McCready closed the gap on Gary Middleton after receiving 282.7 from Ferguson and is now 234.54 behind the DUP man.

Aontú candidate Emmet Doyle has been eliminated and transfers from his 2,697.33 poll are now to be distributed.

The DUP are hopeful of attracting some pro-life transfers from Aontú while Ballyarnett councillor Brian Tierney may benefit from transfers from his council District Electoral Area (DEA) constituency colleague.

Ciara Ferguson, Sinn Féin 7630.13 (+206.25)

Gary Middleton, DUP 4478.32 (+50.14)

Ryan McCready, UUP 4243.78 (+282.71)

Sinéad McLaughlin, SDLP 4235.61 (+786.53)

Brian Tierney, SDLP 3709.19 (+260.98)

Shaun Harkin, PBP 3446.22 (+432.13)

Emmet Doyle, Aontú 2697.33 (+88.56)

Foyle Assembly Election Seventh Stage

The transfers of former Aontú member and independent Anne McCloskey saw the party's candidate in Foyle Emmet Doyle surpass Alliance's Rachael Ferguson who was eliminated at stage seven.

Meanwhile, a mere 0.87 of a vote now separates the two SDLP candidates Sinéad McLaughlin and Brian Tierney with the former now marginally ahead.

A total of 467.11 votes is all that remains between the front-running unionist Gary Middleton (DUP) and Ryan McCready (UUP).

It seems likely the dispersal of Rachael Ferguson's transfers will close that gap.

The distribution was as follows:

Ciara Ferguson, Sinn Féin 7,423.88 (+50.27)

Gary Middleton, DUP 4428.18 (+36)

Ryan McCready, UUP 3961.07 (+11)

Sinéad McLaughlin, SDLP 3449.08 (+38.83)

Brian Tierney, SDLP 3448.21 (+34.77)

Shaun Harkin, PBP 3014.09 (+111.84)

Emmet Doyle, Aontú 2608.77 (+432.18)

Rachael Ferguson, Alliance 2404.05 (+35.21)

Foyle Assembly Election Sixth Stage

Stage six of the count saw Brian Tierney, who is based in the Galliagh area, edge marginally ahead of his running mate Sinéad McLaughlin, the only change in the running order of the candidates.

Former Aontú councillor and ex-Sinn Féin member Dr. Anne McCloskey, who ran as an independent, has been eliminated after stage six and transfers from her...will now be shared among the eight remaining candidates battling for the final three seats in Foyle.

The distribution was as follows:

Ciara Ferguson, Sinn Féin 7,373.61 (+115.75)

Gary Middleton, DUP 4392.14 (+1.19)

Ryan McCready, UUP 3950.07 (+2)

Brian Tierney, SDLP 3413.44 (+79.84)

Sinéad McLaughlin, SDLP 3410.25 (+50.62)

Shaun Harkin, PBP 2902.25 (+147.54)

Rachael Ferguson, Alliance, 2368.84 (+17.57)

Emmet Doyle, Aontú 2176.59 (+126.1)

Dr. Anne McCloskey, Ind. 946.63 (+69.55)

Foyle Assembly Election Fifth Stage

The distribution was as follows:

Ciara Ferguson, Sinn Féin 7,257.86 (+0.17)

Gary Middleton, DUP 4390.95 (+282)

Ryan McCready, UUP 3948.07 (+194)

Sinéad McLaughlin, SDLP 3359.63 (+2)

Brian Tierney, SDLP 3333.6 (+1.02)

Shaun Harkin, PBP 2754.71 (+4)

Rachael Ferguson, Alliance, 2351.27 (+5.17)

Emmet Doyle, Aontú 2050.5 (+1)

Dr. Anne McCloskey, Ind. 877.08 (+7)

Colly McLaughlin, IRSP 786.1 (+0)

Foyle Assembly Election Fourth Stage

Traditional Unionist Voice candidate Elizabeth Neely has been eliminated and the surplus from her 501.4 votes are being distributed.

It is likely they will benefit the other unionist candidates Gary Middleton (DUP) and Ryan McCready (UUP) but they are unlikely to alter the running order.

The distribution was as follows:

Ciara Ferguson, Sinn Féin 7,257.7 (+9.57)

Gary Middleton, DUP 4109 (+0.83)

Ryan McCready, UUP 3754.1 (+1.89)

Sinéad McLaughlin, SDLP 3357.6 (+88.57)

Brian Tierney, SDLP 3332.6 (+25.86)

Shaun Harkin, PBP 2750.7 (+8.8)

Rachael Ferguson, Alliance, 2346.1 (+13.04)

Emmet Doyle, Aontú 2049.5 (+4.51)

Dr. Anne McCloskey, Ind. 870.1 (+1.24)

Colly McLaughlin, IRSP 786.1 (+1.61)

Elizabeth Neely, TUV 501.4 (+2.06)

Vote share breakdown

A breakdown of vote share by party in the election in Foyle show declines for both Sinn Féin and the SDLP and sharp drops for the DUP and People Before Profit compared with their respective performances in 2017.

The UUP made significant gains in Foyle.

Alliance also made ground. So too did Aontú as a new party.

Sinn Féin received the largest percentage vote share in Foyle at 32.8 per cent (-3.8 per cent compared with 2017), 1.96 quotas.

The SDLP secured 30.8 per cent (-1 per cent), 1.8 quotas.

The DUP won 8.7 per cent (-4.7 per cent), 0.5 quotas.

The UUP won 7.9 per cent (+4.2 per cent), 0.4 quotas.

People Before Profit secured 5.5 per cent (-5.2 per cent), 0.3 quotas; Alliance won 4.7 per cent (+2.8 per cent), 0.28 quotas; and Aontú 4.2 per cent (+4.2 per cent), 0.25 quotas.

Foyle Assembly Election Third Stage

Little progress was made following the distribution of transfers from Green candidate Gillian Hamilton's 219.43 votes.

The distribution was as follows:

Ciara Ferguson, Sinn Féin 7,248.13 (+11.51)

Gary Middleton, DUP 4108.17 (+7)

Ryan McCready, UUP 3752.21 (+6)

Brian Tierney, SDLP 3306.74 (+14.17)

Sinéad McLaughlin, SDLP 3269.03 (+19.34)

Shaun Harkin, PBP 2741.19 (+69.02)

Rachael Ferguson, Alliance, 2333.06 (+59.24)

Emmet Doyle, Aontú 2044.99 (+3)

Dr. Anne McCloskey, Ind. 868.86 (+5)

Colly McLaughlin, IRSP 784.49 (+2)

Elizabeth Neely, TUV 499.34 (+2)

Mark Durkan's surplus of 188 are now being distributed. They will not be enough to see any candidate elected at the next stage.

Foyle Assembly Election Second Stage

Following the distribution of Pádraig Delargy's surplus his running mate Ciara Ferguson moving significant closer to the quota.

The distribution was as follows:

Ciara Ferguson, Sinn Féin 7,236 (+1,323)

Gary Middleton, DUP 4101.17 (+0.17)

Ryan McCready, UUP 3746.21 (+2.21)

Brian Tierney, SDLP 3292.57 (+20.57)

Sinéad McLaughlin, SDLP 3249.69 (+60.69)

Shaun Harkin, PBP 2672.17 (+51.17)

Rachael Ferguson, Alliance, 2273.72 (+53.72)

Emmet Doyle, Aontú 2041 (+41)

Dr. Anne McCloskey, Ind. 863.86 (+9.86)

Colly McLaughlin, IRSP 782.49 (+16.49)

Elizabeth Neely, TUV 499.34 (+0.34)

Gillian Hamilton, Greens 219.42 (+4.42)

No one was elected although Ciara Ferguson is now just 575 off quota.

Green candidate Gillian Hamilton was excluded after Stage 2.

Foyle Assembly Election First Stage

Mr. Delargy exceeded the quota by 1,660 with a total first preference poll of 9471.

SDLP candidate Mark H. Durkan also polled above quota with 7999 votes.

Sinn Féin's second candidate Ciara Ferguson received 5913 votes.

The two main unionist parties were closely placed following an impressive performance by the UUP's Ryan McCready.

Mr. McCready received 3744 votes behind the DUP candidate Gary Middleton on 4101.

There was little to separate the SDLP's two other candidates Brian Tierney (3272) and Sinéad McLaughlin (3189).

People Before Profit's Shaun Harkin looks unlikely to be in the mix for the fifth seat at this stage on 2,621 first preference votes.

The remaining candidates polled as follows: Rachael Ferguson (Alliance) 2,220; Emmet Doyle (Aontú) 2000; Dr. Anne McCloskey (Independent) 854; Colly McLaughlin (IRSP) 766; Elizabeth Neely (TUV) 499; and Gillian Hamilton (Greens) - 215.

In total 46,864 valid votes were cast. The quota is set at 7811.

The surplus votes of Pádraig Delargy will now be distributed among the remaining candidates.

Early indications

A number of sources have suggested Mr. Delargy will exceed the quota by a margin.

SDLP candidate Mark Durkan is also said to have polled strongly.

Turnout down 3.36 per cent in Foyle

Turnout is down 3.36 per cent in Foyle on the last Assembly election.

Of an eligible electorate of 77,343, a total of 47,674 votes were cast - 61.64 per cent.

At the last Assembly election in 2017 the eligible electorate was smaller (69,718) and 45,317 votes were cast - 65 per cent.

Of an eligible electorate of 77,343, a total of 47,674 votes were cast - 61.64 per cent.

At the last Assembly election in 2017 the eligible electorate was smaller (69,718) and 45,317 votes were cast - 65 per cent.

A number of sources have suggested Mr. Delargy will exceed the quota by a margin.

SDLP candidate Mark Durkan is also said to have polled strongly.