Sharp rise in turnout in Foyle Westminster election

Turnout in the Foyle election has leapt by 13% compared to the last Westminster election.

Friday, 9th June 2017, 2:08 am
Updated Tuesday, 13th June 2017, 3:27 pm

A total of 65.6% of those eligible to vote in Foyle turned out on Thursday to vote.

This was compared to just 53.6% back in the last parliamentary election in 2015.

Alwyn Taylor, the Deputy Returning Officer for Foyle confirmed shortly after 12.30am on Friday that the total number of votes cast on Thursday was 46,136 votes out an eligible electorate of 70,324 people.

The turnout figures could indicate that the hard work parties have put in over the past weeks since the snap election was announced in April has worked.

Sinn Fein candidate Elisha McCallion, whose popularity in the Assembly election saw her top the poll, may have galvanised the Republican vote across Derry, while there were also confident noises from the SDLP camp that their man Mark Durkan could well retain his seat.

It remains to be seen if Mrs McCallion can close the chasm that existed between her SDLP rival Mark Durkan and the last Sinn Fein candidate to test him at a Westminster election, Gearoid O hEara to any great extent.

During that election in 2015 Mark Durkan topped the poll with almost half of all votes cast, while Gearoid O hEara received 31.6%.

The vote tally in Foyle this time round is also marginally higher thatn the Assembly turn out, which came in at 65%.

Indications are that polling has been strong in many unionist areas of Derry.