Belfast Telegraph

Constituency: South Antrim


Electorate Seats Total Poll Turnout Valid Poll Spoiled Votes
68,244 1 43,292 63.44% 43,170 122

Vote Distribution

Count 1

Count Results

  1
Paul Girvan Paul Girvan DUP 16508
Danny Kinahan Danny Kinahan * UUP 13300
Declan Kearney Declan Kearney SF 7797
Neil Kelly Neil Kelly AP 3203
Roisin Lynch Roisin Lynch SDLP 2362
  1
Paul Girvan Paul Girvan DUP 16508
Danny Kinahan Danny Kinahan * UUP 13300
Declan Kearney Declan Kearney SF 7797
Neil Kelly Neil Kelly AP 3203
Roisin Lynch Roisin Lynch SDLP 2362

Constituency Profile

In 2015, a tight race saw the UUP’s Danny Kinahan pip the DUP’s William McCrea to the Westminster post in South Antrim, and become, alongside Tom Elliott in Fermanagh & South Tyrone, the first UUP MP elected since 2005.

Back then, just 949 votes separated the two parties in the hard-fought campaign, with Mr Kinahan claiming 11,942 votes, equivalent to 32.7%, and Rev McCrea securing 10,993 votes, a 30.1% share.

With Rev McCrea out of the running this year, the DUP is hoping that MLA Paul Girvan will oust the first cousin of singer Chris de Burgh and return the seat to them.

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin is pinning its hopes on its National Chairperson and South Antrim MLA Declan Kearney, who is riding high after his success in March, which saw him top the poll in the race to Stormont.

Two years ago, the senior Republican was left trailing in the wake of the unionist frontrunners with 4,699 votes, less than half the number hooked by Mr Kinahan. Could the rejuvenated Sinn Fein vote which saw him triumph two months ago see him speed first past the post this time?

Representing the Alliance Party will be Neil Kelly, a Councillor at Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council and former nurse. However, after securing less than a third of the votes of Mr Kinahan in 2015, he and his team will have to hit the doorsteps hard in order to take the edge off the larger parties’ big name candidates.

Mr Kelly’s fellow Antrim and Newtownabbey Councillor Roisin Lynch will represent the SDLP in the Westminster election battle. However, like Mr Kelly, she will have to consolidate her influence considerably if she is to steal the bigger parties’ thunder, after gaining just 8.2% of the vote in 2015.

On the Ballot

Paul Girvan

Paul Girvan

Democratic Unionist Party

An MLA for South Antrim, Paul Girvan was first elected in 2003 and later returned to Stormont when he was co-opted into the Northern Ireland Assembly in 2010 to replace William McCrea before being elected in 2011, 2016 and again in 2017. He was previously appointed Private Secretary to the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister. He recently sat on the Committee for Infrastructure and the Finance Committee. Mr Girvan is a former mayor of Newtownabbey.

Declan Kearney

Declan Kearney

Sinn Fein

Sinn Fein national chairperson Declan Kearney was first elected to the Assembly in 2016 and was re-elected in March 2017, topping the poll in South Antrim. He is a key member of the party's leadership. He was previously northern chairperson and deputy general secretary. Mr Kearney has spoken often on the theme of reconciliation and has shared a platform with the Chief Constable George Hamilton. A keen sportsman, he played football and hurling, and also taught Irish. He has also been involved in community economic development work.

Neil Kelly

Neil Kelly

Alliance Party

Born in Antrim, Neil Kelly has worked for 28 years in the health and social care sector, qualifying as a Learning Disability Nurse. In 2008 he became Operations Manager for Community Learning Disability teams across South and West Belfast for Belfast Health and Social Care Trust. He was selected to replace then Alliance leader David Ford on Antrim Council in 2010 and was subsequently elected in 2011. He now sits on the Antrim and Newtownabbey Council, representing the Antrim DEA.

Danny Kinahan

Danny Kinahan (Outgoing)

Ulster Unionist Party

Danny Kinahan was elected as MP for South Antrim in 2015, taking the seat from the DUP's William McCrea. He has served as a member of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee and as Chair of the APPG on Education. He has previously represented South Antrim in the Northern Ireland Assembly and at local government level. Before joining the Ulster Unionist Party, he was an officer in the British Army, serving in Germany, Northern Ireland and the Falklands. He also pursued a career as an arts dealer after he left the Army.

Roisin Lynch

Roisin Lynch

Social Democratic and Labour Party

A businesswoman in Antrim, Roisin Lynch sits on Farranshane Social Trust and is a governor of St Comgall’s Primary School in Antrim. The mother of seven is also a committee member of the mental health charity Rehability and a committee member and former chair of St Comgall’s GAA club. She stood in the Northern Ireland Assembly election earlier this year.


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  • Democratic Unionist Party
  • Sinn Fein
  • Independent

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