The Ulster Unionist and Traditional Unionist Voice Westminster election candidates for Lagan Valley have thanked everyone who supported them in last week’s poll.
The UUP’s Alexander Redpath, who polled 6,055 votes and secured second place, said he was “pleased” with the party’s performance.
On foot of the result the Ulster Unionists are expected to take a seat at next year’s assembly elections and Councillor Redpath would appear to be the favourite for that seat.
“This has been a great election for the Ulster Unionist Party,” he said. “We have returned to the House of Commons with victories over the DUP in South Antrim and Sinn Fein in Fermanagh/South Tyrone.
“This result proves once and for all that the Ulster Unionist Party are back and represent a real alternative to the DUP-SF carve-up at Stormont.
“I would like to thank my campaign team for their tireless efforts over the past few months.
“I would also like to thank all those involved in the conduct of the election.
“I was pleased with my personal performance. We managed to consolidate our vote with a new candidate ahead of the assembly elections.
“We also retained second place against a strong challenge from Alliance. I would like to congratulate all the candidates on a clean, good spirited election. I would like to particularly congratulate the successful candidate Jeffrey Donaldson and wish him well for the next parliament.”
The TUV’s Samuel Morrison also thanked his supporters.
“I would like to thank the 1,887 people who placed their faith in me on Thursday,” he said. “I am grateful that you entrusted me with your vote.
“I had an extremely hardworking team during the election and I am grateful for the support of my wife throughout what has been a long campaign.
“I would also like to thank all those who we met during the canvass. During the campaign we knocked between 15,000 and 16,000 doors and I am grateful to the many people who took time to speak to my team and I on the doorsteps.
“I am thankful for the spirit in which the campaign was fought. It was fought on the issues - which is as it should be.
“I am disappointed that the widespread admiration for Jim Allister’s work at Stormont did not manifest itself in the vote I received but given that this was a Westminster election it is clear that Unionists decided to opt for parties which they believed could influence politics in London while for TUV this was always about building towards the 2016 Assembly poll.
“I would like to congratulate Mr Donaldson on his victory and while we profoundly disagree politically I wish him every success in representing the interests of Lagan Valley in the new Parliament.”