Seeley thanks voters as SDLP row goes on

Catherine Seeley speaking at Thursday's election.
Catherine Seeley speaking at Thursday's election.

Sinn Féin’s Catherine Seeley has thanked voters for making history as Sinn Féin polled their highest ever result of 11,593 votes in the Upper Bann constituency.

Ms Seeley, also current Deputy Mayor of Armagh, Banbridge & Craigavon said: “This was an important election and I want to thank all those who cast their vote for Sinn Féin; you have made history.

“This is Sinn Féin’s highest ever poll in Upper Bann and proves without any doubt that the Upper Bann Westminster seat is not a safe seat for any political party.”

She continued: “I would also like to thank those who do not traditionally cast their vote for Sinn Féin for making the change in Upper Bann and I make the pledge that I will continue to honour that vote in my role as Deputy Mayor across the entire constituency.”

“Sinn Féin stood on a mandate in opposition to austerity and for equality. We have received a huge endorsement of that position.

“We will continue to stand with people and communities across Upper Bann in protection of our public services and in advancement of equality.”

Ms Seeley concluded: “Many observers realise that the SDLP vote in Upper Bann is now in terminal decline. Accusations from the SDLP candidate and angry outbursts at the election count are a rouse to deflect attention from this continuing decline in the SDLP vote.”

SDLP’s Dolores Kelly had said DUP scare tactics and Sinn Fein’s ‘lend us your vote campaign’ resulted in ‘an election that has been about orange and green’.

Kelly, who received 4,238 votes said: “It has resulted in Seeley vs Simpson.

“Even the imagery that was used in a lot of the leaflets - Simpson in an orange sash and this idea that was all about putting Simpson out and Seeley in.

“Anyone who looked at the statistics could see it was always going to be a fight between Dobson and Simpson.”

She continued: “This has paid dividends for both the DUP and Sinn Fein and unfortunately many other people are switched off by it and fed up with the whole lot of us.”