— Mike Smithson (@MSmithsonPB) March 8, 2013
Francie Molloy (SF) won the seat after polling 17,462 votes (46.93%)
Joint unionist candidate Nigel Lutton was second on 12,781 votes.
The SDLP’s Patsy McGlone polled 6,478,
with the Alliance Party’s Eric Bullick on 487.
Sinn Fein HOLD with a majority of 4,681
Adjusted Result (Unionist allocation)
Francis Molloy, SF 17462 46.93%
Patsy McGlone, SDLP 6478 17.41%
Democratic Unionist 5612 15.08%
Ulster Unionist 4307 11.57%
Traditional Unionist Voice 2862 7.69%
Eric Bullick, All 487 1.30%
Sinn Fein HOLD with a majority of 10,984
Although a Sinn Fein hold is not that unexpected, what is interesting is that the SDLP (who got hammered in Belfast West), appear to have turned a corner, by recording a swing to them of 4.11% on the adjusted figures. The Unionist candidate (assuming that the Unionist proportions would be unchanged) saw his vote increase by about 2% compared to the split unionist vote in 2010. Is that enough to prompt more unionist candidates? Well, they will want to give Fermanagh and South Tyrone another shot (SF 21,304 Unionist 21,300), it could work in Belfast South (SDLP 14,026 Unionist 14,010) and West Tyrone at a push (SF 18.050 Unionist 12,646) but as we saw during this by-election in Mid Ulster, the idea of a single Unionist candidate is not welcome by all members of the UUP.