Tuesday 27 September 2016

DUP and Sinn Fein battle it out in North poll

David Young

Published 06/05/2016 | 02:30

Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness takes a photo of the waiting media as he casts his vote at the Model Primary School in Derry, as polls open for the Stormont Assembly election. Photo: PA
Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness takes a photo of the waiting media as he casts his vote at the Model Primary School in Derry, as polls open for the Stormont Assembly election. Photo: PA

Voters across Northern Ireland yesterday cast their ballots in the election for the Stormont Assembly.

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The region's political leaders were among the first to vote yesterday morning, with numbers through the polling station doors growing throughout the evening.

Democratic Unionist leader and outgoing First Minister Arlene Foster voted at a polling station near her home in Brookeborough, Co Fermanagh, while longtime Sinn Féin Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness was accompanied by party colleagues as he cast his ballot in his native Derry.

Earlier at the same Northland Road polling station in Derry, SDLP leader Colum Eastwood carried his daughter Rosa into the building as he voted.

Divide

Alliance Party leader David Ford arrived to cast his vote at the polling station in Second Donegore Presbyterian Church in rural Co Antrim just after 11am.

The Democratic Unionists and Sinn Féin are again forecast to emerge as the two largest parties on their respective sides of the unionist/nationalist political divide when the ballots are counted.

Ms Foster has placed particular onus on seeing off the challenge of Mr McGuinness in the race to see which one of them takes the First Minister's job ahead of the Deputy First Minister's job.

It would require a significant electoral turnaround for Sinn Féin to topple the DUP as the largest party and most pundits believe it highly unlikely.

Irish Independent

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