In brief: the winners and losers of the historic Northern Ireland Assembly election

In a seismic and historic Northern Ireland Assembly election that changed the political landscape of Northern Ireland, we take a look at the biggest winners and losers.


Danny Baker, Sinn Féin


Danny Baker

Former Belfast Lord Mayor Danny Baker claimed victory in Belfast West. After being co-opted to Belfast City Council in 2017, Mr Baker became Lord Mayor when John Finucane was elected MP for North Belfast in December 2019. Sinn Fein chose Mr Baker to stand for election to the Assembly after Assembly Speaker Alex Maskey announced his retirement. .

Cathy Mason, Sinn Féin


Cathy Mason (right)

Former Newry, Morne and Down District Council chair Cathy Mason replaces Emma Rogan in the South Down constituency for Sinn Fein. First elected to local government in 2019, Ms Mason has prioritized mental health and fought to ensure acute services are retained and improved in Downpatrick.

Kate Nicholl, Alliance

The current Mayor of Belfast, Kate Nicholl, was the picture of happiness when she secured her seat in South Belfast. The heavily pregnant Alliance woman said she was worried about ‘giving birth’ with all the excitement. She is also the first MP for Stormont to be born in Zimbabwe. His election came at the expense of Green Party leader Clare Bailey.

Patricia O’Lynn, Alliance


Alliance party leader Naomi Long (left) with the party’s new MP for North Antrim Patricia O’Lynn

It was a historic double win for Patricia O’Lynn as she became the first female MP for North Antrim and also the first member of the Alliance party to win a seat in the constituency. In what showed a significant power shift, Ms O’Lynn was the fifth and final person elected after a wave of transfers saw her overtake the DUP in the final run-in.

Eoin Tennyson, Alliance


Eoin Tennyson of The Alliance

The Alliance Party’s Eoin Tennyson became the first non-nominated politician to represent Upper Bann after winning ahead of Sinn Fein’s Liam Mackle. Mr Tennyson, who has been a councilor for Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon ​​Borough Council since 2019, was the victim of abusive phone calls and told to leave a ‘Protestant area’ of Lurgan during his election campaign.

Alex Easton, Independent


Independent MP Alex Easton

Former DUP MP Alex Easton said being ahead of the poll in North Down was particularly nice after being ‘released’ from his former party. “I’m over the moon,” he said. On his bet to quit the paying DUP, he added: “I lost a lot of friends and made a lot of new friends. It’s been quite an emotional roller coaster. He also made it clear that he had no intention of returning to the DUP.

Tom Elliott, UUP

The very experienced Tom Elliot made a triumphant return to politics after his election in Fermanagh and South Tyrone. The former UUP leader was MP for the constituency from 2003 to 2015 and MP from 2015 to 2017. Although he took the seat from his running mate Rosemary Barton, the UUP will be delighted with Mr Elliot’s return in frontline politics.


Nicholas Mallon, SDLP


SDLP’s Nichola Mallon (left) and Dolores Kelly (right)

The SDLP, and Nichola Mallon herself, were stunned by its deputy leader’s failure to seek re-election in Belfast North. Despite her impressive tenure as infrastructure minister, Ms Mallon secured just 3,604 first-preference votes and is another high-profile victim of the Alliance push in Northern Ireland. Ms Mallon represented the constituency from 2016 and is a former mayor of Belfast.

Clare Bailey, Green Party


Green Party Leader Claire Bailey

Green party leader Clare Bailey thanked her supporters as she lost her seat in south Belfast. Ms Bailey became leader of the NI Green Party in November 2018. She was elected in South Belfast in 2016, making her Belfast’s first-ever Green MP. Among his notable work was the introduction of the Climate Change Bill securing climate change legislation for NI.

Peter Weir, DUP


DUP Candidate Peter Weir

Former Education Minister Peter Weir was one of Stormont’s longest serving MPs, having been elected in 1998. He was originally MP for North Down, before moving to Strangford in 2017. Mr Weir was first elected to the Assembly as an Ulster Unionist MLA, before moving to the DUP in 2002.

Mervyn Storey, DUP


The DUP’s Mervyn Floor

DUP stalwart Mervyn Storey has held his seat in North Antrim since 2003.

The result was one of the biggest shocks for the party as they lost the traditional core party veteran of the DUP. Since 2020, Mervyn has served as Chair of the Assembly and the Executive Review Committee. Mr Storey was passed by Patricia O’Lynn of the Alliance.

Roy Beggs, UUP

For the first time since East Antrim was created as a constituency in 1983, no member of the Beggs family will represent the Stormont or Westminster area. Ulster Unionist Roy Beggs Jr, a former Stormont vice-chairman and stalwart of the party, was eliminated early in the voting process for the constituency, which covers the coastal towns of Carrickfergus and Larne. Mr Beggs was his party’s longest serving MP, having held the seat since 1998.

Dolores Kelly, SDLP

There were hugs and tears as SDLP stalwart Dolores Kelly lost her seat in Upper Bann. She was excluded from stage 3 of the count on Friday afternoon. She represented the constituency between 2003 and 2016 and was subsequently re-elected in 2017. Dolores was the SDLP spokesperson on the police and was also a member of the Police Council.

Rosemary Barton, UUP


UUP’s Rosemary Barton (center)

A former teacher, Rosemary Barton, who lost in Fermanagh-South Tyrone, was elected to Stormont in 2016. She was the only female UUP MP in the last term. However, the decision to run two UUP candidates in the constituency this time proved costly, with former leader Tom Elliott set to fill the UUP seat.

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