Sinn Féin become the largest party at Westminster following DUP losses across the country

Sinn Féin have kept their seven seats at Westminster, but have become the largest party as the Democratic Unionist Party have lost three MPs, taking them down to five seats. The SDLP keep their two seats, Alliance swap North Down for Lagan Valley, and the UUP and TUV join other parties on the green benches.
Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald and vice-president Michelle O'Neill with Pat Cullen, who was elected MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone today. Image: Mary Lou McDonald on X

The results of the 2024 general election in Northern Ireland have confirmed that Sinn Féin are now the largest party at Westminster, with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) losing three of their previously held seats.

This makes the party the largest across councils, the Northern Ireland Assembly, and Westminster.

Although they don’t attend the House of Commons, they have remained level at seven MPs, but the DUP’s three losses mean they are now the largest party.

In Fermanagh and South Tyrone, Sinn Féin retained the seat with Pat Cullen, in what was probably their most vulnerable seat.

Ian Paisley of the Democratic Unionist Party lost his North Antrim seat to TUV leader Jim Allister by just 450 votes, overturning a majority of almost 13,000 votes – a change that nobody saw coming.

Former Health Minister Robin Swann defeated Paul Girvan in South Antrim, another loss for the DUP. But the gamble taken by Doug Beattie has paid off for the Ulster Unionists – they are back in the House of Commons.

And in the DUP’s third loss, Alliance’s Sorcha Eastwood has been elected as Lagan Valley’s new MP. She defeated Jonathan Buckley by just under 3,000 votes in a seat that has been held by a unionist party since 1983.

Alliance remain with one seat at Westminster with their deputy leader Stephen Farry defeated in North Down to Alex Easton.

The SDLP have also kept their two seats in Foyle and Belfast South and Mid Down. Colum Eastwood and Claire Hanna were both re-elected with comfortable majorities – although Eastwood’s was reduced on 2019.

“I wish to thank all those people who voted for Sinn Féin candidates in this election, electing hard-working public representatives, and returning Sinn Féin as the largest party with twenty-seven percent share of the vote and seven seats.  We will provide strong and positive leadership and work for all across the North to improve public services, people’s lives and livelihoods.”

– Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald

DUP leader Gavin Robinson, who defeated Naomi Long in Belfast East, has said that “we can never again see a situation where Pro-Union voters are so divided that seats are lost to those who will not promote the Union.”

“I am pledged to work for greater cohesion within the Pro-Union movement. In North Down it has been demonstrated what can be achieved with co-operation, allied to a strong work ethic. Having unilaterally taken the decision to support Alex Easton, as well as Diane Armstrong in Fermanagh/South Tyrone, there is no doubt that the Unionist influence can be advanced.”

– DUP leader Gavin Robinson

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