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Counting well underway as first candidates announced

COUNTING for the three Local Government Districts in Tyrone is well underway this afternoon as the first successful candidates are confirmed.

In Fermanagh and Omagh the only ward being counted today is West Tyrone. But the verification of votes in both Mid Tyrone and Omagh Town suggests that Barry McElduff of Sinn Fein or Erroll Thompson of the DUP will top the poll. Early indications also suggest a close tussle between Chris Smyth of the Ulster Unionist and Stephen Donnelly of Alliance, but it will be tomorrow before these issues are resolved.

No candidates have as yet been elected in the three Omagh wards in Fermanagh and Omagh council.

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One of the biggest stories so far has been the election of two independent republican candidates in Mid-Ulster. Malachy Quinn of the SDLP topped the poll in the Torrent Ward where Independent Republican, Dan Kerr, was also elected on the first count. It’s a result which means that Sinn Fein may be on course to lose a seat in this area.

Former Mid-Ulster MLA, Ian McCrea, has failed in his bid to return to electoral politics after the election of Robert Colvin of the Ulster Unionist Party.

No candidates have as yet been elected in the three Omagh wards in Fermanagh and Omagh council.

In Strabane and Derry, counting is continuing in the Derg ward where the SDLP candidate, Cara Hunter, looks poised to win a seat for the party for the first time in 15 years. The speculation that this could come at the expense of Maolisa McHugh. In addition, Thomas Kerrigan and his nephew Keith, are also currently in a battle for one seat.

The counts began this morning, but it will be tomorrow (Saturday) evening before the full list of candidates is known.

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