Page last updated at 12:51 GMT, Friday, 7 May 2010 13:51 UK

Antrim North: Paisley Jnr sees off Jim Allister

Ian Paisley
Ian Paisley succeeds his father as MP for North Antrim

Another member of the Paisley family has been elected MP for North Antrim.

Ian Paisley Jnr has seen off TUV leader Jim Allister and will succeed his father as MP for the area.

Mr Paisley polled 19,672 votes and Mr Allister 7,114. In third place in North Antrim was Sinn Fein's Daithi McKay with 5,265 votes.

Ulster Conservative and Unionists - New Force candidate Irwin Armstrong polled 4,634, SDLP's Declan O'Loan, 3,738 and Jayne Dunlop (Alliance) 1,368.

There had been speculation before the result that Mr Allister, a former DUP member and MEP, would push Mr Paisley jnr close.

Mr Allister left the DUP over the party's decision to enter the power-sharing executive with Sinn Fein.

However, the North Antrim result was part of a disappointing night for the TUV.

Mr Allister, received 66,000 votes in the European election, but the party's candidates received just over 26,000 in the general election.

Its leader's second place finish in North Antrim was as close as it got to winning a Westminster seat.

"I accept the democratic verdict of the people of North Antrim and in consequence I congratulate Mr Paisley," Mr Allister said.

"As for Traditional Unionist Voice, we leave this count with our heads held high, because we leave this count with our principals and our convictions intact."

Mr Paisley jnr has now taken over the seat his father held for 40 years.

"If any arrogance is seen in our approach, it's only because we have the confidence of a great God," he said, during a 10-minute victory speech in Ballymena.

"And can we not at least celebrate that and be happy in that, because I as sure as heck am tonight."



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