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Friday, 8 June, 2001, 17:48 GMT 18:48 UK

McGuinness retains Mid-Ulster

Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness has been retained as MP for Mid-Ulster.

Mr McGuinness was returned with an increased majority of 9,953.

Speaking after the count, he said: "This has been a resounding victory for Sinn Fein - we have increased our vote by 5,000 in this constituency," said Mr McGuinness.

"Of course here in Omagh leisure centre the news is quite startling because it looks at this stage that Pat Doherty has also won the West Tyrone seat very decisively.

"And before the end of the day Michelle Gildernew could be joining us as the MP for Fermanagh-South Tyrone.

"This has been an absolutely fantastic performance by Sinn Fein west of the Bann."

Mid-Ulster result

  • Martin McGuinness SF 25,502
  • Ian McCrea DUP 15,549
  • Eilis Haughey SDLP 8,376
  • Francie Donnelly WP 509

    Meanwhile, the Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams has held the West Belfast seat with a big increase in his majority.

    The SDLP vote collapsed by nearly 10,000 with Mr Adams' vote increased by 10%.

    Speaking after the seat was declared, Mr Adams said: "We have the big job of continuing with the peace process, of making sure that the Good Friday Agreement is delivered upon and that people will have a future.

    West Belfast result

  • Gerry Adams SF 27,096
  • Alex Attwood SDLP 7,754
  • Eric Smyth DUP 2,641
  • Chris McGimpsey UUP 2,541 John Lowry Workers Party 736

  • David Kerr Ulster's Third Way 116
  • Rainbow George VFY 98
    "As an Irish republican this is a resounding vote by the people of west Belfast for a national republic and an end to the union, an end to partition and a new future for all of the people of this island of ours."

    In 1997, Mr Adams had a majority of 7,909 over the SDLP's Joe Hendron.

    He was elected MP for West Belfast in 1983, losing the seat to Joe Hendron in 1992, then regaining it in 1997.

    He has never taken his place at Westminster.

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