Sinn Fein make significant gains in Northern Ireland election

The DUP emerged with 28 seats despite suffering a backlash over allegations of financial mismanagement, while Sinn Fein got 27 of 90 seats available at the Stormont Assembly, becoming once more the second-largest party.

But while early results showed that voters had surged to the polls, the outcome was likely to leave the Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Fein as the two biggest parties.

Other casualties include the UUP's Jo-Anne Dobson, former DUP minister Jonathan Bell, who stood as an independent, and People Before Profit's Eamon McCann who was elected as an MLA last May but lost his seat in Foyle.

The elections - triggered by the collapse of devolved government in Northern Ireland six weeks ago following controversy over a botched green energy scheme - saw turnout hit its highest level, 65%, in nearly two decades.

"Some day Northern Ireland will vote as a normal democracy", he said.

Nothern Ireland has had a power-sharing devolved assembly since 2007 so it's had to represent both the unionists and nationalists.

Nationalists in Northern Ireland have voted to oppose Brexit, Gerry Adams said.

The poll was forced after Sinn Fein pulled the plug on the powersharing institutions in protest at DUP first minister Arlene Foster's handling of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) - an error-ridden scheme that left Stormont facing a potential overspend of nearly £500 million.

Against such sentiment, Brokenshire will be hard pressed to find compelling practical incentive for the leaders of the DUP and Sinn Fein to come together again.

The lead-up to the snap election has been a fractious one, with leaders of the main parties engaging in a tense television debate on Tuesday, including new Sinn Fein head Michelle O'Neill.

Daithi McKay of Sinn Féin claimed the election had "motivated and reawakened a dormant nationalist vote".

If DUP and Sinn Fein can not agree to form a new power-sharing executive within three weeks, London will take over issues such as health, education and the local economy which are now devolved.

She said: "The vote has increased".

Re-imposition of direct rule from London is on the cards if post-election talks fail to mend tensions.

More uncertainly probably. Sinn Fein wants "special status" for Northern Ireland and for the whole of Ireland to remain in the European Union (they want a more united Ireland).

It was the United Kingdom region's second election in 10 months. "We have come out with an increased support and I don't think anybody was predicting that".

  • Leroy Wright