The Alliance Party is celebrating a substantial increase in its vote in the election. The party gained almost 30,000 more votes than in the Assembly election last year and received its largest number of votes across Northern Ireland since 1979.
The Alliance Strangford candidate Kellie Armstrong said: “I am honoured to have been the Alliance candidate in my home constituency and feel privileged to have been elected to the Assembly again to represent Strangford.
“I would like to thank the 5813 people who gave me their first preference votes and many hundreds who transferred from other candidates, making me the first MLA elected in Strangford. I am looking forward to getting back to finish the work I started, particularly my Private Members Bill to support integrated education.
“The growth in our vote in every constituency has shown Alliance provides an alternative that people want away from tribal orange and green politics. There was a clear message on the doorsteps that people were frustrated and angry at the current political situation. I would urge everyone to get involved with Alliance in changing our society into what we want it to be.
“Our Assembly talks team is ready to go, there is no reason why we can’t get things restored right away. Agreeing a Budget is the priority. We have to get devolution up and running as a matter of urgency as there are people and organisations unable to plan for future.
“There are important issues, such as Brexit, that can have negative impacts on on all our lives. Alliance believes that our unique situation requires negotiation of special arrangements to secure our economic future. Our MLAs will continue to put the case for Northern Ireland at every opportunity.”