Gildernew bows out to Elliott following ‘nail-biting’ contest

In the end, more than 500 votes meant the difference between Michelle Gildernew holding on to her Westminster position and relinquishing one of the most marginal seats across the UK to the Ulster Unionist’s Tom Elliott.

A Unionist pact paid off and the Fermanagh-South Tyrone contest was officially claimed by the Fermanagh man just after 5am.

Tom Elliott is embraced following his win by Ulster Unionist party leader Mike Nesbitt

Tom Elliott is embraced following his win by Ulster Unionist party leader Mike Nesbitt

Despite whispers of a possible recount, it quickly became clear that Tom Elliott had emerged the winner, paying tribute in his victory speech to the “combined effort” which earned him the title of MP.

Michelle Gildernew, meanwhile, who was accompanied by her sons and other family members, described the election as “nail-biting” and offered her congratulations to the new Member of Parliament.

More reaction from the Fermanagh-South Tyrone election and count will feature in next week’s TYRONE TIMES.

We will also have more video reaction from the count centre in Omagh throughout the morning here and on our Facebook and Twitter accounts.