SDLP candidate Richie McPhillips provided the drama at the Fermanagh South Tyrone count as he took one of the three seats Sinn Fein had set out to defend.
To cheers of “we’re back” the new MLA was surrounded by jubilant supporters, all ecstatic at the result.
Giving his speech after the final result was declared, McPhillips hit out the dirty tactics of some Sinn Fein candidates, saying “I believe the SDLP represents decency”.
After congratulating “First Minister Arlene, Maurice Morrow, Rosemary and Michelle” he left it at that, leaving final MLA Sean Lynch off the list.
“I wish each and everyone of you well and I look forward to working with each and every one of you for the good of Fermanagh South Tyrone people.
“And Arlene I won’t beat a path to your office, but I can assure you Fermanagh and South Tyrone is going to have to get a better cut of the cake from here on in.
“The SDLP are back in Fermanagh South Tyrone,” he said. “And for many, many people... would agree that’s no bad thing.
“I got votes from across the whole community... we should be the unifier of Protestants, Catholics and others.”
An order of election, Arlene Foster crossed the line in the first count, followed by Morris Morrow on transfers.
Third elected was Michelle Gildernew for Sinn Fein, followed by the UUP’s Rosemary Barton - who took the UUP seat from party colleague Patterson.
The SDLP’s Richie Phillips’ election was the surprise of the day as he pipped Sinn Fein’s John Feely to the post.
The last seat went to Sean Lynch, SF.