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That heading is the DUP story of this election; losses in North and South Belfast and defeat in North Down where Alex Easton was favourite to step in.

Nigel Dodds unable to hold on and Emma Little-Pengelly a distant second more than 15,000 votes behind Claire Hanna of the SDLP.

John Finucane’s win in the north of the city put a better face on the overall Sinn Fein performance.

Yes, they had seven MPs elected, but their vote was down and, in Foyle, SDLP leader Colum Eastwood was the runaway winner

With Stormont talks next, the big two parties have much to think about.

The Alliance surge, including Stephen Farry’s win in North Down, continues and the SDLP is back in the game.


The Westminster numbers have changed dramatically; there will be a government that can stand on its own two feet without the props of confidence and supply.

In London, DUP influence has gone.

How much do they want and need Stormont now?

If they want it before the centenary of Northern Ireland, then they have to make this negotiation work.


That means trying to find an agreement across a range of issues that have left Stormont  stuck in political mud for the best part of three years.

The new talks are due to begin on Monday with the DUP, in particular, licking the wounds of this election battle.

Days before the vote, a source spoke of a day of reckoning for the DUP; a price to pay for the Brexit project and mess.

Did anyone expect that price to be quite so heavy?

Politics is changing, turning different corners onto new roads.

The voting in Scotland will mean a push for a second independence referendum; the Union is no longer safe.

Brexit has changed and is changing everything.

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About Author

Brian Rowan

Brian Rowan is a journalist/author. A former BBC correspondent in Belfast, four times he has been a category winner in the Northern Ireland Press and Broadcast Awards. He is the author of several books on the peace process and contributed chapters to 'Reporting the Troubles' and 'Brexit and Northern Ireland: Bordering on Confusion'.

1 Comment

  1. Gearoid Mac Siacais on

    Someone should point out to the boy Jeffrey that ‘Unionist Unity’ failed to save North Belfast or Fermanagh South Tyrone. He, like those he misleads, need to smell the coffee and step with confidence into the real conversation which is rising in volume and increasing in tempo in spite of their heads being in the sand. Poor soon to disappear Arlene are listening but they’re listening to the wrong conversation.

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