Ulster Unionist Party Leader Mike Nesbitt MLA has hailed the results of the European and local government elections as great for his Party. 88 Councillors were elected under the Ulster Unionist Party banner, and Jim Nicholson MEP was returned again to the European Parliament after reaching the quota, following a long drawn out count at the King's Hall, Belfast.
Mr Nesbitt said:
“Last week the Ulster Unionist Party went to the polls with one MEP and the equivalent of 78 super-councillors.
“Today, we still have our MEP in Jim Nicholson, and we now have 88 councillors. Furthermore more people gave our council candidates their first preference and made it a great election for the Ulster Unionist Party.
“In the Council elections we topped the poll in 16 DEAs and many of our lead councillors brought their running mates home with them.
“The notion that we are in some kind of terminal decline has been proven to be wrong and we look forward to further growth next year.
“I would like to extend my thanks to Jim Nicholson MEP, and all those canvassers, workers and council candidates who demonstrated a great amount of teamwork and effort. The results are a fitting reward for all their hard work.
“I would also like to pay tribute to those candidates who were not successful on this occasion. The Ulster Unionist Party is very much back in business, and their chance will come again.
“Finally I would like to thank every voter who came out last Thursday to entrust the Ulster Unionist Party with their votes. In Brussels and in the 11 local council chambers I can assure you that your newly elected Ulster Unionist representatives will be fighting your corner and working hard to do what is right for Northern Ireland.”