Google says DUP ‘most searched UK political party’

Ian Paisley, pictured at the count centre in Ballymena. Credit: Presseye

Search engine Google has said the DUP is the UK political party most people are trying to find out about on election results night.

It comes as the party could potentially end up in a position of some influence in the event, as initially suggested by an exit poll, of a hung parliament.

“I think this vote across Northern Ireland shows that unionism has awakened,” Ian Paisley told UTV, shortly before it was confirmed that he had retained his North Antrim seat.

“They have decided very, very clearly that they will be listened to. They have now spoken very clearly about Brexit, reinforcing that message. They’ve spoken very clearly about devolution.”

With turnout at 64.21%, he was elected with 28,521 votes – ahead of Sinn Féin’s Cara McShane with 7,878 votes.

It comes after his party colleagues Sir Jeffrey Donaldson and Jim Shannon retained their Westminster seats in Lagan Valley and Strangford respectively.

Meanwhile, Gregory Campbell has also been returned to his seat in East Londonderry – with a much increased majority and 19,723 votes.

Next closest was Sinn Féin’s Dermot Nicholl with 10,881 votes and the SDLP’s Stephanie Quigley with 4,423 votes.

Overall turnout there was 61.57%, with a total of 41,278 votes polled.

And in South Antrim, the DUP have gained the seat through candidate Paul Girvan with 16,508 votes - taking it from the UUP's Danny Kinahan.