Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party Secures 8 Seats, Eyes UK Balance of Power

 Share
EMAIL
PRINT
COMMENTS
Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party Secures 8 Seats, Eyes UK Balance of Power

Democratic Unionist Party leader Peter Robinson speaks at the party's policy conference in the village of Templepatrick in Belfast, March 28, 2015. (Reuters)


BELFAST:  Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party retained eight seats in Britain's parliament on Friday and said they would consider supporting a minority Conservative government in exchange for a package of financial and political concessions.

An exit poll gave the Conservatives 316 of 650 seats in the lower house, seven short of the 323 analysts say are needed for a working majority, leaving the British nationalist DUP as a contender to hold the balance of power.

"We have a unique opportunity in the House of Commons to have an influence for good in Northern Ireland," former Northern Ireland finance minister Sammy Wilson told supporters after retaining his Antrim East seat for the DUP.

"They are going to have to recognise that Northern Ireland has special interests, special needs, and those will have to be addressed," he said.

The Conservatives may well try and rule alone if they get close to an overall majority and polling experts are not ruling out them winning more than half the parliamentary seats.

Before the election the DUP produced a wish list of 100 items and one of its lawmakers said it would seek up to 1 billion pounds in additional funding for the province.

"I expect there will be some incredibly interesting discussions in the week ahead," DUP member of parliament Gavin Robinson told the BBC.

Some Catholic Irish nationalists have voiced concerns that the entry into government by the mainly Protestant DUP could unsettle Northern Ireland's delicate power-sharing administration, part of a 1998 peace deal that ended three decades of sectarian violence.

The DUP's deeply conservative social policies and opposition to gay rights could also disconcert some English voters.

The DUP lost its seat in the Upper Bann constituency to the rival Ulster Unionist party, but won back East Belfast from the non-sectarian Alliance party, to secure the same number of seats as in 2010.
© Thomson Reuters 2015


Get Breaking news, live coverage, and Latest News from India and around the world on NDTV.com. Catch all the Live TV action on NDTV 24x7 and NDTV India. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram for latest news and live news updates.

NDTV Beeps - your daily newsletter

................................ Advertisement ................................

................................ Advertisement ................................

................................ Advertisement ................................