The first MLA elected to the Stormont Assembly yesterday declared a rise in the Alliance Party.
Ellie Armstrong was elected to the Strangford constituency by 7,015 votes in the first count.
Ms Armstrong, who was congratulated by Alliance leader Naomi Long, said it was the start of an upsurge for the party in the general election.
“I’m absolutely thrilled,” Ms. Armstrong said after the announcement. “Up until now I’ve been reluctant to use the word ‘surge’, but I think I’m feeling it now. I’m absolutely delighted to be leading the poll.
“I’m not going to speak of a tidal wave at this point because we still have a lot of time ahead of us, but it’s amazing and it shows in the vote today.”
Earlier, Ms Long said it looks like it was a positive election for her party.
“We ran a positive campaign, we ran a campaign focused on what we could do if we could get a government up and running. That has to be the focus and I think people responded to that,” she said.
Asked about the Northern Ireland election, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “The most important thing is that we continue to support the balance of the Good Friday Agreement across all communities in Northern Ireland”.
During a visit to a school in his Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency, he was asked by reporters if a majority of people in Northern Ireland could vote for parties supporting the current trade deals with the EU and if he would work with those parties to do so the Northern Ireland protocol works.
Mr Johnson said: “The most important thing is that we continue to support the balance of the Good Friday Agreement across all communities in Northern Ireland. We will do that.
“And whatever arrangements we have in place need to be supported across communities, that’s what the Good Friday Agreement is about, that’s what the Government will be about.
“But for the rest, we’ll have to wait and see what the results are in Northern Ireland.”
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/its-a-surge-for-the-alliance-party-declares-first-mla-to-be-elected-to-assembly-41623753.html “It’s a boost for the Alliance Party,” declares the first MLA to be elected to the convention