UK & World News
Mid Ulster By-Election: Sinn Fein Keeps Seat
Sinn Fein's Francie Molloy has won the Mid Ulster by-election triggered by the resignation of the party's Martin McGuinness last year.
The Northern Ireland Assembly's outgoing principal deputy speaker received 17,462 votes - 4,681 more than his main rival for the seat, the agreed unionist candidate Nigel Lutton.
"I thank the people of Mid Ulster for putting their confidence in me," Mr Molloy told Sky News shortly after the result was announced in Cookstown, County Tyrone.
"I want to build jobs for young people ... and to give them training to allow them to take up those positions.
"We want to get planning permission for factories in rural parts of Mid Ulster to ensure those jobs can be provided across the constituency."
The by-election campaign was played out in the shadow of a historic Troubles murder.
Mr Molloy had been accused in the House of Commons of having a role in the shooting of Mr Lutton's father, Frederick Lutton, in 1979.
He has always vehemently denied the claim from David Simpson, and challenged the Democratic Unionist MP to repeat the allegation without the legal protection of parliamentary privilege.
There was no handshake between Mr Molloy and Mr Lutton at the count at Cookstown Leisure Centre, although the unionist candidate said the men did speak during the evening.
The two other candidates in the by-election - the Social Democratic and Labour Party's Patsy McGlone and Eric Bullick of Alliance - won 6,478 and 487 votes respectively.
Just over half (55%) of the 67,000 electorate turned out to vote, down from 63% in 2010.
Mr Molloy succeeds Mr McGuinness, who stood down as MP for Mid Ulster after more than 15 years in the job to concentrate on his role at Stormont.
In keeping with Sinn Fein's abstentionist policy, he will not take his seat in the House of Commons.
Mr Lutton was chosen as the single Unionist candidate by the Democratic Unionist (DUP) and Ulster Unionist (UUP) parties in an effort to wrestle the seat from Sinn Fein.
He said after the count: "I am the undertaker who resurrected unionism."
UUP leader Mike Nesbitt said he would look at possible future co-operation with the DUP.