Election Day for Westminster dawned today (Thursday), with voters in Upper Bann and neighbouring Newry-Armagh heading for the polls.
Eight hopefuls are on the Upper Bann list – Amandeep Singh Bhogal (NI Conservative); Jo-Anne Dobson (UUP); Damien Harte (Workers Party); Dolores Kelly (SDLP); Martin Kelly (CISTA); Peter Lavery (Alliance); Catherine Seeley (Sinn Fein); and David Simpson (DUP).
In Newry and Armagh (which includes Tandragee, Loughgall, Richhill and Markethill) there are five in the chase – Mickey Brady (Sinn Fein); Danny Kennedy (UUP); Justin McNulty (SDLP); Kate Nicholl (Alliance) and Robert Rigby (NI Conservative).
Newry and Armagh will have a new MP. Former incumbent Conor Murphy has been replaced by fellow MLA Mickey Brady in the election. The constituency is one of four with an ‘agreed’ unionist candidate – Mr Kennedy. Another ‘agreed’ constituency is Fermanagh and South Tyrone, which includes the Annaghmore area.
The Northern Ireland constituencies came into being in 1983. In Upper Bann that year, the turn-out was 72 per cent, compared with 55.8 per cent in 2010. And in Newry-Armagh, the turn-out was 76 per cent in 1983, compared with 60 per cent last time.
The polling station venues are clearly on all polling cards, and there is a comprehensive list of identification that is required - driving licence, passport, National Identity Card, Electoral Identity Card, various Translink Smart Cards, Disabled Blue Badge, Student Card.
Polling stations are open from 7am-10pm, It’s the single ‘X’, first-past-the-post election - vote one candidate only.
The counts for Upper Bann and Newry-Armagh are at Banbridge Leisure Centre for an overnight tally. An authoritative blow-by-blow ‘rolling’ report will be carried on the Portadown Times website.