He went on to say: 'The Ulster Unionist Party would have expected its bright hope to do better. It had selected a popular, well-known cleric in Lesley Carroll, but her 1,972 first preferences failed to make a dent in the DUP's massive vote. ... The PUP also polled badly, leader Billy Hutchinson receiving just 1,238 first preference votes and then struggled to pick up transfers.'
It is interesting that in their accounts of North Belfast neither journalist referred to the other two unionist parties. UKIP came in with just 751 first preference votes (2.05%) and the TUV with just 644 first preference votes (1.76%). Across the unionist parties the first preference votes were: DUP 12,783 (34.95%), UUP 1972 (5.39%), PUP 1238 (3.52%), UKIP 751 (2.05%) and TUV 644 (1.76%).
In terms of the breakdown of the total first preference unionist vote of 17,388 in North Belfast, that gives DUP 73.5%, UUP 11.3% , PUP 7.1%, UKIP 4.3% and TUV 3.7%.
In spite of some earlier predictions of a surge for the UUP, the pundits now have to accept that the DUP has had a remarkable election result.