Douglas South: Beecroft and Malarkey back in

Kate Beecroft MHK leader of Liberal Vannin party.

Kate Beecroft MHK leader of Liberal Vannin party.

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Sitting members Kate Beecroft and Bill Malarkey have both been re-elected to the House of Keys.

Liberal Vannin’s Kate Beecroft topped the vote with 1,134 votes (36%), while Bill Malarkey kept his seat with 952 votes.

Bill Malarkey

Bill Malarkey

Late entry Keith Fitton claimed 767 votes while landscape gardener David Fowler finished with 296.

Much of the talk at the Scoill Vallajeelt polling station was of low voter turn out.

After missing out in 2011, Bill Malarkey said he felt ‘fabulous’ about the 2016 result.

‘Five years ago I stood in the same room and lost my seat to Kate Beecroft,’ he said.

‘I won the (2015) by-election but it’s not quite the same; this election is a big turn around.

‘I’m disappointed with the turn out. Maybe more candidates would have meant more voters.

‘I’m committed to Douglas South and committed to the Isle of Man. It’s five years, with a new government. A new era.’

Mr Malarkey said the island’s most pressing issue now was finding a new chief minister, though he wouldn’t be pushed on who he’d like to see in the position.

Despite an overall win, Mrs Beecroft said she couldn’t hold back the nerves on polling day. ‘I was very nervous, you always are,’ she said. ‘The share of the vote is a good endorsement, very rewarding.

‘What’s next? A good sleep’.

Fourth-placed David Fowler described the Douglas South turnout as ‘appalling’.

‘For a sunny day it isn’t very good,’ he said. ‘It is voter apathy.’

Despite falling so far short of the top two, Mr Fowler reflected on his campaign as a ‘very positive experience’ and added ‘fair chance’ we would see him stand again should there be a by-election this term.

Keith Fitton congratulated the winners but warned them ‘they have a tough job ahead’. He was ‘very disappointed’ with third place, reflecting that he had left it too late to join the race.

‘It has been a friendly battle, but I needed a couple more weeks to knock on doors. If anything though, I’m disappointed with the low tun out, especially in such an important time in our politics.’

Having previously contested the seat, Mr Fitton conceded he would not stand again.

’I’ve given it a couple of goes now, but that was my last one,’ he said.

Kate Beecroft 1,134

Keith Fitton 767

David Fowler 296

Bill Malarkey 952

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