Alliance Party leader David Ford didn’t mind waiting until the sixth count to retain his South Antrim Assembly seat.
The outgoing Justice Minister said he was “suitably pleased” with the result as he secured enough transfers from the SDLP’s Roisin Lynch to pass the quota.
“I’m very happy that I’ve donee what I tend to do most times which is get a respectable first preference vote and add to it stage by stage. And it clearly shows that Alliance has not gone away as some people were suggesting earlier in the day,” he said.
Mr Ford said he wasn’t concerned at any stage of the process as he could see that the transfers “were always potentially there.”
He thanked his party team and the people of South Antrim for helping him secure re-election.
Sinn Fein’s Declan Kearney - the man who replaced outgoing MLA Mitchel McLaughlin - was also elected at the sixth stage of the count.