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North Antrim is the northeast corner of Northern Ireland, including the heartland towns of Ballymena, Ballymoney and Ballycastle. It had the second highest Unionist vote share in 2016 at 74.4%, narrowly pipped by Lagan Valley. That got five Unionist MLAs elected comfortably, and a 20.4% Nationalist vote elected one MLA from Sinn Fein.

2016 result
DUP 17,655 (43.1%, -4.5%) 3 seats
TUV 7,354 (17.9%, +6.2%) 1 seat
UUP 4,406 (10.7%, -1.0%) 1 seat
UKIP 1,027 (2.5%,)
Conservatives 92 (0.2%)

Alliance 1,318 (3.2%, -1.4%)
Green 513 (1.3%)
NI Labour 243 (0.6%)

Sinn Féin 5,297 (12.9%, -2.4%) 1 seat
SDLP 3,093 (7.5%, -1.6%)
2017 candidates
@Paul Frew (DUP)
@Phillip Logan (DUP)
@Mervyn Storey (DUP)
@Robin Swann (UUP)
@Jim Allister (TUV)
Timothy Gaston (TUV)

Patricia O'Lynn (Alliance)
Mark Bailey (Green)
Adam McBride (Ind)

Monica Digney (Ind)
Connor Duncan (SDLP)
@Philip McGuigan (SF)


All six incumbents are standing for re-election, SF's Philip McGuigan having replaced previous winner Daithi McKay a couple of months ago. There are only two women among the twelve candidates. The DUP are defending three seats with 2.6 quotas; the TUV are defending theirs with 1.1 quotas; and SF and the UUP are defending theirs with 0.8 and 0.6 of a quota respectively. In 2016 there were 4.5 Unionist quotas and 1.2 Nationalist quotas.

On the face of it, the TUV and SF seats look pretty safe (even with a former SF member standing as an independent), and the question is whether the DUP will make a clean sweep of the other three, or the UUP will manage to hang on (I suppose theoretically the second TUV runner might have a chance, but that would require better balancing than they have demonstrated hitherto). In theory, perfect vote management could keep the DUP ahead; in practice, I think their third seat is the most vulnerable of the current six.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Feb. 13th, 2017 09:20 pm (UTC)
Last Seat
The TUV are safe in North Antrim and they will get an electoral surge from the RHI scandal I had feeling the UUP would retain the last seat not so sure now after the vote transfer issue that has engulfed the UUP.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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