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East Londonderry includes the towns of Coleraine and Limavady. In 2016, Unionists won four seats with 63.6% of the vote, and Nationalists won the other two with 31.3%.

2016 result
DUP 12,674 (36.8%, -0.1%) 3 seats
Independents 3,331 (9.7%, +1.2%) 1 seat
UUP 2,856 (8.3%, -0.1%)
PUP 1,356 (3.9%)
TUV 1,191 (3.5%, -1.0%)
UKIP 274 (0.8%)
Conservative 266 (0.8%)

Alliance 1,257 (3.7%, -1.8%)
Green 434 (1.3%)

SF 7,495 (21.8%, +0.7%) 1 seat
SDLP 3,265 (9.5%, -5.4%) 1 seat
2017 candidates
@Maurice Bradley (DUP)
@Adrian McQuillan (DUP)
@George Robinson (DUP)
William McCandless (UUP)
Jordan Armstrong (TUV)
Russell Watton (PUP)
David Harding (Conservative)
@Claire Sugden (Independent)

Chris McCaw (Alliance)
Anthony Flynn (Green)
Gavin Campbell (PBPA)

@Gerry Mullan (Ind)
John Dallat (SDLP)
@Caoimhe Archibald (SF)
Cathal Ó hOisín (SF)


All six incumbent MLAs are running for re-election, including Gerry Mullan who was deselected by the SDLP. East Londonderry has the melancholy distinction of the malest ballot paper in the election, at thirteen out of fifteen - several other constituencies have only two women candidates, but they all have fewer men. At least the two women standing here are both incumbents.

The DUP are defending three seats with 2.2 quotas, SF are defending their seat with 1.2 quotas, and Claire Sugden and the SDLP are defending their seats with 0.6 of a quota each. In 2016 there were 3.8 Unionist quotas (counting Claire Sugden) and 1.9 Nationalist quotas. It therefore looks very tight indeed.

Given the stronger internal transfer tradition among Unionists, the difficulty for SF of balancing two candidates ahead of the SDLP, and also the SDLP's challenge from their own former incumbent, my gut feeling is that it is a Nationalist seat which will be lost, and more likely the SDLP who will lose it.

But it is not at all a done deal. It could easily be the Unionists who lose out, either the third DUP seat or independent Justice Minister Claire Sugden. And even if all four Unionist seats are retained, the UUP lost here through sheer carelessness in 2011 and are not that far behind. I find this one of the most difficult constituencies to call in the entire election.

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