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#AE17 Upper Bann: UUP most likely to lose.

Upper Bann stretches from the southern shore of Lough Neagh, through Lurgan, Craigavon and Portadown to Banbridge and my ancestral home of Loughbrickland. In 2016 Unionists won four seats with 59.3% of the vote, and Nationalists won two with 34.4%.

2016 result
DUP 14,188 (31.1%, +4.0%) 2 seats
UUP 9,884 (21.6%, -3.0%) 2 seats
TUV 1,177 (2.6%, +0.2%)
UKIP 1,072 (2.3%, +1.7%)
PUP 704 (1.5%)
Conservatives 79 (0.2%)

Alliance 1,424 (3.1%, -3.4%)
CISTA 672 (1.5%)
Green 495 (1.1%)
NI Labour 250 (0.5%)
Independent 33 (0.1%)

Sinn Féin 11,373 (24.9%, -2.3%) 2 seats (+1)
SDLP 4,335 (9.5%, -1.9%) (-1)
2017 candidates
@Carla Lockhart (DUP)
Jonathan Buckley (DUP)
@Doug Beattie (UUP)
@Jo-Anne Dobson (UUP)
Roy Ferguson (TUV)
Ian Nickels (Cons)

Tara Doyle (Alliance)
Simon Lee (Green)
Colin Craig (WP)

Dolores Kelly (SDLP)
@John O'Dowd (SF)
Nuala Toman (SF)


Only four incumbents are running for re-election here (the lowest anywhere), with retirements from both the DUP and SF. The DUP, UUP and SF are all defending two seats with 1.9, 1.5 and 1.3 quotas respectively. In 2016 there were 3.6 Unionist quotas and 2.1 Nationalist quotas.

On the Nationalist side, SF will need to hold heir vote share and balance ahead of the SDLP to keep both seats, but after several unsuccessful attempts they seem now to have got the knack. However, a change of SF personnel will not help and we can't exclude the SDLP making a return.

On the Unionist side, this is a seat where the UUP should be looking to start their renewal. The DUP position is not unassailable, and again the change of personnel won't help. But starting from where we are, the UUP's second seat is clearly the most vulnerable.

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