May 7th, 2011


Assembly results - my take #ae11

East Belfast: Alliance to gain second seat; not clear if it comes at expense of UUP or (ex-PUP) Dawn Purvis. Probably PUP transfers determine the final count; anecdotally I'm told they won't forgive Purvis for leaving the party. If so, this is DUP 3 Alliance 2 UUP 1. (Though I wonder about the anecdotes.)

North Belfast: DUP take three, somewhat to their own surprise I think, and UUP's Fred Cobain loses. DUP 3, SF 2, SDLP 1.

South Belfast: A lot of my friends think DUP will take one of the SDLP seats. I don't see it myself, I think there are enough lefty transfers to pull Conal McDevitt ahead of Ruth Patterson for the last seat, so no change. SDLP 2 Alliance 1 DUP 1 UUP 1 SF 1.

West Belfast: Rather a shock here as the People Before Profit candidate has carved into the SF/SDLP vote - not enough to win a seat, but enough I think to put the DUP back in the running by wrecking SF's transfer strategy. I'm rather bravely calling this as a DUP gain. SF 4 SDLP 1 DUP 1.

East Antrim: very tight but I think SF gain from UUP. There are lots of Unionist transfers floating around, and my theory totally falls apart if SDLP fail to transfer to SF, but I call this as DUP 3 UUP 1 Alliance 1 SF 1.

North Antrim: My prediction that Jim Allister will limp into the last seat ahead of the SDLP caused howls of outrage and disbelief on Twitter, but I'm standing by it. SF's surplus of 400 will pull the SDLP ahead of him, but then the SDLP have no more sources of transfers while Allister has his own running-mate and various other soft Unionist sources. (Same goes for the hapless UUP.) DUP 3 UUP 1 TUV 1 SF 1.

South Antrim: Pretty clear that DUP take SDLP seat. DUP 3, UUP 1, Alliance 1, SF 1.

North Down: Much the most difficult to call. DUP definitely gain a third seat; Alliance definitely win at least one. Last two seats are between (in this order) the Greens, the second Alliance runner, the UUP (who won two seats here in 2007 and are now hard pressed to defend even one), Alan Chambers (a long-standing local activist in Groomsport) and Alan McFarland (ex-UUP outgoing MLA). If you held my feet to the fire I suppose I'd call DUP 3 Alliance 2 Green 1.

South Down: Slightly to my surprise, no change. SDLP not well enough balanced to take the UUP seat. SDLP 2 SF 2 DUP 1 UUP 1.

Fermanagh and South Tyrone: No first count yet, but the word is that SF have taken all three Nationalist seats here, the SDLP losing out. SF 3 DUP 2 UUP 1

Foyle: Massive DUP surplus with no other Unionist candidate probably ensures SDLP retain their lead. SDLP 3 SF 2 DUP 1.

Lagan Valley: Nationalist vote not merely eroded but disintegrated here after boundary changes. DUP gain from SF. DUP 4 UUP 1 Alliance 1.

East Londonderry: More misery for UUP as they lose to their own former MLA David McClarty. DUP 3 Ind U 1 SF 1 SDLP 1.

Mid Ulster: I caused some merriment on TV this evening by describing this as a boring constituency, but it is. No change: SF 3 SDLP 1 DUP 1 UUP 1.

Newry and Armagh: Again no change and same result, SF 3 SDLP 1 DUP 1 UUP 1.

Strangford: Another difficult one to call as incredibly DUP may hang on to their fourth seat; if they lose it it could go to either UUP or SDLP. I still think SDLP must take it, making DUP 3 UUP 1 Alliance 1 SDLP 1.

West Tyrone: More weirdness. SDLP still below quota, but surely must be rescued by their former members now standing as independents? DUP have more than twice the UUP's votes, but not well balanced; on the other hand, might they survive with transfers from elsewhere? If both of those are answered in the affirmative, this is SF 3 DUP 2 SDLP 1, but very wobbly.

Upper Bann: as I suspected might happen, SF will take the SDLP seat here. DUP 2 UUP 2 SF 2. Actually the SDLP and UUP picked up enough from various sources to keep SF on one. DUP 2 UUP 2 SF 1 SDLP 1.

Which gives these totals: DUP 40, SF 28, SDLP 15, UUP 13, Alliance 9, Ind U, Green, TUV one each. Which would give 4 DUP ministers, 3 SF, and one each for the SDLP, UUP and Alliance. (Alliance presumably also keeping the Justice ministry which is agreed separately.)

Overall the changes are not dramatic but mark the further consolidation of the DUP and SF at the expense of the UUP (who also lose ground to Alliance) and the SDLP.

I should probably go to bed now.

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