Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,

#AE17 North Antrim: DUP third seat tough to defend

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.

Tags: election: ni: 2017

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