Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,

#AE17 East Antrim: Will DUP or SF lose out?

East Antrim is the coastal strip of the county from Newtownabbey to the Glens. Unionists won only four seats here in 2016 with 69.6% of the vote; Nationalists succeeded in retaining one with 11.9%; and Alliance kept theirs with 14.6%.

2016 result
DUP 11,701 (36.1%, -10.1%) 3 seats
UUP 6,552 (20.2%, +3.3%) 1 seat
UKIP 2,207 (6.8%)
TUV 1,643 (5.1%, +0.5%)
PUP 455 (1.4%)

Alliance 4,747 (14.6%, -0.9%) 1 seat
Green 693 (2.1%, -0.2%)
CCLP 551 (1.7%)

SF 2,633 (8.1%, -0.1%) 1 seat
SDLP 1,229 (3.8%, -0.8%)
2017 candidates
@David Hilditch (DUP)
@Gordon Lyons (DUP)
Stephen Ross (DUP)
@Roy Beggs (UUP)
John Stewart (UUP)
Ruth Wilson (TUV)
Noel Jordan (UKIP)
Alan Dunlop (Conservative)

@Stewart Dickson (Alliance)
Danny Donnelly (Alliance)
Dawn Patterson (Green)
Conor Sheridan (Cross Community Labour Alternative)
Ricky Best (Ind)

Margaret McKillop (SDLP)
@Oliver McMullan (SF)

Five out of six incumbents are standing again, with a DUP retirement. There are fifteen candidates in total, a record shared with East Londonderry and West Tyrone. The DUP are defending three seats with less than 2.2 quotas; the UUP, Alliance and SF are defending their seats with 1.2 quotas, 0.9 of a quota and 0.5 of a quota respectively. So two DUP seats are safe, and so in principle are the UUP and Alliance seats - though frankly I think the latter are taking an unnecessary risk by running two candidates with less than a quota between them.

It's much more difficult to see SF's path to retaining their seat, and my gut feeling is that the last seat will be a Unionist one, with the DUP in a stronger position to hold their third than the UUP are to make a gain (or UKIP, who came within 105 votes of beating SF for the last seat last time). But a lot is going to depend on how the votes balance out between the candidates.

Tags: election: ni: 2017
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