Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,

#AE17 Mid Ulster: SF's third seat the most vulnerable

Perched on the western shore of Lough Neagh, Mid Ulster includes Magherafelt, Cookstown and Coalisland. 61.9% of the vote got Nationalists four MLAs last time, with Unionists winning the other two with 35.2%.

2016 result
DUP 7,393 (18.1%, +1.4%) 1 seat
UUP 4,862 (11.9%, +1.6%) 1 seat
TUV 1,877 (4.6%, -0.3%)
UKIP 256 (0.6%)

Alliance 471 (1.2%, +0.3%)
Green 349 (0.9%)
Workers' Party 316 (0.8%)

Sinn Féin 19,015 (46.7%, -2.5%) 3 seats
SDLP 6,209 (15.2%, +0.5%) 1 seat
2017 candidates
@Keith Buchanan (DUP)
@Sandra Overend (UUP)
Hannah Loughrin (TUV)

Fay Watson (Alliance)
Stefan Taylor (Green)
Hugh Scullion (WP)
Hugh McCloy (Ind)

@Patsy McGlone (SDLP)
@Linda Dillon (SF)
@Ian Milne (SF)
@Michelle O'Neill (SF)

All six incumbent MLAs are seeking re-election. SF are defending three seats with 2.8 quotas; the DUP are defending one with 1.1 quotas; the SDLP and UUP are defending theirs respectively with 0.9 and 0.7 of a quota. In 2016 there were 2.1 Unionist quotas and 3.7 Nationalist quotas.

The two Unionist seats look safe enough (the UUP perhaps a little more precarious), so the seat lost is more likely to be a Nationalist one. SF have two safe, but have a more difficult challenge for the third; it will take mathematically precise balancing, which is very difficult to pull off in a constituency where the new leader may prove a vote magnet, so my gut feeling is that they are more likely to lose out and the SDLP will probably survive here.

Tags: election: ni: 2017

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