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So, the Boundary Commission’s report is finally out, as already discussed by Mick and commentators here. As ever I have done some number-crunching; details below but here are the headlines.

At Westminster level, five currently DUP-held seats are squashed into four - East Londonderry is replaced by the new seat of Causeway; most of North Antrim becomes Mid Antrim; South Antrim is split several ways, and the new seat with that name actually has more of the old Lagan Valley in it; the old Strangford largely becomes Mid Down. North Down loses Holywood to East Belfast but takes in the Ards Peninsula.

This means that the DUP lose one of their seats (effectively the old South Antrim). But on the raw numbers, this is compensated by the large number Ards Peninsula voters added to North Down, who may not be very helpful for the small majority of Independent MP Lady Sylvia Hermon - though it should be noted that she argued for that change herself, and as she was not a candidate in the Peninsula last year, we don’t know what result she would have got.

At Assembly level, the abolished Antrim seat takes with it, in theory, two DUP MLAs and one each from the UUP, Alliance, and the Nationalists (probably the SDLP seat which was narrowly and unexpectedly won in Lagan Valley last year). But enough Unionist voters go into West Belfast to create a notional gain for the DUP from Sinn Fein, and the shift of voters from the old East Londonderry to Causeway is probably enough to deprive the SDLP of another of their unexpected wins last year, likely also to the benefit of the DUP.

So I project last year’s vote onto the new boundaries to give the DUP 28 seats out of 85 (no change), SF 26 (-1), the SDLP 10 (-2), the UUP 9 (-1), Alliance 7 (-1) and the Greens holding 2, with the TUV, People Before Profit and the independent MLA Claire Sugden holding their single seats.

These numbers of course must be considered as only a rough guide to the new political landscape. The one thing that is certain about the next election is that voters will vote differently to the way they did last time. How differently? Only time will tell.

And that, of course, assumes that these boundaries ever come into force in the first place...

The details

Starting with the eastern bloc of relatively unchanged seats, the Belfast four and East Antrim.

East Belfast
New Westminster (projection): DUP 54%, Alliance 30%, Ind U 4%, UUP 3%
(2017 Westminster: DUP 55%, Alliance 33%, UUP 3%)
The Ind U figure here is my allowance for Sylvia Hermon’s vote in Holywood.

New Assembly (projection): DUP 37%, Alliance 30%, UUP 14%, PUP 6%, Green 5%
(2017 Assembly: DUP 38&, Alliance 31%, UUP 13%, PUP 7%, Green 4%)
No change to Assembly representation, 2 DUP, 2 Alliance, 1 UUP.

North Belfast
New Westminster (projection): DUP 44%, SF 41%, Alliance 6%, SDLP 5%, UUP 2%
(2017 Westminster: DUP 46%, SF 41%, Alliance 5%, SDLP 4%)
Taking into account the UUP votes moving in from the Antrim seats, the situation is unchanged.

New Assembly (projection): DUP 31%, SF 29%, SDLP 13%, Alliance 9%, UUP 7%, PUP 4%, PBPA 4%
(2017 Assembly: DUP 32%, SF 29%, SDLP 13%, Alliance 8%, UUP 6%, PUP 5%, PBPA 4%)
Alliance were runners-up here last time, and the new boundaries help, though not quite enough to change my projection of seats: SF 2, DUP 2, SDLP 1.

South Belfast
New Westminster (projection): DUP 33%, SDLP 24%, Alliance 18%, SF 15%, Green 5%, UUP 4%
(2017 Westminster: DUP 30%, SDLP 26%, Alliance 18%, SF 16%, Green 5%, UUP 4%)
Slight strengthening of the DUP position.

New Assembly (projection): DUP 22%, SDLP 19%, Alliance 18%, SF 17%, Green 10%, UUP 9%
(2017 Assembly: DUP 21%, SDLP 19%, Alliance 18%, SF 18%, Green 10%, UUP 9%)
No change to Assembly representation, one seat to each party except the UUP.

West Belfast
New Westminster (projection): SF 58%, DUP 21%, PBPA 9%, SDLP 7%
(2017 Westminster: SF 67%, DUP 13%, PBPS 10%, SDLP 7%)
Still solid SF, but more Unionist voters brought in from the Shankill and Dunmurry.

New Assembly (projection): SF 54%, DUP 15%, PBPA 13%, SDLP 8%, UUP 4%, Alliance 3%
(2017 Assembly: SF 62%, PBPA 15%, DUP 10%, SDLP 9%, Alliance 2%, UUP 2%)
Enough Unionist votes come in for the DUP to gain a seat from SF, who would retain 3 and PBP keep 1.

East Antrim
New Westminster (projection): DUP 56%, UUP 18%, Alliance 14%, SF 7%
(2017 Westminster: DUP 57%, Alliance 16%, UUP 12%, SF 9%)
DUP remain strong.

New Assembly (projection): DUP 38%, UUP 24%, Alliance 15%, SF 8%
(2017 Assembly: DUP 35%, UUP 23%, Alliance 16%, SF 10%)
No change at Assembly level: 2 DUP, 2 UUP, 1 Alliance

I’m going to leap across the province now, to the western and southern constituencies which are not changed very much, starting with two where the changes are too small to calculate on the basis of the available data, so I am just giving the recent results.

Foyle
Westminster: SF 40%, SDLP 39%, DUP 16%, PBPA 3%, Alliance 2%
Assembly: SF 37%, SDLP 32%, DUP 13%, PBPA 11%, Alliance 3%
MLAs: 2 SF, 2 SDLP, 1 DUP

Fermanagh and South Tyrone
Westminster: SF 47%, UUP 46%, SDLP 5%
Assembly: SF 42%, DUP 30%, UUP 12%, SDLP 10%
MLAs: 3 SF, 1 DUP, 1 UUP

Sperrin
New Westminster (projection): SF 51%, DUP 26%, SDLP 14%, UUP 5%
(West Tyrone 2017 Westminster: SF 51%, DUP 27%, SDLP 13%, UUP 5%)
Although “Sperrin” is a new name, it is basically the same as West Tyrone with the addition of Dungiven, and the changes which look big on the map barely move the needle.

New Assembly (projection): SF 49%, DUP 20%, SDLP 14%, UUP 8%
(West Tyrone 2017 Assembly: SF 48%, DUP 20%, SDLP 14%, UUP 8%)
MLAs unchanged at 3 SF, 1 DUP, 1 SDLP.

Mid Ulster
New Westminster (projection): SF 54%, DUP 27%, SDLP 10%, UUP 6%
(2017 Westminster: SF 55%, DUP 27%, SDLP 10%, UUP 6%)
Again, little change to results from an apparently big change on the map.

New Assembly (projection): SF 52%, DUP 20%, SDLP 13%, UUP 9%
(2017 Assembly: SF 53%, DUP 19%, SDLP 13%, UUP 9%)
MLAs unchanged at 3 SF, 1 DUP, 1 SDLP.

Upper Bann
New Westminster (projection): DUP 43%, SF 29%, UUP 15%, SDLP 9%, Alliance 5%
(2017 Westminster: DUP 44%, SF 28%, UUP 15%, SDLP 9%, Alliance 5%)
No change.

New Assembly (projection): DUP 32%, SF 29%, UUP 20%, SDLP 10%, Alliance 5%
(2017 Assembly: DUP 33%, SF 28%, UUP 21%, SDLP 10%, Alliance 5%)
MLAs unchanged at 2 DUP, 1 SF, 1 UUP, 1 SDLP.

Newry and Armagh
New Westminster (projection): SF 49%, DUP 24%, SDLP 17%, UUP 8%
(2017 Westminster: SF 48%, DUP 25%, SDLP 17%, UUP 8%)
No change.

New Assembly (projection): SF 49%, DUP 17%, SDLP 17%, UUP 13%
(2017 Assembly: SF 48%, DUP 18%, SDLP 16%, UUP 13%)
MLAs unchanged at 3 SF, 1 DUP, 1 SDLP.

South Down
New Westminster (projection): SF 39%, SDLP 34%, DUP 18%, UUP 4%, Alliance 4%
(2017 Westminster: SF 40%, SDLP 35%, DUP 17%, UUP 4%, Alliance 4%)
No change.

New Assembly (projection): SF 38%, SDLP 25%, DUP 16%, Alliance 9%, UUP 9%
(2017 Assembly: SF 39%, SDLP 25%, DUP 16%, Alliance 9%, UUP 8%)
As with North Belfast, Alliance were runners-up here in 2017 and the new boundaries help a little, but not enough to change the projected result: 2 SF, 2 SDLP, 1 DUP.

To finish off with, the belt where six old constituencies are squeezed into five new ones.

Causeway
New Westminster (projection): DUP 54%, SF 21%, UUP 8%, SDLP 8%, Alliance 7%
(E L’derry 2017 Westminster: DUP 48%, SF 26%, SDLP 11%, UUP 8%, Alliance 6%)
DUP stronger due to losing less fruitful territory.

New Assembly (projection): DUP 38%, SF 20%, Ind U 9%, UUP 9%, SDLP 7%, TUV 6%, Alliance 5%
(E L’derry 2017 Assembly: DUP 34%, SF 26%, Ind U 12%, SDLP 8%, UUP 7%, Alliance 4%, TUV 3%)
The SDLP scraped into a seat here in 2017, but with fewer Nationalist votes to go round, that won’t be likely under the new boundaries. The DUP would be most likely to gain, leaving the score 3 DUP, 1 Sugden, 1 SF.

Mid Antrim
New Westminster (projection): DUP 55%, SF 17%, UUP 11%, SDLP 6%, TUV 6%, Alliance 6%
(N Antrim 2017 Westminster: DUP 59%, SF 16%, UUP 7%, TUV 7%, Alliance 6%, SDLP 5%)
DUP still ahead.

New Assembly (projection): DUP 38%, SF 16%, UUP 14%, TUV 13%, SDLP 8%, Alliance 6%
(N Antrim 2017 Assembly: DUP 41%, SF 16%, TUV 16%, UUP 13%, SDLP 7%, Alliance 5%)
Slight swing from Unionists to Nationalists is not enough to change the seat distribution, which remains 2 DUP, 1 SF, 1 UUP, 1 TUV.

South Antrim
New Westminster (projection): DUP 47%, UUP 21%, SF 13%, Alliance 10%, SDLP 8%
(S Antrim 2017 Westminster: DUP 38%, UUP 31%, SF 18%, Alliance 7%, SDLP 5%)
(Lagan Valley 2017 Westminster: DUP 60%, UUP 17%, Alliance 11%, SDLP 8%, SF 4%)
More of the new South Antrim comes from Lagan Valley, which is strongly DUP, than from the old South Antrim, which was more marginal.

New Assembly (projection): DUP 35%, UUP 21%, Alliance 14%, SF 12%, SDLP 10%
(S Antrim 2017 Assembly: DUP 34%, UUP 21%, SF 16%, Alliance 12%, SDLP 10%)
(Lagan Valley 2017 Assembly: DUP 41%, UUP 25%, Alliance 14%, SDLP 8%, SF 4%)
In each of the two current constituencies, the DUP have two seats, the UUP and Alliance one each, and the fifth is held by a Nationalist. It’s pretty clear that the new constituency would elect the same proportion of MLAs, with Sinn Fein ahead of the SDLP. The seat losses are therefore 2 DUP, 1 UUP, 1 Alliance, 1 SDLP; and the MLAs elected on this vote pattern would have been 2 DUP, 1 UUP, 1 Alliance, 1 SF.

Mid Down
New Westminster (projection): DUP 61%, UUP 14%, Alliance 11%, SF 6%, SDLP 5%
(Strangford 2017 Westminster: DUP 62%, Alliance 15%, UUP 11%, SDLP 6%, SF 3%)
Little difference.

New Assembly (projection): DUP 42%, UUP 23%, Alliance 12%, SDLP 6%, SF 6%, Ind 5%
(Strangford 2017 Assembly: DUP 40%, UUP 20%, Alliance 15%, Ind 8%, SDLP 7%, SF 3%)
The SDLP were runners-up in Strangford in every election since the Good Friday Agreement. The new boundaries make it more difficult for them, and consolidate the existing balance of MLAs, 3 DUP, 1 UUP, 1 Alliance.

North Down
New Westminster (projection): DUP 43%, Ind U 32%, Alliance 10%, Green 5%, SDLP 3%
(2017 Westminster: Ind U 41%, DUP 38%, Alliance 9%, Green 7%)
This is the only seat where projecting the 2017 votes onto the new boundaries suggests a change of winner - enough DUP votes come in from the Ards Peninsula, and enough of Sylvia Hermon’s votes are detached via Holywood, to make it a notional DUP gain. However, we do not know how well Sylvia Hermon might have done in the Peninsula if she had been a candidate.

New Assembly (projection): DUP 38%, UUP 21%, Alliance 17%, Green 11%, SDLP 4%
(2017 Assembly: DUP 37%, UUP 22%, Alliance 19%, Green 14%)
It may be telling telling that the new territory makes very little difference to the outcome at Assembly level, where the Greens can expect their vote to dip but also to pick up enough transfers from Nationalists to retain their seat, keeping the status quo: 2 DUP, 1 UUP, 1 Alliance, 1 Green.

Westminster notional change: Ind U (Hermon) -> DUP in North Down
Assembly notional changes: SDLP down 2 seats, Alliance down 1, UUP down 1, SF down 1; DUP notionally unchanged, likewise Greens, PBP, TUV and Ind U (Sugden).

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