Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,
Nicholas
nwhyte

Update the weekend before

What with jetlag and work commitments I've found it difficult to get the energy to update the elections website, but have now done so.

What's interesting is the relatively high degree of stasis expected by the punters, with no change predicted by the majority for no less than 12 of the 18 constituencies, and a majority also expecting Arlene Foster to keep her seat in Fermanagh and South Tyrone despite defecting from the UUP to the DUP. Also the vast majority expect David Ervine's seat in East Belfast to go to the DUP.

The other four constituencies, however, are much more difficult to call. Opinion is almost evenly divided on whether or not the DUP can pick up a seat in East LondonDerry from the UUP. This is very difficult to call, with a DUP defector to the UKUP, in a constituency where an independent Unionist unexpectedly broke through in 1998, adding further complexity.

In South Belfast, the vast majority expect the DUP to pick up a seat from the UUP. But the interesting element is the Alliance Party, expected by a third of the punters to pick up a seat here - but who from? (Most likely SF; then possibly the SDLP; some hopefuls think the UUP).

In South Antrim, the vast majority expect Mitchell McLaughlin to pick up a seat for SF; but again, from whom? Most think Alliance's David Ford, but the SDLP are also seen as vulnerable by a minority.

Finally, the majority see three seats changing hands in Lagan Valley, with the DUP likely to keep both its defection gains from the UUP and SF also likely to gain a seat, but whether from the SDLP (slightly more likely) or Alliance (slightly less likely) is unclear.

My wishful thinking is, of course, that Alliance keeps both its difficult defences and wins in South Belfast; don't particularly mind who loses out. This time next week we will know for sure.
Tags: election: ni: 2007 march, world: northern ireland
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