Profile: South Antrim

Candidates:
DUP: Trevor Clarke. Pamela Cameron. Paul Girvan.
UUP: Adrian Cochrane Watson. Paul Michael. Stephen Aiken.
UKIP: Robert Hill.
TUV: Richard Cairns.
Alliance: David Ford.
SDLP: Roisin Lynch.
Sinn Féin: Declan Kearney.
Green: Helen Farley.
Conservative: Mark Young.
Independent: David McMaster.

Outgoing MLAs…three DUP, one UUP, one Alliance. SInn Féin held the sixth seat thru Mitchel McLaughlin who has retired.
Whether the balance of power will chance because Danny Kinahan (UUP) won the Westminster seat last year remains to be seen. DUP, Alliance, SDLP and Sinn Féin all lost percentage points in 2015.
I dont expect DUP to fully recover. Nor do I expect UUP to fully take advantage of Kinahan’s victory.
Yet South Antrim is a constituency where all Parties seem to be tantalisingly short of where they need to be.
Only two safe quotas for DUP and one each for UUP and Sinn Féin.
The other two seats…I think a three-way fight….DUP, Alliance (I am not entirely convinced that David Ford is safe) and SDLP.
Roisin Lynch is a good candidate but if she is to get over the line, she will need a lot of first preference votes…there will be few transfers available.

Prediction: DUP 2, UUP 1, Sinn Féin 1, Alliance 1, …..and hopefully SDLP 1.

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7 Responses to Profile: South Antrim

  1. Brian says:

    I think the UUP are targeting two seats and would be disappointed about your prediction. I also think Ford is safer than you say.

    I am really enjoying your profiles.

    • Thank you.
      I would like an assurance from Ford that he intends to serve five full years as MLA. It would be a disgrace if he stood down as MLA and Party Leader in say a year. And there is a co-option.
      For some years, the “second man” for Alliance has been Alan Lawther but I think that he lost his seat on the council (2014) and the new man, Kelly didnt do so well in 2015.
      Looks like Alliance are playing very safe. I may not like Ford but he is their best asset there at the moment.

      • Vince says:

        You just never know. Prospects for transfers slightly better than 2011 – there is a Green candidate, she is one of the few females in the field and she is business friendly with a significant amount of cross-community work. With a degree of vote shredding on the Unionist side, 10.5% on the first count would give her a fighting chance of getting there under the quota. Agree re: Ford – he won’t be around for long. Worth pushing the line that it is better to vote for someone whose name really is on the ballot paper and is truly committed to the constituency for 5 years.

  2. Vince says:

    You just never know. There is slightly more prospect of transfers to the SDLP candidate than there was in 2011 – not many females running, Green in the field, business friendly with significant amount of cross-community work. If she could get 10.5% on the first count, significant vote shredding on the Unionist side might just help her over the line but below a quota. Certainly worth pushing the line that Ford won’t be around for long – vote for someone whose name is actually on the ballot paper and is fully committed to the constituency.

    • Thanks Vince..It would be a good question to ask Ford in a TV debate or if hes on the Nolan show.
      There is indeed a path for Roisin to win a seat. She has certainly worked for it.

      • Vince says:

        Apologies for duplication above. Yes, would be an interesting question – our local journalists are so indulgent of Alliance (and Greens) however that I can’t imagine them asking him anything vaguely challenging.

      • The Alliance have always been treated that way.

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