Profile: East Antrim

Candidates:
DUP: Alastair Ross. David Hilditch. Gordon Lyons.
UUP: Roy Beggs. John Stewart. Maureen Morrow.
Alliance: Stewart Dickson. Danny Donnelly.
Sinn Féin: Oliver McMullan.
SDLP: Margaret Anne McKillop.
TUV: Ruth Wilson.
UKIP: Noel Jordan.
PUP: Jim McCaw.
Green: Dawn Patterson.
Labour Alternative: Conor Sheridan.

Normally thought of as a DUP stronghold but the emergence of fringe unionist parties threatens DUP dominance. The DUP cause is not helped by Sammy Wilson MP being confined to Westminster. The decline of the DUP from just below half the vote (2011) to 36% will bother them. Understandably, they are only fielding their three outgoing MLAs.
UUP saw their vote share rise to around 20% but are optimistically fielding two other candidates alongside Roy Beggs Junior.
With East Antrim Catholics/nationalists traditionally preferring a low profile, Alliance have tended to do well here. Stewart Dickson, outgoing MLA has a running mate but realistically Alliance taking two seats here depends on the nationalists being eliminated and transferring to the least bad alternative.
Oliver McMullan defends SF seat and Margaret Anne McKillop is representing SDLP.

In Norn Iron terms, there is not a lot of difference between TUV and UKIP and based on 2015 Westminster figures, there is a quota to the right of DUP. UKIP had the advantage last year but it seems to have imploded with Henry Reilly leaving UKIP for TUV and David McNarry leaving Politics. TUV also have an advantage in specifically Norn Iron terms.

Prediction….DUP 2, UUP 1, Alliance 1, TUV 1…..sixth seat will be played thru the transfers and DUP, Alliance, Sinn Féin and hopefully SDLP are in the mix.

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10 Responses to Profile: East Antrim

  1. Vince says:

    I think that the Nationalist seat has gone here. The best hope, and the is little chance of it, would be for Margaret Anne McKillop to get close to Oliver McMullan on the first count and ultimately find herself in front of Danny Donnelly who will be the 2nd Alliance candidate. Alliance seem to be running some fairly nasty negative campaigning here (borderline sectarian, ironically from them) and therefore they are undeserving of a 2nd seat.
    It looks to me as if UUP have over-nominated here.

    • Alliance are up to their old tricks. Presenting themselves differently to two different electorates.
      They are claiming that only they can deprive SF of a seat in East Antrim. I think that crosses the line just like SF crossed the line in North Belfast and Upper Bann last year.

  2. Vince says:

    Yes, their tactics seem to vary depending on the situation. In N Belfast they have tried a pretty vicious campaign against the SDLP candidate who was a really excellent Lord Mayor for all – hear that’s not going down very well with the electorate there. In S Belfast they seem to be indulging in dodgy election literature. In my youth I recall leaders like Oliver Napier and John Cushnahan trying to keep people together (perhaps that Letsgetalongerism you refer to), and there was something decent and principled about them – seem to recall that Ian Paisley really couldn’t stand John Cushnahan for instance. The current leadership under David Ford seem like a bunch of self-serving opportunists – Kieran McCarthy would have been a notable exception, now given up the ghost on it.

  3. Vince says:

    They are – as far as I can see, the only party routinely discussing issues of practical consequence & considering solutions. Eastwood et al deserve a chance to have significant influence on or within the next administration, opposition or otherwise. Mallon, Hanna & McCrossan are stars of the future.

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