Profile: North Antrim

Candidates:
DUP: Paul Frew. Philip Logan. David McIlveen. Mervyn Storey.
UUP: Robin Swann. Andrew Wright.
TUV: Jim Allister. Timothy Gaston.
Alliance: Stephen McFarland.
Sinn Féin: Daithi McKay.
SDLP: Connor Duncan.
Green: Jennifer Breslin.
UKIP: Donna Anderson.
Labour Representation: Kathryn Johnston.
Conservative: James Simpson.

Rev Ian Paisley is dead. His son Ian Paisley Junior is semi-detached at Westminster. But this is still Paisley country but whether the Paisley legacy is the DUP which dumped him or Jim Allister and TUVs 1970/80s version of Paisleyism is in doubt.
In real terms it is the 1960s. The monolith of DUP have replaced the monolith Unionist Party and Jim Allister is effectively 1960s Ian Paisley cat-calling “sell out” on the sidelines.
DUP are defending three seats (Frew, Storey and McIlveen) with four candidates. They should get three elected again.
Jim Allister defends the single TUV seat but has a running mate in Timothy Gaston who was the Westminster candidate in 2015 and pushed the TUV vote up by a few percentage points to 16% . Although Allister seems less of a force than he was (say) three years ago, the TUV vote is likely to be around 20%, a little short of two quotas but it will nibble at DUP and UUP.
UUP (Robin Swann) defends his seat and although he. Is close to or on a quota, UUP might get squeezed in the DUP-TUV fight.
Apathy is the problem for nationalists and their vote share is between 20% and 24% but would need to go up a few points if SDLP is to take a seat here. The candidate, Connor Duncan is Chair of SDLP LGBT Group and whether this will adversely affect his chances in a constituency, the very buckle of the Bible Belt is problematic. Conversely whether he is supported by voters, outraged at the homophobic abuse he received from Catholic Mass-goers on Sunday is problematic.
Daithi McKay is defending the Sinn Féin seat. Before Christmas, SF had announced two candidates but this decision was reversed.
There just does not seem to be two nationalist quotas.
Of the smaller parties only the Alliance Party will have enough transfers to help a big Party….most likely UUP.

Prediction….well after all that de-construction, I think that “same again” is the most likely outcome. DUP 3, TUV 1, UUP 1 and Sinn Féin 1.

John

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3 Responses to Profile: North Antrim

  1. Vince says:

    The DUP may have over-nominated here. There is 1 seat for the UUP but there could be 2 each for the DUP and TUV with Gaston having run in the GE for the latter last year – one to watch. Agree no seat for the SDLP – likely to have less than 1/2 a quota on the first count.

  2. Sinn Féin Supporter in Tyrone says:

    I think the DUP over-nominated because they might want to have a competition between McIlveen (who is perhaps not the most dynamic of politicians) and new boy Logan, who I am told is quite highly thought of.

    I think the DUP in this constituency actually don’t have very strong politicians and i think their vote share will decline again, it has been declining gradually over the last decade or more.

    Sinn Féin overtook the SDLP here many years ago and I see SF holding strong here.

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