Assembly Election 2017: West Tyrone

The key difference between Assembly 2016 and Assembly 2017 is that only five MLAs will be elected from each constituncy. For at least eighteen MLAs and their staff, this election has come four years too early.
The percentage of votes required to get elected…the quota…will be higher but I am not thinking in terms of percentages. Rather I am thinking in terms of votes cast in May last year and the number of votes likely to be cast this year.
Too often …analysts with some justification …focus on the statistics of elections. Arguably this one is different. There might actually be Politics involved.

So …West Tyrone
May 2016: Quota: 5545
Sinn Féin: (3 seats) 16304
DUP (1 seat) 8534
UUP (1 seat) 4441
SDLP (1 seat) 4287
Others: Independent (Deehan) 1778, Independent (McAnespy) 828, Independent (Kelly) 661, Independent (French) 124, Independent (White) 85, Cannabis 547, Alliance 494, Green 458, Animal Welfare 224, Tory 44.

2017 Candidates:
Sinn Féin: Barry McElduff, Michaela Boyle, Declan McAleer.
All outgoing. Four candidates in 2016.
DUP: Thomas Buchanan
Outgoing. Two candidates in 2016
UUP: Alicia Clarke.
Replaces Ross Hussey who is standing down.
SDLP: Daniel McCrossan.
Outgoing.
Cannabis: Barry Brown.
Stood in 2016.
Alliance: Stephen Donnelly.
Stood last year.
Green: Ciaran McClean.
Stood last year.
Tory: Roger Lomas.
Stood last year.
TUV: Charlie Chittick.
Independent:Corey French
Independent: Susan Ann White
Independent: Sorcha McAnespy.
Independent: Roisin McMackin

Likely Turnout.
There are three scenarios.
People will be so disgusted at Stormont itself, that they just dont come out.
They are so disgusted at DUP-Sinn Féin, they will turn out.
DUP and Sinn Féin will play the bogey man card and people do turn out.

My gut feeling is that this election is a little like the 1998 Referendum on the Good Friday Agreement. Unlikely people will vote.
I am guessing at most 41,000 votes and a quota of just under 7,000.

Last year, Sinn Féin had four candidates (over 16,000 votes)as well as an ex-member, Sorcha McAnespy who took over 800 votes. I dont think it likely that McAnespy will take so many this time. Sinn Féin wont balance perfectly. At best 16,000 votes and two quotas.
SDLP (4287 votes) vote was affected by two disaffected councillors (Deehan and Kelly) who polled over 2,300 votes between them. Since then Daniel McCrossan has established himself in the Assembly. The Party in West Tyrone has had a lot of internal dissent going back more than a decade but a former MLA, Eugene McMenamin has signed Dan’s nomination papers and this time around there is no mutiny. Most of the disaffected voters will return. He will be around the quota. If required, the transfers from eliminated Greens, Alliance and Cannabis Party will be enough.

On the unionist side, Thomas Buchanan (DUP) will lose some of his votes to TUV but is likely to over the quota.
UUP?…a new candidate will be unlikely to poll as well as last year and will be short of a quota but there will be DUP transfers and some ALliance transfers which will bring Alicia Clarke closer.
It is going to be close for the final seat.

Sinn Féin 2. DUP 1. SDLP 1……UUP 1 (I will probably think SF tomorrow).

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2 Responses to Assembly Election 2017: West Tyrone

  1. Vince says:

    Understand from Slugger (unusually enough) that Daniel McCrossan (SDLP outgoing MLA) getting a fair amount of stick from the usual sources. Disgraceful. He’s a strong representative and I think he will pull through comfortably. Amazing the amount of abuse dealt out by folk who talk about equality and respect. Perhaps these virtues are only experienced by those who vote for them? Ditto those who firebomb cars of republicans seeking electoral support in Bangor. Real democrats who disagree on policy and principles do so respectfully in any civilized society.

    • Agreed. It is not so much “overt” intimidation. There is an implied Intimidation.
      I think we saw a lot of that in the Flegs Dispute and also this year….some people intimidate when they feel they have to.
      Its an issue I want to address in a Blog after the Election

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