Local Elections: East Belfast

East Belfast is made up of the Titanic DEA, Ormiston DEA and part of Lisnasharragh DEA. There is a Catholic enclave in the Short Strand area (Titanic DEA) and a sizeable Catholic minority in Lisnasharragh DEA.
The current Westminster MP is Naomi Long (Alliance Party) who won the seat in 2011, while DUP MP (and First Minister at Stormont) was immersed in a scandal.
Of the six MLAs, three are DUP, two Alliance and one UUP.

Results 2014.
DUP 2. UUP 1. Alliance 2. Sinn Fein 1. PUP 1.
DUP 2 UUP 2. Alliance 2. Green 1.
Lisnasharragh (part in South Belfast)
DUP 2 UUP 1. Alliance 2. SDLP 1.

Everything points to a tussle between Alliance and DUP (probably an agreed candidate) in 2015. DUP want that seat back. And the Alliance Party has been subject to abuse…and worse from the nastier elements of East Belfast loyalists.
If we assume parity between DUP and Alliance in the East Belfast part of Lisnasharragh, then the figures for the rest of constituency are clear enough. DUP and Alliance each have four council seats but the deciding factor will be the people who voted For three UUP councillors.
The big issue in East Belfast….is the Fleg.
Alliance badly miscalculated the Fleg issue and have been bearing the brunt of unionist vitriol. Indeed Maire Hendron, high profile defender of the Alliance position lost her council seat.
Probably noteworthy that Jim Rodgers, a well-meaning UUP veteran, surely long past his sell-by date was a poll topper and that Ross Brown took a seat for the Green Party. His profile as their Euro candidate will have helped.
Notwithstanding doing well in Lisnasharragh, SDLP will be disappointed, if not shocked by the results in Titanic DEA and Ormiston DEA.
SDLPs Peter Devlin deserved much better than take less than ten per cent of the votes that Sinn Fein’s Niall O’Donnghaille got. The rationale might be that it was always going to be a fight for any nationalist there and that Niall was the better hope and Short Strand rallied round him.
Both nationalist parties in Ormiston polled badly. Seems that Apathy was a factor but Michael McMillan (SDLP) deserved a lot better.

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