DUP: Peter Weir. Alex Easton. Gordon Dunne.
UUP: Alan Chambers. Chris Eisenstadt. Carl McClean.
Alliance: Stephen Farry. Andrew Muir.
Green: Steven Agnew.
TUV: John Brennan.
UKIP: Bill Piper.
SDLP: Conal Browne.
Sinn Féin: Therese McCartney.
Labour Rep Committee: Maria Lourenco.
Conservative: Frank Shivers.
Independent: Brian Wilson.
North Down is unique. Socially liberal and with a lot of well-off people and a quirky hippy element, it seems almost semi-detached from the rest of Norn Iron. A place that in 2011 can send three DUP MLAs to Stormont on over 40% of the vote and in 2015 send liberal minded Sylvia Hermon to Westminster with 50% of the vote.
An Assembly election in North Down is marked by apathy. fewer than half of those eligible actually bother to vote. So I expect the quota to be very low.
Those who did vote returned three DUP, one UUP, one Alliance and one Green.
I expect the DUP vote share to go down, UUP to go up. Somehow Peter Weir, the best known of the DUP runners and who was previously in UUP has never really stood out in the Assembly.
Alan Chambers, usually a high scoring Independent is the only name I know in the UUP trio but I think that Chris Eisenstadt has appeared on Slugger O’Toole. If I recall correctly he is an American and sounds like another of Nesbitt’s head-hunting trophies.
Alliance are hoping for a gain here in what used to be a good constituency for them but they have not actually held two seats here since the Good Friday Agreement, frustrated by (once )Womens Coalition and (latterly) Green. Although Stephen Farry is the front runner here, Andrew Muir has been loitering with intent for years.
Steven Agnew is probably safe but his first preference vote is not usually good.
SDLP are making an effort. Conal Browne is the Chair of SDLP Youth There might be a target of (say) 1,000 votes which would be a good result. For Sinn Féin 500 votes would be good.
Prediction….DUP 2, UUP 1, Alliance 1 and Green 1…..the sixth seat Alliance or DUP.