Assembly Election 2017: Foyle

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 …Foyle
May 2016: Quota: 5672
SDLP (2 seats) 11900
Sinn Féin (2 seats) 11300
DUP (1 seat) 4737
People Before Profit (1 seat) 4176
Others: Independent (McCloskey) 3410, Independent (Devaney) 1173, Independent (Bradley) 900, UUP 1420, CISTA 259, Alliance 238, Green 157, Tory 36.

2017 Candidates:
SDLP: Colum Eastwood, Mark H Durkan,
Both outgoing.
Sinn Féin: Raymond McCartney, Eilish McCallion.
McCartney is outgoing. Martin McGuinness has retired.
DUP: Gary Middleton.
People Before Profit: Eamonn McCann.
UUP: Julia Kee.
Stood last year
Alliance: Colm Cavanagh.
Green: Shannon Downey
CISTA: John Lindsay
Tory: Stuart Canning

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 42,000 votes and a quota of 7,000.

The Independent Anne McCloskey polled well in 2016. Her 3,000 votes will go in a ratio of 2:1 for SDLP. With Colum Eastwood performing well as SDLP Leader and the retirement of Martin McGuinness, Id expect SDLP to gain from Eamonn McCann and to increase from 11,900 to 14,000 …there are two safe quotas.
Likewise Devaney (ex DUP) stood last year and his 1,000 votes should go to Gary Middleton. He may need transfers from Julia Kee when she is eliminated but he should get elected.
I expect Sinn Féin to slip back to 10,500…only safe for one seat.
But Eamonn McCann…..sometimes I wonder that despite his constant standing in elections, he never expected or wanted to be elected in 2016. Getting elected interupted his busy schedule of being interviewed on Derry’s Walls and generally pontificating to younger people (yes I recognise a kindred spirit).
His support for BREXIT should help him get unelected in 2017.

SDLP 2. Sinn Féin 2. DUP 1.

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8 Responses to Assembly Election 2017: Foyle

  1. Vince says:

    Fitz, if the Lucid Talk poll of a couple of weeks ago was to be believed then PBP should be looking forward to a significant uptick in support – in which case Eamonn McCann would make it at the expense of SF (although just very possibly DUP as there appears to have been some bad blood in their ranks and also probably little love lost with the UUP candidate). PBP will be interesting to watch more widely – will Brexit halt their rise or will new, young voters just find them more attractive than SF given that the latter are so wedded to the DUP, to the crisis in the NHS and to the stasis in post-primary education?

    • I think McCann will lose out to SF. To some extent he rode on the tails of PBP in the Dáil Election.
      If SF can only take one seat out of five in Derry it would be a massive blow.
      The situation in West Belfast is different. It will probably be the last of the constituency profiles that I do…quite possibly after the polls close.

      • Vince says:

        The battle for the final seat in West Belfast will be very interesting. I don’t see SF getting 4 seats unless they get a significant rise in their vote to 60% – even then quite difficult. They also have a fairly uninspiring slate – there must be a good argument for asking whether any of them would do a ministerial job (particularly Sheehan, Maskey and McCann)? Also once you have 3 reps from the same party in a constituency (perhaps even 2), what is the point of having 4 (or 3)?

        The second PBP candidate is I hear uninspiring so the 2nd seat that should be there for the taking for them may well be missed. DUP can’t get a seat. I think Attwood for the SDLP is still in with a shout and would be worth a modest wager. Probably the only serious candidate standing in the constituency who really campaigned against BREXIT – SF were anonymous in the referendum campaign and that was reflected in the West Belfast turnout.

        Given the social deprivation in West Belfast, the dependence on the NHS for good healthcare and employment and the continued academic selection process at age 10, it would be crazy for “government” parties to take 4 seats of 5 in that constituency. There should really be a swing against the status quo.

      • Theres actually something bigger going on here.
        West Belfast is the flagshiip and not so long ago that it was openly talked about as possibly six seats for Sinn Féin.
        It moved to 5:1.
        Currently it is 4:1:1.
        From next week….could it be just 3?
        The project could be de-railed …
        They tried to turn it into a one party state….An Féile, the monuments, the murals, Andytown News, the International Wall.
        Could be very different this time next week….so I think they will throw the kitchen sink at it.

      • SDLP activist - North Down says:

        As an SDLP supporter I think it’s essential SDLP keep its seat in West Belfast.

      • Very true.
        I voted for Gerry Fitt in the Westminster Election in West Belfast in 1970…the first election in which 18 year olds could vote. This was before the SDLP was formed. One of its founder members was Paddy Wilson, aBelfast councillor who was murdered loyalists in 1973.
        I joined SDLP in 1973 and was Secetary of the Falls Branch of the Party for two years in the 1970s.
        If we lose that seat …after all the good we have done for a lot of people, Id be heart-broken.

  2. Political Tourist says:

    Strange character McCann.
    Gets elected eventually when the story is if it’s not over, it certainly passed it’s sell by date.
    Do the Left in Derry still hang out in the one pub?
    Funny as hell, assorted ABC of the Left plus the newbie Greens Environmentists Feminists.
    The pub owners must have made a fortune.
    Right on.

    • About ten years ago, my wife and I went for a meal in the Derry Craft Village and he was there…pontificating to a group of foreign studenty types.
      About five years ago we went back….and guess what….he was still there…..another batch of foreign studenty types.
      As my uncle Charlie would have said. “He is a Pontificator”.
      I know the type.
      I AM the type.

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