Assembly Election 2017:North Antrim

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 …North Antrim
May 2016: Quota: 5857
DUP: (3 seats) 17655
TUV: (1 seat) 7354
Sinn Féin (1 seat) 5297
UUP (1 seat) 4406
Others: SDLP 3093, Alliance 1318, TUV 1027, UKIP 1072, Green 513, Labour 243, Tory 92.

2017 Candidates:
DUP: Mervyn Storey, Paul Frew, Philip Logan.
All outgoing.
TUV: Jim Allister, Timothy Gaston.
Allister is outgoing.
Sinn Féin: Philip McGuigan.
UUP: Robin Swann
SDLP: Connor Duncan.
Stood last year.
Alliance: Patricia O’Lynn
Green: Mark Bailey
Independent: Mark Digney.
Independent: Adam McBride.

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

DUP look short of three quotas. Ex-MLA David McIlveen has declared support for Robin Swann but it is unlikely to make much of an impact. Jim Allister is safe on a quota. UUP will be short of a quota but the TUV, DUP and some Alliance transfers should be enough to bring Robin Swann in.
The Nationalist seat? Well Sinn Féin has been damaged by the Dáithí McKay “resignation” and the co-option of Philip McGuigan. One of their ex-councillors is standing as an Independent.
Sinn Féins vote will drop.
SDLP will rise…Connor Duncan is a good candidate… but the gap will not narrow sufficiently.
The fifth seat will go to Sinn Féin.

DUP 2. TUV 1. UUP 1. Sinn Féin 1.

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4 Responses to Assembly Election 2017:North Antrim

  1. Vince says:

    Hope Swann makes it rather than another DUP. Met him once and seems a decent sort. One of those situations where it is important to vote down the ballot paper.

  2. Vince says:

    Yes indeed – nationalists (Alliance/Green also), really need to vote the whole way down in this election in order to maximise the power of their vote.

    • I think its more complex than that.
      Politics is a mixture of Ideals and Self-Interest. As a lefty, I believe I am more influenced by Idealism than Interest.
      Normally I choose my first preference and go down the ballot paper chosing the individuals and parties that are closest to my mix of idealism and interest.
      But voting for a single party/individual is as valid and as powerful as voting for the entire list.
      It depends what the voter wants.
      It would be interesting to know if voters make more use of the ballot paper now than in previous years..
      When the system was introduced in 1973, a TV advertising campaign explaiined the PR system….I have not heard the word “plumping” in 30 odd years but it means voting for a single party or individual.

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