Assembly Election 2022: East Antrim

East Antrim includes towns such as Larne and Carrickfergus, staunchly unionist and extends into the Glens of Antrim which is nationalist.

I was in East Antrim (Larne and Carrickfergus) and Antrim (South Antrim) on Friday

East Antrim. Current make up is DUP (2), UUP (2). Alliance (1).

The spreadsheet shows Assembly 2017 and Westminster 2019 results. For the benefit of folks in USA, it is important to understand that Assembly is decided in eighteen constituencies where having a quota of votes is required to win one of five seats. And Westminster is decided on a simple “first past the post” vote. I also include the runners and riders for 2022

The quota will be over 6,000.

East Antrim is a DUP/UUP stronghold. Yet in the present climate it is hard to see any way that they can hold four seats. For the DUP Gordon Lyons is one of their senior figures, a minister in the recent Executive.

He is based in Larne, the epicentre of the Protocol controversy.

Davy Hilditch is based in Carrickfergus, He seems to have been around for ever.

UUP: Roy Beggs….still sometimes referred to as Roy Beggs junior has been a MLA since 1998 and one of the Deputy Speakers in Stormont. His father Roy Beggs senior is now 86 and was MP for East Antrim for twenty years.Beggs posters are in Larne but I note he has an office in Larne.

John Stewart posters are in Carrickfergus.

To some extent it is a surprise that UUP has parity with the DUP here. And for Doug Beattie’s “union of people” rhetoric to be credible, the UUP needs to hold its two seats.

Alliance have two candidates. Veteran MLA, Stewart Dickson and Danny Donnelly who has been knocking on the door for some time,

Donnelly stood in the 2019 election. His 10,000 votes boosted by some tactical voting. But he is certainly being promoted by the party. His posters are in Larne and Carrickfergus.

Norman Boyd is TUV candidate. This is a constituency where TUV is expected to do well but a quota is probably beyond them.

We are all familiar with the phrase “head lower than a Catholic in Larne” so quite possibly Catholics in the town will be relieved. Back in 1998, SDLP took a seat in East Antrim, which led to a small ant-Catholic pogrom. So nationalist votes in coastal villages will find their way thru first preferences and transfers to Alliance.

Siobhán McAlister is from Cushendall. She will be hoping to raise the SDLP profile. She is the only woman in the contest.

Her poster was outside the Catholic church/primary school.

Oliver Mcullan (Sinn Féin) lost his seat in 2017 and unlikely to regain it.

Mark Bailey (Green Party) might have the transfers to help Alliance.



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