I’ve been busy this week workwise but events have been moving along rapidly. We’ve had Jamie “Biryani” Bryson released on bail after urging other unionists not Blues Brosto accept bail. We’ve had Peter the great of Clontibret fame urging people not to support a local business despite being on a trip to promote local business and we’ve had TV Mike wanting to take over our, and I mean all of our, childrens education. As Jude Collins says, I wouldn’t trust him to mend a puncture. He’s even been on TV defending his disciplinary lack of action against a party member who dismissed a conviction for sexual assault as a “minor” matter. We even had our wonderful “pro consul”, Ms Villiers, on UTV last night making a point about how Michelle Gildernews O’Neill’s dept requested an RAF Chinook and how wonderful this was,  to help distribute animal feed to the snow affected parts of the north. She conveniently forgot to mention this regarding the Irish Air Corps naturally. At least 3 blogs in there! Enough. The antics of the unionists parties have already descended from comedy into tragedy and are now pure farce.

Anyhow, onto Antrim……….

In 1981 there were 15 council seats in Antrim. 11 were shared between the DUP and UUP. The SDLP won 2, Alliance won 1 and the last seat went to an independent republican.

In 2011, with 19 seats on offer, the results were:antrim2

DUP: 5,210 (30.6%), 5 councillors
UUP: 3,391 (19.9%), 5 councillors
SF: 2,931 (17.2%), 4 councillors
SDLP: 2,806 (16.5%), 3 councillors
Alliance: 1,919 (11.3%), 2 councillors

The 2011 Census results show us how dramatically the demographics have changed over the past ten years.

2001 Census: 18,691 “Catholic” (38.64%); 26,970 “Protestant” (56.65%); 498 Other (0.45%); 2,055 None (4.25%)

2011 Census: 22.081 “Catholic” (41.20%); 27,401 “Protestant” (50.48%); 219 Other (0.93%); 3,950 None (7.39%)

The combined unionist vote is very close to the protestant census percentage (0.2%) while the combined nationalist vote of 33.7% is considerably lower than the census figure of 41.2%. I believe this is a reflection of the younger age profile among catholics with the associated lower propensity to vote among the young and of course the fact that the under 18’s cannot vote at all. There is considerable evidence of an overflow of Belfast nationalists reflected in the statistics for places like Crumlin below.  Aldergrove is astonishing but perhaps linked to closure of the RAF station there. Ballycraigy, Farranshane and Parkgate are all changing rapidly also. All of these form an arc south and east of the town. Is this the next rapidly changing DEA that invites an ulster unionist capitulation to the DUP?

Catholic Change Protestant Change Catholic % 2011
95AA01 Aldergrove 10.4% -14.5% 33.4%
95AA02 Balloo -0.7% -2.9% 32.9%
95AA03 Ballycraigy 5.4% -12.7% 10.7%
95AA04 Clady 3.0% -6.4% 27.6%
95AA05 Cranfield 4.0% -6.5% 62.3%
95AA06 Crumlin 3.9% -5.1% 80.8%
95AA07 Drumanaway 1.7% -4.6% 15.7%
95AA08 Farranshane 4.6% -10.3% 44.6%
95AA09 Fountain Hill -1.5% -4.2% 22.1%
95AA10 Greystone 1.8% -6.0% 41.3%
95AA11 Massereene 0.0% -5.9% 38.9%
95AA12 Parkgate 3.0% -5.1% 7.1%
95AA13 Randalstown -1.1% -1.4% 69.0%
95AA14 Shilvodan 0.7% -2.7% 37.1%
95AA15 Springfarm -1.8% -3.0% 41.9%
95AA16 Steeple 1.8% -7.7% 19.0%
95AA17 Stiles -2.6% -2.8% 38.0%
95AA18 Templepatrick 2.0% -5.4% 14.0%
95AA19 Toome -4.0% 2.6% 89.7%
Totals 1.6% -5.5% 38.2%