This is my more detailed analysis of the Armagh and Down councils of Armagh-Banbridge-Craigavon, Newry-Mourne-Down and North Down-Ards. The party change in council vote between 2011 and 2014 was:

  Armagh
Banbridge
Craigavon 2014
Armagh
Banbridge
Craigavon 2011
Change
       
SF 13591 17234 -3643
SDLP 10083 11614 -1531
Nationalist 490 1252 -762
Alliance 2440 1929 511
Green 0 0 0
NI21 884 0 884
UUP 18882 19900 -1018
DUP 17734 21074 -3340
TUV 1852 1565 287
PUP 1274 0 1274
UKIP 1322 122 1200
Unionist 2100 1136 964
Conservative 0 0 0
Independent
(Alliance-Green)
     
       
Total 70652 75826 -5174

 

Overall, there was a 5,174 decline in the total vote between 2011 and 2014. The decline in the nationalist vote was 5,936 and the decline in the unionist vote was 633.  There probably was no actual decline in the unionist vote and turnout since that 633 vote decline was due to unionist voters who voted NI21. The Alliance vote was up mainly because they competed in 2 additional DEA’s. The decline in the SF vote was over twice that of the SDLP. Indeed, 20% of all nationalist voters who voted in 2011 stayed home in 2014. The decline in the DUP vote was almost as large as that for SF. The DUP voters defected to the TUV, PUP and UKIP and independent unionists. Half the decline in the UUP vote was probably votes lost to NI21. The only expected change (compared to the results expected from the 2011 vote) was the loss of a SF seat in Craigavon to the DUP and in the Portadown DEA where the UUP and UKIP each picked up additional seats at the expense of the DUP.

In Newry-Mourne-Down the change in party vote between 2011 and 2014 was:

 

  Newry Mourne
Down 2014
Newry Mourne
Down 2011
Change
       
SF 22613 24083 -1470
SDLP 18568 20309 -1741
Nationalist 2240 3335 -1095
Alliance 1460 1330 130
Green 839 1417 -578
NI21 526 0 526
UUP 7314 7500 -186
DUP 4635 5454 -819
TUV 433 408 25
PUP 0 0 0
UKIP 2371 1910 461
Unionist 0 0 0
Conservative 0 0 0
Independent
(Alliance-Green)
     
       
Total 60999 65746 -4747

 

Overall, there was a 4,747 vote decline between 2011 and 2014. There was a 4,306 decline in the nationalist vote and only a 519 decline in the unionist vote. The actual decline in the unionist vote and turnout was actually minimal since some of those voters voted for NI21. The Green candidate in Downpatrick in 2011 stood as an independent in 2014 but I included his vote as Green.

For North Down-Ards the change in party vote between 2011 and 2014 was:

  North Down Ards
2014
North Down Ards
2011
Change
       
SF 388 0 388
SDLP 1959 1983 -24
Nationalist 0 0 0
Alliance 6243 9073 -2830
Green 2023 2025 -2
NI21 1441 0 1441
UUP 6797 7809 -1012
DUP 14244 20763 -6519
TUV 2252 830 1422
PUP 0 0 0
UKIP 1180 427 753
Unionist 3548 4453 -905
Conservative 1554 856 698
Independent
(Alliance-Green)
0 1458 -1458
       
Total 41629 49677 -8048

 

There was a large decline in turnout of 8,048 voters between 2011 and 2014. Most of that decline was due to the decline in the DUP vote. I estimate that 2/3 of the DUP vote decline was due to voters who stayed home and the other 1/3 defected to the TUV and UKIP. The decline in the UUP vote was probably due to voters who voted for NI21. There also was a large decline in the Alliance vote. Brian Wilson (formerly Green/Alliance) did not stand in 2014 and most of his vote probably went to Green and Alliance candidates. Overall, the nonsectarian vote decline from 2011 accounts for half of the 8,048 vote decline.

I have calculated the unionist and nationalist turnout in all DEA’s using the 2011 voting age population as recorded in the 2011 census. In 4 of North Down-Ards DEA’s it is difficult to estimate the turnout of the Catholic population due to the absence of nationalist candidates. I have used 2011 transfer data to provide estimates. My estimates of Catholic turnout may be high in all DEA’s except Ards Peninsula. For example in the Bangor Central DEA the combined Alliance-Green-NI21 vote was 1509. I assumed that 500 (33%) was from the Catholic electorate even though the Catholic electorate is only 11% in this DEA. The turnout calculation was 20%. It could be as low as 15%. In Holywood and Bangor West DEA’s, it appears that 2/3 of Catholics do not vote for nationalist parties and this would probably be true in the other DEA’s if the SDLP competed.

Turnout DEA Nationalist Unionist
     
Armagh 43% 53%
Banbridge 39% 51%
Craigavon 42% 64%
Cusher 51% 57%
Lagan River 29% 53%
Lurgan 38% 51%
Portadown 36% 50%
Crotlieve 51% 44%
Downpatrick 48% 33%
Newry 43% 20%
Rowallane 40% 45%
Slieve Croob 45% 46%
Slieve Gullion 61% 57%
The Mournes 46% 56%
Ards Peninsula 42% 33%
Bangor Central 20% 36%
Bangor East
and Donaghadee
18% 41%
Bangor West 23% 38%
Comber 20% 44%
Holywood and
Clandeboye
28% 42%
Newtownards 18% 42%

 

The Protestant electorate has not changed since 2011 so the unionist turnout figures should be very accurate though they underestimate unionist turnout in some DEA’s where the TUV or UKIP did not compete since some of those voters voted in the Euro election but not the council election. The nationalist turnout figures probably overestimate the nationalist turnout by 1% to 3% because they do not account for the increase in the nationalist electorate since 2011, which would be over 20,000 for all of Northern Ireland.

Of the 7 DEA’s in Armagh-Banbridge-Craigavon nationalist turnout is much lower than unionist turnout in all DEA’s ranging from 6% less in Cusher to 24% less in Lagan River. In the Craigavon DEA it was 22% less. The Craigavon DEA has a nationalist electorate of 56% and a unionist electorate of 44% yet the unionist vote exceeded the nationalist vote and 3 unionists were elected and only 2 nationalists. In my analysis earlier this year of this new council I estimated it would have a nationalist majority in 40 years. Based on the 2014 turnout, I would postpone that date to the next century.

In the Newry-Mourne-Down council the picture is more mixed, with nationalist turnout higher in 4 DEA’s and lower in 2. In the Downpatrick and Newry DEA’s it appears that the unionist electorate has declined below that critical mass required to maintain party structure and turnout.

In North Down-Ards unionist turnout is down sharply from 2011. Nationalist turnout is probably down also but is difficult to quantify.

What would have been the outcome for Westminster and Assembly elections if they had been held the same day? Here are the estimated vote totals and percentages.

Westminster
Assembly
Newry Armagh Upper Bann S Down Strangford North Down
           
SF 17409 8800 10842 802 0
SDLP 9745 5168 12199 2378 572
Nationalist 1086 490 1005 112 0
Alliance 161 1855 1066 2909 3810
Green 0 0 839 0 2023
NI21 9 632 333 774 907
UUP 8071 9947 4808 5437 4290
DUP 4126 11426 2909 10436 7730
TUV 72 1328 0 1489 1153
PUP 54 1220 0 0 0
UKIP 322 1000 2371 427 753
Unionist 1927 71 0 2054 2839
Conservative 0 0 0 690 864
           
Total 42981 41937 36372 27507 24941
           
SF 40.50% 20.98% 29.81% 2.92% 0.00%
SDLP 22.67% 12.32% 33.54% 8.64% 2.29%
Nationalist 2.53% 1.17% 2.76% 0.41% 0.00%
Alliance 0.38% 4.42% 2.93% 10.58% 15.28%
Green 0.00% 0.00% 2.31% 0.00% 8.11%
NI21 0.02% 1.51% 0.92% 2.81% 3.64%
UUP 18.78% 23.72% 13.22% 19.77% 17.20%
DUP 9.60% 27.25% 8.00% 37.94% 30.99%
TUV 0.17% 3.17% 0.00% 5.41% 4.62%
PUP 0.13% 2.91% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
UKIP 0.75% 2.39% 6.52% 1.55% 3.02%
Unionist 4.48% 0.17% 0.00% 7.47% 11.38%
Conservative 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 2.51% 3.46%

 

In Newry&Armagh there would be no change in either the Assembly or Westminster election. In Upper Bann, the SDLP would retain their Assembly seat on nationalist, Alliance and NI21 transfers. There probably would still be 2 DUP and 2 UUP as the combined TUV, UKIP, and PUP vote is only 8.5%. Since these parties did not compete in Banbridge DEA the true total may be 10% but this would not be enough to threaten the 2nd UUP seat. There would be no change for Westminster. In South Down UKIP could take an Assembly seat from the DUP. UKIP was at 6.5% and the DUP at 8%. However, UKIP did not compete in all the DEA’s nor did the TUV. It is possible that the combined UKIP-TUV vote actually exceeded the DUP vote in the Euro election. Expect Henry Reilly to be a serious contender in the 2016 Stormont election. In Strangford, there would be no nationalist seat as the combined nationalist vote is 2% less than a quota. Alliance should be elected on NI21 and independent unionist transfers. It appears there would be 2 UUP and 3 DUP. The combined UKIP –TUV vote is only half a quota but could threaten the 2nd UUP seat depending on who the independent unionists (7.5%) vote for in an Assembly election. North Down would probably be unchanged with the Green party winning an Assembly seat on SDLP, NI21 and other transfers.

Advertisements