This is my more detailed analysis of the Causeway Coast and Glens, Mid and East Antrim, Antrim-Newtownabbey and Lisburn-Castlereagh council election. The party change in council vote between 2011 and 2014 was:
Overall, there was a 4,137 decline in the total vote between 2011 and 2014. Almost 1,000 of that decline was in the nationalist vote and over 3,300 of that decline was in the unionist vote. This is one of the few councils where the decline in the unionist vote was higher than the decline of the nationalist vote. The decline in the nationalist vote was almost entirely due to the 797 fewer votes that Sinn Fein received in 2014. Approximately 300 votes of that SF decline was due to the fact that SF did not have a candidate in the Causeway DEA. The other 500 vote decline was entirely in the 2 Limavady DEA’s. This was probably due to local factors. Limavady council was originally supposed to be part of the Derry council. The DUP decided, with SF cooperation, to transfer Limavady to this unionist majority council instead. Most likely, the 500 vote SF decline is due to voters who stayed home because they were upset with the SF-DUP decision to transfer Limavady to unionist control. However, the bigger story here is the massive collapse in the DUP vote. The DUP lost 30% of their 2011 vote. Most of these voters defected to the TUV, PUP and UKIP though some stayed home. There was a large decline in the independent unionist vote but half of that decline was due to voters who voted for David McClarty in 2011.
In Mid and East Antrim the change in party vote between 2011 and 2014 was:
|Mid & East
|Mid & East
Overall, there was a 5,345 vote decline between 2011 and 2014. The decline in the unionist vote was much larger than the decline in the nationalist vote. The decline in the total vote is proportional to the underlying unionist and nationalist electorate as the nationalist electorate is only 20% in this council. The SF vote was up but only because the SDLP did not have a candidate in Bannside so SDLP voters voted SF or Alliance in 2014. The SDLP appear to have partly abandoned competing in this council as they competed in only 3 of the 7 DEA’s whereas SF competed in 5 of the DEA’s. The Alliance Green vote was also down significantly. Some of these voters may have voted NI21 but many stayed home. As in Causeway Coast and Glens the big story here is the massive decline in the DUP vote, down 37% from 2011. Half of the decline in the 2011 DUP vote was due to voters who defected to the TUV, PUP and UKIP but the other half stayed home.
In Antrim-Newtownabbey the change in party vote between 2011 and 2014 was:
Overall, there was a 1,519 vote decline between the 2011 and 2014 elections. The majority of that decline (921) was a decline in votes for nationalist candidates. These nationalist voters stayed home. The Alliance vote was also down by 880 but those were voters who defected to NI21. The DUP vote was down by 3,075 and these were voters who defected to the TUV and PUP. While it appears the overall unionist vote was down, in reality it was unchanged from 2011. There were no TUV and PUP candidates in the Dunsilly, Airport and Glengormley DEA’s. The unionist vote in the Euro election was 9,000 votes higher for all of Northern Ireland and this is one council where many of those extra votes were located. The DUP decline here would have been much worse if the TUV, PUP and UKIP had competed in these 3 DEA’s.
In Lisburn-Castlereagh the change in party vote between 2011 and 2014 was:
It was difficult to determine the change in party vote in Dunmurry Cross, Castlereagh West and Castlereagh East since these DEA’s were divided between Belfast and Lisburn-Castlereagh in the new councils but my approximation should be reasonably accurate based on the underlying demographics. Half the overall vote decline between 2011 and 2014 was due to nationalist voters who stayed home. There was a large decline of 2,534 in the Alliance-Green vote. Probably half of those voters defected to NI21 and the other half stayed home. There was a large 20% decline of 4,451 in the DUP vote. Most of these voters defected to the TUV, PUP and UKIP. The DUP vote decline would have been greater but there was no competition from the TUV, PUP or UKIP in Killultagh DEA.
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 Causeway Coast and Glens nationalist turnout is much lower than unionist turnout in all DEA’s except the Glens where it is 55%. The low turnout resulted in the loss of a SF councilor in Bann DEA as well as one in Ballymoney DEA. Even though there are 2.6 nationalist quotas in Ballymoney DEA only 1 nationalist councilor was elected. In Mid and East Antrim, only in the Braid DEA does nationalist turnout equal unionist turnout. In all other DEA’s the nationalist turnout is much lower than unionist turnout. In Antrim-Newtownabbey nationalist turnout equals unionist turnout in the Airport and Dunsilly DEA’s but in all other DEA’s it is much lower. In the Antrim DEA it was only 25% and SF lost their seat here in a DEA with 2.6 nationalist quotas. In Macedon DEA, with 1.6 nationalist quotas in the electorate, neither SF nor the SDLP elected a councilor. In Lisburn-Castlereagh nationalist turnout exceeded unionist turnout in Castlereagh South but was much lower than unionist turnout in 5 DEA’s. In Castlereagh South it appears that 2/3 of the Alliance NI21 vote came from the Catholic electorate. Although the nationalist turnout in Killultagh was only 5% lower than unionist turnout, that 5% translated into 250 fewer votes which resulted in the SF candidate losing a seat.
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||East Derry||North Antrim||E Antrim||S Antrim||Lagan Valley|
In East Derry there would be no change for Westminster but the TUV would win an Assembly seat (probably Douglas Boyd) on PUP and UKIP transfers. In North Antrim there would be no change in Westminster but Jim Allister would easily be elected to the Assembly. Depending on transfers and DUP balancing, there could be a 2nd TUV seat here. The SDLP would be far short of a seat with only half a quota 1st preference. In East Antrim, there would be no change in Westminster though the UUP is only 5% behind the DUP and depending on whom TUV, PUP, and UKIP voters support the UUP could make this seat competitive. For Assembly, the TUV should win a seat since the combined TUV, PUP, and UKIP vote is over a quota. This gain would come at the expense of SF. There are 5 unionist quotas and Alliance are just short of a quota but would pick up enough NI21 votes and SDLP transfers to keep their seat. SF, at 6.3%, would be far short of a quota even if most of the 6.5% SDLP-independent nationalist vote transfers to SF (which did not occur in 2011). In South Antrim, there probably would be no change for Westminster. However, the DUP council vote overestimates their true strength since the TUV, PUP and UKIP did not compete in 3 DEA’s. It is possible that there would be a TUV seat in the Assembly election since the true TUV vote would be much higher than 5.4% as they did not compete in 3 if the DEA’s. There is still only 1 nationalist seat here. In Lagan Valley, there would be no change in Westminster. For the Assembly, the TUV would be competing with the UUP for the 5th unionist seat. The nationalist vote is only half a quota despite and electorate of 1.4 quotas.