Well folks,

After a relatively quiet Christmas it’s election time again as things currently stand at the time of writing. roman

I think it’s time we swung into action again here on the blog.

The quote above may be loosely translated as “Let the games begin” (With thanks to Sean South) by Julius Caesar

There is little point in me going over the political analysis as to where we are at, the web and the MSM are awash with that, although my own opinion would be very much that this election has come about as a result of what I would term traditional Unionist behaviours. Arrogance, hubris, triumphalism and entitlement.

Quite simply, I think nationalist inclined voters have had enough.

In a nutshell, as I read earlier in a since re-edited piece in a unionist inclined newspaper – Unionist politicians keep making the same basic mistake of saying no and then having to renegotiate from a position of weakness, inevitably getting a worse deal.

And so to the upcoming elections.

Firstly the reduction in seats from 108 to 90. This will affect both the last elected candidates last time round in particular and will influence the number of candidates selected by the parties. The obvious immediate effect will be to increase the quotas for each seat.

Secondly, the dynamic in this election will be crucial in terms of the response by the electorate:

  • Will Unionists desert the DUP in significant numbers?
  • Who would benefit from such a reaction (UUP/ TUV/ Independents/ Alliance etc)
  • Will the Nationalist electorate turn up this time?
  • Will SF’s seizing of the initiative be enough to re-energise their vote?
  • Will there be any significant cross community/ party transfers that signal a change in electoral mood and allegiences?

It’s early days and anything could happen but I’m preparing a constituency analysis of the possibilities.

In the meantime, here are last Mays results again as a reminder along with some comments.

Belfast NorthSF elected first, everyone else on the 11th count!

Results: DUP 3 SF 2 SDLP 1

Belfast South Final seat a run off between UUP/ DUP and Greens

Results: APNI 1 SF 1 DUP 2 SDLP 1 Green 1 

Belfast West  Final seat between SDLP and SF

Results: PBPA 1 SF 4 SDLP 1

East Antrim Final seat will be likely between SF and DUP

Results: DUP 3 UUP 1 APNI 1 SF 1

East LondonderryI’m going to call this one, SF may well take Claire Sugdens seat

Results: DUP 3 SF 1 SDLP 1 Independent 1

Fermanagh & South Tyrone – As always a fascinating constituency but SF made a complete mess of this last may by running 4 candidates, if they run three they could win 3

Results: DUP 2; SF 2; UUP 1; SDLP 1

Newry & ArmaghUUP possibly vulnerable

Results: DUP 1 SF 3 UUP 1 SDLP 1

North Antrim – UUP Scraped in here last time in last place – Huge local vote for Daithi McKay may affect SF vote

Results: TUV 1 DUP 3 UUP 1 SF 1 

Foyle – Big Q here is if Eamonn of PFP holds his seat at expense of SF

Results: DUP 1 SF 2, SDLP 2, PBPA 1

Lagan Valley – Alliance could be vulnerable here

Results: APNI 1, UUP 2, DUP 3

Mid UlsterUUP need a big swing here to take the DUP seat

Results: SDLP 1 SF 3 UUP 1 DUP 1

North DownDUP Last seat very vulnerable here

Results: APNI 1 DUP 3 UUP 1 Green 1

South AntrimAlliance and DUP vulnerable here

Range of likely results: DUP 3 APNI 1 UUP 1 SF 1

South Down Likely UUP Loss

Results: SF 2 SDLP 2 DUP 1 UUP 1

Strangford – Two words – Jonathon Bell, will he stand and if so on what platform and at whos expense (DUP)?

Results: DUP 3 APNI 1 UUP 2

Upper Bann –Probably a fight between SDLP / SF for final seat

Results: DUP 2 SF 2 UUP 2

West TyroneIf SF run 3 either DUP/ UUP or SDLP will lose out

Results: SF 3 DUP 1 UUP 1 SDLP 1

In Conclusion, there are a lot of variables and unknowns as well as few twists and turns ahead no doubt. I don’t doubt that the DUP will try to return things to the “vote Arlene and keep themmuns out” narrative of the last election. That has already started.

My own instinct is that this time may be different.

Faha is preparing a detailed analysis for the constituencies and this old blog will be cranking up a few gears in the weeks ahead.