June 3 2017
Despite his views on breastfeeding in public and a row over his alleged comments on ethnic minorities, the DUP will be feeling confident that larger-than-life candidate Sammy Wilson will once again emerge triumphant in the East Antrim constituency.
In 2015, the outspoken DUP representative topped the poll with 12,103 votes, equivalent to 36.1% of the vote and nearly twice that of the next most popular candidate, the UUP’s Roy Beggs.
While Mr Beggs garnered a respectable 6,308 votes, representing 18.8%, he will not take part in next month’s race.
Instead, the UUP has chosen to put forward relative newcomer John Stewart, a former councillor on Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, who clinched his first Assembly seat in March.
Then, Mr Stewart was the last candidate to be elected, while Mr Beggs got through on the sixth count. The party will be hoping his fresh-faced appeal will be enough to make up for the loss of Mr Beggs’ high electoral profile.
Also running again for Westminster is veteran Sinn Fein representative Oliver McMullan, who lost his Stormont seat to Mr Stewart two months ago.
In the 2015, General Election, Mr McMullan achieved nearly 2,314 votes (6.9%), but will have to consolidate this substantially if he is to threaten Mr Wilson’s form this time round.
Alliance party stalwart Stewart Dickson, recently re-elected to Stormont, is his party’s Westminster candidate. Two years ago, he polled well with 5,021 total votes, a 15% share of votes cast.
Also running again this year is the SDLP’s Margaret Anne McKillop, who claimed just under 5% of the vote in 2015, while Mark Logan will represent the Conservatives.
Stewart Dickson (Alliance)
Mark Logan (Conservatives)
Margaret Anne McKillop (SDLP)
Oliver McMullan (Sinn Fein)
John Stewart (UUP)
Sammy Wilson (DUP)
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