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Unpredictable amid the predictable – Too close to call

There are predictable constituencies in Northern Ireland and there are the ones that are too close to call.

Here is a quick look at the four constituencies that should deliver some nail-biting contests and the toughest dog fights in Northern politics.

Belfast South

This is the most politically diverse and unpredictable constituency with five party representatives sharing the six seats last time around.

Finance minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir and the SDLP’s Claire Hanna should make the short journey across town to Parliament Buildings.

The DUP is by no means certain of returning both Christopher Stalford and Emma Little Pengelly.

Clare Bailey from the Green Party and Paula Bradshaw have appeal for the cosmopolitan Belfast South electorate.

In many constituencies transfers are important; in Belfast South they are so crucial they mark the difference between survival and defeat. This one will be a nail-biter.

Belfast North

This is the most polarised of the 18 constituencies in Orange and Green terms. As with neighbouring Belfast South, this is simply too close to call.

Any prediction would give you two unionist seats for the DUP.

Gerry Kelly should hold for Sinn Féin but then it is two from three – Carál Ní Chuilín of Sinn Féin, Nichola Mallon of the SDLP and the worst-performing DUP candidate.

Quite literally every vote, every preference and every transfer will decide the toughest dog fight in Northern Ireland politics.


This is a heavy hitting and high-profile constituency featuring ministers and a party leader.

UUP party leader Mike Nesbitt should easily hold his seat as should former ministers from the DUP Simon Hamilton and Michelle McIlveen.

That is three of five but now it gets interesting.

Can education minister Peter Weir successfully move from North Down? Will Jonathan Bell reap reward or vengeance from his decision to turn on his former colleagues in the DUP over the RHI scheme?

Cross party and possibly cross community transfers will decide if Alliance, SDLP, UUP or Independent Bell will make it to Parliament Buildings.

East Antrim

This constituency could see one of the potential Sinn Féin losses in the reduced Assembly.

Oliver McMullan has beaten the electoral odds in the past but faces an almighty battle this time around.

Proper vote management should see three DUP MLAs return, led by David Hilditch.

Roy Beggs has a solid UUP base and should be OK with the Alliance Party hopeful that hard working constituency MLA Stewart Dickson can serve another term.

Parliamentary reports show first speaker only - follow this lnk for the full transcription.
Articles may come from parliamentary reports, various public news feeds and Google News Search. Content is republished here for context. Copyright is respected and remains with the original author at all times. Original Article:https://www.rte.ie/news/assembly-election-2017/2017/0228/855801-unpredictable-amid-the-predictable/

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