Constituency profile: East Antrim –

Considered a unionist stronghold, the constituency of East Antrim stretches from Jordanstown right up to the Glens of Antrim. In the 2017 election, the DUP and UUP both won two seats while the Alliance took a fifth.

A reduction in seats from six to five saw Sinn Fein’s Oliver McMullan lose out, meaning there was no nationalist representation in the last Assembly term.

The DUP’s David Hilditch and Gordon Lyons enjoyed a 35% share of first-preference votes, with the UUP’s Roy Beggs and John Stewart taking 22% and Stewart Dickson of the Alliance taking 16%.

Unusually, all five members held their seats for the full term and are seeking re-election. There has never been a female MLA for East Antrim, but the SDLP’s Siobhan McAlister is running for the first time.

With the Alliance Party increasing its vote by 11% in the 2019 General Election, one of the big questions is whether Danny Donnelly can secure a second Assembly seat for his party this time around.

With recent polls suggesting Alliance is on course to become Northern Ireland’s third largest party, it will surely be a nervous wait for the UUP when the ballots are eventually counted at the Ulster University campus in Jordanstown.

This was the only constituency where the UUP gained a seat last time. According to the 2011 census, East Antrim has a population of just over 90,000 which includes around 36,000 households.

Politics Unplugged

Sign up to Suzanne Breen’s Politics Unplugged newsletter for expert analysis of what’s important at Stormont.

This field is required

A vast majority (nearly 70%) said they had a British identity compared to around 10% with an Irish identity and 31% considering themselves to have a Northern Irish identity. Around 20% were Catholic, while 70% were Protestant or other Christian religion.

One of the key issues for East Antrim in recent years has been job losses, most recently illustrated with PO workers protesting in Larne Harbour after being among 800 staff suddenly made redundant.

As a largely unionist constituency, one unknown factor is whether voters will be more influenced by tensions over the Northern Ireland Protocol or swayed by issues like the cost-of-living crisis.

Full list of candidates:

Mark Francis Bailey – Green Party

Roy Beggs – UUP

Norman Boyd – TUV

Stewart Dickson – Alliance Party

Danny Donnelly – Alliance Party

David William Hilditch – DUP

Gordon Lyons – DUP

Siobhan McAlister – SDLP

Oliver McMullan – Sinn Fein

John Stewart – UUP

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:

This entry was posted in In The News and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.