The Assembly Elections February 23, 2017Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.
Just a week away and whatever happens there will be 18 seats lost, due to the reduction of MLAs from 108 to 90, with each constituency now returning 5 rather than 6 MLAs.
For the Left Gerry Carroll of PBP looks safe in West Belfast and even has a running mate, although it would be a shock if they were to win a second seat here. Eamonn McCann in Foyle is their other sitting MLA and on paper should be in severe danger as he only scraped in the last time. However talking to a few people I know in Derry they reckon he will be safe especially as Martin McGuinness is not standing.
Elsewhere it’s hard to see PBP, The Workers’ Party or Cross Community Labour Alliance winning a seat although there may be some gains and an advance to winning Council seats in 2019.
With RHI it was assumed that the DUP may not fare too well, that was until UUP leader Mike Nesbitt called for transfers to the SDLP rather than the DUP! It later emerged that he hadn’t discussed it with his party or indeed The SDLP! It was music to the DUP who to relegate the RHI scandal have gone on their traditional sectarian campaign. The DUP will still lose seats but anything over 33 seats (they won 38 last year) can be described as a good day for them.
The UUP seem to have messed up by forgetting the Unionist part in their name. They could have capitalised on RHI but ended up not doing so. Nesbitt will be in trouble if they get less than 13 seats.
Sinn Fein will lose a few seats , at least 3. Again it will be interesting to see if the RHI scandal rubs off on them and of course how they do under new leader Michelle O’Neill.
The SDLP should hold most of their 12 seats , Big battles with Sinn Fein in Foyle and South Down and other tight ones like Fermanagh South Tyrone. Any more than 1 lost seat won’t be good news for them.
The Alliance should hold their 8 seats but holding the second in East Belfast may be a struggle.
Elsewhere the TUV will be hoping to make gains at the DUPs expense over RHI, although it’s hard to see exactly where they may be. The Greens will be hoping to hold on to their 2 seats. UKIP could be in with a shout of their first seat in East Antrim too.
Most parties will be hoping that apathy isn’t the winner and that turnout is decent.