Predicting the Seats: Northern Ireland

Scrabo Tower one of the many landmarks Northern Ireland has to offer.

Scrabo Tower one of the many landmarks Northern Ireland has to offer.

Let’s now look at a part of the UK in which polls and data have been few and far between: Northern Ireland. A part of the United Kingdom that has their own separate political parties, with similar ties in beliefs and positions. They also only have 18 seats, the smallest in all parts of the UK. The DUP have the highest with 8 seats, closely followed by Sinn Fein with 5. SDLP have three seats, whilst the Alliance have only one seat, with one independent seat in addition. With the uncertainly in England now looking ever more gloomy, a certain Labour stronghold in Wales, but a declining one in Scotland, what will Northern Ireland’s position be in this coming vote?

Antrim East: 2010 – DUP Hold – Sammy Wilson MP

The DUP seized this seat in the 2005 election, holding it again in 2010. It’s a good hold, and despite a rise in support for Sinn Fein in opinion polls, the DUP will likely hang on to this seat.

Predicted Winner – DUP Hold – Sammy Wilson MP

Antrim North: 2010 – DUP Hold – Ian Paisley Jr MP

A DUP seat since 1970 and held by the Paisley family since 1970. The family tradition keeps going for another five years.

Predicted Winner – DUP Hold – Ian Paisley Jr MP

Ian Paisley Jr

Ian Paisley Jr

Antrim South: 2010 – DUP Hold – William McCrea MP

A close fight in the last election which only just saw the DUP hold the seat. This leads to speculation that the UUP will retake this seat again this time round. However, the last opinion poll put the DUP in a good position, so its likely they will hang on to the seat.

Predicted Winner – DUP Hold – William McCrea MP

Belfast East: 2010 – Alliance Gain – Naomi Long MP

Opinion polls say that the DUP will take this seat following the collapse of the Alliance vote. UKIP’s ideal surge in Northern Ireland will not be a huge one, with the party only getting just over 1% of the vote.

Predicted Winner – DUP Gain – Gavin Robinson

Belfast North: 2010 – DUP Hold – Nigel Dodds MP

Dodds has held this seat since 2001, and with major opinion polls keeping the DUP ahead, its likely he’ll hang on for another five years.

Predicted Winner – DUP Hold – Nigel Doods MP

Belfast South: 2010 – SDLP Hold – Alasdair McDonnell MP A huge majority is held here by SDLP. Its likely that they will hold this majority.

Predicted Winner – SDLP Hold – Alasdair McDonnell MP

SDLP's Alasdair Mcdonnell

SDLP’s Alasdair McDonnell

Belfast West: 2011BE – Sinn Fein Hold – Paul Maskey

A strong Sinn Fein hold for many years. Its likely to stay that way this election.

Predicted Winner – Sinn Fein Hold – Paul Maskey MP

Down North: 2010 – Independent Hold – Lady Sylvia Hermon MP

Lady Hermon became independent in 2010, and successfully held her seat. Given the huge majority she held, its likely she’ll hold it for another five years.

Predicted Winner – Independent Hold – Lady Sylvia Hermon MP

Lady Sylvia Hermon canvassing

Lady Sylvia Hermon canvassing for her Northern Ireland seat.

Down South: 2010 – SDLP Hold – Margaret Ritchie MP

The SDLP hold a huge majority here, even though Sinn Fein are gaining traction. I could see them hold the seat, but with a decreased majority. Predicted Winner – SDLP Hold – Margaret Ritchie MP

Fermanagh & South Tyrone: 2010 – Sinn Fein Hold – Michelle Gildernew MP

The independent candidate in the last election, Rodney Connor, brought the race extremely close with only a 4 vote margin between Connor & Sinn Fein. With Connor not in this ballot, Sinn Fein will likely walk this ballot.

Predicted Winner – Sinn Fein Hold – Michelle Gildernew MP

Foyle: 2010 – SDLP Hold – Mark Durkan MP

Another tight seat between SDLP and Sinn Fein. I reckon the SDLP will hang on to this slightly.

Predicted Winner – SDLP Hold – Mark Durkan MP

Lagan Valley: 2010 – DUP Hold – Jeffrey Donaldson MP

More candidates in this seat than the last time, the DUP will lose some votes, but ultimately hold the seat for another five years.

Predicted Winner – DUP Hold – Jeffrey Donaldson MP

Londonderry East: 2010 – DUP Hold – Gregory Campbell MP DUP hold a 6,000 majority in this seat and won’t go away. Sinn Fein are not expecting a boost in this area any time soon.

Predicted Winner – DUP Hold – Gregory Campbell MP

Conor Murphy of Sinn Fein.

Conor Murphy of Sinn Fein.

Newry & Armagh: 2010 – Sinn Fein Hold – Conor Murphy MP

Murphy steps down from this seat to make way for new blood. Also, The DUP will sit this seat out for once, leaving it between SF & SDLP. I think Sinn Fein will hold.

Predicted Winner – Sinn Fein Hold – Mickey Brady

Strangford: 2010 – DUP Hold – Jim Shannon MP

Another seat the DUP can hold quite comfortable. Unlikely to see it disappear.

Predicted Winner – DUP Hold – Jim Shannon MP

Tyrone West: 2010 – Sinn Fein Hold – Pat Doherty MP

A strong seat for Sinn Fein that will not go away.

Predicted Winner – Sinn Fein Hold – Pat Doherty MP

Ulster Mid: 2013BE – Sinn Fein Hold – Francie Malloy MP

A by-election saw a new Sinn Fein MP win comfortably. A repeat is likely to occur in this election.

Predicted Winner – Sinn Fein Hold – Francie Malloy MP

Upper Bann: 2010 – DUP Hold – David Simpson MP

A close race five years ago between the DUP, Sinn Fein, & UCU-NF. Perhaps a repeat? If so, the DUP will come on top again.

Predicted Winner – DUP Hold – David Simpson M.P.

Northern Ireland seat prediction total: DUP – 9 seats / Sinn Fein – 5 seats / SDLP – 3 seats / Independent – 1 seat.

Seats so far from the Predict the Seats instalments total:

Labour – 83 Seats

Conservatives – 77 Seats

DUP – 9 Seats

Liberal Democrats – 6 Seats

Sinn Fein – 5 Seats

Plaid Cymru – 3 Seats

SDLP – 3 Seats

UKIP – 1 Seat

Independent – 1 Seat

By Connor Macgregor, Junior Writer for Daily Political View.

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