Assembly Election 21/22

With the collapse of Stormont potentially imminent and an election due by next year it might no harm to have a look at this.

The performance of the Alliance in the next assembly elections could be crucial.

The demographics have changed, there should be a larger nationalist base in the next election so SF & the SDLP should hold firm. The SDLP could suffer however if the Alliance perform well, the SDLP are heavily reliant on transfers from Unionists in an anyone but SF type way. A lot of the time they get big transfers from the Alliance but if it’s a case whereby it’s the Alliance build their voting base it could mean that they surpass the SDLP and it’s the SDLP vote that is distributed rather than the Alliance. The SDLP vote will most likely benefit SF/Alliance and will lose the hard unionist parties.

I think there’s a very good chance that transfers could now cost the DUP/UUP going forward.

The way I see it would be.

Fermanagh/South Tyrone
3 nationalist seats, 2 Unionist. Certs of 2 SF 1 DUP and likely one extra SF seat (SDLP will challenge but I don’t think they will unseat SF) and UUP/DUP in a dogfight - can potentially see a DUP gain here at the expense of UUP.
3 SF 1 DUP 1 UUP

West Tyrone
No surprises here and same as the last time.
3 SF 1 SDLP 1 DUP

Mid Ulster
no surprises here either
3 SF 1 SDLP 1 DUP

Foyle
Really good chance the DUP miss out here to PBP
2 SF 2 SDLP 1 PBP

East Derry
SDLP could have a battle here. I think we will see a SF gain. If the Alliance pip the SDLP here then SF will get 2 seats at the cost of the SDLP. I’m going gain for SF, loss for the SDLP
2 DUP 2 SF 1 Ind Unionist

N Antrim
Could potentially be a UUP/DUP loss here. Swann might get the bounce off the vaccination rollout and the Alliance could make ground here. I’m going to make a ballsy prediction that I don’t have much faith in here. DUP Loss, Alliance gain.
1 DUP 1 UUP 1 TUV 1 SF 1 Alliance

E Antrim
Again this is one with a potential for a gain for SF/Alliance at the cost of Unionism. I think SF are in a stronger position here to gain than Alliance winning a second seat. UUP loss here, SF gain.
2 DUP 1 Alliance 1 UUP 1 SF

N Down
As you were
2 DUP 1 Alliance 1 Green 1 UUP

S Antrim
As you were
2 DUP 1 UUP 1 Alliance 1 SF

W Belfast
As you were
4 SF 1 PBP

N Belfast
This is the toughest one to call. I think Alliance will gain here at the cost of DUP or SF. Have demographics swayed enough for it to happen. Are DUP now as toxic to moderate/liberal Protestants as SF would be? I think it will be a SF loss here.
2 DUP 1 SF 1 SDLP 1 Alliance

E Belfast
No changes
2 DUP 2 Alliance 1 UUP

S Belfast
No changes
1 SF 1 SDLP 1 DUP 1 Greens 1 Alliance

Strangford
Potential SDLP gain here. They came close last time around. Going to for an SDLP gain/DUP loss.
2 DUP 1 Alliance 1 UUP 1 SDLP

Lagan Valley
Lunn unlikely to run for the Alliance again. He had left the party but I expect they will hold their seat. Unlikely any surprises here.
2 DUP 1 Alliance 1 UUP 1 SDLP

Upper Ban
SF could challenge the SDLP seat here but I think SDLP will retain. This is a constituency where SDLP rely on unionist transfers so the demographics could mean a SF gain here. I still think it will be a SDLP hold though.
2 DUP 1 UUP 1 SF 1 SDLP

South Down
SF will prob run a 3rd candidate here. Both Hazzard and Ennis were elected on the 1st count last time around with a 3k surplus. If SF do run a third candidate, it will almost certainly cost the SDLP with SF and Alliance battling it out for it. Depending on whether SF do or not I will go with an SDLP hold for now but an Alliance gain could be as likely.
2 SF 2 SDLP 1 DUP

Newry Armagh
No change
3 SF 1 SDLP 1 DUP

That would leave it:
SF 28
DUP 25
SDLP 12
Alliance 10
UUP 9
PBP 2
Greens 2
TUV 1
Ind Unionist 1

The DUP could lose some 1st pref to the TUV but there was no TUV candidate close to joining Allister in the last election.

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Would the sf politicians in west Belfast say do anything for areas like the Shankill Road, which I presume is in their constituency but gains them zero votes?

With those numbers the DUP would collapse it and never allow the assembly to sit with SF first minister

That’s very likely but their intransigence is going to be the greatest accelerator to a United Ireland and Border Poll.

Unionists are still stuck in the 1950s.

I feel this will now be imminent.

The DUP are between a rock and a hard place, they don’t want an election but nor do they want to be seen as taking a knee to SF.

A good friend of mine was living and working in North Down with his family, a lovely area. He now has a new parish in Drogheda - not as nice but at least he’s back in the Republic.

It’s almost as if Poots didn’t think this through!

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This was a poll from Lucid Talk earlier in the year. As with polls, a large pinch of salt should be taken with it.

It covers the number of people who voted one persuasion the last time around and may change their vote this time and whom they may switch to.

Alliance and SF seem to have by far the steadiest core vote that can be relied on. Alliance should see a good increase in the next election. The SDLP/SF vote swap is steady between each other. SDLP are most at risk from the Alliance.

The DUP is the most interesting, I beginning to put more and more credence in the chance of the TUV picking up 3/4 seats next time around. If they are hitting 10% first pref (or close to it) in any unionist constituency where they run one candidate then they have a great chance of winning those seats.

As expected the Alliance are not really going to attract much of the DUP/UUP vote, their increase will come more from the nationalist side (particularly the SDLP) and the first time voters.

The Stoops getting brave and running three in Derry next time out I see.