Poor vote balancing between the two UUP candidates cost the party dearly in 2011 with Basil McCrea polling more than 4,000 first preference votes (5,771) over his running mate.
The big winner was the DUP whose previously unknown candidate Brenda Hale took the last of the six seats up for grabs (the DUP’s fourth).
She has built a strong profile during her first assembly term - particularly on military veterans’ rights issues - and could escape the effects of any dent in the party’s overall vote if one comes.
Basil McCrea - who deserted the UUP to form the ill-fated NI21 - has dropped out of the race and the vast majority of his vote from 2011 is expected to stay with the UUP, but more evenly split between former DUP whistleblower Jenny Palmer and Robbie Butler. Edwin Poots of the DUP topped the poll in 2011 first preference 7,329 votes.
Trevor Lunn of Alliance usually polls around 13 per cent which would again be enough to see him returned for a third term.
• Dan Barrios-O’Neill (Greens)
• Robbie Butler (UUP)
• Pat Catney (SDLP)
• Jonathan Craig (DUP)
• Peter Dynes (NI Labour Representation Committee)
• Paul Givan (DUP)
• Brenda Hale (DUP)
• Brian Higginson (UKIP)
• Jack Irwin (Cons.)
• Trevor Lunn (Alliance)
• Frazer McCammond (Democracy First)
• Jacqui McGeough (SF)
• Jonny Orr (Ind.)
• Jenny Palmer (UUP)
• Edwin Poots (DUP)
• Lyle Rea (TUV)
RESULTS OF 2011 ELECTION:
Edwin Poots (DUP) 7,329 (20.7%)
Basil McCrea (UUP) 5,771 (16.3%)
Trevor Lunn (Alliance) 4,389 (12.4%)
Paul Givan (DUP) 4,352 (12.3%)
Jonathan Craig (DUP) 4,263 (12.0%)
Brenda Hale (DUP) 2,910 (8.2%)
Pat Catney (SDLP) 2,165 (6.1%)
Mark Hill (UUP) 1,482 (4.2%)
Mary-Kate Quinn (SF) 1,203 (3.4%)
Lyle Rea (TUV) 1,031 (2.9%)
Conor Quinn (Green) 592 (1.7%)