2016 election: Unionists set to retain dominance in North Belfast

Belfast Castle overlooks the contituency of Belfast North
Belfast Castle overlooks the contituency of Belfast North

North Belfast, one of the Province’s most divided constituencies, is expected to again return three unionist and three nationalist MLAs.

A pact between the DUP and UUP in 2015 gave the DUP’s Nigel Dodds a free run for Westminster, but with both parties fielding candidates for the assembly, the big question is whether UUP newcomer Rev Lesley Carroll can improve on Fred Cobain’s near miss in 2011.

During the last assembly poll, Cobain received 2,758 votes narrowly missing out to Sinn Fein’s Caral Ni Chuilin who polled 2,999 to take the 6th seat.

Rev Carroll, a local Presbyterian minister prior to stepping aside to contest the election, could also enjoy the support of liberals who would have previously voted Alliance in her bid to take one of the Democratic Unionists’ three seats.

Sinn Fein has decided to consolidate its two seats by fielding the high-profile incumbents - Gerry Kelly and Ni Chuilin - only.

Former Lord Mayor of the city Nichola Mallon is almost certain to retain a seat for the SDLP.

See here for profiles of more election constituencies.

2016 CANDIDATES:

• Ken Boyle (UKIP)

• Paula Jane Bradley (DUP)

• Tom Burns (Ind,)

• Lesley Carroll (UUP)

• Geoff Dowey (NI First)

• Fiona Ferguson (People Before Profit Alliance)

• Fra Hughes (Ind.)

• William Humphrey (DUP)

• Billy Hutchinson (PUP)

• Gerry Kelly (SF)

• Nichola Mallon (SDLP)

• Nuala McAllister (All)

• Nelson McCausland (DUP)

• John Miller (TUV)

• Carál Ní Chuilín (SF)

• Malachai O’Hara (Green)

• Abdo Thabeth (NI Labour Representation Committee)

• Gemma Weir (Workers Party).

RESULTS OF 2011 ELECTION:

Gerry Kelly (Sinn Fein) 6,674 (19.9%)

Nelson McCausland (DUP) 5,200 (15.5%)

Alban Maginness (SDLP) 4,025 (12.0%)

William Humphrey (DUP) 3,724 (11.1%)

Paula Bradley (DUP) 3,488 (10.4%)

Caral Ni Chuilin (Sinn Fein) 2,999 (9%)

Fred Cobain (UUP) 2,758 (8.2%)

Billy Webb (Alliance) 2,096 (6.3%)

Raymond McCord (Ind,) 1,176 (3.5%)

JJ Magee (Sinn Fein) 998 (3%)

John Lavery (Workers Party) 332 (1%)