Election 2017: East Londonderry fight sees Sugden at risk

The DUP are hoping to retain their dominant position in East Londonderry, where all three of their candidates were returned last time around, in the face of the challenge from four other unionist candidates.

Claire Sugden’s position is perhaps most threatened by the reduction in seats, although her support base remains strong in Coleraine.

A view of Coleraine town centre, in East Londonderry

A view of Coleraine town centre, in East Londonderry

Cross-community transfers could be decisive for the independent unionist, who took up the post of justice minister last spring.

Of the DUP’s three candidates, Maurice Bradley and George Robinson made it over the line comfortably in 2016 with Adrian McQuillan forced to wait until the ninth count. Of the three, Mr McQuillan’s seat is most at risk.

The TUV’s candidate Jordan Armstrong, a military veteran, will need a significant increase on the 1,191 first preference votes he claimed last time around to have any impact. The PUP’s Russell Watton, who claimed 1,356 first preferences in 2016, and the UUP’s William McCandless, who claimed 1,789, are in a similar position.

Similarly, Alliance’s Chris McCaw must improve dramatically on the 1,257 first preferences polled by colleague Yvonne Boyle in 2016.

On the nationalist side, Sinn Fein’s Caoimhe Archibald, who polled the highest of any nationalist in the constituency in 2016, stands again alongside Cathal O hOisin. In 2016, transfers secured an SDLP seat for Gerry Mullan at the expense of Mr O hOisin but a public spat between Mr Mullan, who is now standing as an independent, and SDLP candidate John Dallat looks likely to split the SDLP vote.

2017 candidates:

• Caoimhe Archibald (Sinn Fein)

• Jordan Armstrong (TUV)

• Maurice Bradley (DUP)

• Gavin Campbell (People Before Profit)

• John Dallat (SDLP)

• Anthony Flynn (Green)

• David Harding (Conservatives)

• William McCandless (UUP)

• Chris McCaw (Alliance)

• Adrian McQuillan (DUP)

• Gerry Mullan (Ind)

• Cathal ohOisin (Sinn Fein)

• George Robinson (DUP)

• Claire Sugden (Ind)

• Russell Watton (PUP)

2016 results:

• Maurice Bradley (DUP) 4,630 (13.5%)

• George Robinson (DUP) 4,567 (13.3%)

• Caoimhe Archibald (SF) 4,002 (11.6%)

• Cathal Ó hOisín (SF) 3,493 (10.2%)

• Adrian McQuillan (DUP) 3,477 (10.1%)

• Claire Sugden (Independent) 3,270 (9.5%)

• Gerry Mullan (SDLP) 3,265 (9.5%)

• William McCandless (UUP) 1,789 (5.2%)

• Russell Watton (PUP) 1,356 (3.9%)

• Yvonne Boyle (APNI) 1,257 (3.7%)

• Jordan Armstrong (TUV) 1,191 (3.5%)

• Aaron Callan (UUP) 1,067 (3.1%)

• Amber Hammill (Green) 434 (1.3%)

• Steven Parkhill (UKIP) 274

• David Harding (Conservative) 216

• Tor Christie (Independent) 61

• Stuart Canning (Conservative) 50

Electorate: 68,600

Votes cast: 34,848 (50.8%)