Enniskillen Analysis: by Stephen Dempster

THE Enniskillen by-election result is unlikely to send seismic shockwaves through local politics – but then you just never know.

There is no expectation of the tremors felt after the Ulster Unionists and TUV shook the DUP in the Dromore by-election in February, because this is a different poll.

For a start, the focus will be more spread – if that isn't a contradiction in terms.

While the unionist Dromore seat was an intense litmus test of unionist thinking and the first indicator of what shape the DUP were in post-power-sharing and post-TUV, this time Sinn Fein and the SDLP are just as involved, with Alliance dipping its toe west of the Bann too.

We are also post-Chuckle Brothers and into a period when the DUP and Sinn Fein are at loggerheads, which may well help to bolster their core votes.

The TUV are not involved, so there is no fresh testing of the Fermanagh waters with regard to that hardline unionist antipathy towards Peter Robinson's party, post-Paisley.

And the big name of Arlene Foster, who polled a massive 2,054 of 8,878 votes in the 2005 council election (for the ward) is in the race to ensure the DUP vote does not suffer any sort of major hit within weeks of Mr Robinson taking over the party.

Only a collapse in popularity for Mrs Foster, or the first real indicator of Sinn Fein's position, since devolution, revealing a republican revolt against Gerry Adams's leadership would initiate a rumble under Parliament Buildings.

In the event of no major swings in what is a small electoral snapshot it will probably be left to the political anoraks to pick forensically through the result later this week to reach a verdict on what it really says about the state we are in.

If unionists coalesce around the Foster name to try to ensure Sinn Fein does not steal the seat, will such tactical and personality voting really be a victory for the DUP or a sign that Dromore was a blip?

More possible that any shift in the vote on the nationalist side of the fence would be easier to read.

But is that really likely?