Post by irish observer on Dec 23, 2013 20:42:37 GMT
This is one of the most interesting of the new Council areas in my opinion. It is a merger of the slightly Nationalist 15 seat Limavady Borough Council of 3 DEAs, the Unionist Coleraine Borough Council of 22 seats across 4 DEAs, the Unionist Ballymoney Borough Council of 16 seats across 3 DEAs and the small Moyle District Council of 15 seats across 3 DEAs. All combine to form this new Council of 40 seats across 7 Electoral Areas across some of Northern Ireland's most picturesque territory.
From West to East it is as follows:
1. Benbradagh (5): This is a very Nationalist DEA. It contains 4/5 of the old Benbradagh DEA and 3/5 of Bellarena. It contains solidly Nationalist areas such as Dungiven and the surrounding valleys together with Greysteel. There are 2 safe SF quotas and 1 for the DUP and for the SDLP. SF should have enough votes for the last seat given how the Unionist votes are divided up between the UUP and the TUV. Prediction: 3 SF, 1 DUP, 1 SDLP.
2. Limavady (5): This DEA is a merger of Limavady Town, the remaining 2/5 of Bellarena and the final 1/5 of Benbradagh. This DEA will have a Unionist majority but there are 2 Nationalist quotas. The DUP will get 2 quotas and SF have 1. Other Unionist transfers will ensure there is a UUP quota and Alliance transfers and the SF surplus will give the SDLP the last seat. Prediction: 2 DUP, 1 SF, 1 UUP, 1 SDLP.
3. Bann (5) This is the old Bann DEA although now with 5 seats rather than 6. There will be 3 Unionist seats which will break 2:1 for the DUP vs the UUP and a seat each for SF and the SDLP. Prediction: 2 DUP, 1 UUP, 1 SF, 1 SDLP.
4. Ballymoney (7) This DEA is a merger of the Bann Valley and Ballymoney Town DEAs and Knockaholet (1/5) from Bushvale. While Bann Valley was essentially evenly mixed Ballmoney town is very Unionist. The DEA overall should break 5:2 Unionist vs Nationalist. This is strong DUP territory and they will get 4 quotas while the UUP will also secure 1 seat. SF will secure 2 seats on the nationalist side through SDLP transfers. Prediction: 4 DUP, 2 SF, 1 UUP.
5. Coleraine (6): This DEA is the former Coleraine Central plus the urban 3/5 wards of Coleraine East. This is the most Unionist of the DEAs. There are 3 DUP quotas and a quota for the UUP. In addition there is also an Independent Unionist quota, based on David McClarty's votes. Added together there is 0.9 of a Nationalist quota with the SDLP ahead and 0.6 quota for Alliance. However, surplus Unionist transfers will give the last seat to the Alliance over the SDLP. Prediction: 3 DUP, 1 UUP, 1 APNI, 1 IND (U).
6. Causeway (7): This DEA is made up of all of Skerries, Benvardin and Dervock (the remaining 2/5 of Bushvale) and Dundooan and Dunluce from Coleraine East. There are 2 seats on paper each for the DUP and the UUP. However, recent additional resignations from the UUP may helped assisted the DUP getting a third seat here. There is also a quota here for the Independent, Christine Alexander, if she runs. There is also a Nationalist quota, which favours the SDLP, provided SF transfer in sufficient numbers. Alliance should hold the DUP for the last seat based on potential transfers. Prediction: 2 DUP, 2 UUP, 1 IND, 1 SDLP, 1 APNI.
7. Glens (5): This is a merger of the old Glens and Ballycastle DEAs, Ballyhoe & Corkey and Stranocum (2/5) of Bushvale and Moss-side and Moyarget (1/5) of Giant's Causeway. There is a guaranteed Unionist quota in the DEA now which falls to the DUP. On paper SF have the votes for 2 seats, though they have been affected by resignations. Anne McKillop in Moyle and Anita Cavlan in Bushvale both resigned over selection rows but the party gained a poll topper in former Independent Colum Thompson. Padraig McShane looks secure in Ballycastle, formerly of SF also, his sister Cara is a SF Cllr in the same DEA at present. There is also enough votes for a SDLP quota. Prediction: 2 SF, 1 SDLP, 1 DUP, 1 IND (NAT).
Estimated Total (40): 15 DUP, 9 SF, 6 UUP, 5 SDLP, 2 APNI, 1 IND (U), 1 IND, 1 IND (NAT)
Quite an interesting Council Chamber to observe as it develops and beds but for the moment anyhow a narrow Unionist majority likely I would think.
Agree Robert. The 4 wards of Giant's Causeway, Benvardin, Dervock and Dunluce, all being added, must have a catholic population of around 5% at most. And a nationalist vote even far less than that. Even the Portrush/Portstewart area, by far the most catholic in the new DEA, has a nationalist vote consistently around only 16%. In fact, and against the general trend, the catholic population declined between 2001-2011 here. I predict a nationalist vote of less than 10% split between 2 parties, and therefore no seat. I'd say 4 DUP, 2 UUP, 1 ALL is favourite.
I think you're engaging in a bit of unionist wishful thinking. But it's not hard for nationalists to win just one seat here, especially as it's a 7-seater. The non-unionist and non-nationalist vote is high around portstewart and around a 3rd of that surplus would transfer to the SDLP. Having said that I'm not sure I can see 3 non-unionists being elected. I think the independent Christine Alexander (if she's even standing this time) has a very local appeal and wouldn't be known in the new areas being added. So I'd say it's more likely 5 unionists, 1 SDLP and 1 Alliance. Interesting area though. Makes you wonder why SF agreed to allow two nationalist councils here be absorbed into a new unionist one. I heard that the new councils would provide more mechanisms for power-sharing than the pathetic majority rule abused in Castlereagh, Lisburn and Craigavon.
I agree with 'gambling guru' that the tightest race looks like the Bann area, which has nationalists just below two quotas, but will be compensated by only two candidates from both nationalist parties who seem evenly enough balanced. Natioanalsits also benefit from a small demographic shift here in their favour here.
Causeway is interesting indeed: In Bann, the UUP could lose a seat, the smart money is on Holmes falling by the wayside as King's popularity will see his vote remain steady. Can the DUP hold two seats? Possibly. Sinn Fein will hold their seat as will the SDLP. The UUP may well drop a seat in Bann making the final line-up: DUPx2 SF SDLP UUP
Coleraine Town is harder to call: The big issues are Sinn Fein's challenge to the SDLP seat held by Gerry McLaughlin and the destination of the votes held by the late David McClarty. It is very unlikely that Mr. McClarty's votes will go back to the Ulster Unionists. Perhaps Alliance will be the big beneficiaries with the SDLP's Quigley also a likely destination. With 3 ward coming from the old Coleraine East it makes it a strong Unionist area now The introduction of the PUP and an Independent to the mix along with the TUV could see the UUP lose a seat. The prediction is: 3xDUP 1xUUP 1xSDLP 1xeither Aliannce, DUP or UUP, anyone's guess really.
In Causeway it is another miss-mash and again a strong unionist area has emerged. 7 Seats up for grabs with the following predicted: 3xDUP 2xUUP 1xSDLP and 1xeither Alliance, DUP or UUP
The Glens sees a unionist quota for one candidate to get through. Padriag McShane should retain his seat and perhaps Colum Thompson could spring a surprise. The prediction is: 2 SF, 1 SDLP, 1 DUP, 1 IND.
Benbradagh is a strong Nationalist area. Two defiant seats for SF, possibly a third with the Unionist vote split so many ways. Should be 3xSF 1xDUP 1xSDLP
Limavady itself is evenly split between unionist and nationalist. Prediction is 2xDUP 2xSF 1xUUP
Ballymoney has always been a strong DUP base and this should be reflected in the vote. A strong DUP return here with four seats predicted and one for Sinn Fein. Prediction would be: 4xDUP 2xSF 1xUUP.
I like your passionate commentary: "Two defiant seats for SF", "A strong DUP return", "Holmes falling by the wayside" You sound like you are emotionally invested in this contest!
Can't disagree with too much of that. I think your prediction of two non unionists in the causeway area is probably more likely than Irish Observer's prediction of 3. Only areas I'd challenge is Limavady where SF and SDLP are too closely matched for SF to mop up two seats : 1 each I think.
As for Ballymoney, two SF seats is certainly possible here, but the SDLP has something of a presence in Ballymoney town which SF doesn't have that could make them more competitive if they also get transfers. Not sure how much effort they are putting in on the ground though. The Alliance are also competing here so it'll be interesting to see how they do here as they seem a bit allergic to Ballymoney up 'til now. That said, the SDLP needs a few things to fall their way and two SF seems like a good bet.
I see you haven't backed the TUV to win a seat anywhere despite standing everywhere and standing two candidates in some places. I think their Benbradagh candidate has proven himself to be sufficiently hardline to win the unionist seat there. I'd say also one in Ballymoney is also possible.
I bow to you superior knowledge sir - we are not too far away, but I think the days of hard-line unionism against everything and for nothing could be wearing thin. I have received some election literature from UUP, DUP, TUV - none so far from Alliance, SDLP, or Sinn Fein, but based on what I have read, I have made my predictions, which could be totally wrong But the TUV alone with the usual promises tat are continued in the UUP/DUP literature, is a strong hatred for the DUP - a lot of what the TUV are NOT going to do, very little of what they ARE going to do - I await the delivery of the rest of the parties leaflets
Causeway will elect 5 Unionists comfortably - the areas being added to the old Skerries DEA are heavily weighted in their favour. Christine Alexander isn't standing, so Hickey and Fitzpatrick should come through.
5th May 2011 – DUP 8, UUP 2, TUV 1, Sinn Féin 3, SDLP 1, Independent 1 7th May 2014 – DUP 9, UUP 1, TUV 1, Sinn Féin 2, SDLP 1, Independent 2
The current mayor and deputy mayor are DUP.
Bill Kennedy (UUP) (Bushvale) is now shown on the Ballymoney Borough Council website as DUP. Anita Cavlan (Sinn Féin) (Bushvale) is now shown on the Ballymoney Borough Council website as Independent.
Roma Shane O’Dell McAfee (Independent) was appointed in Ballymoney Town DEA, in place of Iain McAfee On 19 December 2013, Robert Alan McLean (DUP) was appointed in Ballymoney Town DEA, in place of Mervyn Storey
Seven councilors are not seeking re-election Ballymoney Town – Cecil James Cousley (DUP) Ballymoney Town – Roma Shane O’Dell McAfee (Independent) Bann Valley – Jason Atkinson (DUP) Bann Valley – Robert Halliday (DUP) Bann Valley – Cathal McLaughlin (Sinn Féin) Bushvale – Anita Cavlan (Independent) Bushvale – Harry Connolly (SDLP)
The remaining 9 councillors are standing in Ballymoney, Causeway and The Glens DEAs.
Coleraine Borough Council comprises 22 members.
5th May 2011 – DUP 9, UUP 5, Alliance Party 2, SDLP 3, Sinn Féin 1, Independent 2 7th May 2014 – DUP 8, UUP 6, Alliance Party 2, SDLP 3, Sinn Féin 1, Independent 2
The current mayor is UUP and the deputy mayor is DUP.
William McCandless (DUP) (Bann) is now shown on the Coleraine Borough Council website as UUP.
Claire Elizabeth Sugden (Independent) was appointed in Coleraine Central DEA, in place of David McClarty Stephanie Dolores Quigley (SDLP) was appointed in Coleraine Central DEA, in place of Gerry McLaughlin On 7 December 2013, Michelle Alexandra Knight-McQuillan (DUP) was appointed in Bann DEA, in place of Adrian McQuillan On 6 January 2014, Trevor Clarke (DUP) was appointed in Coleraine East DEA, in place of Maurice Bradley
Five councilors are not seeking re-election Coleraine Central – David Barbour (UUP) Coleraine Central – William James McClure (DUP) Coleraine Central – Claire Elizabeth Sugden (Independent) Coleraine East – William Creelman (DUP) The Skerries – Christine Alexander (Independent)
The remaining 17 councillors are standing in Bann, Causeway and Coleraine DEAs.
Limavady Borough Council comprises 15 members.
5th May 2011 – Sinn Féin 6, SDLP 3, DUP 3, UUP 2, TUV 1
The current mayor is SDLP and the deputy mayor is DUP.
On 4 December 2013, James Edgar Scott (DUP) was appointed in Bellarena in place of George Robinson. On 26 February 2014, Rory Donaghy (Sinn Féin) was appointed in Bellarena in place of Cathal McLaughlin.
Three councilors are not seeking re-election Bellarena – Edwin Arthur Stevenson (UUP) Limavady Town – Anne Brolly (Sinn Féin) Limavady Town – Jack Rankin (UUP)
The remaining 12 councillors are standing in Benbradagh and Limavady DEAs.
Moyle District Council comprises 15 members.
5th May 2011 – UUP 3, DUP 2, TUV 1, Sinn Féin 3, SDLP 2, Independent 4 7th May 2014 – UUP 3, DUP 2, TUV 1, Sinn Féin 3, SDLP 3, Independent 3
The current chairperson is Sinn Féin and the vice chairman is DUP.
Margaret Anne McKillop (Sinn Féin) (The Glens) is now shown on the Moyle District Council website as SDLP. Colum Camillus Thompson (Independent) (The Glens) is now shown on the Moyle District Council website as Sinn Féin.
Seven councilors are not seeking re-election Ballycastle – Seamus Blaney (Independent) Giant’s Causeway – Willie Graham (UUP) Giant’s Causeway – Davy McAllister (DUP) Giant’s Causeway – Robert Allister McIlroy (DUP) The Glens – Noreen McAllister (Sinn Féin) The Glens - Catherine McDonnell (SDLP) The Glens – Randal Daniel McCambridge (Independent)
The remaining 8 councillors are standing in Causeway and The Glens DEAs.