The Times have an excellent resource for this election. They have based statistics on the new Parliamentary boundaries. Under the new boundaries using the 2005 election data they give Alasdair McDonnell a majority of just 188.
McDonnell would be right to worry in this election as the statistics show (using the 2005 result), given the fact that the DUP is only 189 votes away from victory.
Michael McGimpsey standing for the UUP back in 2005 polled just under 8,000 votes. According to the Times calculation with the new boundary changes the UUP would poll just over 8,000 votes (remember based on 2005 election figures). However this time round the now Conservatives and Unionists are running a little known candidate Paula Bradshaw whereas the DUP are running Jimmy Spratt again. The choice is therefore clear in South Belfast. If two Unionist candidates remain in the contest the DUP are the party most likely to win. Let that be clear.
However should South Belfast follow the news tonight (brief and unclear as yet) that a single Unionist will run in Fermanagh South Tyrone the chances of a Unionist coming through this election victorious would increase significantly!
A few comments on the Conservatives and Unionist campaign – does it appear very ‘Alliance’!? – Woman, shared future etc? Furthermore does it appear too Tory? Given the fact that the Tories have stood in NI elections for some years and not done very well will this marketing strategy backfire on them?