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Constituency profile: East Londonderry

By Staff Reporter

The outcome of the election in East Londonderry is perhaps the most predictable of all 18 constituencies and it should see the DUP’s Gregory Campbell returned as MP.

A whopping 14,663 votes were cast for him last time, which represented 42% of the total ballot.

The overwhelming majority of voters in this constituency are from the unionist tradition, but changes to the boundary in 2010 brought the mainly nationalist Banagher and Claudy into the mix.

While there are no prizes for second place in the fight for a Westminster seat, this is where the drama and interest will be.

A few weeks ago during the Assembly Election count at Foyle Arena eyebrows were raised when Sinn Fein’s Caoimhe Archibald topped the poll with 5,851 votes — over 400 more than the DUP’s Maurice Bradley.

Ms Archibald was Sinn Fein’s Westminster candidate in 2015 when she polled a respectable 6,859 votes and the party’s vote has steadily increased in every election since 2010.

There are six candidates running in East Londonderry. And while the DUP, Alliance and Conservatives are fielding candidates who have all previously contested the Westminster seat, the UUP, Sinn Fein and SDLP candidates may not be so familiar to the electorate.

The UUP’s Richard Holmes, Dermot Nicholl of Sinn Fein and the SDLP’s Stephanie Quigley are all sitting councillors with Causeway Coast and Glens Council, but none of them are particularly high profile or controversial figures.

One question is whether the electorate come out in the same number as they did for the Assembly election or if it will be a case of staying at home in the knowledge that the result is pretty much a foregone conclusion.

Candidates:

Gregory Campbell (DUP)

Richard John Holmes (UUP)

Chris McCaw (Alliance)

Dermot Nicholl (Sinn Fein)

Stephanie Quigley (SDLP)

Liz St Clair-Legge (Conservatives)

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