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Constituency profile: Upper Bann

By Staff Reporter

The return of the SDLP’s Dolores Kelly was the most-talked-about story for Upper Bann in the March Assembly vote.

Jo-Anne Dobson of the UUP also suffered a shock defeat, one of the many casualties for the  party in what was a very poor  election.

Her colleague Doug Beattie is standing for Westminster after he retained his Assembly seat.

Initially, there were expectations that UUP  veteran Danny Kennedy would be parachuted in to Upper Bann after losing his Assembly seat in Newry and Armagh, but for now he will remain away from the front line.

David Simpson, for the DUP, will fight to retain his seat. In 2015 he won with 15,430 votes, a relatively small margin of just over 2,000 votes ahead of Dobson.

His party colleague Carla Lockhart easily topped the Assembly poll in March, showing voters in the area were not punishing the party for the RHI scandal. Sinn Fein’s John O’Dowd came a close second in the Assembly elections, finishing fewer than a 1,000 votes behind.

In the 2015 Westminster poll his colleague Catherine Seeley finished third with 11,593 votes, something Mr O’Dowd will hope to increase significantly following his strong performance in March.

Despite Ms Kelly’s much-heralded comeback in the Assembly election,  she only polled around a quarter of the votes won by the DUP in the 2015 Westminster election. This time her party colleague, councillor Declan McAlinden, faces overwhelming odds. The Alliance candidate for Upper Bann is Tara Doyle, who gained 2,720 votes in the recent Assembly election.

Ms Doyle’s colleague Peter Lavery finished with 1,780 votes in the 2015 Westminster election.

Candidates:

Doug Beattie (UUP)

Tara Doyle (Alliance Party)

Declan McAlinden (SDLP)

John O’Dowd (Sinn Fein)

David Simpson (DUP)

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