Belfast Telegraph

South Down

By John Mulgrew

It could be the Ulster Unionists who are most vulnerable in this SDLP and Sinn Fein dominated constituency.

Both parties are defending two seats, with Sinead Bradley and Colin McGrath seeking re-election for the SDLP.

This time they are fielding just two candidates, after Sean Rogers stood as the third candidate back in May.

Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard leads the ticket for Sinn Fein, with Sinead Ennis, replacing Caitriona Ruane.

And despite the departure of a high profile MLA, the party is likely to hold on to both of its seats.

A total of 11 candidates are fighting it out for the five seats this time, and also include Gary Hynds for NI Conservatives, Lyle Rea for TUV, the Green Party's Hannah George, Alliance's Patrick Brown and independent Patrick Clarke.

The DUP's Jim Wells should find retaining his seat no issue, however Ulster Unionist Harold McKee is likely to face a tougher battle, based on last May's results.

Many of Alliance's transfers are likely to go to the SDLP, ensuring the party secures its two seats, thus pushing out the Ulster Unionists.

Patrick Brown will stand for Alliance once again, after he was eliminated last year with 2,200 first preference votes.

Belfast Telegraph Digital


From Belfast Telegraph