So the new (proposed) councils have been set. In theory at least these proposals (including boundaries) are open to discussion and consultation, but considering we are several iterations into this process it seems unlikely that we are going to see anything major change. There are one or two things worthy of note:uncil 1: North Down, Castlereagh, Ards, Down. Almost all of the old County council re-assembled. 1185 km and population 279,883.
Council 2: Carrickfergus, Antrim, Newtownabbey, Lisburn. The banana county, which runs from Moira in the west to Carrick in the east. 1108km and population 274,714
Council 3: Larne, Moyle, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Coleraine. Much of the old County Antrim, with the exception of Coleraine, which was in the old Co Derry. 2176km and population 188,584.
Council 4: Londonderry, Limavady, Magherafelt, Strabane. Fairly solidly nationalist. 2453 km and population 215,516
Council 5: Cookstown, Dungannon, Omagh, Fermanagh. Bit of bad blood here over the hospitals controversy, this constituency is nearly twice the physical size of most of the others. 3979 km and population 188,584
Council 6: Banbridge, Craigavon, Newry & Mourne, Armagh. If there is a mixed constituency outside Belfast, this is it. Protestant north and Catholic south. 2392km and population 263,384.
Council 7: Belfast City (no changes to existing boundaries are proposed) On the seven constituency model, if parity of population is the largest concern, then it’s hard to see how this, the second largest, constituency could have ported more in. 115 kms and population 277, 399
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty