There is definitely at least one election on the horizon so its time to pull out some random figures and extrapolate wildly…..
In preparation for the Westminster Election the Electoral Office has launched initiatives to deal with low registration in several areas:
In East Antrim, South Antrim and Belfast North around 18,000 households in wards with low registration levels will be receiving a leaflet from the Electoral Office over the next few weeks reminding them of the need to be on the Electoral Register.
All three constituencies returned DUP MPs and they were the largest party at the Assembly election
Nine wards of particular concern over low registration will be subject to a mini canvass by EONI:
· Windsor, Glencairn and Bloomfield in Belfast
· Clandeboye in Bangor
· Movilla in Newtownards
· Audleys Ward in Downpatrick
· Lisnagarvey in Lisburn
· Ballee in Ballymena
· Town Parks East in Magherafelt
Six of these wards are large majority protestant areas according to the Census (permit the sectarianism, there is an election due), two (Town Parks East and Windsor) are pretty evenly split on religion and Audley’s is majority Catholic. Additionally all but two (Windsor & Audley’s) sit in a Council area that returned the DUP as the largest party.
While there are bound to be other contributory factors, a theme of stronger DUP areas suffering disproportionately from problems with voter registration does seem to be presenting.