We’ve had 49 replies to our Prediction Competition so far*. Averaging the results, we’re collectively predicting a turnout of 61.8%, and the votes cast divide up as follows (rounded up to one decimal place):
- SF: 25.6%
- DUP: 23.5%
- UCUNF: 17.9%
- SDLP: 16.2%
- Alliance: 5.2%
- TUV: 7.3%
- Others: 4.2%
What does this tell us? It isn’t polling evidence, and there’s no weighting (bookies have the benefit of knowing a bit about strength of sentiment because it’s hard-earned cash backing predictions). But Slugger can lay claim to having an unusually high concentration of political anoraks who watch these things (there are decimal places in some predictions in the table below, ffs!).
Here’s a few individual predictions from Slugger’s regulars (all published with their consent):
|The Wilted Rose||65||30||15||25||15||7||5||3|
Talking to Northern Ireland pollster, Bill White, he’s sticking with the consensus that there are only two constituencies that are really in play – South Antrim (between the DUP and UCUNF, with bookies and pollsters now leaning quite strongly towards Reg) and Fermanagh South Tyrone (where Rodney Connor is only slight favourite). Other constituencies could pull out a surprise include Upper Bann and Strangford (DUP have the edge in both but UCUNF are giving them a run for their money).
And East Belfast is showing a close three-way between Robinson, Naomi Long and Trevor Ringland in the UCUNF corner, but Robbo’s challengers currently look like they’re cancelling each other out. It should be noted that Trevor has just commenced a legal action against the First Minister, but more of that later.
Beyond those five, any other possible changes look fairly remote. There may be surprisingly good (but not good enough) TUV showings from Jim Allister in North Antrim and Willie Ross in East Londonderry.
Of the thirteen where we can be fairly confident, we have this breakdown of nailed-on results:
- SF: 4 (West Belfast, Newry & Armagh, Mid-Ulster, West Tyrone)
- DUP: 5 (Lagan Valley, East Antrim, North Antrim, East Londonderry, North Belfast)
- SDLP: 3 (Foyle, South Down, South Belfast)
- Sylvia Hermon (Ind): 1 (North Down)
Bill is going to be doing phone polling today and over the weekend, and by Monday we should have a clear predictive picture on all eighteen.
*Not including duplicate entries (which we’ve deleted as promised) and those that don’t add up to 100 (four, so far).