Slugger reader predictions – latest

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):

Carnlough Yin4924222017692
Drumlin’s Rock6129242213255
Mark McGregor5926.5191917.5477
Sammy Mehaffey6230301512463
The Wilted Rose6530152515753

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).

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  • Wanli

    Given that Sylvia Hermon and that joint candidate both count as others, just between the two of them they should manage to get about five per cent of the overall votes cast. Doesn’t this make the predicted score for others a tad low?

  • Mark McGregor


    I agree with you there, seems to be a serious underestimation of ‘others’ imo.


    I’d caution against believing any polling from here, it is always miles out and next to useless.

  • Drumlin Rock

    Think I have under estimated Alliance a wee bit, more realistically suspect they will hover round their usual 4%. I would still put East Londonderry in the mix.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Its interesting.
    The extent to which an overall 18 seats showing distorts individual results is confusing me which is why I have not yet entered the Competition.
    For example in shoe in seats like East Antrim or West Belfast it might be possible to win the seat with (oddly) a low vote total and a high percentage.
    Or in hotly contested East Belfast, FST it might be possible to get a lot of votes anda low percentage.
    So I think the proper way to actually approach the contest is to think in terms of the numbers of votes cast in 18 seats and proceed from there..time consuming but prolly better than a back of an envelope……which literally I have been doing here for ten half an hour.

    I think its fair to point out that these things say more about the person submitting the entry than the actual parties. Certainly thats true in my own case.
    Slightly strange to think of Connor as “others”.
    A look at the Turnout figures is interesting.
    My back of the envelope figues see a range from 54% to 65%. With a figure of 62% last time, its hard to see it as higher.
    On the Nationalist side Id expect 41% or around that. The lowest nationalist vote is predicted at 37% (highest 45%) While three respondents see SF outscoring SDLP 2:1, one person sees it as a tie.
    On the Unionist side, nine of the 11 respondents see DUP outscoring UUP, in one case by 2:1, one calls it a tie and the other sees DUP by 10 points.
    TUV a range from 2% to 11%.
    AP a range of 4% (Drumlins adjustment included) to 10% but a consensus round 6-7%.
    Food for thought. Thanks for contributing to this.

  • slug

    Surely its most unlikely that LONG could win EB? I am surprised to see her mentioned as a contender up there to be honest.

  • Drumlin Rock

    There is a risk that if Ringland is perceived as ahead of her come polling day some voters may switch in the hope of unseating PR.
    In some ways this election i a “mid term” indicator one, all the parties are in a major flux ATM, as is the electorate, it could be a “nothing really changes” election, or the potential is there for it to be a sea change, common sense tell me the former, but my sixth sense says there is too much bubbling under the surface and this time next week we could be wondering what hit us!

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Drumlin Rock, you could be right. I spent a few hours in East Belfast yesterday and it felt “different”. Even the Architecture. Very strange feeling. And pleasant.

  • Garza

    Yeah All will prob not win that seat. But I put a quid on at 100/1 at ladbrokes. So I will be happy if Ringland or Watts win it.