#AE11 Open Thread: Upper Bann (#uban11)

Upper Bann is one of the more interesting constituencies in a generally dull race. It’s been a cockpit for a lot of discontent on both sides of the communal divide. The long-running Drumcree affair was a running sore in the early days of the peace process, and only last week the sitting SDLP candidate Delores Kelly was attacked in the Kilwilkee Estate in Lurgan.

It currently stands at four unionist seats and two nationalist, one of  each stripe. On the Unionist side, the UUP are running three candidates: the veteran Lurgan man Sam Gardiner, Colin McCusker and Joanne Dobson. The DUP a more conservative two.

That could be a risky strategy for the UUP. Although all three are thought to be fairly strong, candidates. It could swing on the performance of  David Vance who is running a bit closer to home this time for the TUV (who ducked this contest last time, for fear of tipping the Westminster seat into Sinn Fein’s lap).

Sinn Fein are running two this time, and it could provide them with one of their few gains if they can tip Kelly out of the bottom, Banbridge end of the constituency.

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

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