What to look out for tonight

It’s nearly all over as one of the quietest campaigns comes to an end but turnout is reported to be doing well in many places across Northern Ireland at 5pm.

What should you look out for;

For the UK wide picture as soon as it hits 10pm the main networks BBC, ITV and SKY News will publish the results of their exit poll, be cautious about other polls out there! Some folks got other polls mixed up in 2015 and dismissed the results of the actual published poll.

Locally there will be no exit polls and as many races in Northern Ireland are seat by seat battles an overall poll might not tell you much about close contests, so you’ll have to pace yourself.

Here is a list of estimated times for the declaration of seats

If these times are broadly accurate look out for the following

Foyle- Must commentators are not expecting this seat to change hands, however what will be telling here would be how the SDLP/Sinn Fein battle is going. If this seat is close or changes hands, then it will spell real trouble for the SDLP.

Upper Bann- This is one of the more marginal DUP seats and again if the David Simpson holds this seat with an increased majority then it will be a good night for the party overall. Another thing to watch here is the race for second place, if Sinn Fein beat the UUP into second place, it will again tell us that the surge is still on behind the party from March and the UUP might be in difficulties.

Around 2am, we get the mother load of swing seats coming in with North, South and East Belfast reporting. These three seats will really complete the picture about the day the DUP is having and how Alliance is performing. Watch out for the margins for Nigel Dodds & Gavin Robinson if they win and can Emma Pengelly gain South Belfast, if she does the DUP could be heading for a record result equaling or besting their 2005 result.

If you are solely interested in Alliance, it is safe to turn off here. If you are following the other main parties then keep watching.

Another thing to look at is how Paul Maskey does in West Belfast, Sinn Fein took a dip in 2015, can he repeat the increase and get the vote back up to around 60% that his party recorded in 2017.

If you are still holding on, it is worth waiting for South Down and South Antrim, if both fall to Sinn Fein and the DUP then it will really be a historic result for both parties and the decimation of their opponents.

Then if you are like me and you’re too invested, Fermanagh/South Tyrone which is usually last will really be the cherry on the cake.  If you are in Sinn Fein or the UUP, you will likely have the longest night of all the party activists.

One spoiler is that since 2001, a seat has always taken us by surprise at a Northern Ireland Westminster poll, be ready for a possible surprise.

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  • Zorin001

    Seems to be slow going in Bangor West, hardly seen anyone since I’ve been home and the wife reports little movement coming and going from the station beside us.

  • Donal

    Very busy in South Down in last hour. Rain stopped!

  • Reader

    Zorin001: Seems to be slow going in Bangor West
    I was at the Ballyholme polling station at 7am, as usual. Busier than I have ever seen it before.

  • Hung parliament and no comment from anyone?! Is everyone busy laughing?

  • smcgiff

    Exit poll was 316 last time and the Cons got a majority eventually. What May wont get is the landslide.

  • AndyB
  • GS

    As the results start coming Paddy Power has cut Tory majority from 10/11 (at exit poll moment) to 4/7 now..

  • smcgiff

    They’ll probably get a similar number of seats as the last time. The seats in Scotland will be interesting. A DUP dependent Tory government is not that appealing.

    Interesting that 314 plus 9 DUP would give a non SF participating majority.

  • GS

    Creationism mandatory up to University level across Northern Ireland in exchange for a ‘strong and stable’ Brexit….

  • Smithborough

    Lady Sylvia was just interviewed on TV. Maybe it was just modestly, but she gave the impression that the seat is very close between her and Alex Easton. Will North Down elect its first DUP MP?

  • Zorin001

    I didn’t need sleep anyway

  • Zorin001

    It would be a massive shock should that turn out to be true

  • Obelisk

    I wager people are still trying to figure out if the result is accurate. What’s the point in making big, brash pronunciations on events now when in six hours the entire result could be different.

    The Scottish result looks weird to me too, and the Tories doing so poorly after predictions of landslide majorities also feels a bit out of sorts.

    Then again similar disbelief greeted the 2015 exit poll.

    Will be interesting to see tomorrow morning.

  • lizmcneill

    I think I’d have preferred the landslide, to be honest.

  • Skibo

    I think the exit polls have severely underestimated the SNP. Perhaps this is where they see a number of the Labour gains.
    I think in the end TM will sneak past with a majority but slim, possibly in the region of 10.

  • Skibo

    NO. You have to recognise modesty when you see it.

  • Davie Sproule

    Absolutely delighted by the result. A big message sent out by Unionism tonight. As I predicted and was attacked for saying on here Unionism has won three seats in our capital city. Just a wee thanks to Martin Miller in particular in the South of the city we couldn’t have done it without you. Yeroooooooooooooo.

  • smcgiff

    This is surely a pyrrhic victory. NI has almost completely polarised. While ND will surely go to the DUP. SB and NB will go to SF. So, in the near term it will be 9 SF and 9 DUP. And from there…

    I suppose, enjoy while you can.

  • smcgiff

    This is surely a pyrrhic victory. NI has almost completely polarised. While ND will surely go to the DUP. SB and NB will go to SF. So, in the near term it will be 9 SF and 9 DUP. And from there…

    I suppose, enjoy while you can.

  • Zorin001

    Similar big pushes for SF and DUP like the assembly elections. The centre ground looks dead on a Westminster basis, would we see the same reflected if another assembly election called tomorrow? Taking into account the different voting system of course.

  • Obelisk

    Just woken up. The exit poll was right. No coalition of chaos…just chaos. Surely another election is inevitable.

  • 1729torus

    Nationalist have gone from 38.8% to 41.1%, Unionists from 44.6% to 46.3%.

  • Zorin001

    I give it 6 months