A few thoughts on Upper Bann, and its battle royale for the final seat

vote ballot

The Upper Bann Constituency on the southern shores of Lough Neagh is a sublime blend of village and rural life alongside the three main towns of Banbridge, Lurgan and Portadown. Banbridge and Portadown – in the main – are largely protestant with a unionist electorate with Lurgan being mixed, with approx 55% protestant/unionist electorate and 45% nationalist/republican electorate. I have strong ties to the area and a fair degree of local knowledge having worked for former MLA, the late George … Read more

#SluggerReport: No SF money harmed over Brexit and #AE17 Upper Bann/Newry Armagh

Here’s last Thursday’s SluggerReport. It kicks off with comment on that SF did not register as a ‘registered campaigner’ story. It has been pointed out that individuals in SF did campaign against Brexit, and some appeared on GUE/NGL posters. They may even have spent up to £10k. But as a named party they were nowhere to be seen. And for Upper Bann: In May, Carla Lockhart got 7,993, several hundred above 7615, putting the DUP on 1.86 quotas. By contrast, the two UUP … Read more

SDLP Campaign Launch puts Upper Bann firmly in their sights

The SDLP launched their campaign in Lurgan today with party leader Colum Eastwood setting out the party’s stall for the upcoming election. Eastwood did not mention other particular constituencies, but did spend time speaking about Upper Bann, which until last May was held by Dolores Kelly until Catherine Seeley from Sinn Fein won the seat. Here is what he had to say; Before addressing the continuing campaign that lies before us in the next few weeks, I would like say … Read more

Seeley will not stand at the upcoming election

Upper Bann Sinn Fein MLA, Catherine Seeley has announced she will not be seeking re-election. Speaking about her decision she said; “Serving the people of Upper Bann as a Sinn Féin MLA over recent months has been a huge honour and privilege. “After much consideration, I have now decided that I will not be putting my name forward as a candidate in this election. An opportunity has arisen for me to return to teaching and I want to pursue it. … Read more

Portadown Times gets pinged for not disclosing provenance of DUP commissioned poll in Upper Bann

And as the week closes, here’s an interesting wee bit of business for the UUP leader Mike Nesbitt in Upper Bann… The Portadown Times published results from what it said was an “independent” poll ahead of May’s general election. But it failed to acknowledge that the survey had actually been commissioned by the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). Mr Nesbitt said the article “appears to have skewed” the election result. The article suggested that the gap in support between the DUP … Read more

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 … Read more