After a long night (I did not expect to be the last man standing on the results liveblog!), who have been the winners and losers in NI?
Reflections on each party…
The obvious losers are the DUP, losing South Belfast, North Belfast, and coming within 1900 votes of losing East Belfast. Their total votes has fallen by 16.7% and their vote share has fallen from 35.99% to 30.55%. Despite good returns from loyalist areas of South Belfast, they still received 18.95% less of their 2017 vote in that constituency.
Sinn Fein, while they have maintained 7 seats, losing Foyle and gaining North Belfast, North Belfast was the only constituency where they gained vote share. Overall they fell back from 29.43% to 22.76%, making them also losers.
SDLP won two seats, came second in two more, increased their total votes by 24.44% and their vote share rose from 11.75% to 14.86%.
UUP failed to pick up any seats, but came second in three and third in five more, increasing their total votes by 11.82% and their vote share rose from 10.25% to 11.65%. Steve Aiken improved their position in East Antrim, although Danny Kinahan lost ground (as did everyone else) to John Blair in South Antrim.
Aontu lost all their deposits, but picked up more votes per seat than the Conservatives, who did better than UKIP. That isn’t saying much. On the other hand, the Greens and People before Profit both made what will have been good progress for them, the Greens increasing votes in Strangford by 30% and in West Tyrone by 22%, and PBP losing ground in Foyle (presumably tactical voting) but increasing vote total by 49.9% in Belfast West.
Alliance… I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t disappointed in Belfast South. Claire Hanna swept the board easily, and, speaking for the one person that I can speak for (ie me), the comfort is that Claire knows her job is to represent all of us constituents, and to fight for us in Parliament. Claire will know that she has benefitted from serious tactical voting, and the next General Election will be interesting.
Even with Belfast South, however, Alliance has managed to more than double the votes received across NI, for an increase in vote share from 8.61% in 2017 to 16.78%, and four second places to go with North Down’s outright win.
On an NI scale, the story is the reaction against DUP and Sinn Fein in favour of SDLP, UUP, and the continuing Alliance surge [Andy, are you biased at all? – Ed]. Alliance undoubtedly the big winners, but don’t let the headline figures distract from UUP and SDLP progress.
The question being… is it too late for the UUP?
And the other question. Who else lost in NI?
If you’re at all left-leaning, the GB results are grim as grim can be. Boris Johnson has a sufficient majority to do as he pleases, but his manifesto proposed a lot of spending of money that isn’t being collected in tax, and it’s far from clear whether he will push more centrist now that he has sufficient MPs to take less notice of the ERG. For a social democrat like me, these are dark times, and the danger I fear is that we all lose for reasons out of our control.
Andy has a very wide range of interests including Christianity, Lego, transport, music, the Alliance Party, chess and computers. Anything can appear in a post.
Andy tweets at @andyboal