DUP to lose out as idiosyncratic North Down continues to sail its own course…

So today, I’m looking at my old home constituency of North Down. It’s an oddball place, which has begotten several oddball patterns in its results over the years. I’m just old enough to remember the election of Jim Kilfedder as MP there in 1970.

Jim was born in Co Leitrim, but grew up in Fermanagh. In the 60s and 70s the Ulster Unionist party was the game in town. But in 1980 he set up his own political party, the Ulster Popular Unionist Party with the most memorable of acronyms (the UpUps).

YouTube video

The most stand out aspect in this profile is that whatever happens in the bottom end fights, the DUP is almost certain to come in one down from 2017 after their poll topper Alex Easton (to whom apologies for a mix up in the video) dropped the whip.

But the other point I hammer home is that this constituency contains a volatility in the electorate in the second most Protestant constituency in Northern Ireland that is not shared by those constituencies that have a majority Catholic constituencies.

I was always sceptical about the DUP getting more than a toe hold here in the first place, and in the end they proved me wrong. But it seems likely that in the span of two elections, they’ll shrink from three to one. North Down sails its own yacht boat.

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