Job on the line!

Thursday, 19 January 2017

AT least one of North Antrim's MLAs will lose their job at the next Assembly election, as the number of constituency representatives drops by one to five.
Assuming all six stand again, the big battle will centre on who takes the fifth seat.
The election date was confirmed last night, Monday, by the Secretary of State James Brokenshire, as Thursday March 2 when Sinn Fein, as expected, refused to nominate a replacement for Martin McGuinness as deputy First Minister by the 5pm deadline.
An analysis of the poll last May suggests two DUP seats and the Sinn Fein and TUV seats are relatively secure, but who gets the last seat could go to the wire.
It will probably be a straight fight between the third DUP candidate and the Ulster Unionist flag-bearer who is again expected to be Robin Swann, outgoing chair of the Public Accounts committee at Stormont.
The Guardian understands the DUP will be running three candidates this time around to give them the best possible chance of all being returned.
The quota is get elected, which is decided by dividing the number of votes cast by the number of seats available plus one, could possibly rise by as much as 1,500 depending on turn-out.
Read the full story in this week's Ballymena Guardian.


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