The doorsteps of North Down have expressed the frustration with the political gridlock, the anger at the failure of the public services and a high level of apathy from voters who feel their votes will resolve nothing.It has been a long and uninspiring campaign with apathy winning and the turnout likely to be around 40%.
Every election the North Down Independent endorses Independent candidates and we ask you to support Ray McKimm the only genuine independent on the basis of his record of working for the community.
Most interest will be focused on whether political attitudes in North Down have changed since the last local government elections in 2019 and if so how this will impact on the composition of the Council.
Could Alliance really become the largest party on the Council?
Alliance had a good election in 2019 winning three additional seats while the DUP lost 3. since then
Alliance have won the North Down Constituency at Westminster defeating the DUP
Alliance have gained an additional MLA in North Down and another in Strangford.
Lucid opinion polls have shown a significant rise in Alliance support and the party overtaking the UUP and SDLP as third largest in NI
Divisions in the DUP have led their leading vote winner Alex Easton to leave the party and back a slate of Independent Unionists
Alliance needs to gain 2 seats to catch the DUP at present
The predictions for North Down electoral areas are as follows
Holywood and Clandeboye No change 2 Alliance,1Green 1UUP and 1DUP—UUP seat could be in danger
Bangor West No change 2Alliance 1Green 1UUP 1 DUP
Bangor Central DUP loss 2Alliance,1DUP1 Ind(McKimm) 1 Ind Unionist(Irvine) 1Green –Irvine to retain his seat as Ind. Alliance gain UUP dicey Wilson TUV outside chance
Ballyholme and Groomsport Alliance gain 2Alliance 2UUP 1DUP 1Ind Unionist
These predictions are based on the assumption that the Green party repeat their good election of 2019 and will retain their support despite losses in Assembly election
In Ards Alliance could pick up a seat in Comber and DUP may have a problem retaining 3 seats in Peninsula and Newtownards if the anticipated TUV challenge emerges. There may be an unexpected gain for Independents/Greens in one of the Ards EA.
While an Alliance victory is possible given a negative response to the DUP on the protocol (Much ado about Nothing) and rising support for TUV it is however unlikely. The failure of the UUP to present a viable alternative makes it likely that the DUP will retain its No 1 position. Alliances vote to support the transfer of m.i.u.s to the Ulster Hospital could also have a negative impact.