Mid Ulster: Your Assembly candidate options

Ballot box
Ballot box

With Mid Ulster residents due at polls across the constituency this Thursday, the Mail has put together a run down of the Assembly candidates you have to choose from.

Five seats are now up for grabs within the constituency following a reduction on last year's six.

And there has been speculation that either Sinn Fein or the Ulster Unionist Party could lose a seat when the votes are counted on Friday.

Mid Ulster constituency has long been a nationalist stronghold with four of its former six seats going to nationalist parties since the first Assembly Elections in 1998.

Last year, Sinn Fein's Ian Milne topped the poll, closely followed by party colleague Michelle O'Neill.

The SDLP's Patsy McGlone was elected in third position, followed by Sinn Fein's Linda Dillon - all four were elected on first preference votes at the first count.

Next elected was the UUP's Sandra Overend, who reclaimed her seat as an MLA at the tenth count, while the DUP vote, which had been split between two candidates, eventually saw Keith Buchanan replace Ian McCrea as the area's DUP representative.

Last year, 41,381 (58.8%) out of a possible 70,430 Mid Ulster voters went to the polls to submit 40,748 valid votes. A much lower turn-out than when the elections started in 1998 (84.4%).

Sinn Fein won 46.7% of Mid Ulster's 2016 vote, with the DUP in second place on 18.1%. Patsy McGlone for the SDLP had the support of 15.2% of voters, while Sandra Overend took home 11.9%.

Alliance will be looking to improve on 1.2% and the Green's on its 0.9%. The TUV last year lost support in the area, down 0.3% on 2011 to bring home 4.6% of the final turn-out.

This year 11 candidates are vying for five seats, with all but one having previously run for the position of MLA.

They are:

Keith Buchanan, DUP

Linda Dillon, Sinn Fein

Hannah Loughrin, TUV

Hugh McCloy, Independent

Patsy McGlone, SDLP

Ian Milne, Sinn Fein

Michelle O'Neill, Sinn Fein

Sandra Overend, UUP

Hugh Scullion, Workers Party

Stefan Taylor, Green Party

Fay Watson, Alliance

If you so choose, you can number them in your preferred order from one to 11, or just put a number beside the ones that share your views.