Constituency profile: Lagan Valley

01 March 2017

In the run-up to the 2017 Assembly elections we are taking a detailed look at the 18 constituencies around Northern Ireland. Today we focus on Lagan Valley.

Lagan Valley

Lagan Valley has seen at least one change in every Assembly election. The major battle has always been between the UUP and DUP. The UUP rose from a single spot in 1998 to three in 2003, before falling back to one four years later. At the same time the DUP picked up one seat in 1998 and 2003, three in 2007 and four in 2011. The 2016 poll saw the trend reversed, with the UUP gaining a second place at the DUP’s expense. The most recent nationalist representative was Sinn Féin’s Paul Butler, who lost his seat in 2007 and has never been replaced. The 13 candidates standing in Lagan Valley on 2 March are listed below.


Barrios O'Neill, Dan

Green Party

Butler, Robbie


Catney, Pat


Doran, Peter

Sinn Féin

Givan, Paul


Gray, Keith


Hale, Brenda


Lunn, Trevor


Morrison, Samuel


Orr, Jonny


Palmer, Jenny


Poots, Edwin


Robinson, Matthew




At a glance

  • The DUP, UUP and Alliance are only running their outgoing MLAs. This marks a change for the DUP who stood four people in 2016.

  • The same candidates as last year will represent the Green Party and the SDLP. Independent  Jonny Orr is a challenger once again.

  • Sinn Féin has named Peter Doran to replace its previous nominee, Jacqui McGeough, and the Conservatives have substituted Matthew Robinson for Jack Irwin. The TUV’s Sammy Morrison, rather than Lyle Rea, is attempting to make inroads for his party.

  • Keith Gray is standing as an independent; Democracy First, Northern Ireland Labour Representation Committee and UKIP are not on the 2017 ballot paper. 



Former Executive ministers Edwin Poots and Paul Givan are the most likely DUP candidates to benefit from incumbency. The UUP’s Robbie Butler also seems likely to return to Stormont, having been five hundred votes ahead of fellow outgoing MLA Jenny Palmer last year. This leaves the Alliance Party, the UUP and the DUP vying for the final two seats.

Transfers are all important in Lagan Valley and Brenda Hale is looking to benefit from the lack of both a UKIP and fourth DUP candidates. Trevor Lunn will be confident of receiving transfers from the SDLP, the Green Party and Sinn Féin, whilst the UUP hopes that any broader swing helps Palmer make it into the top five.