Assembly Election

Key battlegrounds that promise election drama

Emma Little-Pengelly faces a challenge from former party colleague Ruth Patterson in South Belfast

KEY BATTLEGROUNDS

FOYLE: Martin McGuinness's decision to stand in his home city and seek to overturn the SDLP's dominance may regarded by some as cynical but there's no doubt it has injected excitement in the Foyle election. The Sinn Féin veteran may indeed top the poll but could draw too many votes and inadvertently scupper his running mates' chances. The test for new SDLP leader Colum Eastwood couldn't be greater, with the outcome likely to dictate whether he succeeds or fails.

FERMANAGH-SOUTH TYRONE: In 2011 Sinn Féin's Phil Flanagan beat the SDLP to the final seat by a mere 62 votes. As the incumbent he may have been expected to consolidate his seat this time around, but a shoddy selection process saw the usually well disciplined party end up with four candidates. Former agriculture minister Michelle Gildernew can be expected to get a quota but the battle between the other three could prove counter-productive. Whether the SDLP can capitalise on a rare Sinn Féin slip-up remains to be seen.

SOUTH BELFAST: Rivalries and big personalties make South Belfast one of the most intriguing battles of this election. There's the DUP duo of Emma Little-Pengally and Christopher Stalford seeking to see off their former comrade turned independent Ruth Patterson, while the SDLP has two candidates fighting off Alliance, who having topped the poll last time with Anna Lo are looking to return two MLAs this time around. Countless unionist candidates and a confident Green make for a mouth-watering contest.

Assembly Election

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