One to watch: Can Sinn Féin hold four out of the five seats?

Profile: Impressive vote management gave Sinn Féin four of the five Assembly seats in the 2017 election. The challenge for the party is to try and hold them all. The fifth one is held by People Before Profit.

The SDLP would dearly love to take a seat here in a constituency where it formerly had a Westminster MP as well as an Assembly member.

The staunchly unionist Shankill area is in this constituency and there could potentially be a unionist seat. The DUP has come closest to taking it in the past, but other unionist candidates in the field make it a challenge.

Sinn Féin is standing three sitting MLAs and a former Lord Mayor of Belfast, but the last of their four seats could be in the balance.

The SDLP candidate is a local councillor who has run a foodbank during the pandemic and was to the fore in organising aid for Ukraine. The SDLP and DUP will be in the hunt for a seat. The SDLP will be more transfer-friendly in this constituency but will probably have ground to make up on the unionist candidate after first preferences are counted.

The final seat will all come down to the order of exclusions and the way the transfers work.

2017 Assembly election: 4 Sinn Féin; 1 PBP

First preference vote share 2017:
Sinn Féin 61.8%
PBP 14.9%
DUP 10.1%
SDLP 8.6%
Alliance 1.9%
Ulster Unionist Party 1.2%

Seats available: 5

Number of candidates: 17


Danny Baker, Sinn Féin

Gerard Burns, Independent

Gerry Carroll, People Before Profit Alliance

Patrick Crossan, Workers Party

Paul Doherty, SDLP

Jordan Doran, TUV

Órlaithí Flynn, Sinn Féin

Linsey Gibson, UUP

Gerard Herdman, Aontú

Donnamarie Higgins, Alliance Party

Declan Hill, Independent

Stevie Maginn, Green Party (NI)

Tony Mallon, Independent

Frank McCoubrey, DUP

Dan Murphy, IRSP

Aisling Reilly, Sinn Féin

Pat Sheehan, Sinn Féin