One to watch: Alliance and SDLP locked in battle for fifth seat.

Profile: This will be a hotly contested constituency with a real battle for the fifth seat.

DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson, the MP for the area, is stepping back into Assembly politics as he has said he wants to lead Northern Ireland as First Minister from Stormont.

His running mate is the former first minister Paul Givan and both are expected to be elected easily.

It had been speculated that the DUP might run three candidates in this constituency in the hope of picking up another seat, but the party has been in turmoil since Arlene Foster was ousted as leader last year.

Her successor Edwin Poots, who survived just 21 days as leader before being replaced by Jeffrey Donaldson, clearly didn't fancy his chances and sought to parachute himself into South Down, but wasn't selected by the local constituency association.

Mr Poots was then drafted in as a candidate in South Belfast in tragic circumstances after the sitting DUP Assembly member Christopher Stalford died suddenly.

The fact that the DUP has opted to field two candidates rather than attempt to make a gain in a constituency where it has traditionally been strong suggests the party is in consolidation mode.

Ulster Unionist deputy leader Robbie Butler topped the poll for individual first preferences last time around and is expected to easily retain his seat.

The Alliance Party is running two candidates for the first time on the back of a very strong British General Election performance by Sorcha Eastwood in 2019 when she won nearly 29% of votes and reduced Jeffrey Donaldson's Westminster majority from over 19,000 to 6,499.

Trevor Lunn was elected as the Alliance candidate in 2017 before later designating as an Independent but he is not running this time and Sorcha Eastwood is expected to win his seat with a healthy majority.

The party will hope that her transfers help her running-mate secure a second seat.

If that happens it will be at the expense of the SDLP's Pat Catney, who has increased his vote with each election he has contested, but took the fifth seat last time around by a small margin.

There will be much focus immediately after the result is declared as Jeffrey Donaldson will have seven days to stand down as a Westminster MP, or have to co-opt someone to replace him as an MLA.

If he decides to retain his Westminster seat, that will signal that he doesn't expect the power-sharing administration to be back up and running anytime soon.

2017 Assembly election result: 2 DUP, 1 UUP, 1 SDLP, 1 Alliance

First preference share 2017:
DUP 41.3%
UUP 25.2%
Alliance 13.5%
SDLP 8.4%
SF 4.0%

Seats Available: 5

Number of candidates: 12


Robbie Butler, UUP

Pat Catney, SDLP

Amanda Doherty, People Before Profit Alliance

Jeffrey Donaldson, DUP

Sorcha Eastwood, Alliance Party

Paul Givan, DUP

David Honeyford, Alliance Party

Gary Hynds, Independent

Simon Lee, Green Party (NI)

Gary McCleave, Sinn Féin

Lorna Smyth, TUV

Laura Turner, UUP