One of watch: Will DUP lose seat to former member turned Independent?

Profile: A constituency where independents and mavericks have flourished in Westminster elections.

An independent will have a big say in this battle and the overall contest for supremacy between the DUP and Sinn Féin.

Alex Easton topped the poll for first preferences as a DUP candidate in 2017 with 21.3%, but last July he resigned from the party and is now an Independent unionist.

While he has a relatively low profile outside the constituency, he is regarded as a hard worker on the ground and will hope that will compensate for the absence of a large party machine and enable him to retain votes and the seat.

If he does, it is likely to be at the expense of one of the DUP seats.

Ulster Unionist stalwart Alan Chambers finished second for first preferences last time around and will expect to retain the seat.

The Alliance Party was third for first preferences in 2017 and will hope to improve on that performance with a series of opinion polls suggesting growing support in most areas.

The party's deputy leader Stephen Farry won the Westminster election in the constituency in 2019 with a majority of almost 3,000.

Alliance's incumbent MLA Andrew Muir will hope to secure enough first preferences to bring his running mate in on transfers and secure a second seat. That would also put pressure on the DUP.

This is where the Green Party made its first breakthrough in Northern Ireland when its former leader Stephen Agnew was elected in 2011. He represented the constituency from then until he stepped down three years ago to take on a new role.

The party is confident that his replacement Rachel Woods will retain her seat and will hope to add to its vote share to strengthen its position for local council elections next year.

With Sinn Féin and the SDLP clearly out of the running, many nationalist voters are likely to opt for the Alliance or Greens.

2017 Assembly election: 2 DUP, 1 UUP, 1 Alliance, 1 GP

First preference share 2017:
DUP 37.5%
UUP 21.5%
Alliance 18.6%
Green Party 13.7%
SDLP 1.8%
SF 1.6%

Seats Available: 5

Number of candidates: 14


Chris Carter, Independent

Alan Chambers, UUP

Stephen Dunne, DUP

Alex Easton, Independent

Connie Egan, Alliance Party

Jennifer Gilmour, DUP

John Gordon, TUV

Naomi McBurney, UUP

Thérèse McCartney, Sinn Féin

Ray McKimm, Independent

Andew Muir, Alliance Party

Matthew Robinson, Conservative and Unionist Party

Deirdre Vaughan, SDLP

Rachel Woods, Green Party (NI)