The DUP won ten of Northern Ireland's 18 seats in the 2017 Westminster Election, called by Theresa May.

The party became the key to keeping her minority Conservative Party administration in power.

The DUP's decision to not back the Brexit deal of Boris Johnson - Mrs May’s successor - pushed him to trigger next month’s general election.

It is the latest chapter in an ongoing saga of unpredictable twists and turns.

Northern Ireland constituency profile - two
Northern Ireland constituency profile - three

Will Boris Johnson get an overall majority? Might he again be dependent on the DUP in a hung parliament? Could Jeremy Corbyn, helped by the Scottish National Party and/or the Liberal Democrats, become the next prime minister? How will European politics be affected by the first member state divorce in the history of the European Union?

Northern Ireland’s 18 constituencies are providing a juicy quota of subplots. In total 102 candidates are involved.

Voting takes place on Thursday. Counting will begin immediately after polls close at four centres in Belfast, Magherafelt, Omagh and Bangor.

Below is a taster of what's to come.


Outgoing MP: Nigel Dodds (DUP) 

Brexit referendum result 2016: Remain 50.4%, Leave 49.6% 

The 2017 story: 

Turnout was 67.6%; six candidates contested; with 21,240 votes the DUP's Nigel Dodds was more than 2,081 votes ahead of his nearest challenger, John Finucane (Sinn Féin). 

John Finucane after he delivered his nomination papers to the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland

The 2019 contest: 

The Alamo. No Ulster Unionist or SDLP candidates. 

In a marginally pro-Remain constituency, Sinn Féin's John Finucane trying to oust the DUP Deputy leader, Nigel Dodds.

Both parties putting huge resources into the contest. Outcome will have significant consequences for big picture politics.

Candidates: Nigel Dodds, DUP; John Finucane, Sinn Féin; Nuala McAllister, Alliance.


Outgoing MP: Emma Little-Pengelly (DUP) 

Brexit referendum result 2016: Remain 69.5%, Leave 30.5% 

The 2017 story:

Turnout was 66.31%; seven candidates contested; with 13,299 votes the DUP's Emma Little-Pengelly was 1,996 votes ahead of her nearest challenger, outing MP Alasdair McDonnell (SDLP). 

The 2019 contest:

The DUP's most vulnerable seat. An almost 70% Remain constituency with a pro-Brexit MP.

Emma Little-Pengelly had 1,996 votes to spare over Alasdair McDonnell (SDLP) in 2017 but the combined Green Party, Sinn Féin and Alliance party votes totalled 17,030.

Claire Hanna (SDLP) is the favourite to take the seat but she will require defectors from other parties to succeed.

In an effort to assist other pro-Remain candidates, the Greens are running no candidates in Belfast. Green Party leader Clare Bailey received 2,241 votes in this constituency two years ago. 

Candidates: Paula Bradshaw, Alliance; Claire Hanna, SDLP; Michael Henderson, UUP; Emma Little-Pengelly, DUP; Chris McHugh, Aontú.


Outgoing MP: Gavin Robinson (DUP) 

Brexit referendum result 2016: Remain 48.6%, Leave 51.4% 

Nigel Doods (L) Emma Little-Pengelly (C) and Gavin Robinson 

The 2017 story:

Turnout was 67.7%; eight candidates contested; with 23,917 votes the DUP's Gavin Robinson was more than 8,000 votes ahead of his nearest challenger, Naomi Long (Alliance). 

The 2019 contest

Alliance Party leader Naomi Long addresses her party conference in Belfast

Naomi Long (Alliance) sensationally ousted the DUP leader, Peter Robinson, in 2010.

Gavin Robinson won back the seat for the DUP in 2015 and increased his majority in 2017. 

This latest rematch is a big ask for the Alliance party leader, despite her winning a European Parliament seat and Alliance success in the May local elections. 

Candidates: Naomi Long, Alliance; Carl McClean, UUP; Gavin Robinson, DUP.


Outgoing MP: Paul Maskey (Sinn Féin) 

Sinn Féin's Paul Maskey is the outgoing MP

Brexit referendum result 2016: Remain 74.1%, Leave 25.9% 

The 2017 story:

Turnout was 65.41%; six candidates contested; with 27,107 votes Sinn Féin's Paul Maskey was 21,652 votes ahead of his nearest challenger, Frank McCoubrey (DUP). 

The 2019 contest:

Sinn Féin’s Paul Maskey is on course to retain his seat.

The Brexit Referendum turnout in this constituency was 48.85%, the lowest in Northern Ireland.

Candidates: Gerry Carroll, People Before Profit; Monica Digney, Aontú; Paul Doherty, SDLP; Donnamarie Higgins, Alliance; Paul Maskey, Sinn Féin; Frank McCoubrey; DUP.