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 - one
Northern Ireland constituency profile - two

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: Ian Paisley (DUP) 

Brexit referendum result 2016: Remain 37.8%, Leave 62.2 % 

Ian Paisley is the outgoing MP

The 2017 story:

Turnout was 64.21 %; six candidates contested; with 28,521 votes the DUP's Ian Paisley was 20,643 votes ahead of his nearest challenger, Cara McShane (Sinn Féin). 

The 2019 contest:

Ian Paisley featured in a number of Westminster controversies. But he received 59% of the votes two years ago.

He will be boosted by the resolution of the Wrightbus factory problem in recent weeks and should comfortably retain his seat. The highest pro-Leave constituency in the Brexit referendum at 62.2%. 

Candidates: Margaret Mckillop, SDLP; Cara McShane, Sinn Féin; Patricia O'Lynn, Alliance; Ian Paisley, DUP; Stephen Palmer, Independent; Robin Swann, UUP.


Outgoing MP: Paul Girvan (DUP) 

Brexit referendum result 2016: Remain 49.4 %, Leave 50.6% 

The 2017 story:

Turnout was 63.44 %; five candidates contested; with 16,508 votes the DUP's Paul Girvan was 3,208 votes ahead of his nearest challenger, the outgoing Ulster Unionist MP Danny Kinahan.

The 2019 contest:

If the Ulster Unionist party is to stage a comeback, this has to become a success story. Danny Kinahan returns to contest the seat he lost two years ago.

Candidates: John Blair, Alliance; Paul Girvan, DUP; Declan Kearney, Sinn Féin; Danny Kinahan, UUP; Roisin Lynch, SDLP.


Outgoing MP: Sammy Wilson (DUP) 

Brexit referendum result 2016: Remain 44.8%, Leave 55.2% 

Sammy Wilson 

The 2017 story:

Turnout was 60.83%; six candidates contested; with 21,873 votes the DUP's Sammy Wilson was 15,923 votes ahead of his nearest challenger, Stewart Dickson (Alliance). 

The 2019 contest:

The DUP’s Brexit spokesman, Sammy Wilson, had a huge surplus and should retain his seat. Steve Aiken, the new Ulster Unionist party leader, is a candidate. This was the third highest Leave constituency in the Brexit referendum at 55.2%. 

Candidates: Steve Aiken, UUP; Danny Donnelly, Alliance; Oliver McMullan, Sinn Féin; Angela Mulholland, SDLP; Philip Randle, Green Party; Aaron Rankin, Conservative; Sammy Wilson; DUP.


Outgoing MP: David Simpson (DUP) *retiring 

Brexit referendum result 2016: Remain 47.4%, Leave 52.6%.

DUP candidate Carla Lockhart takes a selfie with party leader Arlene Foster

The 2017 story:

Turnout was 64.15%; five candidates contested; with 22,317 votes the DUP's David Simpson was 7,992 votes ahead of his nearest challenger, John O’Dowd (Sinn Féin).

Sinn Féin's John O'Dowd

The 2019 contest: The DUP chose 34-year-old Carla Lockhart, an Assembly member since 2016, to contest the seat vacated by party member, David Simpson. 

Arlene Foster once worked as a solicitor in the area but she decided to stay focused on NI Assembly politics.

John O’Dowd will again be the Sinn Féin candidate, fresh from his challenge to Michelle O’Neill for the Sinn Féin vice-president role. 

He received 14,325 votes in 2017. One of the leading UUP members, Doug Beattie, is also running. 

He got 7,900 votes in 2017. SDLP stalwart Dolores Kelly will be seeking to improve on the 4,397 total of Declan McAlinden. 

Candidates: Doug Beattie, UUP; Dolores Kelly, SDLP; Carla Lockhart, DUP; John O'Dowd, Sinn Fein; Eóin Tennyson, Alliance.


Outgoing MP: Jeffrey Donaldson (DUP) 

Brexit referendum result 2016: Remain 46.9%, Leave 53.1% 

Jeffrey Donaldson

The 2017 story:

Turnout was 62.23 %, seven candidates contested, with 26,672 votes the DUP's Jeffrey Donaldson was 19,229 votes ahead of his nearest challenger, Robbie Butler (Ulster Unionist Party).

The 2019 contest:

The sitting DUP MP, Jeffrey Donaldson, should retain his seat with ease.

Candidates: Robbie Butler, UUP; Jeffrey Donaldson, DUP; Sorcha Eastwood, Alliance; Ally Haydock, SDLP; Gary Hynds, Conservative; Alan Love, UKIP; Gary McCleave, Sinn Féin.


Outgoing MP: Jim Shannon (DUP) 

Brexit referendum result 2016: Remain 44.5%, Leave 55.5% 

DUP's Jim Shannon

The 2017 story:

Turnout was 60.36 %; seven candidates contested; with 24,036 votes the DUP's Jim Shannon was 18,343 votes ahead of his nearest challenger, Kellie Armstrong (Alliance). 

The 2019 contest:

Jim Shannon (DUP) should comfortably retain his seat. This is the second highest pro-Leave constituency at 55.5%. 

Candidates: Grant Abraham, Conservative; Kellie Armstrong, Alliance; Joe Boyle, SDLP; Ryan Carlin, Sinn Féin; Maurice McCartney, Green Party; Jim Shannon, DUP; Philip Smith, UUP; Robert Stephenson, UKIP.


Outgoing MP: Sylvia Hermon (Independent) *retiring 

Brexit referendum result 2016: Remain 52.4%, Leave 47.6% 

Sylvia Hermon

The 2017 story:

Turnout was 61.04 %; eight candidates contested; with 16,148 votes Independent Unionist Sylvia Hermon was 1,208 votes ahead of her nearest challenger, Alex Easton (DUP). 

The 2019 contest:

The vacancy created by Sylvia Hermon's retirement probably opens the door for the DUP or Alliance. 

Alex Easton (DUP) lost the 2017 contest by 1,208 votes. 

The Alliance candidate Andrew Muir (3,639) was significantly behind Easton (14,940). Stephen Farry, the Alliance party deputy leader, should boost his party’s chances but the DUP will see North Down as a possible gain, even though it was a pro-Remain constituency (52.3%).

Candidates: Alan Chambers, UUP; Alex Easton, DUP; Stephen Farry, Alliance; Matthew Robinson, Conservative.


Outgoing MP: Chris Hazzard (Sinn Féin) 

Brexit referendum result 2016: Remain 67.2% Leave 32.8% 

Sinn Féin's Chris Hazzard

The 2017 story:

Turnout was 67.49%, five candidates contested, with 20,328 votes Sinn Féin's Chris Hazzard was 2,446 votes ahead of his nearest challenger, the outgoing SDLP MP Margaret Ritchie.

Margaret Ritchie moved to the House of Lords

The 2019 contest:

Margaret Ritchie moved to the House of Lords so Michael Savage is the SDLP candidate, trying to recapture the seat lost to Chris Hazzard two years ago. Sinn Féin will be confident they will hold what they have. 

Candidates: Paul Brady, Aontú; Patrick Brown, Alliance; Glyn Hanna, DUP; Chris Hazzard, Sinn Féin; Jill Macauley, UUP; Michael Savage, SDLP.