Using the highly scientific method of giving a score of 0 to those candidates who live within their constituencies, a score of 1 to those who live in a neighbouring constituency, and a score of 2 to those who live in a non-neighbouring constituency, the following can be observed:
- 67 candidates live in the constituency they hope to represent (62%)
- 24 candidates live in a neighbouring constituency to that that they hope to represent (22%)
- 17 candidates live quite far away from the constituency they hope to represent (16%)
The constituencies most 'at risk' of carpet-baggery are South Antrim and South Belfast, each with an average score of 1.0. The most 'local' constituencies are, conversely, the neighbouring ones of Strangford and Lagan Valley. Perhaps this indicates the areas where the political class prefers to live?
The prize for biggest carpet-bagger of them all must go to the TUV's Sammy Morrison who gives an address in Fermanagh and South Tyrone but hopes to represent East Antrim! Runners up include East Belfast-based SDLP candidate Fearghal McKinney who hopes to represent Fermanagh and South Tyrone, and Belfast-based Alliance candidate Keith McGrellis who hopes to respresent Foyle. At least McKinney and McGrellis are natives of their chosen constituencies.
The Alliance Party seem to have trouble finding candidates west of the Bann – their West Tyrone candidate lives in North Down, as does their Newry and Armagh candidate. Is the Alliance Party hoping to bring civilisation to the savages?