Instead, this blog will simply list the outcomes it would prefer – despite the obvious improbability of some of them. Where there is simply no chance of a nationalist victory, a choice must be made amongst the unionist candidates – the reasons for the choice will be explained below:
- Belfast East: Peter Robinson (DUP) – this blog sees less danger in the DUP than in UCUNF. The DUP as 'Ulster nationalists' are devolutionists, whereas UCUNF are increasingly integrationist.
- Belfast North: Gerry Kelly (Sinn Féin)
- Belfast South: Alasdair McDonnell (SDLP)
- Belfast West: Gerry Adams (Sinn Féin)
- East Antrim: Sammy Wilson (DUP), as above.
- East Derry: Gregory Campbell (DUP) is more likely, but a victory by Cathal O hOisin (Sinn Féin) would be nice if the unionist vote splits three ways.
- Fermanagh and South Tyrone: Michelle Gildernew (Sinn Féin)
- Foyle: Martina Anderson (Sinn Féin)
- Lagan Valley: Jeffrey Donaldson (DUP), as above.
- Mid Ulster: Martin McGuinness (Sinn Féin)
- Newry and Armagh: Conor Murphy (Sinn Féin)
- North Antrim: Jim Allister (TUV) – this blog has a soft spot for Allister – he has done a lot for nationalism, and if elected he would be a great help.
- North Down: Sylvia Hermon (Independent Unionist)
- South Antrim: This is a really tough one. This blog wants both main unionist challengers to lose. On balance, though, McCrea (DUP), extremist as he is, is a better friend of nationalism.
- South Down: Caitriona Ruane (Sinn Féin)
- Strangford: Jim Shannon (DUP), as above.
- Upper Bann: John O'Dowd (Sinn Féin)
- West Tyrone: Pat Doherty (Sinn Féin)
Although the TUV is as far to the right within unionism as it is currently possible to go, this blog wishes them some limited success. Partly because they are useful splitters of the unionist vote, and partly because they would advertise to the world just how backward, bigoted and odd unionism can be. A TUV MP would show the world outside Northern Ireland just how strange unionism is, and drive a nice wedge between unionism and the metropolitan political elite in London.
The reality, of course, will be different to the list above – and this blog will be disappointed. There may be only four Sinn Féin MPs, there may be three SDLP MPs, there may be one or more UCUNF poodles sitting on Tory laps, and there may be no rabid TUV MP to scare the horses. But this blog will not be disheartened – the future is long and change comes dropping slow (apologies to WB Yeats).