AE17 and two bookies – what do the odds say? Overall result

AE17 and two bookies – what do the odds say? Overall result

So, after the last few days of looking at the odds offered by Paddy Power in the NI Assembly Election-a (for there will likely be a ‘b’), today, ahead of tomorrow’s voting, I’m going to tote up the final scores. Not just of Paddy Power, but combining in A McCleans Bookmakers too. The method for this, if anyone is interesting, is quite simply ranking the top 5 candidates in each constituency based on profit made from a £1 bet.

Here’s the full run down prediction.
Note: This is based purely off betting profit averages from the above bookmakers.

DUP  (34)
Sinn Féin (27)
UUP (8)
SDLP (8)
Alliance (8)
Green (2)
People Before Profit (1)
TUV (1)
Independent (1)

So, starter pistol at the ready…

Aaaaand we’re off.

Belfast East

Naomi Long (Alliance)
Joanne Bunting (DUP)
Chris Lyttle (Alliance)
David Douglas (DUP)
Andy Allen (UUP)

So the big loser here, factoring in both bookies, is current (at least until tomorrow, anyway) Speaker of the Assembly, Robin Newton. 5/6 with Paddy Power and evens with A McCleans, he’s certainly not to be discounted, but it’s looking unlikely on these odds compared with the others in the field.

Belfast North

Gerry Kelly (Sinn Féin)
Paula Bradley (DUP)
William Humphrey (DUP)
Nelson McCausland (DUP)
Carál Ní Chuilín (Sinn Féin)

Paddy Power had Nichola Mallon of the SDLP at same odds as Ní Chuilîn of Sinn Féin in this race, McCleans, however, drop Mallon into 6th place with a still-odds-on of 4/6.

Belfast South

Máirtín Ó Muilleoir (Sinn Féin)
Claire Hanna (SDLP)
Paula Bradshaw (Alliance)
Emma Little-Pengelly (DUP)
Clare Bailey (Green)

Both bookies see Chris Stalford (DUP) being eliminated here, the average return between them on a £1 stake is £1.13, so the bookies are either reasonably confident he’s out, or trying to tempt a few punters into a go. There certainly is the chance that he could upset the party prediction and usurp Emma Little-Pengelly into the one DUP spot which is likely to survive.

Belfast West

Alex Maskey (Sinn Féin)
Gerry Carroll (PBP)
Fra McCann (Sinn Féin)
Pat Sheehan (Sinn Féin)
Órlaithí Flynn (Sinn Féin)

Bye-bye Alex Attwood (SDLP), at even more reward than Stalford (Attwood averages a return of £1.88 on a £1 stake), Attwood is likely to be a forlorn figure by the end of Friday’s count, if the bookies are right.

East Antrim

Roy Beggs Jr. (UUP)
David Hilditch (DUP)
Stewart Dickson (Alliance)
Gordon Lyons (DUP)
Stephen Ross (DUP)

So it’s farewell to the nationalist seat in East Antrim, it appears. Oliver McMullan sits in 7th place on the average return money, at £1.50 – out from John Stewart (UUP) at £1.25. Neither are impossible tasks to overcome, but with the odds facing them from the candidates sitting prettier, you wouldn’t be betting the family jewels on either to get in.

East Londonderry

George Robinson (DUP)
Maurice Bradley (DUP)
Adrian McQuillan (DUP)
Caoimhe Archibald (Sinn Féin)
Cathal óhOisín (Sinn Féin)
(Claire Sugden (Independent))

I’m including 6 here purely because the odds are so close. It’s incredibly unlikely that both Sinn Féin candidates get in, so the averages here are being played FOR the bookies, certainly not for the punters. Archibald averages a return of £0.39, óhOisín is £0.42 and Sugden sits at £0.47. 2 from 3 would be a safe assumption here. Don’t rule out the SDLP push of John Dallat (£1.54). Paddy Power stumping for Gerry Mullan (Independent) over Dallat is not echoed by the odds setters at McCleans, who have Mullan at 10/1.

Fermanagh & South Tyrone

Arlene Foster (DUP)
Michelle Gildernew (Sinn Féin)
Maurice Morrow (DUP)
Seán Lynch (Sinn Féin)
Jemma Dolan (Sinn Féin)

If this comes to pass, then the First Minister’s own constituency will end up being predominantly nationalist represented – I wonder if she’ll have anything to say about that in the days, weeks, and months following the election. Rosemary Barton (UUP) is in 6th with an average return on £1 of £1.15 – so not an outside runner, but definitely still in the game.


Raymond McCartney (Sinn Féin)
Colum Eastwood (SDLP)
Mark H. Durkan (SDLP)
Elisha McCallion (Sinn Féin)
Gary Middleton (DUP)

So on average, People Before Profit’s Eamonn McCann is the faller. Sitting at 10/11 with Paddy Power and Evens with McCleans, he’s far from down with – but having fought his way over the decades into politics, it looks like it’ll be a further fight to stay there. The range, however, doesn’t bode well for him. The nearest competitor in terms of return on a stake is Middleton, at £0.12, and McCann sits there on the cusp at £0.96.

Lagan Valley

Paul Givan (DUP)
Robbie Butler (UUP)
Trevor Lunn (Alliance)
Edwin Poots (DUP)
Brenda Hale (DUP)

No room at the inn for the UUP’s Jenny Palmer, I’m afraid, at twice the return price of Hale, although still well within touching distance. Hale offers £0.35 back on average, to Palmer’s £0.63 – a close run race here, too. Hale’s exposure as an Executive member though will likely push Palmer back off the benches. Much could happen in this constituency though, one to follow. Pat Catney of the SDLP is an interesting one also. With Paddy Power, offered at 10/1, McCleans giving a much kinder 5/1, but in this league, at this pace, not strong enough to last the distance.

Mid Ulster

Michelle O’Neill (Sinn Féin)
Ian Milne (Sinn Féin)
Linda Dillon (Sinn Féin)
Keith Alexander (DUP)
Patsy McGlone (SDLP)
(Sandra Overend (UUP))

Overend is offered here purely because of the likely split down the Unionist/Nationalist seats. Whilst possible that this constituency goes to a 4-1 divide, don’t bet the house on it. The three Sinn Féin candidates and Buchanan offer sub £0.10 on a £1 bet, McGlone a bit better at £0.20, and Overend out at £0.50 – but £0.50 is still a bet you’d expect to see come off. One will go, but who? Unclear.

Newry & Armagh

Justin McNulty (SDLP)
Megan Fearon (Sinn Féin)
William Irwin (DUP)
Cathal Boylan (Sinn Féin)
Danny Kennedy (UUP)
(Conor Murphy (Sinn Féin))

A shocker, it’s shaping up to be down there. Close – close – close. The strongest competitor in the return stakes is McNulty at £0.04 on a £1 avg, but with Murphy in sixth place, on just £0.27 – this is high-stakes politics in Newry & Armagh! McCleans offering Boylan, Kennedy, AND Murphy all at 1/5 to be returned as MLA.

North Antrim

Paul Frew (DUP)
Jim Allister (TUV)
Mervyn Storey (DUP)
Philip McGuigan (Sinn Féin)
Phillip Logan (DUP)
(Robin Swann (UUP))

Six in the frame here again, Swann offering £0.52 back, on Logan at £0.32 and McGuigan at £0.29. McCleans much preferring McGuigan’s chances (1/20) compared to Paddy Power’s (8/15). The Northern Irish bookies have McGuigan as joint second favourite to be returned – what a difference on their southern counterparts.

North Down

Alex Easton (DUP)
Gordon Dunne (DUP)
Alan Chambers (UUP)
Steven Agnew (Green)
Stephen Farry (Alliance)

As was as will always be, in North Down. All five from above return less than £0.10 on £1, the next best sits at £3.88 (with 5/1 being offered from McCleans on Cudworth of the UUP – not one I’d be taking, that’s for sure)

South Antrim

Paul Girvan (DUP)
Declan Kearney (Sinn Féin)
Steve Aiken (UUP)
Pam Cameron (DUP)
David Ford (Alliance)
(Trevor Clarke (DUP))

Yes yes, six again, I know. Clarke has an avg return of £0.56, putting him well in contention. Ford should have enough support t see him through at £0.35 return on your £1, so Clarke’s best hope is to usurp one his Unionist peers. Talks of an SDLP push through will likely be unfounded – Roisin Lynch is at 3/1 and 8/1, offering an average profit of £4.50 – so that won’t be happening if the bookies have anything to say about it.

South Down

Sinead Bradley (SDLP)
Chris Hazzard (Sinn Féin)
Colin McGrath (SDLP)
Jim Wells (DUP)
Sinéad Ennis (Sinn Féin)

The average profit here suggests Harold McKee of the UUP is stepping back down from the Assembly seat he won in 2016. Offering a return of £1.72 v the £0.25 and under of the five above him. Paddy Power fancies him well enough at 4/9 but McCleans have him out at 3/1, unlikely to follow through.


Mike Nesbitt (UUP)
Michelle McIlveen (DUP)
Simon Hamilton (DUP)
Kellie Armstrong (Alliance)
Peter Weir (DUP)

Gone goes the Bell, with an average profit of £5.13 being far from the £0.48 and under of the five top candidates, no bookies are offering a cheeky £1.60 special on a £1 Bell bet, alas. Philip Smith of the UUP not impossible to stay in, if there is that DUP-UUP-RHI bounce, but with an average profit of £2.25, it’s not looking good. Actually a wide spread on Smith, with Paddy Power rating him as 7/2 but McCleans offering him at evens to Weir’s 5/6.

Upper Bann

Carla Lockhart (DUP)
John O’Dowd (Sinn Féin)
Jo-Anne Dobson (UUP)
Jonathan Buckley (DUP)
Nuala Toman (Sinn Féin)

Beattie of the UUP sitting on the fringes here, with a return average of £1.46. Not perfect. As mentioned previously though, it comes down to Dobson vs Beattie rather than anything else in here.

West Tyrone

Tom Buchanan (DUP)
Barry McElduff (Sinn Féin)
Michaela Boyle (Sinn Féin)
Dan McCrossan (SDLP)
Declan McAleer (Sinn Féin)

The top 3 all come in at the same average profit on your pound, a mighty £0.06 – hardly time to buy an exotic holiday, but 6p that you can probably be certain is coming back to you. The Sixth candidate here is Alicia Clarke of the UUP, not too far behind at £0.43 – I suspect this is kind though, Sinn Féin should have more than enough votes to pull the last of their candidates across the line, meaning Ross Hussey’s UUP replacement, in Clarke, falls at the final hurdle.



  1. What odds are there on a second election?

    I find it rather improbable.

    • I find the chance of the overall totals I’ve stated to be unlikely too.
      And a second election, haven’t seen any odds for it – but I find it inevitable.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *