Pre-Christmas poll for East Antrim voters

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East Antrim voters will go to the polls today (Thursday) in the first December general election since 1923.

And they will have a choice of seven candidates to select one from in the contest for the constituency.

The DUP’s Sammy Wilson is defending the seat which he first won in 2005 and secured again in 2017 with a majority of 15,923 votes.

His challengers are: Steve Aiken (UUP), Danny Donnelly (Alliance), Oliver McMullan (Sinn Fein), Angela Mulholland (SDLP), Philip Randle (Green Party) and Aaron Rankin (Northern Ireland Conservative Party).

Mr Wilson is the DUP’s Brexit spokesperson and observers from further afield are likely to be keen to see how he performs when the count gets underway tomorrow (Friday) at the Titanic Exhibition Centre in Belfast.

Another intriguing aspect of the East Antrim contest is Mr Aiken’s decision to go up against the DUP veteran so soon after taking the reins as leader of the Ulster Unionists.

The constituency, which has an electorate of 63,608, includes Larne, Carrickfergus, Newtownabbey, Monkstown and Jordanstown. In 2017 the results were: DUP (21,873), Alliance (5,950), UUP (4,524), SF (3,555), SDLP (1,278) and Conservative (963).

Polling stations will be open 7am - 10pm. Voters will need to show photographic ID, such as a passport, driving licence or an Electoral Identity Card.

The only forms accepted are: UK or Irish passport, UK, Irish or EEA driving licence, Translink Senior Smartpass, Translink 60+ Smartpass, Translink War Disabled Smartpass, Translink Blind Person’s Smartpass or An Electoral Identity Card.