Now seems like as good a time as any to start my look at the various constituencies in this upcoming election and I have decided to look at the constituency I know the best, my own, Newry and Armagh.
Sammy Morse has already looked at this constituency however I feel he has made several miscalculations.
According to Sammy he expects Frazer to get in the region of 2,000 votes. There is not a mission of that happenning. Frazer will get about 600-800 votes at a maximum.
According to Sammy "Brady, on the other hand, is a former member of the Workers' Party who has only been a member of Sinn Féin for a few months. Whether this is a stroke of genius which will widen SF's appeal or a miscalculation which will enrage Stickie-hating old Republicans remains to be seen."
That is not the word that I have been getting from the canvass trail. Our traditional supporters and indeed people who would never have voted Sinn Féin before will be voting for Mickey.
Mickey will be a Sinn Féin MLA in March, of that I am sure.
"While Adams has kept the bulk of the South Armagh IRA on board through masterful diplomacy and a certain amount of chutzpah, there's bound to be leakage, as much from ordinary SF voters who just don't like the direction of political travel as from big names."
The fact remains that not a single member of the Republican movement in South Armagh walked away over the policing issue. This great split in South Armagh that many people were having wet dreams about has never happenned.
Davy Hyland is also a Newry based politican and people in South Armagh can see through his blatent hypcocrisy on Policing. South Armagh republicans have never had time for people who misrepresent their position.
Republicans in South Armagh also know that the Davy Hyland vote will be an "anyone but the Shinners vote" and they will not bite that sandwich.
What also needs to be considered is that many of those who may have voted for Hyland to shaft the Shinners are not on the register as they don't register.
They won't have a vote on the 7th March.
"Hyland must get a big local vote in Newry Town and pull a big disaffected Republican vote in Slieve Gullion to stand a chance"
There is not a "big disaffected Republican vote in Slieve Gullion" so his luck is out. In Slieve Gullion over 75% of people voted Sinn Féin last time and judging by canvass returns and from engagement with the electorate this is not going to change.
I can't see Davy getting a vote bigger than 2,000 votes, if that, and that will not be enough.
In Newry/Armagh Sinn Féin are standing a strong team in the form of Conor Murphy, Cathal Boylan and Mickey Brady.
Cathal will be standing in the North of the Constituency down as far as Belleeks, Mickey will be standing in Newry and as far into South Armagh as Meigh and Conor will have the rest of South Armagh.
There is no one who thinks that this is going to be an easy election for Sinn Féin, which one is ever easy, however I fully expect Sinn Féin to return 3 MLA's from this area.
I would like to wish Cathal, Mickey and Conor all the best