Jim Shannon of the DUP on the election trail: he has a particular interest in “protecting Christians” who face “persecution across the world”. Photograph: Paul Faith/PA

When Jim Shannon looks out at Strangford Lough the day after the general election there is a strong chance he will have been comfortably returned to (...)

The 2015 Westminster elections find Northern Ireland polarised between its two principal ethno-political camps, introverted as to the key issues divid(...)

Durkan (54), who is in his third Westminster election campaign, having also served as deputy first minister, blames the DUP and Sinn Féin for the latest logjam. Photograph: Peter Muhly/AFP/GettyImages

While canvassing on the streets of Derry, Mark Durkan says he detects an “anti-politics vibe” on the doorsteps. It’s a reaction he has been experienci(...)

Jeffrey Donaldson: Out every day canvassing the streets of Lisburn and towns and villages of his constituency. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Jeffrey Donaldson reckons the time may be approaching when bitter divisions that separated Ulster Unionists from Democratic Unionists could be officia(...)

Margaret Ritchie:  Unionist support and determination to retain South Down should ensure she is returned. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

The SDLP has laid limpet-like claim to South Down since Eddie McGrady first won the seat for the party in 1987. That’s because the seat was so hard-wo(...)

SDLP Leader Alasdair McDonnell. File photograph: PA

SDLP leader Dr Alasdair McDonnell has called for a “prosperity process rather than continued austerity” when launching his party’s Westminster general(...)

After years of being beaten by John Hume, Gregory Campbell knows it pays to stick with it. Photograph: Eric Luke

Some nationalists have a very hard view of Gregory Campbell, outgoing MP for East Derry, or East Londonderry as he always will say, considering him to(...)

Sinn Féin candidate for West Belfast Paul Maskey says dissidents have received a powerful message from his constituents. Photograph:  Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

To relax, Sinn Féin’s Paul Maskey likes to hike on the Divis and Black Mountain walking trail that overlooks his West Belfast constituency.“It’s great(...)

Lady Sylvia Hermon: her  vote in the House of Commons, if she is re-elected, could yield a high price on the electoral market place. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker

Last Wednesday Lady Sylvia Hermon got the galvanising kick-start she needed for the next few weeks of hard canvassing in pleasant seaside towns such a(...)

Sinn Féin MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone Michelle Gildernew: Said absence of DUP and Ukip women candidates in forthcoming elections was ‘an absolute disgrace’. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

With women making up only a quarter of the 138 candidates in Northern Ireland contesting the forthcoming general election, a leading Belfast-based aca(...)