If South Belfast is where the DUP thinks it can achieve a new notch on the bedpost, Sinn Fein believes the north of the city is where it can take a scalp, finally knocking the unionist party’s deputy leader Nigel Dodds off his perch after a decade and a half.
Dodds has presided over the constituency, which takes in the northern quarter of Belfast City Council and adjacent parts of Antrim and Newtownabbey District Council, since 2001 when he defeated the Ulster Unionist Cecil Walker who had represented North Belfast since 1983.
But Sinn Fein has been closing the gap over recent years, mostly through Gerry Kelly but believes it can finally get over the line in the context of a first-past-the-post system with John Finucane, whose famous solicitor father was murdered by loyalist paramilitaries in 1989, as its candidate.
Census figures in recent years have also shown Catholics are now in a majority in the constituency which includes areas of sharp deprivation and sectarian interfaces like Ardoyne.
Sinn Fein has been on a resurgence roll before and since the Assembly election and believes Finucane can further spread its support base, particularly with an SDLP candidate in press officer Martin McAuley who does not enjoy the same local profile as Nichola Mallon or, not so long ago, Alban Maginness.
But Dodds argues Mr Finucane follows the same “extreme republican ideology” and his track record will stand the DUP deputy leader in good stead. Ulster Unionists are sitting this one out, partly in recognition of the task facing Dodds but part of their vote could go to Sam Nelson of Alliance and Malachi O’Hara of the Greens. Gemma Weir is running for the Workers Party.