General Election 2010 – the TUV

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Right, moving on to the TUV. 2010 represented the first General election to be fought by Traditional Unionist Voice. How did they do?
A total of 26,300 votes over the 10 seats fought split:

North Antrim
Jim Allister – 7,114 (16.8%)
East Belfast
David Vance – 1,856 (5.4%)
North Down
Mary Kilpatrick – 1,634 (4.9%)
Strangford
Terry Williams – 1,814 (5.6%)
East Antrim
Samuel Morrison – 1,826 (6.0%)
East Derry / Londonderry
William Ross – 2,572 (7.4%)
Lagan Valley
Keith Harbinson – 3,154 (8.6%)
Mid Ulster
Walter Millar – 2,995 (7.3%)
South Down
Ivor McConnell – 1,506 (3.5%)
South Antrim
Melwyn Lucas – 1,829 (5.4%)

So three real categories:
1) Allister on 17%
2) Ross, Harbinson and Millar – 7-9%
3) The rest – 3.5-6.0%

The real disappointing outcome for the TUV is that a similar performance next year will not come close to a quota outside wherever Allister stands as the Category B base is just too small. Parodoxically a similar performance would seem to eliminate the prospect of a Nationalist First Minister as DUP would need to lose half a dozen or so seats before SF have a prospect of overtaking them. Two losses to the Alliance a possibility, boundary changes might mean another net 1 loss and 1 going to Allister should see Robinson returned…UCUNF next….
P.S. Entirely intuitively I suspect TUV candidates in West Tyrone and FST might do better than average in the Assembly elections.

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  • fin

    “So three real categories:”
    Nope, there’s two categories, Allister and the rest of the party! and a quick tally of votes shows Jim pulled in a third of the entire partys vote, that ain’t a party

  • Granni Trixie

    “Two losses to the Alliance” – can you tell me where thee wins were located?

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Not sure that I completely agree.
    Comparisons between first past the post and proportional representation dont work well.
    This time round TUV is more or less established as a “Party”. Westminster raised the profile of candidates…but the much hyped Harbinson and Vance looked way out of their depth.
    Local factors play in….a Cookstown TUV man might do well against a Magherafelt DUP candidate, for example. But on balance Id say that the higher profile of candidates is worth a percentage point or two.
    Id also make the case that TUV did better in places (Mid Ulster, East Derry, Lagan Valley) where the result was never in doubt…but in places (East Belfast, South Antrim) where a contest was allegedly taking place the TUV were probably squeezed a few points.
    Ignoring Allisters personal vote, Id make a case that 7% to 8% is more a TUV benchmark.
    The PR system and profile of experienced candidates might add 1 or 2 points.
    Enough to get maybe three seats?
    A fighting chance surely. I put it no higher.

    UUP (9.6%) in North Belfast
    AP (10%) in Strangford
    UUP (8.5%) in South Down
    SDLP (10%) in South Antrim
    AP (9%) in South Antrim……all 2007 figures.

    A lot depending on transfers obviously. And of course “events dear boys events”
    There is always room for a maverick unionist grouping based round a man with a leader complex….McCartneys UKUP and its splinter and thats all the TUV is.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    The TUV need to pack up and do something useful like crochet work. They’re a complete waste of space with no discernible reason to exist.

    And Jim should count himself lucky to still be around at all — I narrowly avoided mowing him and his lovely missus down in Portstewart a few weeks ago. Mind how you go Jimbo.

  • Dewi

    Belfast East and somewhere else….

  • PaddyReilly

    The TUV were squeezed by the General Election, as many small parties were. It’s a different ball-game. In Stormont elections they may well recover their lost vote. Allister is certain to get a seat, Ross, Harbinson and Millar may swing it, plus there are the seats they didn’t contest. They will be 6th biggest party in the Assembly, after Alliance.

    Alliance is down to pick up a seat in East Belfast, North Belfast and East Londonderry. Get campaigning.

  • JAH

    Maybe Jim should pick his candidates with more care. One look at A Tangled Web would scare off most Unionist voters as the votes cast indicate. There is a position for a hard right party, but it must be wary of falling into extremism.

  • PaddyReilly

    2010: “The DUP suffered minor erosion here, but as in so many other places, TUV simply failed to break in, even though their candidate had represented this area at Westminster for 27 years. In a six-seat Assembly election, these votes would make the DUP’s third seat vulnerable to either TUV or Alliance.”
    http://www.ark.ac.uk/elections/ael.htm

    2010: “These votes, if cast in a six-seat Assembly election, would give the DUP and SF two seats each, the SDLP one, and the last seat between a third DUP candidate, the UUP and possibly Alliance.”

    http://www.ark.ac.uk/elections/anb.htm

  • PaddyReilly

    The two seats are East Londonderry and North Belfast

  • PaddyReilly

    Mind you, being 5th biggest party may only mean having 2 members. Stormont is kind to those, who in other circumstances, would be accounted losers.

  • PaddyReilly

    typo 6th, not 5th

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Not a chance for the AP in North Belfast. aided by the inclusion of part of Glengormley they still couldnt make 5% and got 5.5% in east Derry. Respectable enough but nowhere near a seat.
    “Aided” by boundary changes and a bad candidate in East Antrim, they got a combined vote less than the joint nationalist/republican vote.
    Allowing for nationalist/republican apathy in a no hope Westminster contest and the real possibility of a nationalist seat in the area, its likely that SDLP/SF will put on a few votes.
    And the AP is not that safe in Strangford.
    Allowing for “events” .there is no Alliance party breakthru imminent…..but it wont stop their folks talking it up.

  • Mark McGregor

    What a bizarre blog. That performance killed the TUV.

    They will throw everything at North Antrim, probably lose it and the limited council structures will dissolve at the next LG election.

    Beaten docket.

    I seriously doubt they’d even get Allister in nevermind running close elsewhere.

    Look at it between now and then, the only real coverage they’ve got is a former council candidate running on their ticket later being exposed as more akin to the BNP supporter thananything else

  • http://pippakin-meiow.blogspot.comblogspot.com Pippakin

    There is an important place for extremist parties, their voice being heard hi lights the absurdity of their claims and the tiny proportion of the vote is enough to put off most thinking voters.

    It seems possible that in a PR system they could win a couple of seats but again it only serves to emphasize their isolation.

  • Granni Trixie

    FJH: you were no different to others on Slugger who seemed to think that somebody like Ringland,an outsider, could win over an established figure in EB (though at the last minute,I seem to recall, you did conceed she could just do it).

    All the evidence is however that APNI tends to be realists …borne from years of hanging in there and finding that they can punch above their weight.
    So we/they do not tend to talk up “a big breakthro” ‘. However, it is significant that Naomi Long, one of its ‘newer’ representatives, never doubted she was capable of winning the EB seat.
    We shall see.

  • Comrade Stalin

    GT I would agree. It’s possible to win those three seats, given an East Belfast-style effort on the ground. Something quite possible given a head of stream. Mr Fitz called East Belfast wrong, on similar terms. Of course he conceded this in an entirely gentlemanly way, and I think we’ve been quite respectable about not rabbiting on about it.

    And you’re absolutely right, it’s silly talking things up when there are no grounds to do so, it just makes you appear stupid. I think Alliance supporters on here have always been broadly realistic. In stark contrast with the UCUNF supporters, whom I remember coming on here and talking about winning six seats and possibly expanding into the remaining three Ulster counties (don’t laugh, they were quite serious). When I pointed out the problems with their case they accused me of being frightened of Alliance losing out to UCUNF’s “new politics”. Where are they now ?

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Oh I did sense a certain change in East Belfast..in part due to spending some time the Thursday before the Election in the leafier parts…but while not enough to make me think Long would win (a pleasant surprise as shes clearly better than any realistic alternative in EB) it did make me change my betting intention and happily chose another constituency to make up a small winning treble.
    But theres something endearing about political partisans and their eternal optimism.
    The General Election ended at roughly the same time as the Football Premiership. And now that we are in 2010/11 some of the Football message boards are filled with that same optimism. Im even part of it myself. But I have to say my team of over a half century has a certain winning pedigree. My optimism is not entirely misplaced. Same for the optimism of other known winners.
    Yet come the early part of next summer there will be but one winner.
    Same with the Stormont Election.
    David Ford and his team on a lap of honour.
    I personally cant see it. Neither in fairness can David Ford.

    But in the weeks prior to the General Election we had the experts tell us that
    the SDLP was in free fall Ritchie a disaster/standing in FST would cost them seats.
    SF-IRA would suffer from……dissidents/Jean McConville/Gerry Adams brother/resurgent SDLP.
    UUP/Conservatives poised to make sectarian politics history.
    DUP damaged by Irisgate. Besieged by UUP and TUV.
    TUV about to break thru. The hated Agreement was finished.
    Alliance on the brink (for the umpteenth time in 40 years) to ride triumphantly to the rescue of us all.

    And besides Ms Longs much appreciated victory (in I think most experts opinion special circumstances) what exactly happened?
    Well……nothing really.
    Now on the brink of a new political season….we must endure the same partisan childishness.

    SF-IRA will kick the Stoops ass.
    SDLP will kick SF ass.
    Dissidents will make an impact thru abstention or worse.
    TUV will re-vitalise Unionism.
    A new UUP leader will attract Catholics a plenty.
    DUP will easily see off SF-IRAs attempts to be the First Minister.
    And (alltogether now) …..the non sectarian centre will make that breakthru……going from 5% of vote to a heady er 6% and going from 7 seats to a staggering……7 seats.
    Another nine months of this…..
    Sometimes I think political websites should ban discussions of politics. :)

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Indeed.
    In the end I couldnt get a real handle on East Belfast and diverted my £10 to a third constituency.
    Ten days before the Election, I thought East Belfast would be one leg of my treble. In the three or four days before the Election, I was torn between two then three then two (on an hourly basis) and decided to avoid it like the plague.
    Obviously Im pleased with the result. Removing the UUP off the entire Westminster scene caused me no end of joy….not least because their pious conversion to non sectarianism was so risible.
    But frankly some of the Alliance supporters were also slightly over optimistic……North Belfast, East Antrim.
    Theres nothing in the runes that realistically points to any great surge in AP seats. Getting ten would at this stage be their limit….and of course that would at best only entitle them to the one Executive seat they hold by default.
    Any extra AP seat would be a welcome second one in East Belfast……but at best this MIGHT be offset by a loss in either Strangford or East Antrim.

  • Drumlin Rock

    they have lost the Naomi factor there though Dewi, she had a very strong personal vote.

  • Drumlin Rock

    FJH, the TUV are highly unlikely to get many transfers, espically if the DUP & UUP remain somewhat civil to each other. I think even JA will struggle, the loser tag is beginning to stick, and I suspect a good UUP candidate will take some protest votes that the Tory candidate was unable to.

  • Drumlin Rock

    Alliance have always had the gift for faltering when their “big breakthrough” is foretold, and “blossoming” when their demise is predicted.

  • Drumlin Rock

    we are geeks though FJH, its our version of Mafia Wars or Farmville :)

  • PaddyReilly

    Not a chance for the AP in North Belfast. aided by the inclusion of part of Glengormley they still couldnt make 5% and got 5.5% in east Derry

    There is a major difference, in Stormont elections, between the chances of a TUV candidate with 5.5% and and Alliance one. If the TUV get 5.5% of the first preference vote they are stuck, After all the transfers are counted they will still have 5.5%.

    But Alliance attracts transfers from all sides. If they can get 5.5% once they are up and running. There’s plenty of voters will turn out for them, if they think they have a chance of winning. Alliance got 9% of the vote in East Belfast in 2003: in 2010 they won the seat at Westminster. It’s not because Alliance are such a great outfit: it’s because the Stormont system is constructed to favour small, centrist parties.

    So I say place your money on Alliance making gains- perhaps only 2- but sufficient to alter the balance of power.

  • PaddyReilly

    but at best this MIGHT be offset by a loss in either Strangford or East Antrim.

    I think FJH you would be well advised not to bet on the Stormont election as you clearly do not understand how the system works.

    In these constituencies (Strangford, E Antrim) Unionists will easily take the first 4, possibly 5 seats: but when it comes to the contest for the last one (two) between SDLP, Alliance and SF, all the remaining Unionist transfers will go to Alliance, ensuring it a seat however bad its 1st pref vote is. The possibility of Alliance losing in Strangford or E Antrim does not exist: unless it finds some way of making itself less popular than SF and the SDLP in the Unionist imagination.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Ah Mr Reilly, if theres one thing I love its blind optimism.
    The transfers would have to stack up to turn between 5% and 6% into a seat.
    If ….if…….if……”if ifs and ands were pota and pans”.
    As we already know East Belfast was the perfect storm. “Events dear boy events”. .could make AP a certainty in any constituency.
    So two gains……yes I can certainly see one in East Belfast. so your position of “perhaps only 2 gains” is not a lot different from mine which is no gain or one.
    So moving from 7 seats to your 9 would hardly be the break thru……one Executive seat.
    Still we have several months of this nonsense.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    You appear to have failed to notice my emphasis on “MIGHT” and at this point I wouldnt bet at all..
    2010 …..is not much of a guideline as clearly some AP folks took the opportunity to vote UUP thinking that in FPTP they had no real chance.the vote fell 1.5%.
    Likewise with no possibility of a win that combined nationalist vote fell by 3%.
    Yet the combined vote here is ahead of AP and in previous elections AP have need nationalist transfers.
    With a slight increase in Nationalist voters and better discipline there MIGHT be an AP loss.
    A lot depends on whether SDLP can actually outvote AP. They never have before. They MIGHT.
    East Antrim is interesting. And my opinion is motivated by the presumed fact that AP will again field the poor candidate (Lynch) they had in May. A 4% drop is of course not all down to Lynch but little motivation in a FPTP to get the AP vote out.
    Little motivtaion for Nationalists in 2010 but the boundary changes at least open up the possibility of a gain in 2011.

  • PaddyReilly

    So moving from 7 seats to your 9 would hardly be the break thru……one Executive seat.

    At present 54 or 50% of the Stormont seats are held by Unionists and one by a Loyalist from the PUP. In theory the pro-Power sharing Loyalist should be distinct from the Unionists, but in practise this extra seat gives Unionists a majority on every single committee and produces a political climate in which Unionists get everything they want, except the right to exclude Nationalists from office.

    But the loss of just two seats from the Unionist camp, whether they go to Alliance or Nationalists, would change everything, to a situation where the Unionists get nothing of what they want, except seats on the executive and the temporary continuation of the Union, unless they can persuade Alliance to sign up to it.

    That is a major shift of power: for Unionists a disaster, but for Nationalists and Alliance a triumph. When you’re a minority shareholder the best you can hope is to hold the balance of power, because then everybody courts you. Mr One Executive Seat becomes effectively the ruler of the country, because his consent is necessary for anything to happen.

    That is why the movement of a couple of seats, on this occasion, is so interesting.

    Still we have several months of this nonsense.

    For those who like that sort of thing. You are welcome to comment on the sports pages instead.

  • Delta Omega

    26,300 votes in the 10 constituencies that they stood in and that was just their first major election. That’s comparable to what the AP had for many years, so I think it is premature to write them off just yet. There has always been a migration of unionist parties towards the centre ground, and a right wing faction springing up when they do. The official unionists moved to the centre and the DUP was born. The DUPes moved to follow and swallow up the UUP and the TUV was born. This trend will continue. Why? Because there is a hard line (and not necessarily moronic) unionist fringe that will always stand up for what they believe in. If the TUV go to the wall then something else will replace it. If not then there will be a large section of the unionist vote that just won’t have anybody to vote for.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Mr Reilly, the sports pages are even more political.
    “Several months of this sort of nonsense”?
    Yes that would be great if it was analysis….but alas much of it as I outlined above is mere cheerleading.
    You do of course have a very valid point. The point about Alliance “progress” is not so much about how many seats the AP win..its whose seats they take.
    Thus the ambivalence shown to AP by committed nationalists and unionists.

    In the two seats you mention East Derry and North Belfast.
    (and btw Ive literally done this on the back of an envelope)
    In both constituencies AP has just about doubled its percentage share of vote. No mean feat. But Id suggest that without a East Belfast type “event” going from a derisory vote to respectability in 2010 probably means theres less room for rapid improvement.
    But to look at East Derry..in the three elections 2005, 2007, 2010, combined Nationalist vote has actually slipped by 2% but Id suggest that even on 35% of the votes, SDLP and SF are pretty much assured of the seats they currently hold. Unionism is steady at 60% and really that should be good enough to hold three comfortably and still be favourites for the fourth. TUV will be crucial…being 2% up on AP. Notwithstanding transfers they would have a better chance of the fourth seat in PR (Id expect TUV to be higher than 7.5% in PR). So my any stretch of the imagination thats a long shot for AP.
    North Belfast is more problematic but again the maths is against AP. Theyve doubled their vote near enough (3% to 5% but would need to get to 8% plus to stand a chance….but where do the votes come from.
    Over five years unionism has slipped from 52% to 50% to 48% and nationalism has gone from 44% to 46%. Basically that still points to a 3-3 result.
    Now thats not science..but nor is it cheerleading.

    Now for several months we will hear the usual that each of the four main parties is facing melt down but its basically wishful thinking. As Ive said I think there is a second seat for AP in East Belfast.
    But while I concede the logic of your East Derry, North Belfast outside chance, Id at least offer the nationalist votes in East Antrim and Strangford as threat to AP there.
    The very best scenario I see for AP is an extra seat. But hardly a breakthru for the AP even if it does have ramifications for the overall balance.
    But I need hardly remind you that Alliance committment to how they designate themselves is not exactly a foregone conclusion. They would easily compromise that…..but all of course for the best possible reasons. AP dont do “shoddy”. They are “different”.

  • drumlins rock

    but as they already have one seat by contrived means, I think it is hardly likely they will take another.

  • Rory Carr

    Why is only and always the far right wing in any party which satnds up for what it believes in? Don’t the left and centre also believe in what they are standing up for (in greater numbers it might be added)?.

  • PaddyReilly

    The N Belfast and E Londonderry possibility comes from Nicholas White’s calculations, not mine. See him for further details.

    In E Antrim and Stranford the desired outcome is that Alliance retain their seats and Nationalists gain one from Unionists. Surprisingly, it is not just desire that makes this possible, a closer examination of the results shows it to be so: in 2007 the SDLP was just 31 votes behind the DUP, and in East Antrim the SDLP is just behind the UUP’s second candidate.

  • Johnny Boy

    Sorry Paddy,

    you got this one wrong, not least as Joe Boyle (SDLP) has been knocking on the door against a DUP candidate for the last seat in Strangford for the alst couple of elections as has…

    Danny O’Connor in E ast Antrim (who if you remember got a seat with ~5%) in 1998! albeit that one was against an allaince candidate the whole time. Expect two new SDLP seats.

  • John Doe

    Naomi and Alliance in East Belfast is going to get a hit. Naomi was elected with the help of local UVF instructing members and supporters to vote for her. That has proved unpopular. Alliance will drop to pre Nat Election % again. A precussor to Robinson regaining the East Belfast seat

  • Johnny Boy

    Fitzjames,

    I think when you start crunching Nicholas Whyte’s numbers you have to separate assembly and Westminster. in other words. If you want to see real trends then compare like for like.

    In other words : 1998, 2003, 2007….

    Or: 1997, 2001, 2005, 2010

    Shoe ins like Campbell don’t inspire nationalists to vote.

    Similarly, shoe in SDLP candidates either provoke a unionist tactical vote or stay at homers.

    When you look at it like that East L’derry has actually trended:

    33.5%, 34.2%, 34.3% for nationalist parties in assembly (all pre boundary change)

    Westminster is stranger as there was that huge surge in 2001 all across the constituencies. But as for the rest its:

    31%, 33%, 35% (last one post boundary change).

  • Dewi

    Favourable boundary changes in Strangford will surely push the SDLP over the line there.

  • Johnny Boy

    So it would seem Dewi.

    What’s always important to notice however is which nationalist falls first.

    If East Antrim behaves like it did this time round with SF squeaking ahead then SDLP transfers will be split about 50/50 tot hem and alliance.

    If SF fall first (which I suspect will be the case if Danny O’Connor tries again, and if SDLP voters lending their votes to aliance/moderate unionist return) then about 90/95% will probably go to the SDLP.

    Which also makes Lagan Valley interesting with the SDLP having finished ahead this year.

    I don’t think this is the sure-fire nationalist loss its being presented as.

    In 1997 SDLP got 8%, SF got 5% in Westminster but got 8.5 + 4.3% in assmebly and this pattern of growth was repeated in the following elections. So wait and see…

  • Ulidian

    Dewi

    They should, but I don’t think it’s a given that the seat will come at the expense of a Unionist. Kieran McCarthy is losing areas where his party has some presence & voting strength, whilst gaining wards where it basically doesn’t.

  • Ulidian

    Johnny Boy

    Lagan Valley? Are you taking the piss? The boundary changes there will disproportionately hit the SDLP & Sinn Fein next year, whilst barely effecting Lunn at all.

  • Johnny Boy

    Ulidian,

    No I agree it will and personally I think it highly unlikely to be no nationalist.

    But there’s too many people taking westminster 2010 as a perfect snapshot of opinion when all i’m saying is that there are plenty of examples of large deviations in the intentions of voters, particularly in lagan valley.

    Plus, when it comes to defending your only seat its much easier to fight a rearguard against a party trying to balance 3 or 4 candidates whose votes are dispersing all over the place or not transferrring at all.

    but like i say, i think they’re won’t be a nationalist there enxt time round.

  • Dewi

    Looks unlikely in Lagan Valley – just not enough nationalist voters left. Interesting maybe is Upper Bann with a 3.5% nationalist increase in GE from 2005-10. Although more likely to take a third seat time after next….

  • Dewi

    And just maybe East Antrim in play?

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    I certainly take the point about Joe Boyle in Strangford but theres lot to play out there.
    Will Kiearan McCarthy a fellow Peninsula man run for Alliance again? He takes a lot of “GAA votes” in that neck of the woods. Not sure Girvan or another candidate can take those votes.
    Likewise although Boyle appeared on Claire(?) Hannas literature in 2010, there is a story there too. Hanna is ambitious. It would be nice if McDonnell gave up South Belfast for her. Is Boyle or Hanna standing in 2011? How will the new parts round Ballynahinch play?

    Im sure both have done the number crunching? But Hanna a recent graduate and wannabe professional politician i different type of SDLP person to chip shop owner Joe Boyle. Not necessarily a bad thing of course. A lot depends on whether SDLP picks Boyle or Hanna.
    And effectively the constituency has two different strands of SDLP voter. The upwardly mobile Belfast Catholic suburban type and the traditional “nationalist”.
    The mistake that AP members make is to assume that they always compete for 100% of the votes whereas the other “old” parties are tied into the sectarian demographics.
    AP has a demographic base too albeit different in nature.
    Thus the “nationalist/republican/Catholic demographic in both is around 14% (at this minute my files are not near me) but AP demographic is in effect the same percentage.

    East antrim is more problematic for nationalists. Certainly in 2010 it was difficult getting the vote out. Easier perhaps with a sniff at getting a quota. But again a lot depends on who the candidate is. Will O’Loan stay in North Antrim (where changes might effect a second nationalist quota…indeed the boundary changes in South Antrim/Lagan Valley have a kinda knock on effect.

    But two points. Predictions are a bit early even for SDLP and AP (or SF and other) cheerleaders.
    But I believe SDLP will come back with one (West Tyrone) and possibly two extra seats. Cue SF protests that the “stoops” are in melt down.
    Barring East Belfast “events” there will be minimal change in the make up of the next Assembly.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Oh btw…..I dont use Nicholas Whytes figures. I have been doing my own from 1979. Not to disparage his excellent work but its just a matter of writing down the figures, watching for rising and falling stars, and applying a bit of logic.
    And the bane of my life is Dr Deeney.

  • Dewi

    “And the bane of my life is Dr Deeney”…yeah and blasted boundary changes…

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    The boundary changes never cost me a winning bet :)
    A quick trip to the library for census records….local knowledge….and a look at the wards in local elections ..is the key.
    Ultimately the geography doesnt change at all and the demographics are slow.
    Theres not a lot different from 1973 to be honest.

  • Johnny Boy

    Yeah Deeney and damned “principles” and “real issue” brand of politics. It makes a mockery of our predictions contest when Deeney and his ilk come on the scene. lol

    As for your SDLP gains prediction: I think a few more actually than one or two. Basically your right about W. Tyrone. That was one that always a loaner. In fact looking at the count, it was the DUPer who snuck in, in 6 th place ahead of the SDLP so it is possible it could be Deeney 1, SF 3, SDLP 1 DUP 1 as well as the status quo and the perceived SF 3 DUP 1 UUP 1, SDLP 1.

    But apart from that, those nationalist no go seats are ones the SDLP have been targeting for years, and slowly building up an organisation. You got feel sorry for them, they spend years trying to break ground in unonist heartlands, and when they do, along comes SF and hoovers up half their starting base.

    But thats why I think E Antrim, Strangford and W Tyrone. However, there could be losses in N. Antrim and S. Antrim in store too.

    By the way, anyone want to tell me this:

    Marty got 52% in Mid Ulster last time out. Do you think SF could get greedy and run 4 candidates and Marty end up losing out?

    That would fairly set the cat among the pigeons

  • Dewi

    How would Marty lose out? SF manage that stuff well don’t they?

  • Dewi

    “Theres not a lot different from 1973 to be honest.”

    Hmm – February 1974
    UUP 7 MPs
    SDLP 1 MP
    Vanguard 3 MPs
    DUP 1 MP

    May 2010
    DUP -9
    SDLP – 3
    SF – 5
    Alliance – 1
    Others – 1

    That’s a huge, massive change FJH!!

  • PaddyReilly

    Actually Dewi it’s DUP 8 Lady Sylvia 1.

    Your figures add up to 19 seats- there are only 18.

  • Dewi

    Having a bad Maths day arn’t I – great conversations.

  • PaddyReilly

    There are still enough Nationalist votes in Lagan Valley to elect one Nationalist, probably limping in last without a quota. But it would have to be a SDLP candidate- SF just doesn’t have sufficient support.

    It is the Stormont system, almost rigged in favour of small parties, which makes this possible, not the huge (not) number of Nationalists in the constituency.

    If the SDLP are eliminated before SF, then half their votes will go to Alliance, making a second alliance seat, a possibility.

    If SF are eliminated first, their transfers will nearly all go to the SDLP, and their man will be elected,

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Point taken! Absolutely.

    But I specifically meant AP being a barrier/bridge between two tribes.

  • Granni Trixie

    FJH –

    re EB: your explanation is out the window – for although there were many factors at play in Naomi’s success, it was nothing like ‘the perfect storm’ you claim.You had only to tune into Slugger now and then to see a concentration by UUP/TORY people on promoting a narrative in which a vote for Alliance is wasted, Trevor Ringland will beat Robinson,blah,blah,blah. Its all very well being wise after the event but many people believed (including your good self?) that nothing would shift Robinson. These were all forces which made it not a perfect storm at all but factors whcih had to be overcome.
    with media management and the message to members, “everybody has to do their bit”.
    Not to mention the cornerstone of Naomi’s work on the ground as an MLA and Councillor.

    re Claire |Hannah:According to thier SB literature, she is currently the SDLP rep for “Windsor” So sounds like she will stick with SB now,Strangford was all about gaining experience and providing an SDLP candidate (nothing wrong with that,its what most parties do). And it was shrewd not to throw her hat in the ring in SB following her mother’s s retirement – could look like a dynasty which in current context people do not like. Plus,could you see ODonnel putting party before self and handing over to someone else if he does not have to?

    Re Strangford:Kieron McCarthy, a popular local man is very solid there and likely to stand in next election. But Deborah Girvan is very capable person coming in alongside him. Looking good to me.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Im not so sure that Hanna in South Belfast is a good idea. And I must be careful what I say here for very personal reasons. Effectively South Belfast SDLP is a coalition of two very diverse parties….we might for convenience call them the Ormeau Road and Malone Road. Not entirely fair I know.
    But the presence of the “university faction” mostly out of towners skews it slightly as well. Many of the malone Road tendency are professionals who are blow ins.
    With McDevitt and Hanna….this skews it slightly away from a working class base. Now SDLP detractors in SF-IRA would say the Ormeau Road is solid SF territory but thats only partly true.
    While no doubt McDevitt and Hanna are intelligent able people there is a need for a bit of heart and experience in the real world beyond party offices and “PR” companies and the like.
    Ultimately they should be thinking of a MLA from each “base”. And youre right Hanna has had her eyes on Mammys seat for a long time and Strangford was a diversion to build herself a profile and the no hope candidate fighting a no hope seat (Strangford) earns her brownie points and experience.
    Yet it is a sad reflection that SDLPs current strength in South Belfast came too late for one of the most able politicians and strategists of ANY party who was never actually elected to public office.

    I refer of course to Ben Caraher….an unlucky candidate in the 1970s.
    As for McCarthy……”popular local man” and in fairness it should be pointed out that the entire McCarthy clan are popular in the Peninsula. Dan being a SDLP figure and all heavily involved in GAA.
    Of course with Hanna safely de-camped to South Belfast, Joe Boyle can act the good soldier who was 100% behind the wee girl from Belfast and has earned himself some SDLP brownie points.

  • drumlins rock

    TBH it usually seems like the Alliance want to build a third tribe in the middle with slight air of superiority over the other two tribes.

  • PaddyReilly

    Expect two new SDLP seats

    I do. But I expect that they will come at the expense of a Unionist, not Alliance.

  • PaddyReilly

    Strangford

    Look at the figures for the count.

    http://www.ark.ac.uk/elections/07str.htm

    Please note that Kieran McCarthy was elected THIRD. His position is unassailable: his seat is not in doubt.

    The contest for the SIXTH seat was between the last DUP candidate and Joe Boyle (SDLP), who only lost by 31 votes. Given that the constituency has moved slightly to the South, we expect him to win this time.

  • PaddyReilly

    In East Antrim Neeson for Alliance was elected fourth.

    http://www.ark.ac.uk/elections/07ea.htm

    The contest for the sixth and final seat will be between UUP, SDLP, SF, TUV and possibly a second Alliance candidate (whom I do not expect to win). Here the outcome is less certain because the boundary changes have brought a lot of SF voters into the constituency.