Real breakthrough in Northern Ireland may for “Independent thinking…”

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Some thoughts on a micro theme arising… You have to remember that all parties are stretching… Not far, but for the larger parties there has to be some wastage as the DEAs they are competing for now can be a size and half larger..

Two, possibly transient, thoughts:

- The TUV are getting council seats. Not all in one place. Mostly out in the sticks, the choice of social conservatives feeling at odds with the way things are going. Abortion was an important issue in this in the campaign, and it even forced some generous commentary out of Jim Allister on Noel Traynor’s intervention moment with a wandering from the flock SDLP. In other words, people who need a voice but not necessarily a threat to the settlement…

- The new independent councillors on the Republican side are free radicals, not tram-lined by the outline of past conflicts. In themselves and in their numbers they are not that significant in terms of the wider politics. But it may indicate on the Catholic side the irascible impulse to break out of an iron clad collective narrative (and I’m talking SF and SDLP) has returned.

Ironically these two groups probably cannot stand each other. But their twin disruption of settled narrative may have some socially beneficial uses beyond the mundane objects of party politics…

  • keano10

    Mick,

    That’s a pretty big claim to make, based purely on the election of a couple of independent Republican councillors in the North West. It also seems a very convenient way of excusing what is rapidly becoming a disasterous election for the SDLP.

    Even in their last bastion (Derry City) they have shipped councillors and it’s going to be very interesting to see what their overall percentage vote is. I suspect that it will be the lowest in recent times.

  • http://www.thedissenter.co.uk thedissenter

    Agree that is stretching a point, but some of the bastions do seem a little less challenging. Also interesting on the BBC Online tally (at moment, so lost later) at the way in which UUP and TUV gaining proportionally greater number of seats from smaller base vote. Shows localisation and strength in areas that suggests the demise of the first is perhaps not as imminent as some would suggest, and that the latter is going to be around for a while.

  • http://www.thedissenter.co.uk thedissenter

    Just to capture the numbers at 21.47 23/05

    Democratic Unionist Party 43 84577 24.33
    Ulster Unionist Party 38 59769 17.2
    Sinn Féin 35 80385 23.13
    Social Democratic & Labour Party 19 44463 12.79
    Alliance Party 9 20766 5.97
    Traditional Unionist Voice 6 14776 4.25
    Progressive Unionist Party of NI 2 8380 2.41
    UK Independence Party 2 5948 1.71

  • Joe_Hoggs

    TUV have surprised me.

  • Politico68

    50% for Unionists and only 36% for Nationalists. I wonder what has happened to the SF/SDLP vote, they are both down by 2.5%. Not a good election for Nationalists ;-((((

  • Mick Fealty

    I am stretching a point, and I should have made that more clear. Red light on the dashboard: Mairtin topping the poll after a great year with a boost of just 80 votes (I stand to be corrected of course).

    Add in that that four years ago when I addressed the Greens annual conference in Hilltown they were wondering how on earth the could win a DEA a size and half of the ones they already had in 26 council model and you have to wonder how stable or predictable the current situation might be when ‘trouble makers’ have a little more heft ‘about the place’…

    I’d categorise it as nothing more than a red light flashing on a dashboard…

    PS, I don’t think the UUP will finish with 17%, but it rips the predictions (including my own) totally to hell…

  • Politico68

    “I am stretching a point, and I should have made that more clear. Red light on the dashboard: Mairtin topping the poll after a great year with a boost of just 80 votes (I stand to be corrected of course).

    Add in that that four years ago when I addressed the Greens annual conference in Hilltown they were wondering how on earth the could win a DEA a size and half of the ones they already had in 26 council model and you have to wonder how stable or predictable the current situation might be when ‘trouble makers’ have a little more heft ‘about the place’…

    I’d categorise it as nothing more than a red light flashing on a dashboard…

    PS, I don’t think the UUP will finish with 17%, but it rips the predictions (including my own) totally to hell…”

    I genuinely have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. Stretching point? Red Light Flashing? trouble makers? Sorry, but its like trying to work out a riddle ;-((

  • FuturePhysicist

    People don’t vote for narrators anyway, that’s your personal ego trip Mr Fealty.

    Well done to the independents, I apologise that their hard work is associated with Mick’s lazy term “narrative”, it’s his own way of claiming all this glory for himself.

    A narration has as much effect on the opinions of Northern Ireland as someone’s decision to mastribate or flatulate.

  • Dixie Elliott

    A long standing Adamsite candidate in Ballyarnett in Derry lost the plot completely after scraping in forth. She started crying and made all sorts of claims of wrong doing….

    This was where the Independent Dee Quigley shocked the lot to win a seat…

  • FuturePhysicist

    No Dee Quigley scraped in at the ballot box, there are plenty of unhappy and paranoid people getting elected, there’s no magic narrative that stops them. Only a magic narrative to give ejit commentators delusions of grandeur far worse than anything our politicians come up with.

  • keano10

    In essence not much has changed. The DUP overall percentage vote will drop a little due to better performances from the UUP, TUV and even PUP.

    Sinn Fein will consolidate their position and perhaps will become the largest party in terms of the overall percentage vote (but not seats).

    The SDLP fielded a lot of younger candidates and will be reasonably satisfied, even though their overall vote may slip. Derry will be a big concern for them, however.

  • Dixie Elliott

    McGuinness was on TV, scumbag that he is, muddying the waters by claiming that the 3 Independents in Derry endorsed violence.

    Two clearly have grounds to sue as they aren’t nor ever were involved with armed groups.

    Brass necked hypocrite got to where he is today by encouraging others that voting alone would never free Ireland. And all the while he was clearly and without doubt the safest Republican in The North.

  • Dixie Elliott

    1,037 first preference votes isn’t scraping through…..

  • FuturePhysicist

    No insult intended, my point is that this was predetermined at the ballot box, not by the reaction of the rival.

  • FuturePhysicist

    These are three obviously hard working community workers who didn’t waste their time making narratives, they made impressions.

  • Dixie Elliott

    And don’t forget the Adamsites started out on the electoral path by keeping a hunger strike going long after Thatcher had conceded, at the cost of 6 brave lives.

    And for a long time Hume and the SDLP were so far ahead it was embarrassing to look at their smug faces.

    If anything this small achievement might convince that the gun and bomb hinders and if it does then the peace process will no more be a place to hide behind….

  • abucs

    It will be more interesting to see how the newly elected will work together. It is one thing stating a position, it is another working with people who don’t share it.

  • keano10

    RTE EXIT POLL :

    An exit poll in the elections shows a surge in support for Independents revealing they received the highest support.
    The exit poll for RTÉ shows Independents have won 27% of the votes in the local elections and 28% in the European elections.
    Support for Labour has dropped to 7% in the locals and 6% in the Europeans.
    Fine Gael support is down to 24%, Fianna Fáil on 22% and Sinn Fein on 17% in the local elections.
    FULL RTE EXIT POLL DETAILS
    European elections:
    Independents and Others 27%
    Fine Gael 22%
    Fianna Fáil 22%
    Sinn Féin 17%
    Labour 6%
    Greens 6%
    Local elections:

  • Mainland Ulsterman

    keano10,
    Important to point out that in Northern Ireland, SF did not “become the largest party in terms of the overall percentage vote” in the council elections – only in terms of first preference element of the votes, which is something different.

    It’s not splitting hairs: just to point out that people voted under a system in which first preference is only part of the picture. You need to look at the whole picture.

    Though also an approximation of relative party strengths, the number of seats for each party probably provides a better shorthand for overall voting behaviour under this system – indeed the system was designed for that to be the case.