Euro 14: Nationalist apathy rears its head.

3 views

Sinn Fein for the second time topped the poll in the European elections matching their success in the local elections; if you’re a nationalist you have probably popped the champagne corks and begun a rousing chorus of ‘happy days are here again.’ However, if you are of this view I sadly have to tell you to put that champagne back on ice and turn down the music.

Nationalism as whole had a very poor election this time around as it saw its share of the vote drop from 42.2% in 2009 to 38.5% at this election. Just to put this result in context, it was the worst combined performance of the Nationalist parties since the 1989 European elections (total Nat vote then was 34.6%) and it was a good distance away from its peak vote in 1999 of 45.4%.

The fact that for the first time in 20 years parties who have a declared position in favour of the constitutional position polled below 40% of the vote should be a bit worrying for those of us who aspire to Irish unity. I know there were some factors around Anna Lo’s candidacy this time which might have skewed the numbers, but it was generally regarded as one of the few elections where Unionism and not Nationalism got its vote out.

When I look back at 1999, it is not hard to see why the Nationalist vote surged to above 40% of the vote for the first time ever; you had the SDLP at the peak of its popularity after the Good Friday Agreement and Sinn Fein beginning their rise as a major force within Nationalism. These two strong parties gave Nationalists confidence to go to the polls and cast a ballot. Yet, when I think back to over the weekend and hearing Gerry Adams argue that the SDLP were not worth a transfer and basically calling them irrelevant, I was genuinely sad that Nationalism was so divided against itself that two parties who agree on many issues couldn’t work together at election time.

These results really deliver a clear message for Nationalist parties to up their game in terms of the policies they promote and how they engage with the electorate. Gains will quickly be for nothing and more and more seats will become vulnerable if something is not done to inspire more confidence amongst the electorate to head out to the polls.

I genuinely believe in politics that competition creates votes and engagement. If you have parties fighting it out for every last vote, it gives the average voter a sense that their vote counts. If you look at how Unionism has performed since Jim Allister entered the European elections there has been a consistent increase in Unionism’s share of the vote going from 48.6% of the vote in 2004 to 50.9% at this election. Far from shredding the vote, more choices for Unionism, has created more interest from the electorate.

In Nationalism at the moment we have none of this as Sinn Fein is so dominant that it doesn’t really need to be worried in many areas about its main opposition, SDLP. I have always believed that Nationalism does best when it is the ideology of ideas and debate, where challenging consensus and breaking out with new thinking is rewarded. For an ideology trying to form a winnable majority within the population; we cannot afford to indulge in sectional politics or minimalist arguments. I cannot see how any of this happens unless we get a shot in the arm with more competition amongst parties and a real sense of a contest.

All Nationalists should have a strong home to go to at election time. Having more choice and competition will help challenge ourselves to be better and bolder as we move forward. Let’s hope this election can serve as timely reminder to start this process of re-engagement.

 

 

 

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  • Cric

    As a Nationalist and someone who takes the occasional interest in politics I was more interested about what happens in the South this year.

    I think the SDLP need to go all-Ireland to be competitive at this stage of the game, and they’d probably be better doing it by merging with an existing southern party.

  • http://www.tomgriffin.org Tom Griffin

    ‘These results really deliver a clear message for Nationalist parties to up their game in terms of the policies they promote and how they engage with the electorate.’

    Agree that the nationalist parties need to demonstrate more effectiveness as legislators and ministers, although that is difficult to do in a power-sharing set-up. One way may be to find issues on which they SF and the SDLP can build progressive coalitions with the middle ground.

    In terms of policy development,SF’s capacity may well increase if it gets into government in the south, as we’ve seen with the SNP in Scotland.

    That said, political parties will always be focused on the day-to-day business of electioneering and governing, so it may worth thinking about political movements as networks in which parties are only one element, and in which the work of policy development is done by others.

    As much as I dislike the conservative connotations of the term ‘think-tank’, it might be worth thinking about what type of institutions exist within nationalism to perform this role and whether they can be revived or created to develop a more coherent all-Ireland agenda.

    It may be that the gap that needs to be filled is as much about those kind of debates and institutions, as about parties, although new parties might help to stimulate them.

  • Floreat Ultonia

    Which one?

    For some reason this reminds me of the David Miliband gag. Couln’t win an election in his own family, so hardly likely to lead 326 MPs.

    Surely SF don’t want SDLP to become a tiny rump, or disappear- bound to reduce the overall nationalism vote.

  • Floreat Ultonia

    Sorry, my question above is to Cric.

  • itsashocker

    Looking out the front window – in 40 words or less, what is the difference between the SDLP and SF?

    If you want to go for the advanced level question – the DUP and the OUP?

  • Morpheus

    I wouldn’t worry too much about it at this stage David. There was no pressure on nationalism in these elections to come out in their droves for the simple reason that the result of 10 of the 11 councils was all but known beforehand. We all knew which councils were going to be nationalist and which were going to be unionist. And low and behold…

    Nationalism didn’t have the flegs issue to rally behind in these elections but because political unionism is soooo predictable their behavior, the pacts and the mad crazy rush to the far, far, far right will bring them out in the next for fear of what will happen if they don’t. And that will bring out the unionists, which will bring out the nationalists – all that was needed was a catalyst and flegs fitted the bill nicely.

    All this right in time for the elections where the party leaders get to keep their salaries.

    Hmmmm, almost as if it were planned.

  • Charles_Gould

    Let’s kill this low nationalist turnout theory. The turnout was lowest in north sown, east/mid Antrim, and South Antrim.

    No. What happened wad not nationalist apathy, but rather a switch from SDLP to Alliance among catholic voters. That’s something for the nationalist family to think about.

  • http://www.tomgriffin.org Tom Griffin

    Nationalists voting Alliance doesn’t account for the increased gap in the last count, after Lo had been eliminated, and a very big portion of her vote had gone to the SDLP?

  • Zig70

    Have you evidence of that Charles? Though I’m shocked to hear you paint a less than rosy picture. Things are worse than I thought. The transfer from Alliance to SDLP could well have been a reaction from non-nats to the flegs.

  • mark7694

    Fianna Fail will be entering the electoral scene in Northern Ireland in 2019. It will be interesting to see what impact they make (if any), and what their relationship will be with the SDLP.

  • Politico68

    Very good piece there David, I only hope some of the top guys in the SDLP and SF are reading this too.

    The combined Nat vote went up by 33k, dwarfed by the Unionist 88k surge. Alliance vote up by 17k. Charles might have a point here considering their transfer rate to the SDLP but, there is no hard evidence to convince. There would have been a sympathy vote out there for Anna but I really believe that most of them came from Alliance voters and converts, we will find out in twelve months either way.

    It must be remembered that the Catholic population of voting age (over 18) only make up 42.5% of the electorate. While those over 30 make up 41% and those over 50 are at 38% so Nationalism has been punching slightly above its weight for some time. In the 18 to 40 age group where Catholics are a majority the turnout rate is between 30 to 35%. As we go up the age scale where Protestants are a clear majority turnout rates go climb to 75%, as such Unionists have a clear advantage.

    Both the SDLP and SF need to get a grip, deal with the animosity between them, it has gone beyond normal party rivalry at this stage and is damaging to both parties. In the first instance it is hurting the SDLP but it could also hurt SF if it is not dealt with.

    Personally I kept the champagne coming due to SF’s performance in the South but I was less impressed with the outcome in the North. 30k votes is a decent jump but they should have managed better for a few more council seats and this nonsense of not transferring to the SDLP is bollox. I am a Shinner and a proud one too but, we are where we are partly because of the SDLP graft and I personally will never forget it.

    We also need something for nationalism to mobilise around and thanks to Unionism I think we are close to getting it. Forget the national question and get bodies out to vote as a bulwark against this bonkers right wing shift within political Unionism. If I know anything about Nationalists and Republicans, the majority have little tolerance for racism, sectarianism, prejudice and homophobia.

    The SDLP and SF need to use this to get the vote out and they need to fight it together.

  • Mickish

    Slugger,now your just writing stories to hear yourself talk! who are you kidding?

  • Zeno

    The combined Nat vote went up by 33k etc

    P68
    The only reason for that was by having the two elections on the same day the Turn Out for the Euro’S jumped dramatically.
    Did the Nationalist vote note decline numerically and % wise in the Council Elections?

  • Charles_Gould

    One obvious option for SDLP, that allows greater differentiation and distance from SF, is to find a way to withdraw from the Executive.

    While SDLP ministers are more effective and efficient than SF ones, there is no sense that SDLP are getting the credit for this electorally, so why prop up the other party’s lower level of competnce by giving it cover?

  • Coll Ciotach

    The nationalist parties do not represent a significant section of nationalists who do not support same sex marriage or abortion, are not socialists, and do not particularily care about Stormont or various combinations of above.

    In fact I know people who voted DUP on the grounds that they will stop SSM and abortion.

    For some, and I include myself among them, that would be more important than voting for a United Ireland.

    So if you want nationalists to vote give them the policies to vote for and the parties to promote those policies.

  • Joe_Hoggs

    Coll,

    This has been argued for a while, Unionism is unable to effectively embrace the centre left (UUP) Nationalism has been unable to embrace the centre right (Sinn Fein).

  • Zeno

    It must be remembered that the Catholic population of voting age (over 18) only make up 42.5% of the electorate. While those over 30 make up 41% and those over 50 are at 38% so Nationalism has been punching slightly above its weight for some time. In the 18 to 40 age group where Catholics are a majority the turnout rate is between 30 to 35%.
    —–
    P68
    Since the GFA, as the Catholic Population has risen ,the Nationalist VOTE has fallen. Less than 31% of Catholics are voting SF. Catholics are not Nationalists.

  • Joe_Hoggs

    Nationalism has nothing to worry about Sinn Fein are seen as sexy, compassionate and trustworthy, visionary, in the ascendancy, logical and honest.

    They have a large membership which includes many younger members and they’re in touch with their grassroots.

  • Charles_Gould

    For the SDLP to attract disaffected SF voters, would withdrawal from the Executive help? Is there a compelling case for this?

    SDLP can’t become “the TUV of nationalism” as it is a GFA party, but it can be more oppositional – and a position outside the Executive until such time as it would garner two Executive ministers would be a possible way to gain vote share.

    More distance from the Executive allows greater room to criticise its failings.

  • Charles_Gould

    “Nationalism has nothing to worry about Sinn Fein are seen as sexy, compassionate and trustworthy, visionary, in the ascendancy, logical and honest.”

    Lol.

    compassionate (Catherine McCartney et al)
    in the ascendancy (vote share falls at locals and Euros)
    honest (Gerry Adams)

  • http://www.secondnature.ie Michael

    People want change. It’s now about the message more than who delivers it. Sinn Fein and SDLP let their side down by not responding to it. What are we to vote for? The Unionists had their big year of protest and aggression to rally them, but with Nationalists in a more comfortable place they need coherent and compelling vision to respond to. Where is the bravery. Beating Unionism to be the biggest party is not compelling. What Alliance did – now that is compelling.

    SDLP and Sinn Fein take note – get a coherent message and sell the shit out of it. An economic vision is a good place to start. All the other crap is taken as a given, now is the time to be expansionist in the thinking.

    Down South the message was anti-austerity. That got leverage with the mainstream voter. It was very clear.

    I couldn’t tell you what the economic vision of the Northern parties is.

    I voted out of a sense of duty but plenty around me didn’t. they knew the outcome so there was no point.

  • OneNI

    Really the reality here is that that the voters who formerly voted nationalist and their children simply recognise political realities – that a United Ireland isnt going to happen?
    The economic crisis of recent years has shaken alot of people from their delusions/dreams.
    People may or not want change but they increasingly realise they simply dont want what nationalism is offering

  • Coll Ciotach

    Do not believe that nationalists do not want to unite Ireland, we do, we may not vote for the present advocates of it. The point is that SF and the SDLP are content with the status quo, they have accepted the unionist veto, and they are restrictive in their social policies and as such they are insipid. They do not inspire confidence.

  • Morpheus

    What would you have them do Coll?

  • Politico68

    Charles, i really don’t know what the SDLP should do. Going into opposition might work as they would set themselves apart and might manage to mobilize voters who are unhappy with stormont’s work. They might also try confronting extreme unionism a bit more, sometimes they come across as a bit polite when challenging the crazy right wingers !

  • Politico68

    Coll,

    I agree with you, Unity is seen by most nationalists as Inevitability now so they don’t hop up and down about it. I do believe a surge in Unionists voting could have a knock on effect and bring nationalists out in response next time.

    In the South it is quite possible that the Shinners will be in power after the 2016 election, that being the case it will shake things up in the North. SF knows that power in Dublin is effectively power over Stormont. When nationalists see the plan coming together it might get them out to the polls, but again, it’s all ‘if ands and buts’.

    I don’t believe there is a significant portion of nationalist voters opposed to SSM. Recent polls in the north pointed to the fact that a majority of Catholics are in favour. For sure, Catholics do not have a right leaning party to vote for but that has always been the case in Ireland. Comparatively speaking nationalism has always been somewhat left leaning socially and politically. Moreover, it there was a real yearn for a right wing nationalist party, we would have seen some movement at some point amongst Catholics so set one up; similar to Catholic Democrats in Munster.

    Overall the trajectory demographically favours nationalism but at the moment the catholic majority community are in the younger age cohorts that either can’t vote or don’t vote, also nationalism seems to be very content with itself, either looking for work, working or in university; not much time for parading, rioting and attacking ethnic minorities.

    Both the SDLP and SF will have to get creative if they are to take on apathy, lets see how it goes.

  • Mick Fealty

    Tom,

    Nice idea, but think tanks are a London thing. There’s barely any in Dublin or Edinburgh. And I know people have tried it here, but failed.

  • Coll Ciotach

    Politico – may I remind you that the provos were originally a centre right organisation, one of the fault lines with the stickies was the Marxism they were promoting? If you think that catholics support SSM en masse then you are not speaking to the same catholics I do.

  • Politico68

    Coll, I am just repeating the findings of polls.

  • Stealthtaig

    1999 Euro Election combined SDLP+SF Vote circa 309K.

    2014 Euro Election combined SDLP+SF Vote circa 242K

    SF are just Gay Adoption Crusties & Immigration Pushers.

    Imagine supporting Unionist Consent to retain their identity but violating Nationalist Consent to push immigrants into Ireland to Vote SF.

    “Anti Racists” who continually commemorate the Kingsmills killers….

    Stick to getting Double Glazing for junkies & free Tracksuits for unmarriable single mothers- you’ve little other voters in the North, save a few Barflies…

  • IrelandNorth

    Whatever the overall percentages, the fact that Sinn Fein have a Member of the European Parliament (MEP), (or Teachta Dala Eorpoach (TDE) in each of Ireland’s four provinces is hughely symbolic since Ireland’s accession to the Common Market (CM)/European Economic Community (EEC)/European Union (EU). Something no other party across the island will achieve, largely because tehy can’t. Unless each and all own brands choose to market their franchise in both jurisdiction simultaneously. Do I intuit a unionist in Dun Laoire/South Dublin .

  • Zeno

    P68
    ” Unity is seen by most nationalists as Inevitability now so they don’t hop up and down about it.”

    I agree with you.Against all of the evidence they have been somehow led to believe that. The problem Nationalists have is the numbers just do not add up.
    Less that 23% of the electorate say they are Nationalists.
    Less that 23% of the electorate vote Nationalist.
    There has never been an opinion poll that shows support to even be as high as 23%
    Yet even though there is no evidence at all, anywhere. A United Ireland is somehow “inevitable”.
    You Guys should really be asking some questions rather than believing everything you are told.

  • Morpheus

    Zeno, you had a chance to come to a new forum and leave behind the shambolic reputation you built for yourself on the BelTel forum but oh no, way too sensible, you come here and do exactly the same thing. Kudos. :)

    I can do exactly what you do as well, anyone can. I can pick out carefully selected stats like:
    * 40% of the seats at Stornomt belong to nationalist parties,
    * 38% of the local government seats belong to nationalist parties,
    * 40% of the Westminster seats belong to nationalist parties
    * SF topped the European polls by a country mile
    * 38% of the first preference votes were taken by nationalist parties at the European elections
    * From the census 52% – the majority – said they were not British in this British country
    * Only 2 in 5 of the population said they were against the concept of a UI in a Belfast Telegraph poll
    * There is only a 5% difference between those who say they are unionist and those who say they are nationalist in the NILT.
    * You say there has been a drop in the nationalist vote since 1997 – big deal – I can say that there has been an increase of 30% between 1985 and 2014, a 30% increase within a generation. Both of us are correct but both of us have different conclusions – go figure!

    Does any of that mean that a UI is just around the corner? HELL NO. Is it definitely going to happen? HELL NO. But does it show that a UI is impossible? HELL NO.

    As you have been told over and over and over and over and over again – there are many, many interpretations of the data available which are based in fact, yours is not the only one available. A UI is not just around the corner but neither is it impossible.

    No doubt you will go through this line by line and try to explain it all away – bully for you – but I challenge you to do it without assigning a position to anyone. I challenge you to use more than the time-frames you deem worthy. I challenge you to start at the start and work forwards towards a conclusion rather than having a conclusion and working backwards finding stats which support it and ignoring others than don’t.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    David McCann

    Just a thought;

    If (as I interpret) what you are saying is that another nationalist party will ‘tighten everybody up’ (as my da would say) then is there room for a proper pragmatically orientated unification party?

    For example, the more of Fleggerdom I see, then the more I’m inclined to think “throw Northern Ireland down the well! So my country can be ffreeee!!!…”

    But when I look at the alternatives, I just see ‘nationalism’.

    That does not attract me.

    A Tricolour in fact repels me.

    A lot.

    Give me a vision of a fresh Ireland, a fresh start and the oh so sexy (and Irish and unique) Erin’s harp then you have my attention.

    Why drag this thing out any longer when there are so many Lundys out there?

  • Zeno

    * There is only a 5% difference between those who say they are unionist and those who say they are nationalist in the NILT.

    Em, No. The difference between 23 and 28 is over 20%.

    ” Is it definitely going to happen? HELL NO”
    You could debate that with P68. He says that it is inevitable and that is who I was replying to. You could also have a chat with the poster who claim the SF Euro MP’s will be talking to the EU about “deleting the Border. Or the poster who implies that all the Polls have been fixed by the Brits,

    “but I challenge you to do it without assigning a position to anyone.”
    That would be impossible. It basically means you don’t like the figures from the Election,Polls, Surveys and the Census and you want them removed from the debate. You argued the other day that it was unfair to attribute a vote to people (44%) who said they couldn’t live with a UI or didn’t like a UI. Now you want to put forward a case that because Nationalists have 40% of Council Seats that signifies some sort of implied support for UI.

    “I can do exactly what you do as well, anyone can. I can pick out carefully selected stats like……………….etc”

    That is not exactly what I did.
    I’m saying less than 23% (and falling) say they are Nationalists. If it seems reasonable to conclude from that that they might vote for a UI then it is also reasonable to suggest that people who say they don’t want a UI would vote NO. That is what I did.
    To support that, less than 23% vote Nationalist.
    Further support comes from every single reputable Poll.

    The numbers are on the record and all support each other.
    So anyone who is saying UI is inevitable needs to look at why they have decided that. It certainly isn’t because of any numerical support.

  • Morpheus

    “Em, No. The difference between 23 and 28 is over 20%.”

    Excuse me? The difference between 28% and 23% is 20%? Wait a second so I can get out my calculator….

    28…minus…23…equals…hmmmmm…no…my calculator definitely says 5.

    “It basically means you don’t like the figures from the Election,Polls, Surveys and the Census and you want them removed from the debate.”

    Who-is-on-a what-now? As I have said over and over and over again…the stats you have carefully picked out are accurate but so are the ones I listed above – give or take, as I wrote that from memory without looking up anything – the point being that it is not, repeat NOT, the data which is at fault here. What is at fault is that you have picked out the stats that suit from time-frames that suit, ignored the rest because they don’t suit and yet still have the audacity to claim that only your interpretation is right while everyone else is written off as delusional.

    “Now you want to put forward a case that because Nationalists have 40% of Council Seats that signifies some sort of implied support for UI. “

    Do you think that nationalists who vote pro-UI parties don’t want a UI??

    Another few questions – does someone need to vote SF or SDLP to be regarded as a nationalist? Unless they vote SF/SDLP are they are unionist in your eyes? (Listen up here tac)

    But job done…Zeno is now on a par with 8Billion, congrats. Peace out :)

  • Morpheus

    Morph: “but I challenge you to do it without assigning a position to anyone.”
    Zeno: That would be impossible.

    It’s actually very, very easy.

    Let’s take the census.
    25% said they were Irish,
    20% said they were Northern Irish,
    10% said they were other and
    45% said they were British
    (I didn’t bother to look up the figures, this is for illustration purposes only)

    That does not mean that only 25% want a UI.
    That does not mean that 75% are unionist so anti-UI
    That does not mean that 55% are not British so are pro-UI
    It does not mean that 45% included Irish so are pro-UI

    What it means is:
    25% said they were Irish,
    20% said they were Northern Irish,
    10% said they were Other and
    45% said they were British

    See, easy. I didn’t assign a single position to anyone.

  • Zeno

    “Em, No. The difference between 23 and 28 is over 20%.”

    Excuse me? The difference between 28% and 23% is 20%? Wait a second so I can get out my calculator….

    28…minus…23…equals…hmmmmm…no…my calculator definitely says 5.
    =================
    Maybe this will help.
    The difference between 23% and 28% of the electorate is 61,338. That is a difference of over 20%.

  • Morpheus

    Hahahaha…and not a shoehorn in sight :)

    Tell me, if I have a pie and with a super sharp knife and protractor I give Peter 23% of the pie and give Paul 28% does Paul have 20% more pie than Peter?

  • Zeno

    “Let’s take the census.”

    Taking one source of information is a rookie mistake usually favoured by people who want to find the result they like.

    Lets take the Census, the Polls, the NILT Surveys and the Election results.

    They all say much the same thing, less than 23% would support UI.
    Are the Polls all wrong? Every one of them?

    Lets take Identity 23% of people say they are Nationalist. Is there another 23% of people who are not Nationalist but would vote for UI? It seems unlikely , but that is the sort of numbers you would need.

    Let’s take the 44% of people who say they wouldn’t like UI or couldn’t live with it? Are they going to vote for a UI?

    Maybe we should just look at Council Elections, Nationalist lost seats and vote % in the last one. As the poster says, 38.5% Nationalist 50.9% Unionist. Is that a sign that a UI is inevitable?
    No matter what you look at there is no evidence anywhere that says a UI is inevitable. None.

  • Zeno

    Hahahaha…and not a shoehorn in sight :)

    Tell me, if I have a pie and with a super sharp knife and protractor I give Peter 23% of the pie and give Paul 28% does Paul have 20% more pie than Peter?
    —————-

    Yes he does.I would leave that one if I were you. It will only get more embarrassing.

  • Morpheus

    Hahaha, has anyone else got a calculator that could check if 28 minus 23 is 5 or 20 please?

    Don’t like what I did with the census eh? OK, let’s move on to the NILT

    You say that only 23% are nationalist. perfectly valid. But how about i say that only 14% couldn’t live with a UI so what’s all the fuss about? You picked one thing to ‘prove’ your case and I took something else to ‘prove’ something completely different.

    Don’t like what I did with the NILT? Let’s move on to polls. You could say that 3.2% want a UI tomorrow – perfectly valid – but I can take exactly the same poll and say that 56% want a UI within a generation or are open to persuasion. You picked one thing to ‘prove’ your case and I picked something else to ‘prove’ something completely different.

    Election results? You can say that only 23% of the electorate vote for nationalist parties. Perfectly valid. I can say that 40% of the seats at Stormont and 38% of the local councils seats etc are nationalist. You picked one thing to ‘prove’ your case and I picked something else to ‘prove’ something completely different.

    See where I am going with this? Multiple valid conclusions from the same data BUT, unlike you, I am not arrogant enough to say mine is the only possible conclusion and everyone else is delusional.

    I notice you didn’t answer the following questions:
    Does someone need to vote SF or SDLP to be regarded as a nationalist? Unless they vote SF/SDLP are they are unionist in your eyes? But I’ll add one more to that, does someone need to vote DUP/UUP/TUV/PUP etc. to be unionist? I have a suspicion that you think that a person has to vote SF/SDLP to be nationalist but don’t have to vote DUP/UUP etc to be a unionist, am I right?

    Bottom line, there isn’t a single thing you can say to persuade those who think it is definitely coming that it will NEVER come – that doesn’t make them delusional – just as there is nothing that anyone who thinks it is definitely coming can say to persuade you that it is definitely coming – that is not delusional either. People pick and choose the bits that suit them and ignore the rest – you are no different.

    44% are against the idea of a UI according to the BelTel, 26% are for the concept and 30% don’t know. Radical idea I know but how about we get a concrete picture of what a UI will look like in terms of housing, education, health, social security, economics, , warts and all, and then put it to the people, North and South of the border and then let the people decide from a position of knowledge if it is for them and their families. After that the 30% can move into either of the 2 camps so our children can move the fuck on instead of stagnating in this mire of bullshit

  • Zeno

    “Hahaha, has anyone else got a calculator that could check if 28 minus 23 is 5 or 20 please?”
    Morph.
    OK so now you’re making it clear that you don’t understand percentages.
    http://www.calculatorsoup.com/calculators/algebra/percent-difference-calculator.php
    Here is a simple calculator to help you out.
    I did a quick calculation in my head and made it 20%
    The actual difference is……….19.6078%
    So the percentage difference between 23% and 28% is 20%
    and not 5% as you think.
    And more importantly Paul does have 20% more Cake than Peter.
    You might also be interested that the % difference in the last council election was 27.5%
    Just for clarification .That means Unionists got 27.5% more votes than Nationalists.

  • Zeno

    “But how about i say that only 14% couldn’t live with a UI so what’s all the fuss about? You picked one thing to ‘prove’ your case and I took something else to ‘prove’ something completely different.”
    MORPH
    We covered all this on the other thread. I do like the irony this time though that you deliberately left out the 30% who said they wouldn’t like a United Ireland and are accusing me of being selective.
    The other thread ended with Cheese. Remember?
    I said that if 44% of people didn’t like Cheese they wouldn’t buy it. You disagreed.
    I went further and said that if 44% of people who either didn’t like Cheese or hated were given a vote and the outcome would be they would have to eat Cheese 24/7 for the rest of their lives. They would vote No to Cheese.
    You left then, which gave me the impression that you finally understood. Now it looks like you didn’t.
    Apparently logic isn’t big with you either.

  • Zeno

    “I notice you didn’t answer the following questions:
    Does someone need to vote SF or SDLP to be regarded as a nationalist?”
    MORPH

    No.
    Is it just coincidence that 23% of the people describe themselves as Nationalists and 23% Vote Nationalist?
    Is it just coincidence that similar numbers in the Polls say they would favour UI? Is it just coincidence that the same number of people in the Census say they are Irish?

    Is that what you think? All those figures are meaningless?
    No one could possibly reach a solid conclusion with just that amount of information. That is exactly what you appear to be saying.

  • PaddyReilly

    Back in 1979 Parliament introduced a Devolution referendum for Scotland and Wales which would not pass unless 50% of the registered electorate voted in favour.

    However, since then all referenda and all elections have been run on the principle that only 50% + 1 of the turnout constitutes a majority.

    So quoting figures about what 23% of the electorate thinks have no relevance. It’s the turnout that counts.

    Last week there was a turnout of 636,093. 314,744 of those favoured the Unionist side, and so 2 Unionist candidates were elected. 271,805 favoured the Nationalist side, and so only Nationalist was elected. The question is, what would happen if those figures were reversed, and why should you imagine that such a reversal is impossible, except as part of a programme of self-delusion?

  • Zeno

    Very good Paddy.
    Tell me what you think the turn out would be and I will predict the result for you based on all current information.

  • PaddyReilly

    As you yesterday pointed out, an opinion poll taken only eight months ago can be wildly inaccurate today. So anything you can tell me will be valid only for the next couple of months, when there isn’t going to be an election, so why should I be interested in it?

    And as I know in advance that your predictometer has been designed so that always and in every circumstance the answer is NATIONALIST DEFEAT, UNIONIST WIN!!, what would be the point of consulting you?

  • Zeno

    And as I know in advance that your predictometer has been designed so that always and in every circumstance the answer is NATIONALIST DEFEAT, UNIONIST WIN!!, what would be the point of consulting you?
    PADDY
    What give you that idea?
    I’m not arguing politics. I’m arguing numbers. I have said earlier in the thread, or on my comments that I am not a Unionist or a Nationalist and that both political ideologies are in decline. I’m personally delighted that people are moving slowly away from tribalism. I’m one of the 50% who don’t vote for any of them and don’t describe myself as being one of them.

  • Reader

    Morpheus: Hahaha, has anyone else got a calculator that could check if 28 minus 23 is 5 or 20 please?
    Terminology, guys:
    The difference between 28% and 23% is “5 percentage points”
    But also:
    28% is (28-23)/23*100% greater than 23% i.e. “28% is 21.7% greater than 23%”
    But also:
    23% is (28-23)/28*100% less than 28% i.e. “23% is 17.8% less than 28%”
    Right, now you are both ready to detect when pollsters make monkeys out of politicians and spin doctors make monkeys out of journalists. The magic phrase is “percentage points” when you are just subtracting percentages of the whole, and “Percent greater/less” when comparing the relationship between two numbers expressed as percentages.

  • Morpheus

    You really do crack me up Zeno. Do me a favor, the next time I don’t back get back right away assume that I am having my dinner, washing my hair, playing with the grandkids, watching the footy…don’t assume that you have fiendishly outwitted me and I have taken my ball and gone home :)

    Thanks for the clarification Reader. Let me rephrase…there is only a difference of 5 percentage points between those who say they are unionist and those who say they are nationalist in the NILT. Zeno, does it take away from my original point? No.

    Why are you waffling about coincidences? Have I not said multiple times that there is nothing wrong with the data sources??? Have I not said multiple times that the problem is that you pick and choose what stats suit while ignoring the rest and still have the audacity to think that your conclusion is the only possible conclusion available and that everyone else is delusional?

    Still no answers on my questions. Let’s try the yes/no game show:

    Does someone need to vote SF or SDLP to be regarded as a nationalist? Yes/No.
    Does a ballot paper make someone a nationalist or not? Yes/No
    Unless someone votes SF/SDLP are they are unionist in your eyes? Yes/No
    Does someone need to vote DUP/UUP/TUV/PUP etc. to be unionist?
    I have a suspicion that you think that a person has to vote SF/SDLP to be nationalist but don’t have to vote DUP/UUP etc to be a unionist, am I right? Yes/No.

    But all of this is just the usual bollix. I say again:

    …there isn’t a single thing you can say to persuade those who think it is definitely coming that it will NEVER come – that doesn’t make them delusional – just as there is nothing that anyone who thinks it is definitely coming can say to persuade you that it is definitely coming – that is not delusional either. People pick and choose the bits that suit them and ignore the rest – you are no different.

    44% are against the idea of a UI according to the BelTel, 26% are for the concept and 30% don’t know. Radical idea I know but how about we get a concrete picture of what a UI will look like in terms of housing, education, health, social security, economics, , warts and all, and then put it to the people, North and South of the border and then let the people decide from a position of knowledge if it is for them and their families. After that the 30% can move into either of the 2 camps so our children can move the fuck on instead of stagnating in this mire of bullshit

    Using your cheese(!) analogy, 44% say they don’t want it, 26% say they want it and 30% don’t know so let’s allow everyone to try it and see if they like it – or not

  • Zeno

    Zeno, does it take away from my original point? No.-

    There is a huge difference between “only 5%” and 20% (120% if you want it exactly)

    ” Have I not said multiple times that the problem is that you pick and choose what stats suit while ignoring the rest ”

    The rest are irrelevant. 40% of Council Seats has no bearing on the outcome of a UI Poll. None at all. You could have 80% of Council Seats and still not enough votes to win a Poll on UI. The same applies to Assembly Seats.
    As for your questions the same applies. I’ve never claimed that you have to vote SF/SDLP to be a Nationalist. They are all irrelevant.

    “People pick and choose the bits that suit them and ignore the rest – you are no different.2

    You can not pick and choose any bits you like and reach a valid conclusion. You said that only 14% said they couldn’t live with UI and someone could say that’s a reason to have a Referendum. That is just silly nonsense, If anyone said that they would just be laughed at. Go ahead and try it.

  • Morpheus

    let me get this straight…are you seriously telling me that the carefully selected stats that I put forward for the sake of argument are irrelevant but your carefully selects stats are relevant?

  • Morpheus

    To be clear – because I think this has flew right by you – I didn’t put forward any of the above to argue the case that a UI is close to being on the way for the simple fact that I don’t think it is. Few do and I don’t think I have ever met one face to face I put those things forward to show the absurdity of your position that a UI is impossible that that only your carefully stats from carefully selected timeframes and only your conclusion is valid.

  • Zeno

    You are unable to distinguish between relevant statistical data and just plain old data. The two are not interchangeable.
    Your carefully selected stats are the stuff of nonsense and now you claim you just putting them forward somehow proves that a position I have never claimed is absurd.
    My position…………. once again is There is no evidence to show that there will ever be a United Ireland. I post it and provide the evidence to back it up every time some ones says It’s inevitable or certain or guaranteed.
    If there is evidence to the contrary I’d love to hear it. But all I do get is 40% Councillors nonsense.

  • Morpheus

    And all anyone gets from you is carefully selected stats from carefully selected time-frames which support a pre-determined conclusion while ignoring everything else as delusional. It fools absolutely no one and makes you indistinguishable from those who say it is ‘inevitable or certain or guaranteed’.

  • Zeno

    And all anyone gets from you is carefully selected stats

    MORPH
    That’s a compliment. The Polling Companies and Professional Analysts only use carefully selected stats. They, unlike you understand what is relevant and what is irrelevant.
    Tell me how many Councillors you need to win a referendum on UI again?

  • Morpheus

    Another example of taking the bit that suits and ignoring the rest. Bravo :)

  • Valenciano

    Where’s the evidence of nationalist apathy? The lowest turnouts were in N.Down&Ards and Mid-East Antrim, both solidly unionist councils. The drop in turnout in nationalist councils like Fermanagh&Omagh wasn’t any lower than the average drop in turnout. In Belfast, the highest turnout was in Black Mountain, which covers the Falls. The answer to the drop in the nationalist vote share can’t be explained simply by differential turnout, I’d be looking at the transfers from centrist parties when the results become available.

  • Politico68

    Valenciano, the vote gathered by Nationalist Parties in almost every constituency was on average ten points below below the % share of their constituency population. In this we see not so much apathy but in terms of numbers, a similar showing to that of recent elections. The percentages reflect an increased Unionist turnout particularly in areas where Uninists form a significant Minority. In fact, the situation is the reverse of what happened in the 1999 Euro elections. Then, nationalists came our in greater numbers in most constituency creating a surge the gave them 45% of the vote, way above what their constituency % represented; which at the time was about 40% of the electorate.