After the series on party fortunes after the elections an overview is now needed badly The MSM isn’t doing it. Someone should. This is not it. From afar :
I’ve no idea why the 50+% odd vote was 15% higher than in England. Any guesses? Where are you Nicholas Whyte? Is there a good analysis of differential turnout that I’ve missed?
In the North small earthquake in Chile. Not much has changed politically.
Unionist parties ran a race to the right and increased their collective share.
Is Unionism venturing crab like towards old school UUUC unity or just pacts? Is this a long term strategy to meet the long term demographic challenge? A short term one to regain East Belfast and South Belfast in 2015? Or a stave off the threat –again – created by the DUP of a Sinn Fein First Minister in 2016? Do they seriously think they can keep an overall right wing unionist majority long term? See my rival scenario for competition between soft unionism and soft republicanism inspired by Alex Salmond
Centre ground meltdown hasn’t happened. On this I’m a glass half full person. I have always argued that in a 108 member Assembly elected by STV this was always unlikely. Grabbing the leading roles was the easy bit.
We don’t know what the Sinn Fein peak is but it seems not far away, unless the SDLP in the North and Labour in the south implode. Having got this his far on near- empty tanks I don’t see why shouldn’t continue the miracle.
I’m puzzled why people are so impressed by Sinn Fein’s political strategy. It’s really the same as Churchill’s “keep buggering on”. It’s just that they’ve realised the game for today is percentages rather than the DUP’s old favourite the zero sum which these days is little better than self abuse.
I hear rumours that the DUP may accept the SF challenge of a border referendum in 2016. Forget it. The British government whose call it is, won’t pass it. For another thing apart from that it’s a bonkers idea, the rules say when a majority might be in in favour of a united Ireland ( not confirming a majority in favour of keeping the Union).
Why isn’t Alliance doing significantly better? Apart from Naomi and Anna too afraid to step outside the comfort zone of respectable decency? Get committed to abortion law reform!
I’m puzzled to see small bouquets handed out for Executive performance. I must have missed this. All I’ve seen recently are: collapse finally of single more powerful education authority that could have clipped the bishops’ wings ; withdrawal of scheme to break up the Housing Executive; continuing deadlock over welfare payments reform; still no plans to increase local revenues. Hopes of creative new style of governments in the super councils are likely to be dashed. Was this the shared future? The increase in powers increase is literally cosmetic and anyway, there’s no money.
Have I missed something? Very likely. As Mick rightly observes, much reporting is still stuck in the past. Which reminds me…..
Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London