So who will take the fall in Sinn Fein’s secret vote management strategy for FST?

So here’s something to keep an eye on when the votes are counted. Julian Fowler has news of Sinn Fein’s vote management strategy in FST: ie it is to be a total secret between Sinn Fein’s election workers and its voters.

As most of you with longish memories will remember, things in Fermanagh South Tyrone SF did not go according to plan in the selection process. So according to Fowler…

Sinn Féin won three assembly seats in 2011 and this year the party is fielding four candidates after Michelle Gildernew, the former MP and agriculture minister, was selected, then dropped, and then selected again.

Each candidate has divided up the constituency with their own posters that make no mention of their party’s running-mates, but Mrs Gildernew said this was a practical move.

She said: “My name’s massive – I mean, Gildernew – you’ll want a good poster to fit it on!”
She said Sinn Féin does a lot of canvassing and will do its vote management on the doorsteps.

It’s not like any party to be so coy as to how they are going to manage the vote. There is likely to be an interesting story to come out on spun out across two days of the count.

Not least who has the management strategy deliberately lined up to try and get three out of four candidates through what is narrowing race with the SDLP?

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  • hugh mccloy

    I can only guess, but Sandra out polled Ian in the MP election, probably talked about 2 people standing to play sweeper, bit of internal strife so its down to the best man wins, between them 1 will get elected unless TUV get a big swing. I would guess it will go like this, 1 sf to hit the quota, workers, ukip, green, alliance will all be low and will be done and dusted. If SDLP dont get enough to go over the line at this stage, the lower DUP and TUV will be carved up electing 1 UUP and 1 DUP, no more people to go out so SDLP and 2 SF remaining fills the seats. Only a guess but I dont think it will be far off the mark

  • Skibo

    With only three standing for SF and MMG in Foyle, do you not see the possibility of a West Tyrone for Mid Ulster with all three elected on the first vote. If they can get the vote strategy right. If Patsy cannot get over the line without transfers with only one standing, maybe its time to give someone else a chance.

  • hugh mccloy

    No, at the end of the day people made it a mission to vote MMG, that old era that went out to put Willie mccrea out, it showed in by election with Molloy and again if you look at the council, remember last time MMG was only one who hit quota, even his dished out extra did not get the rest over the line. If anything MMG not standing helps Patsy though he might need help but bar that he will survive the race. west tyrone will be different, so many issues there I think it will be a long count but one of the independents could get in, with Deeny already cracking the door to prove an independent could get in that’s a more realistic outcome. I see gold mine posters covering up SF posters on the way into Omagh and greencastle so not all is well there.

  • Skibo

    The west will make interesting reading this time out. Can SF hold their ground and if not will it be SDLP or independents or PBP they have to watch. A larger field of candidates hopefully bring more out to vote. It pains me to see how many don’t bother expressing the right to vote.
    I am impressed at you standing the last time. Over 900 against two party machines is no small fate. Interesting to see where those votes fall.

  • Lionel Hutz

    All may not be well but I really don’t see any chance of a change of party seats. The SDLP will get one. Sinn Fein will get 3 although I suspect McDermott will replace either Boyle or McAleer. The UUP will get one and the DUP will get one. The UUP might out poll DUP which will be important for the next assembly election.

    The independents have mostly run out of steam already.

  • hugh mccloy

    900 against 2 party machines, sf and sdlp added in an extra candidate to null the transfer, and by admission of some in the camp the other independent was stood to mess up the independent vote. Things got real and dirty in Mid Ulster last time as there was the chance of a protest vote. I was happy with what i got against the odds, far more than expected.

  • hugh mccloy

    Probably, but Deeny showed it can be done. It different for independents in places where independents have never broke the barrier, the public mindset in west tyrone is already open to independents.

  • Lionel Hutz

    It might give people belief that the independent can win…but it also gave an insight into the independent being a little ineffectual.

  • hugh mccloy

    Yes, but 18 years of nothing will do funny things