Slugger Verdict: Ranking the PEBs of #ae16

It is now an annual election tradition on Slugger that we get a panel together to rank the party election broadcasts of all the political parties. Our panel of broadcaster, Jim Fitzpatrick and MCE Public Relations Director, Chris Brown got together to rate each broadcast out of ten.

And the winner is…..


  1. SDLP we thought was incredibly well put together, with great shots of the party leader and profiles of the candidates. There was also a consistent theme throughout and narrative worked well to give the party some identity.
  2. UUP profiled the leader Mike Nesbitt with a consistent narrative. We thought the lack of any candidates let it down slightly , but a clear message throughout.
  3. DUP was all about Arlene, with little emphasis on her candidates, but if she is an asset for her party then it could be used to good effect for the DUP. Parts of it were well shot and some the music we thought worked well.
  4. Alliance departed from their traditional approach of animation which we thought made this broadcast lack its former appeal. With so many marginal seats for the party, we wondered why none of them were profiled and the lack of human faces hindered the message.
  5. Sinn Fein broadcast was good, it had a positive message with some good musical overtones, but we didn’t feel that it grabbed the viewer, though Chris did note the appearances of figures like Martin McGuinness which distinguished this from other PEBs.
  6. Green Party had us slightly torn, some of us felt that due to the normal time that these broadcasts go out on TV this might not have worked for the average viewer. Jim was a bit switched off from the approach, particularly when they have many strong candidates to profile, which this PEB did not really do.
  7. TUV broadcast referenced some of the old messages within Unionism with an emphasis on debates from 2007. The broadcast had a focus on Jim Allister, but some of the graphics distracted the viewer from what was being said and the overall message.

Check out the winners from last year

David McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs

  • Vince

    SDLP have certainly sharpened the message and presentation this year – relevant, optimistic and challenging us to do better for those coming after us. Also has a broader appeal than the usual nationalist/unionist messages.

  • Given the research that shows people with children and grandchildren are more concerned about the enviroment, and will pay more for green goods, an appeal to parents and grandparents will have a bigger impact on voters than anything about particular candidates. Contrast the English Green Party PPB, which was a spoof on childish squabbling by other party leaders.

  • Cahir O’Doherty

    Not a bad ranking in my opinion, though I didn’t like the UUP’s visuals but that’s just a personal preference I guess.

    I’m almost certain that Sinn Fein reused a few shots from their Irish election broadcast, as well as the ‘person in a coffee shop’ thing. Can’t be bothered to check right now, but I might tomorrow.

    I’m glad that production values have gone up, they were all well made with good music and visuals (with the exception of the TUV, which looked like a crap powerpoint presentation from about 15 years ago (they could have also picked a sunny day to film Jim Allister, difficult though that is…))

    Also, the link to the SDLP’s broadcast is actually to the Alliance’s, maybe you can fix that!?

  • Joe Blogs

    So which party are focusing on jobs then?