Author Archive | Peter Donaghy (Salmon of Data)

Current Forecast v2

Running to stand still – how the move from six seats to five seats could hurt the UUP much more than the DUP

Previously, I looked at what might be expected from next month’s Assembly election if the current polling, showing a fall in support for the DUP with a corresponding rise in support for the Alliance Party and the UUP, is indicative of public support. The forecast model anticipated that the UUP could expect to receive 14 more…

UUPvSDLP_Table

Forecasting the 2017 Assembly Election

The snap Assembly election called for the 2nd of March 2017 will be the first to return 5 MLAs from each constituency, reducing the total number of MLAs from 108 to 90. This, combined with indications of a fall in support for the DUP and a rise in support for the Green Party and People more…

NI Exports

Dublin Airport – Northern Ireland’s gateway to the world

Yesterday’s announcement that Brussels Airlines are withdrawing their route from Belfast City Airport to Brussels is the latest in a series of setbacks for Northern Ireland’s aviation sector, following the controversy surrounding the termination of United Airlines’ route from Belfast International to Newark. The habit of throwing government funds at airlines to coax them into more…

ni-exports-by-type

Hard Brexit, trade, and the border

Today’s announcement by the Prime Minister Theresa May that Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon will be triggered in March 2017 has brought into sharp focus the potential impact that a hard Brexit could have on the Northern Ireland economy. Should the UK leave the European Union without any form of free trade deal more…

Why we need more sixth century historians

“All this has happened before, and all of it will happen again.”  – Battlestar Galactica Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s University, Patrick Johnston, caused a furore this week with his comments claiming that “society does not need a 21-year-old that’s a sixth century historian”. Instead, he opined that “It needs a 21-year-old who really understands how to more…

SF SDLP UI Support

Constitutional uncoupling, or the decline in support for Nationalist parties amongst the Catholic community of Northern Ireland

Unmistakeably one of the main stories of the 2016 Assembly election has been the sharp drop in the share of the vote of Sinn Féin and the SDLP, which has fallen 3.6% since the 2015 General Election and 5.6% from the 41.2% combined share that they polled at the previous Assembly election in 2011. This more…

Global Property Prices

Limerick tops global property price affordability index for the second year in a row

The latest release of Demographia’s annual survey of house price affordability has created headlines for highlighting how chronically unaffordable property is in Hong Kong. Median property prices in the territory were a staggering 19 times median household incomes in the third quarter of 2015, a new record in the twelve years that the survey has more…

Investment & Productivity Growth

The Importance of Not Being Idle – Northern Ireland’s productivity problem

Since the financial crash of 2008, and the Great Recession which followed, the UK has been struggling with a productivity crisis. Productivity, defined here as the increase in GDP per hour worked, increased very steadily in the UK for fifty years until 2008. Since then, productivity growth has halted entirely. As is becoming traditional when more…

All Benefits

Truth or Consequences: the potential impact of un-devolving welfare

One of the more idiosyncratic aspects of life in Northern Ireland is that the sort of constitutional crisis that would leave most countries in a spate of ear-to-the-radio, markets-tumbling panic, barely passes as newsworthy. The threat of dissolution of the Assembly and the end of the power-sharing Executive is regarded with the same complete lack more…

Various Inflation Measures v2

What’s that got to do with the price of fish? The growing gap between inflation and the perception of inflation

Last week’s news that the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rate of UK inflation has dipped below zero for the first time since official records began in 1996, and for the first time since 1960 based on equivalent historical estimates, caused a range of reactions amongst commentators and politicians. The Chancellor, George Osborne, was keen to more…

UK Votes Since 2009

Bloc Rockin’ Beats – how Scandinavia became the dominant force at the Eurovision Song Contest

With parties bitterly divided over Europe, a voting system widely considered unfair, and tactical voting skewing the outcome, it’s clearly that time of year again. The 60th annual Eurovision Song Contest is being held in Vienna following Conchita Wurst’s victory last year in Copenhagen with Rise Like A Phoenix. This year Sweden is the favourite more…

Lib Dem Falls

All the right votes in all the right places – how the Tory electoral strategy triumphed

The General Election of 2015 has been the worst for opinion pollsters since their calamitous evening in 1992. Whilst almost all pollsters and commentators had expected a hung parliament, with weeks of constitutional crisis, deadlock, and possible three party coalitions, in the event the Conservative Party won an absolute majority. As was widely predicted, Labour more…

2010 Results and Twitter

If #GE2015 was decided by Twitter – the candidates with the most followers in each constituency

Politicians’ attitudes towards social media have evolved significantly since David Cameron’s famously disparaging comments about Twitter in 2009. Social media is now widely accepted as one of the key theatres of the electoral battle, and is widely being used by politicians and aspiring candidates to build a relationship with potential voters and boost their profile. more…

UK Affordability

What Goes Boom – the Northern Ireland housing bubble in an international context

Yesterday’s reports that prospective purchasers were queueing to purchase properties at the new Belvoir Park development in South Belfast will have brought back memories for some of the housing boom of 2006-7, when it was a common sight to see people waiting overnight for an opportunity to purchase newly built apartments and houses. There have more…

Anglesea 2013

Valleys of trouble – Labour’s difficulties in their Welsh heartland

Last night’s leaders debate marked the introduction of Leanne Wood, and her party Plaid Cymru, to the British mainstream political audience. Plaid received 165,394 votes in the 2010 General Election, fewer than the DUP (168,216) and Sinn Féin (171,942). Leanne Wood unashamedly played to the audience at home throughout the debate, and it is very more…