Slugger O'Toole

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IJP has commented 415 times (18 in the last month).

  1. Comment on Why the No side should be looking up in Scotland-by John McTernan #indyref
    on 17 April 2014 at 9:49 am


    I agree with zep, btw, re definition of success.

    44% yes would be all good for Salmond in practice.

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  2. Comment on Why the No side should be looking up in Scotland-by John McTernan #indyref
    on 17 April 2014 at 9:47 am

    All that said, I note I could now get 10/11 either side of 44% at Ladbroke’s.

    That’s a shift all right!

    (If I were a betting man I’d still place a bet on below 40% given my last para above.)

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  3. Comment on Why the No side should be looking up in Scotland-by John McTernan #indyref
    on 17 April 2014 at 8:14 am

    But actually that’s the key point Dewi.

    For all the talk about “polls closing” etc, the number stating they will definitely vote yes has never exceeded 40%; and the number stating they will definitely vote no has never been below that figure.

    I actually watch the bookies more than the polls – the polls need to do all kind of extrapolation, but the bookies are people putting money on what they thing will happen (actually more reliable, as your bias is not towards the outcome you want as it is in polling, but towards the outcome you genuinely expect). The bookies have been consistent at 41%.

    And then there is always, except where the change proposition is miles ahead, a late 5-8% swing to “no” – there was in Australia (republic) in 1999, in the UK (AV) in 2011, in Ireland last year (Seanad).

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  4. Comment on The 11 new district councils – projecting the 2011 votes
    on 17 April 2014 at 8:07 am


    And most bizarre of all, I am actually Alliance… weird!

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  5. Comment on Trouble at NI21 mill…
    on 16 April 2014 at 4:29 pm


    To be fair, this is clearly a non-issue. No harm to him, but here is a guy who refers to himself only as a “politician” having never stood for office ever. He doesn’t get selected and goes off in a strop. That happens to every party!

    Am Ghobsmacht

    The issue is that NI21 promised “fresh politics”, and indeed specified that they would “not sit on the fence”.

    There is nothing “fresh” about being constantly negative about other parties while having no ideas of your own – that’s what we already have!

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  6. Comment on The 11 new district councils – projecting the 2011 votes
    on 16 April 2014 at 12:54 am


    I was with you almost to the end there.

    If I follow you correctly, you suggest that NI21 will run in roughly half the DEAs, and that thus 4.7% becomes 2-3% overall (i.e. they average 4.7% where they stand but, obviously, zero elsewhere). However, you then add the (lack of) incumbency factor, thus suggesting this will be more like 2% overall, thus averaging 4% where they stand.

    The problem is, even this would in all probability deliver zero seats, assuming it’s relatively evenly spread (i.e all candidates score within the same general range, say in NI21′s case 3-5% – this happens with the NI Conservatives). Even 5% just never gets you in the running.

    It is a possibility they would get more than that around Lisburn, but I’ve been campaigning there and have honestly heard no hint of it whatsoever (that said, I heard no hint of Nicholson’s vote while campaigning in 2009, yet he was comfortably re-elected).

    Four seats in Lisburn is a hell of an ask – the Alliance Party has never managed it in its history (though it may do this time…)

    By the way, for a new party with no experienced election managers, merely getting 50 candidates correctly nominated would be some achievement, not least since we are now into injury time!

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  7. Comment on John Barry: “We need legislators, not negotiators…”
    on 11 April 2014 at 12:36 am

    The Greens made the frankly outrageous and fundamentally misleading argument that public sector workers shouldn’t have to work as long in Northern Ireland because “life expectancy in Belfast is eleven years shorter than in [wait for it] Kensington and Chelsea”.

    This is a deliberately misleading comparison between the inner city on one hand, and the most prosperous borough in the British Isles on the other!

    Here’s the thing: life expectancy in Northern Ireland is 82. And in Great Britain it’s [wait for it] 82.

    A fair comparison would have shown the Greens had no case whatsoever on their own terms. From the party which makes a fuss about using evidence, that was shocking stuff.

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  8. Comment on NI21 announce their Euro Candidate @NI21Chair Tina McKenzie
    on 11 April 2014 at 12:30 am


    No harm, but you don’t really understand politics and elections, do you?

    Tina will get fewer votes in the whole of Northern Ireland in 2014 than Naomi got in East Belfast alone in 2010. You do realise that, don’t you?

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  9. Comment on John Barry: “We need legislators, not negotiators…”
    on 10 April 2014 at 3:41 pm

    I think Ross Brown is an excellent European candidate, but too many Greens are frankly illiberal. They also look for discrimination even where none exists. Not that North Down is necessarily a beacon of progressive politics, but it has an essentially cross-community MP and had a Catholic Mayor before Belfast did.

    There was also the matter of seriously misleading comments made during the debate on the Pensions Bill, clearly implying things which were, bluntly, the opposite of the truth (so much for “peer reviewed science”) in order to attract the civil service vote. That’s not “clean politics” nor the “common good”, I’m afraid.

    I’m not sure ruling out fracking completely, given instability to our energy supply growing in the east, is all that wise either. (It is quite reasonable to oppose it until its safety has been demonstrated clearly, but not to oppose it outright to appease the NIMBYs.)


    If you’re a prospective candidate, you’ll need to know that “Bangor Central” is not a “ward”!

    It’s a “District Electoral Area” (DEA) made up of several wards.

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  10. Comment on NI21 announce their Euro Candidate @NI21Chair Tina McKenzie
    on 10 April 2014 at 7:59 am

    Don’t see why I would criticise Tina, other than for being naive enough to throw 5 grand at a campaign which exists only to provide Basil McCrea with a vehicle to try to maintain his own salary. She is exactly the type of person we need in politics – but she is being thrown in immediately at far too high a level without having learned the ropes.

    The basic difficulty is that NI21, like the NI Conservatives, has no concept as to how elections actually work.

    This has nothing to do with “policy” (although NI21 did say at the outset it “wouldn’t sit on the fence” before doing precisely that on absolutely every conceivable issue). It has to do, as Granni says, with hard work for constituents “on the ground”. That is what got Naomi elected to Westminster; that is what got Anna elected top of the poll to Stormont; that is what will get countless campaigners (of various parties, to be fair) elected to Councils on 22 May. NI21 simply hasn’t done that, and the results will show it.

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