Hearts and Minds: is there a way forward?

Tonight on Hearts and Minds: the Secretary of State Paul Murphy explores the Assembly options open to the Governments in the wake of the Northern bank job. Voluntary coalition….non executive scrutiny powers…. Appointed commissioners and should it happen with or without Sinn Fein? What are the chances of a Unionist pact in key seats to keep nationalists at bay in the Westminster elections?

  • TroubledTimes

    If Unionists pact it will damage Sinn Fein the most and that is what their intention will be.
    I believe they can unseat Michelle Gildernew in Fermanagh/South Tyrone with one candidate.
    They could also do damage in West Tyrone to Pat Doherty if they withdrew and allowed Dr Kieran Deeney a free run. However this would require the SDLP to withdraw also. That could be interesting.
    They could also withdraw from Foyle in order to damage Mitchel McLaughlins hopes.
    Sinn Fein will be looking to make inroads in Newry/Armagh and South Down.
    I think this will be the toughest election for the SDLP ever, if they remain the same and do not merge with a southern party I think that they could face a wipeout.

  • cg

    Troubled Times

    Unionists and stoops and the British and the 26 county governments can throw everything they have at Republicans but it won’t make any difference.

    Hopefully this election will shut a lot of people up with regards exclusion and other such nonsense.

  • Keith M

    I have to say that I’m a great supporter in pacts to keep out SF/IRA until such time as that party abandons its absentionist policy, but I was very disappointed by tonight’s dabate.

    Arlene Foster’s self serving nonsense defied any logic, and I just cannot see her being an agreed candidate for FST.

    Troubled Times “They could also withdraw from Foyle in order to damage Mitchel McLaughlins hopes”. If I was a unionist in Foyle I’d be sorely tempted to tactically vote for McLaughlin just to get hid of Durkan.

  • Davros

    After Mitchel’s performances, I hope he does get elected ahead of Durkan. The Union will be safe for another century LOL The time to worry is if they stand capable candidates.

  • cg

    “I hope he does get elected ahead of Durkan. The Union will be safe for another century LOL”

    LOL, keep dreaming Davros 😉

  • Davros

    Hell cg, I might even give him my votes LOL

  • cg

    I told you I would turn you to the dark side eventually LOL

  • cg

    As brewster might say, the union is dead long live the union
    LOL

  • Davros

    I thought I was already on the dark side ? LOL

  • cg

    No Davros voting for stoops is well beyond the dark side even the man downstairs wouldn’t do that LOL 😉

  • Alan

    *Unionists and stoops and the British and the 26 county governments can throw everything they have at Republicans but it won’t make any difference.*

    GMU are reporting that a poll in the south has seen Adams’ support drop by 9 points in the first such poll since the robbery. Does anyone have the details on this?

  • Davros

    Alan- Irish Independent has story here. If you cannot access, e mail me and I’ll send a copy.

    Adams down 9, Ahern up 7 despite the McCabe Fiasco.
    The SF vote only dropped a little (1%) and FF vote
    rose (3%). For some reason FG vote dropped (2%) as did Enda Kenny’s supprt.

  • Henry94

    Sinn Fein support is 11% in the poll. Down 1%. Adams has a 42% approval rating 38% disapprove.

    Fine Gael are down 2% Labour are becalmed at 13% Greens and PDs 4% each.

    The overall impact of the poll is that it looks good for Bertie. The Sinn Fein vote is solid but non-Sinn Fein voters are less fond of Gerry Adams than they were.

    Still, a 42% approval rating is not bad for someone accused by the Taoiseach of complicity in a bank robbery.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    SF are standing at 11%, a remarkable showing given the media onslaught of recent weeks. Michael Mc Dowell must feel like doing a Ronnie Flannigan.

  • Keith M

    Pat, the PDs are up and SF are down (albeit by only 1%). If there’s any message to McDowell it is to keep on going as before. Also the polling was done before the full impact of McLaughlin’s gaffe hit home.

  • Alan

    It’s interesting that the poll was conducted as the Mitchel incident was in progress and before the IRA denial, so it’s hard to judge.

    *The Sinn Fein vote is solid but non-Sinn Fein voters are less fond of Gerry Adams than they were.*

    Yes, but, surely, that is where SF future success lies?

  • Henry94

    The PDs are up at FGs expense by the looks of it so McDowells targeting of the “Blueshirt” may pay off.

    But it is not hurting Sinn Fein.

    You have to hand it to Bertie. We all laughed at his claims to be a socialist but he has got some bounce.

    It looks like a significant number of voters want right-wing policies and left-wing rhetoric.

  • aquifer

    The IRA have the Unionists exactly where they want them. No functioning regional government, one rejectionist party led by a fundamentalist pastor, the other inextricably linked to an anti-catholic cabal. The IRA won’t allow an assembly anytime soon in case unionists in government are better for catholics than their billing, and the Unionists are blind to their bind.

    Unionists only ever complimented the IRA, effective frustration of its aims was ever beyond them.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    KeithM,

    dream on, or else stop smoking unionisms more exotic products. The PD’s are at a pathetic 4%. This despite the fact that Mc Dowell et al have had free access to the media for the best part of a month. Keep up the good work indeed.

  • J Kelly

    Opinion polls at least two years before the next election mean nothing SF will grow at the next 26 county elections. In the North there will no pacts SF will seven seats. Durkan is finished in Foyle and McGrady has a real fight on his hands against the very capable Caitriona Ruane. Even the most ardent supporter of SF are afmitting that the current onslaught by political opponents and media is having no effect on the SF support base.

  • J Kelly

    Opinion polls at least two years before the next election mean nothing SF will grow at the next 26 county elections. In the North there will no pacts SF will seven seats. Durkan is finished in Foyle and McGrady has a real fight on his hands against the very capable Caitriona Ruane. Even the most ardent supporter of SF are admitting that the current onslaught by political opponents and media is having no effect on the SF support base.

  • Davros

    J Kelly- the Irish News today reports that Martin Cunningham is considering standing against Catri/Caitri/Caitríona Ruane. If he does, will that put paid to her chances ?

  • Davros

    Another point – if SF dropped because of the onslaught by opponents and media, How come Bertie and his party came out well despite the equally vitriolic treatment he and they got for the proposed release of the murderers of Garda mcCabe?

  • J Kelly

    Davros not my patch dont really know but as an outsider its going to be very tight and any fragmenting or splitting of the vote could damage.

  • Henry94

    Davros

    We can conclude that the Gerry McCabe issue is not a big deal for voters. If it was FF would have lost support and the Fine Gael would have gone up.

  • Keith M

    Pat McL : “dream on …. The PD’s are at a pathetic 4%.”. That “pathetic 4%” is the exact same figure they achieved in the last election, when they returned 8 TDs. Rememebering that this is a mid-term poll, and their coalition partners are down on the 2002 vote share, this is a solid endorsement for the PDs. When it comes to election time, it will be Harney’s efforts in Health that will have far more to do with the PD performance than anything McDowell has done or said. However at the moment, it’s certainly a case of “steady as she goes” for the Pds.