The nationalist election battleground

Considering the news flows over the last few months have focused almost entirely on Northern Irish nationalism, Noel MacAdam is possibly justified in predicting that the big battles are going to be between SDLP and Sinn Fein. The SDLP’s problem is that they seem on track for a decent performance in the council elections, but have seemed certain to lose one of the more high profile Westminster seats since before the last Assembly election.

  • Sam Maguire

    Slightly unrelated but I saw the first election poster for the upcoming elections this morning – Geraldine Rice was quick off the mark in Balmoral with several in the Kings Hall’s area

  • peter

    Well its goodbye to Michelle and Paddy who will be booted back to Donegal.

    Goodbye also to David Trimble who tried to sell us out but was caught red handed in his treachery.

    A DUP triumph on May 5th. Oh Happy days.

    Ulster has at last woken up,

    God Save The Queen.

  • slackjaw

    Are there many ‘ulstermen’ like you, Peter?

  • Colm

    God save Queen Camilla

  • Oilbhéar Chromaill

    I’m sure Sinn Féin will be thanking Tony for picking 5 May, the day hunger striker and former Fermanagh Tyrone MP, Bobby Sands, died. If anything is designed to bring SF voters out, it’s that.

    As for Peter’s musings, it’s purely wishful thinking to believe that either Pat Doherty or Michelle Gildernew will be ousted. There’s no credible candidates to oppose either.

    The DUP may have a clean sweep of unionist seats this time around but once Sinn Féin mops up the SDLP, it will be the next target.

    This is definitely the last hurrah for the DUPs.

  • carlosblancos

    Durkan will win, as will McGrady. Witness a decreased SF vote in South Belfast as the Malone/Lisburn Roaders stop giving their transfers to SF and the Short Strand/Lower Ormeau/Markets SF vote will decline, if only slightly.

    Gildernew is safe. Is the SDLP candidate in West Tyrone running?

  • PS

    What transfers Carlos? Did Blair announce a change of electoral system as well while I was having a lie in this morning?!

  • Alan McDonald

    Here in the USA I have encountered Catholics that I would describe as “born agains.” Do you have them over there?

  • Alan McDonald

    Sorry. That last comment was supposed to be attached to the Pope/Al Green thread.

  • carlosblacos

    PS,

    Aren’t we having a local government election as well mate?

  • GavBelfast

    Meanwhile, on the Upper Newtownards Road, Reg Empey is all over the place.

    Some would say: and not for the first time.

    (I’ll get me coat ….)

  • PS

    Yes, but the conversation, and your poat, was about Westminster.

  • Bigwhitedove

    Carlos, amigo
    Do you want to explain to us when anyone has ever witnessed SDLP voters in Malone/ Lisburn Rd transfer to SF. It wasnt in 2003 as Alex Maskey outpolled Both SDLP candidates and didnt need their transfers In the 2001 LGE they transferred en mass to the SDLP 2nd candidate, Alliance and even UUP before SFs candidate

    When did it happen? or are you just hopeful that it will?

  • carlosvandango

    PS,

    I was speculating about both local government and Westminister as per the quote at the start of the thread; “The SDLP’s problem is that they seem on track for a decent performance in the council elections, but have seemed certain to lose one of the more high profile Westminster”.

    Bigwhitedove,

    You are obviously expert on specifics to PR elections, while I am not. However I venture to suggest (i thought that was allowed here) that middle class voters across NI who may have transferred last time to SF may not this time and will avoid doing so because of McCartney and other events. I’m also pretty sure that the SF vote in South Belfast will decline.

    And of course the SF candidate outpolled the SDLP candidate in S Belfast. 1 candidate outpolling 2 in a PR election says nothing about the respective electoral strength of the single candidate. SDLP in total polled 7176 to SF’s 3933 in that election.

  • bigwhitedove

    Carlos, fair point tranfers will be crucial in deciding the final seat in many constituencies
    but the point I was trying to make is that there is no baseline in SB to establish the precentage of SDLP votes that transfer to SF in any election,
    therefore it will be impossible to see how it fluctuates in this particular constituency due to the incident you describe,

  • Davros

    I’m sure Sinn Féin will be thanking Tony for picking 5 May, the day hunger striker and former Fermanagh Tyrone MP, Bobby Sands, died. If anything is designed to bring SF voters out, it’s that.

    Maybe in that case OC Sinn Féin should have organised their Rally protesting againsts attempts to criminalise Republicans which only drew about 200 people for May the 5th ? Heavens, maybe a dizzy 300 might have showed up LOL

  • PatMcLarnon

    ‘The SDLP’s problem is that they seem on track for a decent performance in the council elections,’

    What exactly is this theory based on? The Westminster constituency of North Belfast is largely comprised of the Oldpark ward and Castle wards. In Oldpark SF have three councillors and the SDLP have one. In the Castle ward SF have one and the SDLP have two.
    Despite his apparent U turn Martin Morgan threw the SDLP in the area into disarray. They couldn’t find a candidate for Oldpark and there was ructions between Alban Magennis and Pat Convery over which of the two councillors for Castle would be parachuted into Oldpark. Convery refused point blank and it was left to constituency old timer Alban to make the jump.
    In Oldpark SF will retain their three seats and the SDLP vote is strong enough for Magennis to retain Morgan’s old seat.
    The problem for the SDLP is in Castle. Magennis farmed that ward for years and had a personal vote. The SDLP now have Convery and a newcomer called Harding. For the first time SF are now standing two candidates. The SDLP will be under pressure to retain this seat on Belfast CC.

    Over at Balrog Chris predicts that the SDLP will lose seats in Newry.
    Is there any reason for the SDLP to feel optimistic at the council elections?

  • PatMcLarnon

    It should not be forgotten that in the Oldpark ward the other two seats are held by Nelson Mc Causland and Billy Hutchinson. If the DUPer bandwagon continues, plus the advantage of Dodds defending his Westminster seat on the same day, Billy Hutchinson could be in danger of losing his seat. Hastening the demise of the PUP.

  • J Kelly

    In Derry the SDLP will lose three seats and will be in a fight for another three. This could reduce them from fourteen to eight coupled with losing the Westminster seat Durkan will be toast.

  • Davros

    On the plus side for the SDLP Martin Morgan has had a change of heart.

  • PS

    Don’t see how this is going to be a good council election for the SDLP. They have lost their advantage over Sinn Féin in Westminster seats, in Assembly seats and in European seats and come May 5th they’ll lose their advantage in council seats as well.

  • Eire 32

    For the sake of the nationalist people of Belfast who have been cheated out of at least 2 of 4 seats. Could SF and the SDLP not work together and do a deal that Maskey dosnt run in the south and Maginnis not run in the north. With the DUP and UUP on bad terms at the moment theres 2 seats there for the taking if they would only open their eyes!

  • Eire 32

    For the sake of the nationalist people of Belfast who have been cheated out of at least 2 of 4 seats. Could SF and the SDLP not work together and do a deal that Maskey dosnt run in the south and Maginnis not run in the north. With the DUP and UUP on bad terms at the moment theres 2 seats there for the taking if they would only open their eyes!

  • Chris Gaskin

    I don’t believe in pacts and would prefer if the electorate decided for themselves who they wanted to represent them.

    Nationalists fought long and hard for 1 man 1 vote, lets not deprive them of their choice.

  • madmax

    How would an electoral pact work to increase the number of nationalist seats, would this not give a nationalist majority???
    why did both nationalist parties release a paper on unity, do they believe there is a posibility of a yes vote in favour of a united ireland?