Sylvia odds on favourite in North Down

It’s probably clear now that, much like the SDLP, the UUP don’t have many safe seats. Sylvia Hermon’s North Down constituency is not safe in precisely the way Eddie McGrady’s seat in the south of the county is not safe either. If both can galvanise their core vote they should be safe home. Chris Thornton on the overwhelmingly Unionist base of North Down, where Hermon is probably the only Unionist candidate (of either stripe) that can expect substantial backing from the small but significant Catholic population there. She’s the clear favourite with Eastwoods!

  • Jim Bob

    In terms of what’s going on in Unionism at the moment, you need to reflect upon the fact that Unionism itself has split almost as many times as Republicanism. From O’Neill on it’s been split after split. And we’re witnessing another split at the moment. Unionists and UUP party members are moving to the DUP.

    Perhaps now Unionism will get to something it’s more comfortable with, more representative of feelings on the ground. It’s only then that it can think about what it is to be a Unionist, and to debate that etc. Previously it’s been fighting within itself for the most part.

    A DUP triumph is a crystallisation which can answer those questions, or not answer them, and more easily be attacked or supported etc. It’s a reflective moment for Unionism and hopefully a productive moment too.

  • plain joe

    Want a laugh go [http://www.allianceparty.org/news.asp?id=853|here]

    “Alliance Westminster candidate David Alderdice has said Alliance is well positioned to cause an upset”.

    At first I thought it must mean by dividing the UUP vote and letting in the DUP but NO how wrong could I be. This is the sort of thing that really does put me off Alliance I should want to support them but the cringe factor is repelling me. Be honest you are standing for Westminster to boost your image for the council elections and to enable you to spend more than would be allowed for a council candidate.

    In the Assembly elections Alliance got 6.3% now the question this time is will it rise or fall in the squeeze. I think he will be lucky to retain his deposit.

    Ooops don’t think so David.

  • Jim Bob

    That’s a pretty cool winning strategy there “plain joe”

    Attack the Alliance party!

    Are you new to Northern Ireland politics?

  • Valenciano

    Does Thornton actually research these articles at all? He claimed in his North Belfast review that Rathcoole was getting added to Belfast North when in fact it has been part of that seat for a decade and now he claims that Kilfedder was MP for 16 years when in fact it was 25. Minor details – but a bit of accuracy would be nice. He also makes the bland assertion that “the bulk of McCartney´s vote will transfer to the DUP.” Probably but where´s the supporting evidence? In fact looking at the local and assembly elections at least one third of the UKUP vote usually goes to the UUP. All in all a pointless article which could have been written by a 16 year old GCSE politics student and adds little to people´s knowledge.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    Eastwoods apparently offering 500-1 on Trimble joining the DUP.

    Just passing it on.

  • Jacko

    Speaking of 16 year old GCSE student insights (or just plain meaningless crap):

    “A DUP triumph is a crystallisation which can answer those questions, or not answer them, and more easily be attacked or supported etc.”

  • A.W.

    Assembly election percentages

    UUP 9,887 32.1%, -0.5%)
    DUP 7,245 (23.5%, +16.6%)
    UKUP 3,583 (11.6%, -10.8%)
    Inds 2,964 (9.6%, +6.0%)
    Alliance 2,655 (8.6%, -5.8%)
    SDLP 1,519 (4.9%, -0.6%)
    NIWC 1,181 (3.8%, -1.0%)
    Green 730 (2.4%)
    Cons 491 (1.6%, +0.7%)
    PUP 316 (1.0%, -2.7%)
    SF 264 (0.9%)

    From Nicholas Whyte’s site

    We can see this is anything but plain sailing for the DUP. Yes their vote went up but largely at the expanse of the UKUP. They also probably pulled votes from the UUP but they in turn were replaced by Alliance votes and Alliance was squeezed.

    There are the SDLP, Green and NIWC which are around 11% and I can’t see much of that going to the DUP. I think the UUP are favourites unless the local party implodes as they are doing elsewhere.

    Plain Joe

    Eileen Bell got 6.3% Alliance had two candidates and the total was 8.6% though I agree Alliance will again be squeezed. There is no point in mocking smaller parties life is hard enough for them and they have to talk up their prospects don’t they, but if Alliance does well DUP take this seat.

  • IJP

    A wise man once said: ‘If enough people get out and vote for you, you’ll probably win.’

  • A.W.

    IJP

    I agree. If only they would, but crap voting system and credibility in the eyes of the electorate is the problem.

  • Jim Bob

    Jim Bob, a good point was lost because of bad language and childish name calling- referred to Mick A.U.

  • Justice

    This is a good DUP strategy. They want Sylvia to look a cert so that there are no tactical Alliance votes moving to her. They are deliberately playing it down.

    This is the most interesting price Eastwoods is offering. A few pounds on Weir might be worth trying.

  • Alan

    When are the bookies going to go decimal. This 11/4 lark just confuses the vestigial remains of presbyterian in me.

    Mind you, perhaps that’s all for the best.

  • Keith M

    For decades North Down has been the oddest of constituencies, electing the most peripheral unionist parties. Who apart from Jim Kilfedder was in the UPUP? Alright, Bob McCartney’s UKUP was bigger, but it never really became more than a one man band (and when alternative voices were raised, they didn’t stay around for long). It would be totally fitting that North Down because the last little enclave of the Trimblite UUP. As for automatically becoming leader, there’s no chance. IIRC Harry West was leader of the UUP, despite not being an MP at the time.

    Who cares who leads the UUP in future? Trimble has done what republicans and Paisley have tried to do for years, make the UUP irrelevant. 1 (or even 2 MPs) won’t disguise that.

  • Mick

    Jim. Yellow Card.

  • IJP

    A.W.

    Spot on.

    If all the people who are telling me they’re ‘fed up with the lot of them’ came out and voted for Alderdice, he’d romp home!

    The bookies are very seldom wrong. As an independent analyst living and working in the constituency I would agree with them on this one. But believe me, stranger things have happened!

    (Off now to stick a fiver on Castle to win Upper Bann at 200s…)

  • davidbrew

    My NIO source (remember he called Gilliland as a UUP headhunt in 2003 BTW) says that their private polling suggests only Sylvia survives- and that she’s then going to be offered the Labour Whip!

  • Alan2

    I would agree with that. Lady Silvia..just….and possibly Burnside.

  • Duped

    Ah poor peter weir, even david brewster given up on him already.

  • PS

    Is Weir at 5/2 not worth a punt?

    The 03 assembly election results puts a combined DUP/ UKUP total 1000 ahead of the UUP. Are the 3000 independent Unionist votes more likely to switch to the DUP or UUP and how much many of the 4000 SDLP/Alliance votes will go tactically to the UUP?

    These are the variable factors involved but given the fact that the DUP seem to be walking all over the UUP in South Belfast, Weir seems a good value bet.

  • Alan2

    People should still vote for the party they feel most comfotable with but as stated Lady Silvia would be the most “solid” candidate that the UUP have fielded but as also stated it is by no means certain what with UKUP Bob McCartney not standing.

  • Keith M

    Best bet that I can see out there at the moment is the DUP to get 10 seats or more : 5/2 at Eastwoods. So tempting it got be to open an account and place a bet.

  • guggler

    I for one don’t agree with Mrs Herman’s politics but she does present as at least a person of some integrity and education and has never to my knowledge supported terrorist scum on either side. It is heartening at least to see the educated classes participating in public life here, in the main it seems to being polluted with ill-educated religious zealots and corner-boy terrorists/criminals and their deluded otherwise-unemployable layabout brethren.

    It’s time the United Kingdom taxpayer reclaimed the nation from the barrel-boy liberal opportunist bureaucrats in London and Brussels and the frightening criminal jetsam which characaterises Northern Irish public life.

    Thank you.

  • arthur

    DUP picked wrong candidate, Weir has to much baggage and not well liked, Easton would have been a much wiser choose!

  • yerman

    duped
    Peter Weir not winning the seat is hardly meltdown for the DUP. It really is quite surreal that the UUP claim victory by not being beaten in one seat possibly. Lets remember, Weir is coming from a situation where is is a serious contender (albeit maybe a longish shot at present) for a seat where the DUP had no Assembly Members elected in 1998.

    To build from that to having 2 MLAs now and a solid base to challenge Hermon is hardly to be lauged at. He could win – it all depends on how things play out on the day. However, even if he doesnt topple her this time, it just tees it up for next time around when he can beat Sylvia Hermon: Labour Party.

    The DUP need to have somewhere to win next time round too…. winning every seat this time round would be boring, need to keep the hunger there 😉

  • Arthur

    I hope dup win, but Weir wont get another chance next time , if he is ever going to win it is now, and i dont see it happening, but might be wrong. Weir lost the orange vote in North Down and that was very foolish!

  • A.W.

    I was pondering if this election will be the high water mark for the DUP and SF? They must be near their peak? In many way I would prefer it if they did annihilate the SDLP and UUP for after than there is no where to go but down. I would rather be done with all the petty posturing and in fighting. Quick kills are much more human (to voters) than slow death.

    In all probability Durkin and Trimble will loose their seats and both those parties really have to ask serious questions about their future roles.

  • A>W.

    Sorry few obvious typos above, must remove the boxing gloves.

  • A>W.

    Sorry few obvious typos above, must remove the boxing gloves.

  • A>W.

    Sorry few obvious typos above, must remove the boxing gloves.

  • A>W.

    Sorry few obvious typos above, must remove the boxing gloves.

  • PS

    It will be somewhat ironic if the only seat the UUP hold when Trimble resigns as leader will be one they didn’t hold when he became leader.

  • Intelligence Insider

    Firstly, sorry to Mick for previous comments, since deleted, I can understand why you acted as such! I was wrong to imply anything and apologise unreservedly. It is my view that Lady Hermon is the best person to represent the people of North Down, that Peter Weir is unfit to do so, and that all unionists should insure that they are represented by voting UUP.

  • IJP

    II

    all unionists should insure that they are represented by voting UUP.

    Eh??????? Expecting SF to nick North Down on the blindside, presumably?!

    How about all NI democrats being represented by locally accountable devolved institutions?

    But you won’t get that by voting Unionist.

  • Keith M

    IJP “How about all NI democrats being represented by locally accountable devolved institutions? But you won’t get that by voting Unionist.”

    Both unionist parties favour voluntary power sharing with democratic nationalist parties. Who ever else it is (Adams/Durkan/PoNeill) it isn’t unionists who are holding up devolution.

  • IJP

    Hi Keith,

    Precisely,.although it’s worth pointing out that it’s only recently the Unionist parties have come around to Alliance’s way of thinking. As usual, Alliance was well ahead of the field.

    But to the point: a Unionist vote sends a simple message: ‘pro-union’. Nationalists, who for quite understandable reasons mistrust Unionists, can get away then with the tribal line ‘Unionists want this therefore we don’t’ and can get away with further stalemate.

    A strong Alliance vote, though, is a clear and unmistakeable mandate to ‘get on with it’, and there’s no escaping for the intransigents in SF or the unrealists in the SDLP.

    We already know the majority supports the Union. Frankly, we already know the result in 17 out of 18 constituencies (Foyle is the exception). So people should use their vote to send a message – they can either vote tribal which tells us nothing and gives us stalemate, or they can send a clear message for progress.

  • yerman

    IJP – apologies for going off topic, but who are you calling in South Belfast?

  • IJP

    yerman

    After yesterday’s _Seven Days_, who do you think?!

    One wonders whether a certain candidate will even bother to turn up at the polling station!

  • Dup Or Sinn Fein to be largest party

    Back on topic a DUP is a possibility with Alliance now in the race.

    Again a vote for the DUP here will help ensure that Sinn Fein Ira are not returned as the largest party in Northern Ireland.

    Why should Syliva represent unionists when she seeks to rely on Alliance and nationalist votes.

  • IJP

    Nonsense.

    1. The bookies are very very very rarely wrong.

    2. Sylvia is odds-on in North Down.

    3. The DUP will be by far the largest party (no one needs to ‘ensure’ it!)

    Other than ‘beating themmuns’, is there any good reason for voting Unionist at all, out of interest?

  • Dup Or Sinn Fein to be largest party

    Representation at Wesminster

    Accountable democracy without certain parties holding onto their weapons(Only DUP offer this)

    Standing up for Orange rights(UUP seem to have forfitted this)

    Hard work on the grassroot level actually the DUP are well known for their hard work despite the utter nonsense from the uup that they work twice as hard.

    Sinn Fein would prefer that the UUP won this and all other unionist seats around Northern Ireland. This is one of those seats where the DUP needs to get its vote out and ensure its man gets in we cannot afford for Sinn Fein IRA to be returned as the largest party and voting UUP in any constituency could result in that.

  • IJP

    I see – vote DUP because SF doesn’t want you to!

    Obviously a sound basis for a positive future…

  • IJP

    Representation at Wesminster

    Even the SDLP offers this!!

    Accountable democracy without certain parties holding onto their weapons(Only DUP offer this)

    That’s a lie.

    The DUP has in fact copied Alliance policy dating back to the 70s.

    If you want real progress, I’d go for the one that came up with the sound analysis a generation ago, not the one that happened upon it this year!

    Standing up for Orange rights(UUP seem to have forfitted this)

    Oh great!

    How about everyone’s rights, fairly?

    Hard work on the grassroot level actually the DUP are well known for their hard work despite the utter nonsense from the uup that they work twice as hard.

    The DUP works harder than the UUs, no doubt. But then, so does Alliance.

    So basically there’s not a single reason to vote Unionist at all, other than that ‘all themmuns are voting Nationalist’!

    Do you really, honestly think this sort of thinking is the way forward?

  • pakman

    IJP

    spoken like a true candidate!

    Any chance of your running mate posting here?

  • IJP

    Thank you pakman 🙂

    My work means I’m close to a PC most of the day. David’s doesn’t.

    Suffice to say we disagree on very little!!

  • IJP

    Thank you pakman 🙂

    My work means enables me to be close to a PC most of the day. David’s doesn’t.

    Suffice to say we disagree on very little!!

  • Stalford

    Jimmy_Sands

    Of course if Trimble did join the DUP, the YU’s would be hailing it as the greatest move ever!

  • Roger

    The Alliance are certinally not the way forward they represent all things to all people they supported the agreement against the wishes of the vast majority of unionists.

    They will not stand up for the orange culture and they have helped Sinn Feinn out many times namely in electing a sinn lord mayor.

    Only recently has the alliance hardened its attitude ditched the UUP and taken on some of the DUP policies.

  • pakman

    IJP

    when you say you and David disagree on very little could you be a little more specific? After all, I may be a floating voter wondering who gets the higher preference!

    BTW do you think Weir is worth a punt at Eastwoods’?

  • IJP

    Pakman

    After all, I may be a floating voter wondering who gets the higher preference!

    Haha!

    That actually depends on where you live…

    Last time we disagreed was over whether a sausage was too burnt to eat or not…

    BTW do you think Weir is worth a punt at Eastwoods’?

    No.

    [Record that straight answer just in case I do end up in politics… :)]

  • yerman

    IJP
    I didnt actually hear Seven Days yesterday – but I take enough of an inference from your answer to do.

  • IJP

    Roger

    Total drivel.

    they supported the agreement against the wishes of the vast majority of unionists.

    A blatant lie.

    1. The majority of ‘Unionists’ voting clearly voted in favour, backed up by subsequent Assembly Election results.

    2. Alliance seeks to represent everyone fairly as the only means for progress.

    Only recently has the alliance hardened its attitude

    A blatant lie.

    Alliance has supported power-sharing devolution by voluntary coalition since formation in 1970.

    At that time Unionists of all colours wanted majority rule. Let’s be honest, most would still accept it, undemocratic though it is.

    Only Alliance stands up both to undemocratic majority rule and to all mafia/paramilitary groups.

    Further, the Alliance Party’s Governing with Consent document of 1988 advocates precisely Strand One of the Agreement except d’Hondt – Alliance always preferred voluntary coalition and has been proved right. Having been proved right, Unionists have adopted Alliance policies, not the other way around.

    But I suspect you already knew that.

    Roger, by all means enter into a debate, but don’t resort to blatant lies.

  • Roger

    If Alliance are so good how many seats will they win.

    I remember them silencing my voice when some of there members redesignated as unionists and prevented our wishes being implemented.

    I cant stand the all thing to all people worthless little party.