Talk of elections in Mid Ulster..

As Noel Whelan pointed out yesterday, the first past the post election system (something of an oddity in NI) means that most seats are effectively uncontested. In Mid Ulster, with Martin McGuinness almost certain to take more than half the votes cast, it seems more of an occasion to raise bread and butter issues, not least the impending crisis in farming.

  • Alan2

    Good link Mick.
    As I stated earlier this could be why I have received no literature or seen any canvassers.

    It`s worth pointing out that the boundaries changed in the Mid-Ulster constituency a few terms back. Patsy McGlone is indeed a good man. I have had call to seek his assistance before now as well as the McRea`s.

  • peter

    Well I live in Fermanagh and have received no literature either.

  • Alan2

    The only people I have seen is arlene Foster and Jim Allister up the main street in Dungannon whilst at work.

  • David Vance

    Isn’t it telling that half the people who vote in this constituency think nothing of backing a member of the IRA Army Council – if Michael McDowell is to be believed? How radicalised and morally challenged are they then? I suppose they swallow all the Provo guff, but it’s a shame that some of our fellow citizens support a party linked to rampant criminality and bloody murder. Still – I’m sure Mr. McGuinness is happy about it and that’s what counts – right?

  • Rebecca Black

    In all fairness, what do McGuiness know about farming, he is not from Mid-Ulster, doesn’t live there and has probably never been on a farm in his life.

  • Chris Gaskin

    “he is not from Mid-Ulster”

    OK Rebecca

    Then why is Kenny Donaldson standing in Crotlieve when he’s from the Slieve Gullion DEA?

    It cuts both ways

    Let’s not get into an argument of “he’s not from there” as it’s futile!

  • Rebecca Black

    Crotlieve is a great deal closer to where Donaldson is from than Mid Ulster is from the Bogside. Furthermore the constituencies are much more similar in terms of their key issues than Londonderry City and the largely rural Mid-Ulster. Its about being able to identify with the people you hope to represent and know what they need done.

    And also, Donaldson is standing for local council, not Westminster which is a totally different kettle of fish.

    Anyway, back to the point, what exactly does McGuiness know or indeed care about the key issues in Mid-Ulster? If it wasn’t for the sectarian headcount mentality, McGuiness wouldn’t even get a look in.

  • Rebecca Black

    (now for a low dig)

    by the way, a unionist standing in Slieve Gullion would be a complete waste of time and money, they wouldn’t have a hope as you well know. And while Sinn Fein have an endless supply of money from a variety of dubious sources to stand their candidiates in every part of Northern Ireland, the Ulster Unionist Party does not.

  • Chris Gaskin

    Rebecca

    The people of Mid-Ulster make their own decision and if they choose to elect Martin, and they will, that is for them to decide not you.

    The people of Mid-Ulster obviously feel he is doing a good job.

    “And while Sinn Fein have an endless supply of money from a variety of dubious sources”

    Rebecca either put up or shut up, name names and give us some evidence.

    Otherwise stop winging, it’s getting embarrassing

    Is it any wonder the majority of Unionists vote DUP, you lot don’t know your arse from your elbow

    “every part of Northern Ireland”

    Where?

    “the Ulster Unionist Party does not”

    One hears the party in East Belfast isn’t doing too badly.

  • middle-class taig

    Where does David Trimble live Rebecca? And where did he grow up?

  • Biffo

    “If it wasn’t for the sectarian headcount mentality, McGuiness wouldn’t even get a look in.”

    If it wasn’t for that would NI politician get a look in?

  • Davros

    Martin surely stands in Mid Ulster because he was scared of John Hume – and God help us all, he seems scared to stand against Durkan.

  • Chris Gaskin

    “Martin surely stands in Mid Ulster because he was scared of John Hume – and God help us all, he seems scared to stand against Durkan.”

    Don’t be silly Davros

    Mitchel is fighting Foyle because he has been building his electoral base there for a long time.

    Mitchel will win Foyle this time around so what’s the problem?

  • fair_deal

    He was sent to Mid-Ulster to keep the East Tyroners under a firm hand.

  • Alan2

    “The people of Mid-Ulster obviously feel he is doing a good job.”

    Never seen or heard tell of him and the time I wrote to all the politicians including Labour, Lib Dem and the Tories only McGuinness and the Tories failed to reply. Indeed Lembit Opik wrote back to me saying he had forwarded my letter to my MP Martin McGuiness to deal with. Still heard nothing from him. Not that I expected to hear too much from him as it was with regards to the PSNI but he didn`t even acknowledged it.

  • queens_unionist

    Well as long as i dont have to come into contact with the M McG or any of his IRA then im grand.
    Its the demographis make up of mid ulster which ensures his election.
    Good move by SF IRA getting there chief negotiator a safe seat IMO.
    Pity though the people of Mid Ulster haveing to have an MP which doesnt site in Westminsiter and yet grabs all the money he can with his blood stained hands

  • Davros

    Come on Chris 🙂 Martin was scared of Hume – knew he hadn’t a chance. Mid Ulster is now a safe seat for SF – and Mitchel will have a hard time even against Durkan. The obvious thing would have been to have Martin stand … Gerry Adams IS Belfast SF and Martin McGuinnes IS Derry SF. SF should have had the courage to stand Martin against Mark. Fair Play to Gerry, he stuck it out in Belfast.

  • DerryTerry

    Davros, given SF’s sucess in the electoral field in the last 10 years, I’m sure they’ll take on board your advice and respond accordingly.

    Then again, when Mitchel wins in Foyle, they’ll be happy enough.

  • middle-class taig

    Davros

    McG scared of Hume? He stood against him three times (and got hammered each time). He should have been scared. To be honest, I thought it was disrespectful of SF to stand against him in 2001.

    Nowadays, I think it would be disrespectful to the people of mid-Ulster for MMcG to ditch them.

    The other thing is SF clearly don’t want to fall into the SDLP trap of personality cult. There’s no obvious major figure for the future in MU. Francie Molloy’s a bit older and Geraldine Dougan doesn’t have the profile yet. Mitchell is an interesting proposition. He has no military background, which will play well in Derry, where his vote exceede Martin’s best effort. He appeals to the average MCT. He’s the emollient shinner they put out when they want to show they can do respectable. The “not a crime” gaffe will have played very well with the base (I assume that’s why he said it – he can’t believe it). Standing him in a “prize-fight” constituency increases his profile. Good business sense.

    And of course, whoever they put up will still most likely lose. Remember, Derry is a VERY SDLP city. The closeness of the November 03 vote owed more to turnout than swing.

  • barnshee

    Rebecca should not worry about the sectarian support for SF — such support gives the double whammy of increasing DUP support + reduced support for the OUPers– soon NI will be “balkanised” into prod and mick areas the end result will be repartition “de facto”

  • armaghman

    Rebecca
    How exactly could John Taylor represent Strangford for about 20 years when he lives in Armagh, and how can David Trimble represent Upper Bann when he lives in Lisburn (despite haven given a promise at his selection meeting that if selected & elected he would move to the constituency).

    I’m no fan of Martin McGuinness, but there are plenty better accusations which can be levelled at him than where he happens to reside.

  • Alan2

    “end result will be repartition “de facto””

    Not sure what your suggesting here but repartition is a non-starter. Better IF it ever came about to build and foster confidence in the Unionist culture and heritage as a minority identity on the island of Ireland..which we should be doing now anyhow.

  • Davros

    Excellent post MCT. It’s wonderful to see posts like this on Slugger.

  • kitty

    “How radicalised and morally challenged are they then? I suppose they swallow all the Provo guff, but it’s a shame that some of our fellow citizens support a party linked to rampant criminality and bloody murder.”

    Was it only last week that some bloggers here were up in arms about the UUP Decency claims? Here we have a blogger questioning the moral aptitude of Sinn Fein voters? Where is the outcry.

  • kitty

    Peculiar that some of you ‘experts’ seem to forget that the Mid-Ulster constituency is a fairly new configuration- with West Tyrone being the other in the area.
    Martin has been standing in the Mid-Ulster constituency since long before the configuration- how can you all forget when Wee Willie Mc Crea beat him by 50(?) odd votes and then when the same wee Willie huffed on the stage when Martin beat him.
    Short memories here or are you all just blogging with an agenda that is quite transparent.

  • Roger

    How on earth did Willie McCrea ever win this seat as I am sure that a unionist will never win this seat again.

    It also dissappoints me to see people votinjg for murderers and IRA personnel rebecca I hate the UUP but I admire what you are saying.