Trimble may need to call on Catholics

Few people do knock on doors in opposing territories. Though, Alex Attwood said yesterday that the SDLP has been canvassing in Unionist Ballygomartin since 1987. The Irish Voice argues that Trimble’s inability to sell the Belfast Agreement to his own supporters may lose him the benevolent help of Catholic voters in his Upper Bann consitituency.

Gerry Moriarty in his election diary today (subs needed) notes a speech from Seamus Mallon, one time Deputy First Minister:

He seemed to offer a coded endorsement for Upper Bann nationalists to support Trimble. “We have a very excellent (SDLP) candidate in Upper Bann in Dolores Kelly,” said Mallon, but then added, “I have no doubt that there will be people in Upper Bann who will make their judgments as they see the best way of using their vote.”

Mallon couldn’t personally go against Kelly but the latter portion of his statement hinted that nationalists might perhaps vote tactically for Trimble against the DUP’s David Simpson, who is favourite to unseat the UUP leader. But galvanising moderate Catholics for Trimble would need a stronger exhortation than the muted message offered by Mallon.

  • Gonzo

    Well he’s politically prostituted himself with the DUP, Alliance and the SDLP, so I suppose this was inevitable.

    Too little, too late.

  • fair_deal

    In his capacity as Mayor and Deputy Mayor and his work with SDLP councillors on Craigavon Council David Simpson seems to have tried to defuse this possibility.

  • carlosblancos

    Fair deal,

    Local elections show that most of the ‘Trimble Catholics’ actually live in the Banbridge Council area. Simpsons actions in Craigdump won’t really have much of an effect.

    I read somewhere that last time the SDLP got about around 2000 votes less in W/minster than local elections. Considering the DUP’s blanket canvassing of B’bridge and Mallon’s implicit call, I’d say even more Catholics will vote nationalist for locals and Trimble for W/minster.

    I think DT will ‘do a Joe’ (Hendron) and take his seat because of tactical voting across the divide.

  • fair_deal

    Carlos

    I knew about the geographical distinction but it isn’t a big place and should have gone someway to reducing a bogeyman image for Simpson. Also the SDLP putting up a greater fight this time and the level of tactical voting will probably not be enough.

  • Gonzo

    carlos

    The bookies would seem to disagree!

    As do I. I secretly joined the Anti-Turtle League recently.

  • slackjaw

    A nationalist relative of mine, who hails from the Banbridge area, has said that she does not mind the DUP that much. Not that she would vote for them, but the prospect these days of a DUP MP just isn’t enough to make her believe her life will go down the shitter as a result.

  • Carrington

    Gonzo

    Welcome to the Dark Side! Feel the hate grow within you……

  • fair_deal

    Gonzo

    The next League meetings is tonight at the Docks. The reading will be from Godson, Chapter 12.

  • carlosblancos

    Slackjaw,

    Your aunt is right. I was watching Question Time last night and it struck me that the outcome of these elections doesn’t affect our lives much.

    I think it was Anthony McIntyre who said that the peace process was good for Unionism and bad for Republicanism but good for individual Republicans. DUP/SF domination will be bad for both Unionism and Republicanism. Bigotry and Provisionalism will only further alienate NI from the rest of Ireland and the UK.

  • IJP

    Few people do knock on doors in opposing territories.

    A clear indictment of DUP, SF, UUs and SDLP.

    Time to end this ‘territorial politics’ nonsense – waiting lists, education resources and water charges affect us all!

  • Henry94

    I think I know why the election is boring. It’s basically a “clear the decks” exercise on both sides.

    We understand that the dUP and SF had to win their internal battles with the UUP and SDLP.

    And I think we know that when they have that done they will do a deal.

  • mnob

    carlosblancos & IJP – agreed – as all parties have signed up to no constitutional change without consent, why are we still having this charade of a sectarian headcount ?

    Maybe its because permanent opposition for our MPs is better than actually having to do anything ….

  • IJP

    To be fair to DT, I don’t think he controls the UUs’ farcical communications ‘strategy’. The problem is, really, that he controls nothing…

    mnob

    Spot on.

  • David Cather

    I was canvassing in a “not-to-welcoming” area this week. I knocked the door handed the girl the leaflet encouraged her to vote etc. When the door closed I heard a good deal of “It’s the #@%8&£$ DUP!!!”

    As I was at the next house the door opened and the torn up leaflets were thrown out. 😀 Still there should be no such thing as a “no go area,” and it’s always worth doing area’s like that because you do get a few votes from people who have never seen a unionist canvasser before in their lives.

  • George

    Carlos Blancos,
    “Bigotry and Provisionalism will only further alienate NI from the rest of Ireland and the UK.”

    This is the exact view David Adams put forward in today’s Irish Times although he didn’t use “Bigotry” to describe the DUP.

    He said: “Like their counterparts in Britain, they (people in the Irish Republic) struggle to understand what drives the Northern conflict ….

    “As the peoples of Britain and the Republic have become more and more one in outlook and attitude, they have both become increasingly disconnected from Northern Ireland. It is ironic that neither feels they have much in common with people who take such pride in their Britishness or Irishness…

    .. To both (Britain and Ireland), the North seems more like a foreign land than anything remotely like where they live. And that is no bad thing.

    It signals to those of us who live in Northern Ireland it is not enough merely to profess undying allegiance to one country or another”

  • deliriumtremens

    Could be a case of the DTs for the UUP?