Junior not such a junior contender?

Since Slugger began, over four years ago, people have been playing the ‘pick the successor to the Doc’ game. Well, the Hearts and Minds poll seems to have given us the first reliable data as to what the party’s support actually thinks. Surely the most unexpected result is the high placing (25.5%)of Ian Junior in the ratings far ahead of the long fancied number two contender to the party’s deputy Peter Robinson (who looks relatively comfortable on 33.1%), Nigel Dodds. In fact, Dodds at 10.6% comes well behind Jeffrey Donaldson, who scores a credible 20.1%.

  • Henry94

    Surely the most unexpected result is the high placing (25.5%)of Ian Junior in the ratings far ahead of the long fancied number two contender to the party’s deputy Peter Robinson (who looks relatively comfortable on 33.1%)

    How is 25.5 far ahead of 33.1?

  • Dualta

    Read it again Henry.

  • pith

    Robinson leader, Ian jnr deputy leader would join up the dots in that little puzzelebook no doubt. It would maintain the Paisley clan tradition (very southern), would give Robinson a Prescott of his own and would give the DUP a means by which to avoid giving Ian jnr a ministerial position.

  • Henry94

    Dulta.

    Oh I see now. Thanks. Don’t think it’s that much of a surprise. Robinson and Dodds and maybe Jeffery were in competition for one side of the party while IPJ had the other side to himself.

  • joeCanuck

    It’s totally beyond belief that someone who gives the impression of being a total cretin could come so high in the poll.
    Kim Il Jong comes to mind.

  • Mick Fealty

    joe, ball please!!

  • Dec

    And a hugely disappointing placing (3.3 from DUP voters) for the darling of the Backwoodsmen and Flat-earthers , Jim Allister. Another extended spell in obscurity beckons, it seems.

  • darth rumsfeld

    sory to rain on your parade dec, but the poll is of supporters, not members. Just as Trimble in 1996 would have been last in any poll of credible contenders for leader in UUP voters, yet came through on the strength of his performance at the Ulster Hall, Allister could outdebate the other five with a sock in his mouth- and he seemed to articulate the views of as substantial group at Lurgan last week- so much so that Paisley had to remind him he wasn’t the leader- clearly not the choice of the first family, then but that won’t necessarily be a terminal hindrance

  • True Blue

    “but the poll is of supporters, not members”.reference I do agree with but the some of your blog I do not agree with and sorry to disappoint Hearts & Minds and some of your other bloggers it is not the public who will appoint the new leader or deputy leader of the DUP it will be the Party Executive of that party and my money is on Peter Robinson (Leader) & Nigel Dodds (Deputy) Ian (jun) is not on the radar.

  • the horse

    There’s more chance of Ian James Parsley than Ian Paisley Junior being the next DUP leader.

  • nmc

    IPJ just doesn’t come across too bright. He seems to be able to recycle what his da says, but very little comes out of his mouth that could be looked on as original.

    A few months ago I saw him in a TV interview saying that he represented Unionists and Unionists only. The interviewer tried to point out that as a principle of democracy that you represent the people of the area which has voted you in, not only the people who voted for you. IPJ wouldn’t have that, he only represented those who voted for him, not the people in his electoral area. What a muppet.

  • joeCanuck

    Ok Mick.
    But I thought I picked my words carefully enough. I didn’t say he was a cretin; I said he gave the impression of being a cretin. There is a subtle difference.
    But I stand chastened.

  • austin

    Robinson’s situation is similar to Prince Charles’ predicament.

    Both seem to have been hanging around for ages as the perennial heirs-in-waiting but never seeming likely to get the top job.

    Pete seems to have been fingered as a liberal by harder line elements of the DUP, which ain’t a good place to be, especially with a leadership contest on the horizon? .

    Is he shrewd enough to show that he can still be as hard-line as the rest of them before Pete has a punt at the top job?

    How many Euros is it for a bus ticket to Clontibret, anyway?

  • Billy

    Electing Ian Paisley Jnr as leader would be a catastrophic decision for the DUP.

    As a moderate nationalist I am an impartial observer.

    Robinson has spent 3 decades building up a power base. He is clever and articulate and will clearly be the next leader.

    Dodds is also clever (a 1st class law degree from Cambridge) and articulate. He isn’t as presentable media wise as Robinson. However, he should be the deputy leader.

    Let’s face it – Ian Jnr isn’t exactly the sharpest tool in the box. He isn’t even in the same league as the other two.

    He will inherit his father’s Westminster seat. However, his current position of reasonable prominence within the party is due purely to his father being party leader.

    Once his father is no longer in that position, I think Ian Jnr will be relegated to a low profile position. When you think of the gaffes that he makes and his poor media presentation, I’m sure that the new leadership will be concerned about the bad impression he will clearly make in Westminster.

    Some of the local supporters may like him but I’m sure that the party leadership realise that he is a PR liability.

    As a nationalist, I’d love to see him elected to the leadership or even deputy leadership but I doubt that the DUP membership would be so stupid.

  • joeCanuck

    Excellent Billy. You put it so eloquently compared to my knee jerk remark.
    As a strange unrelated aside (long story – don’t ask) my sister-in-law was junior’s first babysitter.

  • Doreen

    Billy,

  • Yokel

    Scrappy Doo won’t win. It just won’t happen with the DUP as it is now. Even his da don’t want him in.

    JoeCanuck..now we know who is at least partially responsible for the little so and so. Under ancient revenge norms you are closely enough involved to face a horrible death via watching looping viedos of the great words of Ian Jnr..sorry but its just how it goes, it has to be a total cleanse of anyone who may have been infected by the Paisley Jnr evil.

  • Too Late

    What’s the problem?
    Baby Doc gives the impression of being a cretin because he is a cretin.

    Seriously though, I am just about to finish Trimble by Henry McDonald and there is a bit in it that said that Peter Robinson and Jeffrey Donaldson were thinking of forming a new unionist party with Peter Leader and Jeffry second (of course. So the scene was set even 7 or 8 years ago.

  • headmelter

    25.5% for junior….

    you’ve got to admire their sense of humour:)

  • Hrvatska

    God help the long suffering Volk in Ballameena Hi if the Heir Abhorrent ever reaches the lofty position of leadership of the DUP. What a joke!!!

  • offer it up

    Good post by ‘pith’. A deal between Robinson and Paisley Óg would serve both men – but particularly Peter the Punt – very well. The analogy with Prescott and his role as the bridge between Blair and the Labour party is spot on.

  • darth rumsfeld

    “Robinson’s situation is similar to Prince Charles’ predicament.”

    Outrageous slander. Punt is not married to a glamerous airhead claiming all the media headlines while he secretly cheats on her with a horse

  • Dualta

    Henry,

    Just read my own comment again and it comes across as being a bit
    curt. Sorry about that. It is a convoluted sentence and easy to
    misunderstand. I had to read it a couple of times myself.

    I have to agree that IPJ is not the strongest player they’ve got and,
    to be honest, I also agree that if it wasn’t for his father’s sucess,
    he’d be a minor player in N Irish politics, if one at all, as well as
    a ladies’ lingerie stall holder at Nutts corner…..

    It could well be the case that the DUP falls apart when Snr dies. The
    lieutenants are lining up and there will be some sorely disappointed
    people when the new leader and his deputy are chosen.

    Unionism is in serious decline. As a political force it’s waning and
    as a community it’s directionless.

    The UUP is in a terrible state and may never recover and if the DUP
    does disintegrate into warring factions and smaller parties then I
    think that the union with Britain itself will sink very quickly in its
    wake.

    Of course, there’s always Bob McCartney to save the day! Ok, maybe not.

  • darth rumsfeld

    “Unionism is in serious decline. As a political force it’s waning and
    as a community it’s directionless.”

    Yawn. More republican fantasising. The truth- as the Hearts and Minds poll yesterday showed- is that Unionists have many reasons to be confident.

    First, the demographic canard(“We’re going to outbreed you”) has peaked.

    Secondly, increasing stability and prosperity is unleashing on the garden centre Taig that deadly virus which has infected the garden centre prod – complacency so far as maintaining the status quo. Watch for declining green turnouts even in the West of the province in the next ten years.

    Thirdly the Irish government may have got its snout into our affairs more than Unionists would like, but they’re not going to get any more involved – they’ll leave it to the private sector, which isn’t going to want to poke the Prods and upset the applecart of economic prosperity.

    As for Unionist communities, they’re fast catching up in the field of community development, getting grants etc, and the Ulster Scots movement has been significant in recovering community pride. Even the poor maligned Orange Order has got into the trough, and membership is on the up.

    I’m the last person to perorate over the calibre of Unionist politicians, but it’s still immeasurably better than for generations.

    Nationalism has pushed for something approaching joint authority for decades, as a stepping stone to unification, but the truth is that there’s no danger of there ever being a tipping point. The road of JA is actually a cul de sac for nationalism, but they just can’t see it. And when the true believers catch on that they’ve been outmanoeuvred, they have no realistic chance of going back to “war”.
    Culturally we’re more integrated into the UK than we’ve ever been. That may not be palatable to the Ulster nationalist strain of Unionism, but it’ll suit the greater number.

    Tum te tum. Keep on telling each other we’re doomed instead of real strategic thinking.

  • kensei

    Sense up to a point. This one. In fact:

    “And when the true believers catch on that they’ve been outmanoeuvred, they have no realistic chance of going back to “war”.”

    Fantastically complacent beyond belief. It doesn’t take very people, never mind many experienced, effective people to cause trouble, and it doesn’t take a lot to polarise people in a fashion that suits them. SF haven’t given dissidents any space for a decade, but we are moving into a situation where the Provisionals have few teeth on the ground and there is uneasiness about a deal in nationalism for the first time in a while.

    The IRA was practically non existent in 1969, remember.

    “Culturally we’re more integrated into the UK than we’ve ever been. That may not be palatable to the Ulster nationalist strain of Unionism, but it’ll suit the greater number.”

    This isn’t even close to being true.

  • Dualta

    Darth,

    Unionist consent to Dubin involvement in N Irish affairs has been sought and given already and many haven’t even realised it yet.

    I reckon there’s a policy of disengagement in place and in action in London. The British establishment wants out. There is no internal solution to NI and they know it. After generations I think they’ve finally cottoned on that the only solution to their problems in Ireland is to leave.

  • Billy

    Darth

    “Culturally we’re more integrated into the UK than we’ve ever been. That may not be palatable to the Ulster nationalist strain of Unionism, but it’ll suit the greater number.”

    What colour is the sky on your planet?

    I have lived in London for 20 years and I’m here to tell you that the vast majority of UK people don’t understand and/or care about NI. A large percentage would be glad to see the back of it and the drain of billions from the UK economy.

    The UK govt couldn’t be more blatent about their desire to get out of NI (which they have been trying to do for 30 years).

    There is little support for NI unionism in the UK (England in particular). Most Unionists are regarded as bigotted orange order members and a pain in the UKs ass.

    You’re clearly one of these self-delusionists who believes in this ‘as British as Finchley’ crap.

    Wake up and smell the coffee!