Eastwoods and the opening prices..

Eastwoods have reopened their book on the 7th March elections. Interestingly they are tipping Diane Dodds to hold for DUP at 4/7. Though Sinn Fein to win 5 seats are at 11/10. In Strangford, you can get evens on the SDLP unseating Alliance’s Keiran McCarthy. Interestingly, in South Antrim they are quoting David Ford and Mitchel McLaughlin: Sinn Fein to win the seat 3/5, and Alliance to hold seat is currently at Evens. No price on the SDLP.

Note: original post amended…

  • Dexter

    Are we going to have some predictions from any soothsayers??

  • Pete Baker

    Mick

    Perhaps also of interest

    Will The N.I. Assembly Be Restored On March 26th ?

    YES 3/5
    NO 6/5

    WIN ONLY

  • Are we going to have some predictions from any soothsayers??

    I’ll be doing a constituency a day on my blog once nominations are in tomorrow.

  • J Kelly

    Pete You could make money there its looks that hain will reconvene the Assembly the executive is anoter matter all together.

    Any price on Attwood in West Belfast.

  • Hokey-pokey

    My Predictions

    EB – 3 DUP, 2UUP, 1 APNI
    NB – 3 DUP, 1 SDLP, 2 SF
    WB – 4 SF, 1 SDLP, 1 DUP
    SB – 2 DUP, 1 UUP, 2 SDLP, 1 APNI
    STR – 3/4 DUP, 1/2 UUP, 1 APNI
    ND – 2/3 DUP, 2 UUP, 1 APNI, 0/1 UKUP/GREEN
    SD – 2 SDLP, 2 SF, 1 DUP, 1 UUP
    LV – 4 DUP, 1 UUP, 1 SF
    UB – 2 DUP, 2 UUP, 1/2 SF, 0/1 SDLP
    FST – 2 DUP, 1 UUP, 2 SF, 1 SDLP
    MU – 3 SF, 1 SDLP, 1 UUP, 1 DUP
    FYL – 3 SDLP, 2 SF, 1 DUP
    EL – 2/3 DUP, 1/2 UUP, 1 SF, 1 SDLP
    SA – 2 DUP, 2 UUP, 1 SF, 1 APNI
    N&A – 2 SF, 2 SDLP, 1 UUP, 1 DUP
    NA – 3 DUP, 1 UUP, 1 SDLP, 1 SF
    EA – 3 DUP, 2 UUP, 1 APNI
    WT – 1 DUP, 2 SDLP, 2 SF, 1 UUP

  • joeCanuck

    We know that the final odds will be set by the bookies to ensure, insofar as possible, that they will not lose.
    But I wonder how they come up with the opening odds? Perhaps they have a political analysis department or read Fair Deals analysis from a few weeks ago.
    Also, can the final odds be affected by the fact that the FP DUPers don’t gamble ( they wouldn’t, would they?). Perhaps their political department do a discount up front!

  • Mick Fealty

    JK,

    No. Conspicuous by his absence perhaps?

  • Herdman

    J Kelly

    It is unlikely that there would be an attempt at restoration if it was clear that there would be no executive formed.

    But who knows

    Herdman

  • Crataegus

    I wonder if you could get odds on the possibility that the Sf vote will drop?

  • Reader

    Crataegus: I wonder if you could get odds on the possibility that the Sf vote will drop?
    Borrowed votes going home? Or dissident leakage and stay-at-homes?

  • jamestwo

    hokey-pokey. -interesting post but your prediction gives nationalism a total of 42 seats. same as in 99 and 2003. while consistent i feel that you have not allowed for the demographic shift which even if only a couple of % is certainly sufficient for an increased number of nat members. west ty losing its independent member? f+st now on 60% rc? perhaps going 4-2 rather than 3-3? i love this stuff frankly. ms dodds in w.belfast. prod pop. now 3% under a quota. rc transfers most unlikely !would need solid turnout to hold. currently prod turnout in w.belfast 50% compared to nat 70% ! hopeless cause factor ? perhaps prod turnout higher with hope of winning seat. same factor from other side. areas with high apni vote tend to be hopeless areas for nats. if they are seen as a possible one seater for nats apni vote could collapse. see what i am getting at? horribly complex subject. i see unionists 57 seats (down 2) , nats 45 ( up 3 ) apniand others 6 (down 1). pure demographics. best wishes martin.

  • Realist

    Wonder if tonights DUP party political broadcast will effect any of Mr Eastwoods odds? I swear that I saw a cattle prod being pushed into the backs of Nigel and Gregory when they did their piece spitting the words out through almost clenched teeth. Thought the words were sticking in the throat a little with them. On the subject of the Alliance Party…I never fail to be amazed at their innocently expressed expectations of a revival of the centre ground. Wise up boys and girls its gone!! What odds a complete meltdown for Alliance with even the loss of their North Down jewel seat? Closey is gone and won’t be replaced and Davy is looking at an Assembly pension. Ms Long as the last lady standing could be the leader of a one member party. I’m not sure that I would wish that on them. Downing Street has even stopped playing footsie with them and treats them as a lowly bit player in the process.

  • they are seen as a possible one seater for nats apni vote could collapse

    Like South Antrim (always had a Nationalis seat), South Belfast (3 of them), Lagan Valley (at least 1 in recent times), Strangford (clear fight between Alliance and SDLP for last seat in the last two elections), East Antrim (SDLP win a seat in 1998 but lose it in 2002).

    Whoops! Wrong!

    On the subject of the Alliance Party…I never fail to be amazed at their innocently expressed expectations of a revival of the centre ground.

    More wishful thinking ‘realist’. How many people have you canvassed in this election?

  • From my perspective, the problem for the Alliance is that, despite the claims by people that they are sick of ‘sectarian’ politics and want parties who talk about other issues, the fact is that this isn’t reflected at the polls. On the face of it, Alliance would appear to reflect the opinions of a good many people, but als this does not result in Alliance getting a sizeable chunk of votes.

    Another thing- when was Alliance’s last big launch on anything? Perhaps they are in a vicious cycle whereby the stuff they do doesn’t get much coverage, but for all the talk of being the party that wants to deal with bread-and-butter issues, I hardly ever actually hear them talking about said issues. For me, Alliance is so evangelical about its belief in being ‘centre’ that it becomes too dismissive of those who display any affiliation to either ‘side’ rather than trying to win them round. These are the very people it needs to woo. Is it not possible to be centre, but to identify with the background one grew up in?

    Have Alliance ever thought about merging with the LibDems or even PDs?

  • Nestor

    There is an SDLP quota in South Antrim which will remain even with a SF gain. The only hope for Ford is to fight Ulster Unionist Danny Kinahan for the soft unionist vote.

  • Ca Va

    Hokey Pokey
    You don,t seem to be hopeful of a PUP seat in East Belfast ,do you not see Dawn Purvis holding the seat?

  • PaddyReilly

    i see unionists 57 seats (down 2) , nats 45 ( up 3 ) apni and others 6 (down 1). pure demographics. best wishes martin.

    Yes, I think that’s a realistic assessment. I would expect a small fall in the Unionist vote, and a small growth in the non-Unionist. As for the Alliance vote, looking at the percentages they are getting at the moment and comparing them to the sectarian breakdown on Nicholas Whyte’s side (community catholic and such terminology) I would say that almost all the Alliance vote comes from Catholics who live in Protestant areas. There may be about 3000 Protestant Alliance voters in Lagan Valley and East Belfast, but elsewhere (Strangford, E Antrim, S Antrim, N Down, U Bann) the total percentage of non-Unionist votes (Sinn Féin, SDLP, Alliance) is equal to the percentage of non-Protestants. Alliance voters in the main seem to be tactful Catholics, not wishing to alienate their neighbours by too great a show of Nationalist fervour. Possibly Hindus and other outsiders vote this way.

    Protestants, apart from the small number in LV and EB, seem not to vote for the Alliance party in any visible way. Thus talk of meltdown is inappropriate: the meltdown has already happened, the rump that is left have no where else to go.

    This said, the centrist vote is the one real variable in the system. While the Unionist vote shows a consistent downward trend and the Nationalist consistent upward, the Centrist/Alliance vote expands and contracts from election to election. It is the one area where people show any signs of changing their mind.

  • Is it not possible to be centre, but to identify with the background one grew up in?

    Of course it is Mat. I do.

    Have Alliance ever thought about merging with the LibDems or even PDs?

    And go the way of the Northern Ireland Tories, Northern Ireland Labour, Irish Labour in the North, etc., etc.? Don’t see the point personally.

    Alliance voters in the main seem to be tactful Catholics, not wishing to alienate their neighbours by too great a show of Nationalist fervour.

    Amazingly patronising, Paddy. And weak analysis given that many people in the same areas are quite content to vote Sinn Fein, for example. And that there is such a thing as a secret ballot…

    Oh well, people have been predicting the demise of Alliance for as long as I’ve been on this site. If the 2005 pre-election threads have survived the various hacks and crashes, you can see all the same arguments rehashed there. It hasn’t happened yet and I don’t see what has changed since 2005 for it to happen this time (someone give me just one reason why, please, before lazily repeating conventional ‘wisdom’). There’s a difference between wishful thinking and political analysis.

  • Bruce101

    “Pete You could make money there its looks that hain will reconvene the Assembly the executive is anoter matter all together.” J Kelly

    Wrong. Hold on to your money. After the election the Sec of State will re-convene the Transitional Assembly. The Northern Ireland Assembly is not to be called until 26th if the parties are up to it.

  • Bruce101

    Realist, I thought the DUP election broadcast was very professional. I actually believe Dodds and Campbell were showing that they are very much part of the team.

    More important it showed the DUP pitch for the campaign. It is worrying for the UUP. Sir Reg would have wanted the DUP to say “yes” or “no”. The DUP will hold on to both wings during the election. What happens afterwards is another thing but they will then have years to sort that out.

  • PaddyReilly

    Amazingly patronising, Paddy. And weak analysis given that many people in the same areas are quite content to vote Sinn Fein, for example. And that there is such a thing as a secret ballot…

    Well if I lived in Larne I wouldn’t be putting a Sinn Féin poster in my window I can tell you. My cousins in Newtonabbey and connections in Glenarm are all Catholic Alliance voters. Maybe the people on the Short Strand vote Sinn Féin, but they don’t in Holywood. They spend their lives being non-threatening and non-confrontational. If their name is Seán they want to change it to John. They aren’t secret Sinn Féin fanciers: they want to live in peace with their neighbours.

    However there is a marked tendency for Alliance voters to turn gradually into SDLP ones. This has been observed in Derry for example. It happens when there is a greater degree of segregation and Catholics form a clear majority.

  • Crataegus

    Reader

    Borrowed votes going home? Or dissident leakage and stay-at-homes?

    I think they will take a serious hit from malcontent among traditional supporters. I wouldn’t put money on SF gains.

  • Reader

    PaddyReilly: My cousins in Newtonabbey and connections in Glenarm are all Catholic Alliance voters.
    Have they told you they are scared to put a ‘1’ beside the SDLP canditate?
    I switched from Alliance to pro-agreement unionist for the forum and subsequent assembly elections. I’ll be switching back to Alliance this time because of the UUP/PUP link. I live in North Down, and I’m not a non-threatening Catholic, I’m an unthreatened Prod. Don’t forget to recognise us.

  • Crataegus

    The main problems with parties of the centre are;
    Credibility People think if they vote for them their vote is wasted. I am less than sure that people properly understand STV. They can safely vote for whoever they want and then transfer, but how many know that and is it in the interest of larger parties to inform them. For them it is better to feed on fear by saying it’s us or the DUP-SF etc. They use fear to keep the herds packed tight. In that context a vote for the centre may seem a risk when in truth the wasted vote is voting for someone you really don’t want. Worse than that the British Government has sent out clear messages by who it invites to discussions as to which political parties it considers relevant. It has systematically shafted the SDLP, Alliance and others. All representation is seen as being of different degrees of importance. SF matter the SDLP don’t. Now the DUP matter and the UUP don’t. Alliance and the Women’s Coalition and others where the sorts the Gov invited along only when they felt they couldn’t get away with not doing so. SF have milked the process for every ounce of credibility and have thus gained.

    status quo The system maintains the status quo. If you are elected you are in a much stronger position that if you are not. The BBC etc give coverage in relation to current representation. Even the new proposals for political financing favour those in power and disadvantage the independents and small parties. All candidates are not equal before the electorate and that is very wrong.

    The obsession with the constitution Because of the unrest and the peace process the news coverage has been dominated by this and surrounding issues. These have become the political issues of NI. Other subjects by comparison take the form of general interest and are not treated in the same political way as they would elsewhere. If however the main subject for concern was the economy would SF have prospered?

    Charisma There is no charismatic person or group in the middle with the necessary characteristics to break through the obstacles. David Ford nice person ,but definitely not charismatic, The local organisers of the Greens, Conservatives and Labour are hardly household names.

    fragmentation The centre has been hopelessly fragmented. This adds to the credibility problem, but also means that no group has sufficient resources human and material to make significant impact.

    As for the Alliance vote being Catholics who are closet Nationalists and Republicans just waiting to be outed. I’m sorry I just don’t buy it. If that was the case the SDLP would have a seat in North Down etc. A large proportion of Alliance votes are Protestant that’s why we talk about drift to the UUP etc.

  • realist

    Bruce.

    Gregory and Nigel may well have come across as being part of the team. Most sports have two teams on the pitch. Which team do you think Gregaory and Nigel are part off? The 26th March squad or the political lifetime team? A lot of people are in serious denial about the situation within the DUP with back penetrating knives flying in every direction. Are you in denial? Take the rose tinted glasses off and have a sniff of the coffee Bruce! Stay out of Ballymena because an innocent bystander could get caught up in the fighting there.

    Sammy.

    Tha Alliance Party have always loved playing with figures. Its something that they are actually very good at. If they were as good at winning seats they would be a powerful force. You just sit in front of you calculator and keep kidding yourself that this is the year of the big Alliance comeback. Have you ever thought of studying the horses. Forunes to be made there!

  • realist

    That should read Gregory and fortunes! I get very emotional when I write about the DUP and Alliance and typing errors can happen!

  • Yokel

    You could get 6 to 4 on no restoration last week.

    I took it.

  • Valenciano

    PaddyReilly: “My cousins in Newtonabbey and connections in Glenarm are all Catholic Alliance voters.”

    And they’re in the minority as Sinn Fein outpolled Alliance in Larne Coast Road in 2005. The area also had an independent Republican councillor Willie Cunning for 24 years.

    Newtownabbey? You mean the place where Martin Meehan is a councillor? The shinners were never shy about canvassing there when I lived in Glengormley.

    Sorry Paddy but your point doesn’t hold up at all.

  • Yokel

    I saw a sight on Sunday that I hadn’t witnessed in some time up off the Springfield Road, near the Kashmir.

    SDLP canvassing….In all my adult years up and down and around that road, believe it or not I have never seen it, though I’m sure they do it.

  • PaddyReilly

    The shinners were never shy about canvassing there when I lived in Glengormley. Sorry Paddy but your point doesn’t hold up at all.

    Glengormley maybe but not where my cousins live. (Exercising a little discretion). This is exactly my point. Newtownabbey is a very good example.

    http://www.ark.ac.uk/elections/lgnewtownabbey.htm

    1993____Alliance 16%____Sinn Féin did not stand.
    2005____Alliance 8%_____Sinn Féin 6%.

  • Yokel

    Paddy

    You may be right but you may be wrong, or maybe in between.

    93 – 05, there’s a decade of migration in there.

    We’ve also seen a polarisation of politics. The Alliance haven’t been as strong in general as they used to be but then same of the SDLP.

  • Crataegus

    Paddy

    You are connecting two unrelated stats. SF vote is up because of developments such as the new housing on the Hightown Road. These houses were not there in 1993.

    There are many reasons for the Alliance decline and it isn’t because they are supported by closet Republicans.

  • PaddyReilly

    I’ll be switching back to Alliance this time because of the UUP/PUP link. I live in North Down, and I’m not a non-threatening Catholic, I’m an unthreatened Prod. Don’t forget to recognise us.

    I’m glad to hear it. But as the non-Unionist Vote in North Down 2005 was:-

    Alliance 7.6%
    SDLP 3.1%
    Sinn Féin 0.6%

    Sum Total 11.3%

    http://www.ark.ac.uk/elections/and.htm

    in a constituency with a Protestant population of 81.63%, estimated community Catholic 11.68%, it’s fairly obvious that either no persons who declared themselves to be Protestants in the Census voted for Alliance or Catholics are too scared/discrete to vote at all.

    So, Reader, I’ll recognize you when I see statistical evidence for your existence.

  • PaddyReilly

    I don’t think people are quite getting my point. Which was, that by the time of the last few elections, the Alliance party had lost almost all its Protestant voters and was being kept in existence by largely by Catholics who lived in majority Protestant areas. As such, it would not decline any further because these voters had nowhere else to go.

    I did not say that these people were closet Sinn Féin voters, or SDLP voters but too stupid to realise it. When you live and trade among people of a different persuasion, you accommodate yourselves to their reality.

    In England, the first generation of Muslim immigrants were very accommodating, but as their numbers build up, they are becoming more aggressive and demanding.

    Consequently, in constitencies where there is an increasing Catholic presence, such as Upper Bann and South Antrim after the boundary changes, there will be a tendency for the Alliance vote to diminish and disappear: as it already has in the South and West.

  • Alliance 7.6%
    SDLP 3.1%
    Sinn Féin 0.6%

    You are forgetting:

    Brian Wilson 4.4%
    NIWC 3.8%
    Green 2.4%

    And one could make a reasonable case for:

    At least some of the other Inds 5.3%
    Arguably the Tories 1.6%

    And if we’re really stretching a point:

    People who don’t understand STV, and vote tactically for the UUP to stop the DUP after all the hype at the 2001 General Election.

  • Paddy

    Well if I lived in Larne I wouldn’t be putting a Sinn Féin poster in my window I can tell you.

    I don’t see too many people about the New Lodge or Ardoyne putting SF posters up either; or people in Tiger’s Bay putting up DUP/PUP posters either. No-one wants their windows broke, and most people fear that sort of thing no matter where they live.

    My cousins in Newtonabbey and connections in Glenarm are all Catholic Alliance voters.

    Valenciano beat me to making the point I wanted to make here.

    If their name is Seán they want to change it to John.

    I know plenty of people called Sean in Glengormley and Jordanstown. Not so familiar with Larne, I have to say.

    realist

    Tha Alliance Party have always loved playing with figures. Its something that they are actually very good at. If they were as good at winning seats they would be a powerful force.

    Play the ball, realist. And anyway I haven’t quoted any figures on this thread yet.

    You just sit in front of you calculator and keep kidding yourself that this is the year of the big Alliance comeback.

    Did I say this was the year of the big Alliance comeback? No. You’re the one predicting an Alliance wipeout without actually having any evidence. Wishful thinking on your part, methinks.

    Have you ever thought of studying the horses. Forunes to be made there!

    Mugs’ game.

  • Reader

    PaddyReilly: So, Reader, I’ll recognize you when I see statistical evidence for your existence.
    I have already said I wasn’t voting Alliance last time – you believe that, at least, don’t you? As for the rest – the notion that North Down Catholics are voting Alliance because they are scared to vote SDLP is ludicrous. Why wouldn’t people who bothered assume they were voting SDLP in the privacy of the booth anyway?
    And in council elections in 2005, Alliance got 16%, and the Greens got 9%, and NIWC got 2.6%, so with SDLP at 2%, total = 29%+ . There must be some Prods in there, mustn’t there?

  • jeep55

    Hokey-cokey’s predictions are very close to my own with one exception – Lagan Valley. If you understand how the distribution of votes in an STV election takes place then it is almost impossible for both APNI and SDLP to lose their seats. Let me explain why. The first thing in LV is that 4 seats are pretty well decided already – 3 DUP and 1 UUP. The remaining 2 will be between DUP4 UUP2 APNI SDLP and SF. Two from five equals 10 possibilities but not all are feasible – for instance UUP2/DUP4 or SDLP/SF are not possible unless one or other camp actually boycottes the poll!! Possibilities are:

    Scenario 1: Lunn is running badly enough to be behind both the SDLP and SF even after some early Unionist transfers. His elimination will favour UUP2/SDLP. SDLP likely now well ahead of SF and will take a seat.

    Scenario 2: Suppose the SDLP candidate is faring poorly. In LV SDLP voters tends to vote APNI second thus pretty well ensuring APNI election. Butler will pick up enough transfers to go into a dog-fight for the last seat – most likely against UUP2.

    Scenario 3 – the most unlikely of the three but suppose Butler fares badly. His elimination strongly favours SDLP to retain their seat and the final becomes a dog-fight between APNI UUP2 and DUP4.

    In none of these scenarios do both APNI and SDLP lose seats.

    I expect Lunn to poll fairly well – he has the current advantage of being mayor of Lisburn, he has tended to poll as well in the Lisburn North LGD as Seamus Close did in Lisburn South. There is less reason this time for soft Alliance votes to shore up the UUP (as in the last Westminster election) and I already know of anti-agreement ‘moderates’ (yes such people do exist) saying ‘what difference does it make?’ we might as well go back to voting Alliance! There is also no Ivan Davis factor which initially attracted middle ground votes away from APNI last time and when he was eliminated those votes helped ensure Billy Bell (UUP) Seamus Close (APNI) and indeed Ptricia Lewesley (SDLP) were all elected.

  • Hokey-pokey

    Ca Va

    Dawn Purvis will not hold the PUP seat in East Belfast. I think if the PUP want to cash in on some sort of sympathy vote David Ervine’s brother would have been a better candidate.

    With regards to APNI:

    I think Lunn will hold on in LV. Ford is out in SA, but Lo will put Maskey out in SB – it’ll be Jo O’Donnell all over again – Unionists will transfer to APNI in greater numbers in the hope of putting Maskey out. The one APNI person who I think will have a very good election is Naomi Long – she will eat into the UUP people who previously were APNI that supported the UU’s to hurt Robinson/prop up Trimble. I think she’ll poll around 4-5000 votes. Ford stabilised APNI decline, I think Long could actually start to turn them into a force to be reckoned with in places like EB, LV, SB again.

  • jeep55

    Paddy Reilly your analysis of North Down is hopelessly flawed because you are quoting non-Unionist percentages from an election in which more than half of non-U voters voted tacticaly for Lady S. David Alderdice, who only got 7.6% in the Westminster election got (with his running mate a certain IJP!) 31% in Holywood in the LG election. And the Green’s polled well too. North Down is sufficiently free minded to return 1 APNI MLA (near certainty) and possibly 1 Green MLA (close to evens) as well.

  • jeep55

    Hokey-pokey – absolutely agree your analysis about East Belfast. I am quietly hopeful that Naomi Long, who has definitely gained support since what was a long day’s journey into night in 2003, will be elected on the first count – or very soon after. But this poses one question. If SDLP/SF? votes are not ultimately required to shore up APNI will they transfer any further? If they do it might just spell a glimmer of hope for Dawn Purvis – there was an indication that some nationalists were prepared to vote down the ticket as far as David Ervine last time out.

  • CaVa

    N. Long,s posters are up in a lot of South Belfast,is she actually standing in East?

  • Hokey-pokey

    Where in SB are the posters?

  • Yokel

    Hokey Pokey

    Check out Tates Avenue area.

  • Yokel

    Oh wait, you mean Long’s?

    God, no idea…thought you just meant posters…

  • jeep55

    Hokey-Pokey

    In your earlier prediction you had David Ford holding on in South Antrim. You predicted that SDLP would lose out to SF, which is what I think is most likely. Last time SDLP/APNI/SF finished within 200 votes of one another. SDLP again running two candidates from opposite ends of the constituency. Ford likely to be helped by DUP instructing the faithful to vote down to Ford – even some possibly by-passing UUP. SDLP could start with almost ‘a quota’ and still lose their seat.

  • Crataegus

    Hokey Pokey

    Ford is out in SA,

    Whilst I am inclined to agree don’t assume that SF will gain here. I have heard from a number of sources that SF’s core support may be less reliable than usual. Ford could actually hold.

    It could be that those that I have talked with wish SF to suffer, and are playing up the disagreement, but they would be grass roots political types and very solid Republicans who are definitely not voting for SF! They may not be a representative sample and their opinion would be coloured, but if what they say is even partly true SF will stall.

    Before clearing off again I have been trying to get a feel for the DUP end of the spectrum and what I get is evasion. I think there is trouble at mill there also.

    This may prove a very interesting election with turnout in some sections uncharacteristically down.

  • Continental Drifter

    If their name is Seán they want to change it to John.

    “Séan” Neeson’s name is actually John.

    You quite literally, therefore, could not be more wrong!

    By the way, the “last bastion” for Alliance is and always has been Belfast East. If the Alliance vote falls there compared to ’03, I’ll eat my hat.

  • AvalonSunset

    With the DUPers running two candidates in MU they risk losing their current seat if they try to manage their vote. They definitely don’t have two quotas so if it is evenly split SF could take a fourth seat. Baby McCrea will only hold it if his running mate doesn’t poll well enough in the 1st prefs and he gets the transfers.

  • jeep55

    Continental Drifter

    Alliance have 7 target seats (one where they are running two candidates) and a few others where they would win a seat if overall they got back to 1987/1992 levels (which is exactly why Barney Fitzpatrick’s by-election win in Coleraine gives them some optimism). But consider only the 7 targets where traditionally they could attract 10+% of the vote. In 2003 the change from 1998 in these seats varied from down 8.1% (new lady versus old Lord effect) in East Belfast to up 0.5% (party leader effect) in South Antrim.

    The reverse holds this time (this is sometimes called regression back to the mean – whatever the mean is!) They will do paricularly well in the poor performances of last time but against the better performances of last time they will do quite well to hold their percentage. So expect them to hold percentage in SA and LV, to gain in Strangford, to gain well in ND and EA, and to be furthest up in EB and SB. You won’t be eating that hat!

  • PaddyReilly

    You are forgetting:

    Brian Wilson 4.4%
    NIWC 3.8%
    Green 2.4%

    Wrong election, Sammy. My figures are from the 2005 Westminster election. This does raise an interesting point as to how two elections held on the same day can produce radically different results. The difference is that one election is competitive and the other largely parochial.

    Paddy Reilly your analysis of North Down is hopelessly flawed because you are quoting non-Unionist percentages from an election in which more than half of non-U voters voted tacticaly for Lady S.

    Which proves my point, that the percentage of Alliance voters in North Down came down to a rump, which is consistent with them being predominantly of Catholic origin. This does not mean that the vote cannot recover.

    As for the rest – the notion that North Down Catholics are voting Alliance because they are scared to vote SDLP is ludicrous.

    As I have already pointed out, I did not say that Catholics in whereever were too scared to vote SDLP/SF. One naturally accommodates onself to the people one lives among and trades with. People who are trying to make a living from the goodwill of all sections of the public would be well advised not to be seen taking an extremist political position. If I lived in Carrickfergus, I would certainly vote for the Alliance candidate in local elections: I’m sure he would do more good work in the Council than someone the other councillors wouldn’t speak to.

    But I’ve known a number of people who started off in Larne and Carrickfergus as Alliance type chappies, and ended up in the Falls Road or Andersontown as Sinn Féin ones. Pursuant of course to a little enducement of the conflagratory sort.

    And also some people who joined the non-sectarian experiment in Poleglass as Alliance voters and, in the same unpleasant way, ended up elsewhere as UUP ones.

    The Alliance vote is the most interesting of all, because it is the only one where voters behave anything but predictably. 90% of voting behaviour in NI is settled by the time you get the child to the font. Who votes Alliance, why, and what they want is a question that can be endlessly debated.

  • With the DUPers running two candidates in MU they risk losing their current seat if they try to manage their vote.

    More wishful thinking. There are two safe Unionist quotas here and a safe SDLP quota (especially in comparison with West Belfast and FST). The DUP have had considerably more than a quota’s worth here in every election since the new boundaries took effect in 1996.

    In both sets of 2005 elections, they outpolled the UUP by roughly 2:1 so they have a real chance of taking both Unionist seats. Whether they can do that depends on them:

    a. balancing two candidates well;
    b. eating a little bit further into the UUP vote;
    c. getting all their own detractors and dissenters out to the polls.

    It’s quite a tall order. The odds are against them. But it’s not an unrealistic prospect. Unlike the Shinners winning four seats depsite the dissidents being in the running, which is fantasy unless the SDLP simply cease to exist in this election.

  • This does raise an interesting point as to how two elections held on the same day can produce radically different results.

    In the case of North Down in 2005, tactical voting, to a very great degree. You can see the same process going on with, e.g., SDLP voters in Upper Bann in the same election.

  • jeep55

    Something is weird about the odds Eastwoods are offering. Take South Antrim for instance. From APNI, SDLP and SF there is near certainty that 2 seats will be won. These parties have about 2.5 quotas on the ground. So there are three events which can be assumed to be exhaustive and mutually exclusive (i.e. one and only one will happen)

    (1) Ford will lose
    (2) McLaughlin will lose
    (3) Both SDLP candidates will lose

    Eastwoods are offering 1/1 on Ford to WIN and 3/5 on McLaughlin to WIN. However an accumulator on Ford and McLaughlin is effectively a bet on SDLP to LOSE and this accumulator has odds of 11/5.

    Now lets us assume Eastwoods apply a factor which is essentially their profit margin. A horse which has a probability 0.10 of winning a race (which equals fair odds of 9 to 1) might be quoted at 7/1. The quoted odds represent a probability of 0.125 and the true probability as a ratio of the quoted probability is 0.1/0.125 = 0.8. I’m going to call this the mark down factor m. For a bookmaker to make money this factor will generally be below a value of 1.0

    So what of South Antrim?

    Ford is quoted at 1/1 which equals a probability of 0.5 to win. Apply the markdown factor and this becomes 0.5m. So the probability of losing become 1 – 0.5m

    McLaughlin is quoted at 3/5 which equals a probability of 0.625 to win. Apply the markdown factor and this becomes 0.625m. So the probability of losing become 1 – 0.625m

    SDLP to lose is effectively quoted at 11/5. This equals to a probability of 0.3125. Appling the ‘m’ factor and the probability of losing becomes 0.3125m

    But these three probabilities must obey the rules of mutually exclusive events.

    Thus (1-0.5m) + (1-0.625m) + 0.3125m = 1

    From whence we calculate that m = 1.23 (16/13 actually) and since m > 1 we must conclude that Eastwoods are heading for a loss!

    We can also calculate the final probabilities on each party losing and these become

    APNI = 5/13, SF = 3/13 and SDLP = 5/13

    A similar argument applies to South Belfast where we also have three mutually exclusive events which are Lo loses, Maskey loses and SDLP lose 1. Here again the markdown factor has been calculated as 1.22 (actually 28/23) so Eastwoods again stand to lose money.

    The final probabilities of these three events can be calculated as Lo to lose: 15/23, Maskey to lose: 2/23 and SDLP to lose 1 seat: 6/23

  • Tochais Síoraí

    They’re not mutually exclusive events, jeep55 – if Ford does well the chances of SF taking the other seat rather than the SDLP increase.

    If you don’t agree with the above then try getting Eastwoods to give you a Mc Laughlin / Ford double at 11/5 – not a snowballs chance in hell. It falls under what is known as the related contingency rule i.e they’re not mutually exclusive for betting purposes

    They might take a bet but it’ll be at a lot less than 11/5.

  • jeep55

    Tochais Síoraí

    Firstly: The events (1) Ford loses, (2) McLaughlin loses and (3) both SDLP candidates lose are virtually mutually exclusive events in this election because one and only one of these events is almost certain to happen.

    Secondly: Eastwoods are already effectively offering a Ford/McLaughlin double at 11/5. Suppose you place £5 on both to win. If Ford wins you have £10 going forward to the next bet. If McLaughlin also wins you take home £16 including your stake back. So the odds are £11 (won) to £5 (staked)

  • Tochais Síoraí

    Errr, No.

    You said a fiver on each, well then that’s two singles. 5 on Ford at 1/1 gives you ten and 5 on McL at 3/5 gives you eight, thus a total of 10 staked gives you 18 back – odds of 1.8/1 or 4/5.

    If you meant a fiver double then I repeat no bookie will give you a double like this i.e letting the ten won on Ford run onto McL because they’re not stand alone events, they are related contingencies. If this bet was priced at 11/5, there would be a queue from Belfast back to Toomebridge to to get on.

    If you don’t believe me try Mr Eastwood and see how far you get.

  • jeep55

    OK I take your point about related contingencies, however my main point was that when you manipulate the odds offered they suggest undelying probabilties of either Ford or McLaughlin winning that are better than the probabilities equal to the odds offered. So a double (this time possible because they are not related contigencies – you can see that I don’t normally bet!) on say Ford and Lo both to win would be a bet where the punters expected gain is positive. You will get 5/1 on this double suggesting a fair probability of 0.167. My calculation suggests that the best estimate of the true probability of this is 0.214. Looks like a good bet! Similarly on a Maskey and McLaughlin double you will get 17/15 suggesting a fair probability of 0.469 but best estimate of true probability is 0.702.

  • Tochais Síoraí

    5/2 & 1/1 makes the Lo/Ford double 6/1.

    As for your ‘true probabilities’, might I suggest a bit more work on them. The prices offered by Eastwood are very conservative (for a good reason, there are lots of people on the ground who know the market as well if not better than the bookies) & neither your Alliance or SF doubles represent good value.

    The only price I saw that might be a bit of value was Boyle in Strangford at 1/1 at the start but that is now gone in to 4/5. Still OK but don’t put the house on it.

  • jeep55

    Sorry u r right. Ford/Lo double is 6/1 which equates to a fair probability of 0.143. I think the offer is good value!