Open Election Thread (2)…

Talk about what we’ve not been able to cover…

  • smcgiff

    Why in the Eastwoods betting ad are the Nationalist/Republican* leaders smiling and the two Unionist leaders look like they’re sucking eggs?

    *what’s the difference between a Republican and a Nationalist now that the IRA has gone away you know?

  • Crataegus

    Are PEB’s out of date?

    Certainly the influence of the main TV stations has been greatly reduced by the web.

  • nmc

    Any views on Ian Blair’s controversial statement yesterday?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/6381997.stm

  • Overhere

    smcgiff: maybe the unionists have piles and the Nationalist/Republicans have hidden the preparation H LOl

  • It appears that Mr Paxman is in town today. I hear he’s currently outside a certain rather ugly workplace near the Waterfront. 😉

  • merrie

    Are Poles and other people who have settled in NI from other EU countries eligible to vote in the March election?

  • Northsider

    Everyone is assuming that SF and the DUP will be the two largest parties representing their respective communities after the election.

    I got to pondering the other night, thinking about which of these is prone to greater electoral damamge in this election when compared with November 2003.

    And despite being a nationalist – so I’m openly admitting my bias here – I think that a combination of factors might contribute to a trimming or plateauing of support for the DUP.

    They are:

    1. Quite simply – the compromise – is the DUP going to gain or maintain enough of a hold over the voters who transferred to them in the last two elections to make up for the departure of some of the more – shall we say – dogmatic supporters?

    2. The splitters – are Bob, Willie, Paul et al going to cause problems in the heartlands where the St Andrews deal is causing most consternation.

    3. The return of the garden centre prod – after four years of darkness and gloomy news on the rates front – will the 1998 brigade come out in support of cuddlier, warmer Reg?

    what does everybody else think?

    Note to DUPers – don’t be biting my head off!!

  • Plum Duff

    nmc – Re; Ian Blair’s comment

    I heard the Police Fed spokesman on Talkback about it. Full of sound, fury, bile and bullshit. You would nearly think people were queuing up in this part of the world to take offence.

    My Concise Oxford Dictionary gives the meaning of ‘paramilitary’ as ‘Ancillary to and similarly organised to military forces’. IMO, I can’t see anything wrong with that as it describes the then RUC’s functions to a T. But you can almost hear the ‘offencees’ crying into their beer, ‘Sure what do they know – they’re English as well’.

  • Inspector Clouseau

    “will the 1998 brigade come out in support of cuddlier, warmer Reg?”

    Could think of many adjectives to describe the leader of the UUP but cuddly and warm..nah

    The question is if the garden centre prods are so exercised by rates, water charges etc that they would darken the door of a polling station who says that they think their concerns would be best dealt with by the UUPers? After all many of these GCP’s will be intelligent folk.

  • nmc

    NIRsucks,

    We saw him! Are you working here as well?

  • merrie

    Northsider

    I agree with you that the DUP may not get the results it hoped for. There might be quite a few more stayaway Unionists in this election.

    I am wondering why the DUP insisted on having this election anyway. Alongside getting a mandate for going into government with SF, perhaps it hoped that the SDLP might revive (and that may happen).

    No one has answered my query about non-native EU settlers being eligible to vote in this election but if there is a really low turnout of voters but there are enough “foreigners” who do vote, then the results may bring out a few surprises.

  • Merrie – as far as I know EU voters can vote, but relatively few are registered. Maybe about 5,000 or so.

  • Nevin

    Slugger O’Toole – the font of all wisdom

    “I speak from memory—my source on this is the website under the name of Slugger O’Toole; perhaps people should check my source.”

  • Does anyone know what ever happened to Dara O’Hagan?

  • SuperSoupy
  • German-American

    Here’s a question from someone unfamiliar with how STV systems work in practice: I see frequent references to “vote management”, and after reading the Wikipedia article on STV I see how vote management can work at the macro level, e.g., by parties trying to equalize first preference votes across all their candidates. However I’m not clear on how vote management actually works at the micro level. I presume parties do things like producing marked-up sample ballots for likely voters who are party supporters. It also appears from comments on Slugger that party posters and other advertisements apparently vary the recommended preference depending on geographic location (if I’m reading this right), presumably to account for local favorites in different parts of a constituency. What techniques are typically employed in vote management schemes?

  • merrie

    AFAIK Europeans (other than Irish citizens) can only vote in local government elections – at least in the England part of the UK.

    Would a Stormont election be considered a local government election?

  • Alan Law

    Anyone who is entitled to vote at a local / district council election is entitled to vote in an Assembly Election….this includes EU citizens and members of the House of Lords. Provided they meet the residency requirements.

    http://www.parliament.uk/commons/lib/research/notes/snpc-02208.pdf

  • Interested

    Northsider
    Its an interesting thought to look at possible plateauing of DUP support – and it is possible….

    “1. Quite simply – the compromise – is the DUP going to gain or maintain enough of a hold over the voters who transferred to them in the last two elections to make up for the departure of some of the more – shall we say – dogmatic supporters?”

    Despite a bit of an early flurry the DUP seems entirely united at the middle and senior ranks. The little bit of dissent at Councillor level doesnt seemt to have come to much outside of a few in Ballymena – and lets face it they’re not exactly thought of as a hotbed of sensible people. Whatever support would be lost through possibility of Government should be at least made up for by continuing to eat into former UUP voters.

    Perversely, the annoyance of some Councillors in Ballymena (who, lets face it, aren’t considered by everyone as entirely the most attractive face of the DUP) may actually entice people to vote for the DUP as they see it as the ‘sensiblisation’ of the party.

    “2. The splitters – are Bob, Willie, Paul et al going to cause problems in the heartlands where the St Andrews deal is causing most consternation. “

    The general consensus seems to be growing that the will cause annoyance, no doubt about that, and will take some votes in some areas but there doesnt seem to be a huge head of steam developing behind them and no-one is really tipping any of them to win a seat. Even Bob’s ‘home’ seat of North Down appears not to be 100% certain. Bob’s strategy of working to deliver an SF First Minister has backfired against him – there just are no unionists out there who see that as a big vote winner.

    Also, a fair few of the votes cast for these candidates are likely to come ‘back’ to the DUP on the second count.

    “3. The return of the garden centre prod – after four years of darkness and gloomy news on the rates front – will the 1998 brigade come out in support of cuddlier, warmer Reg?”

    It is a possiblity that the garden-centre prods will come out to vote. However, who are these mythical creatures and what will motivate someone who didnt vote before to come out and vote this time?

    Also, what would the motivation of these people be if/when they did come out to vote? We’d have to assume that they would vote to see an Executive up and running and if the DUP are up for a deal then they may well vote for the DUP to encourage them to do that deal. They might of course vote for the ‘moderate’ UUP but on the other hand they could just consider them to be a busted flush anyway.

    The only significany problem could be turnout – frankly if they can get the people to the polling station then the DUP shouldnt have too many problems getting them to put their number 1 in the right place.

    The threat of a SF First Minister (as advocated by Bob McCartney) should not only motivate some of the ‘core’ to turn out and ensure that doesnt happen….actually can motivate quite a few ‘moderates’ too.

  • John Farrell

    A pity that Dara O’Hagan lost her seat to running mate “Lurch” O’Dowd last time round.
    If NIO are inclined to appoint figures to public body quangos that are more representative than Alliance rejects they could do worse than nominate O’Hagan for something.
    The sole purpose of Alliance has been to train sycophants to the NIO patronage guys.
    Oooo er sounds a bit controversial.

  • Crataegus

    Why do so many of us dislike the Alliance party? Some of us would even like to see it do well BUT!

    What have they done to deserve the rough ride? Or is it simply a case of bullies picking on the weak?

  • páid

    just to recap…

    Party 1: Standing up sensibly for the Union

    Party 2: Standing up sensibly for the Union and no messing about

    Bob: Standing up sensibly for the Union and no messing about whatsoever

    Party 3: Standing up for the Union in a mild way

    Party 4: Planning for a united Ireland

    Party 4: Really planning for a united Ireland

    So no change in the only question on the agenda.

    Yes, the only one ever on the agenda in the sectarian headcount that goes by the name of election in NI.

    But let’s all pretend we’re normal and talk about the water rates.

    And slugger heads can get off on the fascinating rearrangement of the deckchairs on the Titanic quarter.

  • Oooo er sounds a bit controversial.

    Sounds about 20 years out of date as well… Votáil Alliance.

    But let’s all pretend we’re normal and talk about the water rates.

    Water rates – a crowd of people who are in politics because they couldn’t get a real job, vote for water rates because they can’t resist the urge to spend £oad$amoney, then pretend to the electorate that they didn’t vote for them in the first place.

    Sounds like politics in most places. What’s abnormal about that.

  • Wilde Rover

    “Party 1: Standing up sensibly for the Union
    Party 2: Standing up sensibly for the Union and no messing about
    Bob: Standing up sensibly for the Union and no messing about whatsoever
    Party 3: Standing up for the Union in a mild way
    Party 4: Planning for a united Ireland
    Party 4: Really planning for a united Ireland

    So no change in the only question on the agenda.”

    Brilliant.

    That could be the multi-party manifesto, printed on Post-Its and stuck to people’s front doors. It pretty much covers the main One Policy Players.

  • Picador

    Sammy Morse,

    I have been enjoying your excellent election coverage to date.

    A question: What impact, if any, do you think the reversal of electoral register requirements will have on the outcome?