Handbags and poster fights…

The posters at Northern Irish (and southern Irish) elections are something of a bizarre sight to outsiders. In England, all are ‘privately owned’; ie, you can tell what degree of support a party has from how many houses in a given area are displaying their posters. In Ireland, it usually indicates who got out first, or who managed to get out under cover of darkness and replaced their opponents with their own the night before. They all do it. Republican, Nationalist, and Unionist. Though one would hope the more genteel Alliance Party would refrain from such underhand practices. Doesn’t stop them from complaining though…

  • bruce201

    I thought it was only the UUP who took other parties posters down while they put their own up.

  • John Farrell

    When Merlyn Rees our late and very unlamented Secretary of State was fighting his very first election, he was picked to fight a very safe Tory seat.
    It was a hard slog.
    Knocking on one door, he was pleasantly surprised to find a young woman who had been in the University Labour Party with him. After sharing some happy memories of University life, she of course promised him her vote.
    Confident of her support, he offered her a Labour poster to display in her front window. However she declined on the basis that she didnt want the neighbours in her expensive area to know she was a Labour supporter.

  • The Greens’ South Down candidate, Ciaran Mussen, reported earlier this week that police caught a young loyalist ‘red handed’ in the act of dismantling a green poster. Ciaran says he is unlikely to press charges but may ask that the suspect top the poll and replace the poster, to underline the Greens’ commitment to restorative justice. He would also like loyalist politicians with influence to call on their young supporters to stand down.

  • IJP


    Of course, the Greens would never adopt such tactics.

    I note lots of Cooke posters where Lo posters used to be, particularly around Queen’s Student Union.

    Coincidence I’m sure.


    Alliance would never adopt such underhand tactics. Only because we couldn’t afford it, mind!

    I do know one activist years ago who used to deliberately place our posters the wrong way up to make people feel sorry for us!

  • Spotter

    Noticed a DUP poster in North Down coming adrift from its backing board. Underneath was a poster for a UKUP candidate in a previous election. Surely the DUP would not have been mean enough to pinch this man’s board? Has to be a mistake!

  • Crataegus

    Hope they are all as keen to take them down after the election.

  • “Hope they are all as keen to take them down after the election. “


  • willis

    I think the Barney Rowan ones will be worth a few bob in 10 years time.

  • Aquifer

    Before anyone throws allegations about remember the force nine winds two weeks ago, and the athletic abilities and empty flat walls of students. A slightly more scientific sample of poster abuse would be to note whose posters do not share a lamppost with anyone elses.

  • Crataegus

    This last few days I have noticed a lot of SF posters down. The numbers seemed unusually high, and could be just coincidence or perhaps faulty fixings.


    What sad student would want any of our political types gazing down at them from the ceiling? It would be like inviting the undead into your abode, and I would imagine a bit limiting when it comes to who you intend to invite back. Creepy and ill considered!

  • John Hardy


    I can assure you that the absence of Anna Lo posters was evident before the Greens put their posters up. it was I who put the Green posters up in south belfast and the only other posters outside Queens union last sunday 18th february at 6pm when I was up the ladder were those belonging to the SDLP. Anna Lo was smiling at me from a number of poles at the junction with stranmillis but she had plenty of company from other candidates and I didnt want her to feel crowded aso kept Alaisdar McDonnell company instead.

  • SDLP Voter

    In Ballycastle the SF poster of Daithi Mc Kay has been put over one of the SDLP candidate Orla Black right in the centre of the town. They mustnt have been able to get it down – her poster putter uppers must have done a good job!

    There has also been a number of other posters of Orla which have mysteriously disappeared throughout her area. The Shinners seem to be concentrating on their canvass throughout her area too!

    Do they feel under threat or what? Surely they arent that scared that they feel they have to ensure her face is not seen out and about the North Antrim constituency?