Haughey set to take one ‘against the head’?

I’ve lost count of the number of times in the last few days I have been asked about my predictions for the upcoming elections. We’ve been mulling them over here on Slugger and elsewhere since November. The fate of the Alliance party seems the hardest to call. They have had a good campaign and even the plainly dodgy figures from the Ipsos Mori poll would look good even if you clipped as much as 4 points off them. But Suzanne Breen catches up with what must be one of the top tips (at 5/4 the money tide is still flowing against her) would for a new seat, Sharon Haughey in Newry and Armagh.

Once, Newry and Armagh was sacred SDLP territory. Seamus Mallon was the MP. Post-peace process, the party’s support dipped and Sinn Féin now has three Assembly members to the SDLP’s one. Haughey is hoping to win one back and join sitting Assembly member, Dominic Bradley, at Stormont.

It’s a tough task. The Sinn Féin team is led by the high-profile able MP, Conor Murphy. Its election machine is unrivalled but, overall, the constituency is too close to call. Haughey, already a councillor, is joined on the canvass by Tom O’Hanlon, 25, the SDLP’s deputy Armagh mayor. “Young people automatically voted Sinn Féin but we’re changing that,” she says.

“We have four constituency offices, Sinn Féin have three. I’m also very proud that in the North, 40% of our candidates are female – the best of all the parties. One man on the doorstep even joked: ‘What’s wrong with the SDLP, can’t you find any men?’ I assured him there still are men in the SDLP!”

  • Rory

    “I assured him there still are men in the SDLP!”

    Really, Sharon, how can you expect to win votes from among such a sophisticated electorate when you go about splitting your infinitives like this?

  • R Kennedy

    I did see Suzanne Breen’s piece in the Tribute which was interesting – especially the piece about Sharon Haughey being the youngest candidate in the election campaign. I know SF didn’t co-operate but surely that’s no excuse for an experience political commentator like Suzanne for getting her facts wrong! Isn’t our local SF candidate, Daithi McKay younger than Sharon Haughey?! If what i’ve heard is correct he only turned 25 on Friday.

  • We have four constituency offices, Sinn Féin have three

    It seems Ms Haughey has trouble counting. Sinn Féin offices in Armagh City, Crossmaglen, Camlough and Newry.

    4 offices, not 3 and unlike the stoop offices ours are actually used.

    I’m also very proud that in the North, 40% of our candidates are female

    I was unaware of the Stoops standing candidates anywhere else but the North. Being a post-Nationalist party and all that.

    I was up in North Armagh the other night and the reaction from the doorsteps was excellent. Cathal Boylan will get a very strong vote.

    I fully expect Newry/Armagh to return 3 Sinn Féin MLA’s

  • The youngest is that anti-water tax chap in West Belfast.

    The provos’ ‘campaign’ has taken on a
    particularly nasty and personal nature in Newry and Armagh in recent days. But that’s good news- it simply means that they are rattled, and are having to rely on personal attacks rather than debating the issues.

    At 5/4, I’d say that’s easy money.

  • Mick Fealty

    RK,

    You could be right, but could you confirm it please?

    Even a partial withdrawal of such a major party from talking to the media is highly damaging to the whole complex set of media/politico relations.

    I’m not sure what the precidents are for it. It also seems like a weird inversion of the notorious media ban on Sinn Fein of the eighties.

  • Picador

    I would surmise that SF’s unwillingless to co-operate with Ms Breen is down to her well-noted propensity to put the boot into SF at any available opportunity. It seems they are a touch sensitive about it.

  • R Kennedy

    I don’t know much about the water tax guy – what age is he? But SF North Antrim leaflet definately says McKay is 24 – interesting as after having a quick websearch and to quote Mark Durkin from SDLP press release from 13/02/07 he believes SDLP has – ‘the youngest candidate of the main parties in these elections – Sharon Haughey who is 25.’ Oops – are SF not a main party then? Personally I only noticed as that means the Shinners youngest player is running in the same constituency as Paisley – isn’t he the oldest? Surely a story in itself!

    Does anyone know more about what Suzanne Breens note says about Sinn fein not talking to either the Tribune or the Sunday Times?

  • The provos’ ‘campaign’ has taken on a
    particularly nasty and personal nature in Newry and Armagh in recent days

    What are you on about??

  • Concerned

    From the Sunday Times Sue Denham Column:-

    Time was when Sinn Fein’s constant refrain was media censorship – both the refusal of the British and Irish governments to let them on TV and the “insidious self censorship” of newspapers that didn’t interview Shinner spokesmen often enough.
    Academic reputations were built on counting how mamy times Sinn Fein was mentioned in various news outlets and how few calls its press office received. Now it is the Shinners who are beating off the media. The Sunday Times and Sunday Tribune have been denied access to candidates during the current Stormont election. Even Martina Anderson, the party’s “outreach officer” who is appealing to unionist to talk to her refuses to speak to either paper about her work or her candidacy in Foyle.

    From the Trib:-

    Sinn Féin’s viewpoint is absent from this article because it was the only party which refused access to the Sunday Tribune. It said it would not make candidates in any constituency available for interview and it would not cooperate with the newspaper during the entire election campaign. It’s an ironic position for a party which, for decades, complained of media bans and censorship. Sinn Féin is also refusing to co-operate with the Sunday Times.

  • youwhat?

    “I’m also very proud that in the North, 40% of our candidates are female – the best of all the parties”

    eh PUP on 66% female candidates 😉

  • What of all this freedom of the press malarky the provos were going on about during the death throes of Daily Ireland? Surely if SF believes in freedom of the press, it should respect newspapers’ right to free opinion, and treat each newspaper as it comes rather than boycotting those who print views it doesn’t like.

  • John Farrell

    SDLP are talking up Sharon Haughey and rightly so. She is the lead candidate in the constituency despite Dominic Bradley being the incumbent.
    No big deal in there being so many women candidates….although that SDLP pic of all the red coated SDLP women surrounding Mark Durkan had a look reminiscent of the infamous 1997 pic of Blairs Babes……lets hope they arent marginalised as Durkans Dollies.

  • UUP

    Peter Munce, the Ulster Unionist candidate for Foyle only just turned 25, surely that makes him the youngest candidate of the main parties?

  • take them down a peg

    Sinn Fein are getting too big for their britches if they think they can dictate who will write what about them where. I hope the papers involved give them the comeuppance they so richly deserve for (and frankly are asking for) this particular stunt.

  • R Kennedy

    Good to see so many young candidates. Any bets on who will replace Berry as the youngest member of the next Assembly! Still at least he’ll go down in history… So a 24 yr old, two 25 yr olds – maybe we’ll see some progress yet – even if the Shinners won’t talk to Suzanne Breen!

  • Chris Donnelly

    Mick

    I’d say it’s as likely Haughey’s seat will be at the expense of Dominic Bradley than at the expense of one of the three Sinn Feiners running.

    But it’s all speculation at this stage…

  • borden

    Looks like the provos in Newry and Armagh are on the rails. Many people believe that Sharon has a great chance – I’d ask PSFers here to read Sammy Morse and his analysis of this constituency – Sammy’s not overly optistic of the stoops in the North generally which makes his prediction of two stoop seats in N and A all the more interesting.
    And while I’m at it my stoop mates in Foyle tell me that the Shinners are preparing for a mighty backlash on Wednesday in Derry. Could be interesting!!

  • Henry94

    This brings back memories.

    “there is a whiff of magic about West Tyrone and that magic is Brid Rogers”.

    The talking up of Haughey’s chances could well see her take a seat at Bradley’s expense.

  • Newry Voter

    The SDLP have a very strong ticket here. Dominic Bradley has an established base in Newry and Sharon Haughey is clearly making a very positive impact. There is a is a very good geographic and gender split.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Henry

    That happy memory flashed before me when I read this post as well….

  • borden

    Chris and Henry,

    funny, but your bantering got me remebering probably the funniest political moment ever – Matin Meehan MLAs victory speech in 2003. Still laughing at that one – and of course, the failed hero of Derry, good old Mitchel and his gaffes -still at it of course. Does this ‘moderate’ Spin Feiner -surely an oxymoron if there ever was one – have a self destruct button. Can’t wait to see the look on his face like the one in 1997, 2001 and 2005.

  • Bradley has a good base in Newry??

    His own neighbours don’t even vote for him. Let’s see how well he polls compared to Mickey Brady.

    I would not be surprised if Haughey is elected, her election will be at the expense of Bradley. I heard yesterday that Mr Bradley is none too pleased.

    Seems the Stoops are hyping Haughey just a little too much for his liking.

  • borden

    figures don’t really add up well for PSF in your area Chris -no matter what provo propaganda you spread. The Davy Hyland factor hasn’t set in and any moderate unionist transfers will head back to the stoops. IF there are seats to be lost it will be the second unionist seat or the third provo one.

  • The SDLP fully expects to take two seats in Newry and Armagh.

  • Newry Voter

    Dominic Bradley is a very capable and high profile MLA who has taken a lead on a number of issues in Newry. Because of Dominic Bradley’s strength the SDLP are I suppose keen to ensure good balancing and are making sure to promote Sharon Haughey, who, like Bradley, is a very strong candidate. I get the sense that the SDLP have played it very well in this constituency in terms of their choice of candiates and balancing.

  • figures don’t really add up well for PSF in your area Chris

    How do you work that out, I suggest you check your figures again.

    The Davy Hyland factor hasn’t set in and any moderate unionist transfers will head back to the stoops

    1,500-2,000 votes of which at least 40% will transfer back.

    We have never relied on Unionist votes in Newry and Armagh

    IF there are seats to be lost it will be the second unionist seat or the third provo one.

    Keep dreaming

    Both Unionist seats are safe and so are ours

    The stoops can play musical chairs all they want with Haughey and Bradley, the stoops are an irrelevance where I come from.

    A stoop is about as rare as a British soldier these days

  • Pete

    Yep would say Bradley is right about the stoops hyping Haughey too much. To hype up the youngest candidate thing when its not even true as RK pointed out earlier, is an example of anything for a headline – true or not.

  • Henry94

    borden

    Touche. We all have our favourites. But I think if someone wants to trouble the bookies they will get better odds and better value on Chelsea to win the Premiership than the SDLP to take a SF seat in NA.

  • Pete

    The Stoops can’t afford to overhype Haughey, that will ruin their vote management and leave them with one MLA

  • Newry Voter

    Dominic Bradley is a very capable and high profile MLA who has taken a lead on a number of issues in Newry. He has a very good base in Newry itself and I’d say he has held onto and grown his vote because he works hard on local issues rather than just being a yes-man for the party. Because of Dominic Bradley’s strength the SDLP are I suppose keen to ensure good balancing and are making sure to promote Sharon Haughey, who, like Bradley, is a very strong candidate. I get the sense that the SDLP have played it very well in this constituency in terms of their choice of candiates and balancing.

  • Newry Voter

    Apart from spamming can you tell us what Bradley has done exactly?

  • borden

    Whooa!

    touchy Chris. No need to come back like that. Many people that I know have a conscience and will not be backing your provo friends in Newry and Armagh. Get over it. The PSF attempt at Irish domination is far from complete. The stoops have a chance in this constituency. Seems like most Provo Sinn Feiners you’re following the Danny morrison line of eliminating the SDLp. Doesn’t seem to be happening this time either. Which stoop policies will your mates be stealing for the next election??

  • Many people that I know have a conscience and will not be backing your provo friends in Newry and Armagh

    I pray you used that line while out canvassing, sounds very like the OUP’s “Decent people” nonsense.

    Then again what can we expect from a party that believed road signs and balloons would stop the DUP.

    Pathetic!

    Seems like most Provo Sinn Feiners you’re following the Danny morrison line of eliminating the SDLp

    I view the stoops somewhere between contempt and mild distain. I have better things to do with my time than worrying about an irrelevance like the stoops.

  • Newry Voter

    Bradley has positively surprised a large number of voters to date. Many people had him written off in the last Assembly Elections also. Dominic Bradley has now worked very hard as an MLA, has many of the same qualities as people like Mallon and is certainly well respected as a genuine Gael. He was leading the Irish language movement in Newry and South Armagh back when the Boys were busy at much less constructive pastimes. Dominic Bradley comes across as substantial and even a ‘tough’ character on the ground. People in this area like politicians who they can trust and who they can be confident is going to be smarter than the other guy. Dominic Bradley has played things well up to this point – he has focussed on what he (Bradley) is doing now.

  • borden

    Do you not respect the democratic mandate of an Irish fully democratic party Chris?? You obviously don’t have a fundamental knowledge and understanding of the term if this is your stated viewpoint. I take it therefore that you don’t follow the line of an Ireland of equals -or is that some -provo sympathisers – are more equal than others.

    I repeat, the stoops have a chance of reclaiming back the seat in Newry and Armagh. You seem to be perturbed at the thought.

    What have the stoops ever done to you?? Are you a closet unionist in disguise??!!!

  • URQUHART

    Gaskin is angry tonight isn’t he?

    Seems like the bit of pressure in Newry & Armagh isn’t going down too well.

  • Newry Voter

    So apart from the drivel above you still can’t tell us what Bradley has done since his election?

    How many times has he or the stoops been on the doors in Newry Armagh since the last election?

  • borden

    Chris,

    just out of interest sake what did Davy Hyland do ?? BTW, keep checking your figures. From my mates in Derry they still have the laugh of your provo friends in Foyle calling the election in 2005 on the Monday before the election. Seems the numbers up there didn’t add up.

    Also, I’ll try to find you a copy of an Irish tabloid that on MAy 5th 2005 was printing the obituary of the stoops.

    Don’t take the electorate for granted. Real Irish republicans have principled people to vote for this time. Not your crowd of SDLP-lite.

  • Do you not respect the democratic mandate of an Irish fully democratic party Chris??

    I respect their manadate, that doesn’t change my view of them.

    You seem to be perturbed at the thought.

    I am often perturbed by the delusions of others

    Are you a closet unionist in disguise??!!!

    No, I’m a Republican!

    Gaskin is angry tonight isn’t he?

    I’m not angry, far from it.

    Seems like the bit of pressure in Newry & Armagh isn’t going down too well

    What pressure? The people of Newry/Armagh will view the stoops on their work this last couple of years.

    The are never at the doors except at election time, we are at the doors every week of the year working for them and respresenting them.

  • just out of interest sake what did Davy Hyland do ??

    What do you mean?

    Don’t take the electorate for granted

    I have faith in the electorate

    Real Irish republicans have principled people to vote for this time

    LOL, who is that ecactly??

  • URQUHART

    Calm Down Gaskin. Were you not told by the Party to try and remain calm and confident looking?

    Also, you said: “we are at the doors every week of the year working for them and respresenting them”

    Maybe, but of course then you went and shafted the two MLAs who (presumably) were doing all this great work because their faces didn’t fit.

    As Borden says, don’t take the electorate for granted buddy.

  • borden

    It would appear to me that principled Republicans who cannot understand the power lust of the provos and their substantial u-turns have other republicans in most 6 county constituencies to vote for.
    Easy to understand that. Well except for unprincipled Republicans like Provisional Sinn Fein.
    BTW, will you be maximising the nationalist vote with your transfers Mr Gaskin?? Or should you be spoiling your ballot instead of legitimising British rule in the North?? Simple question.

  • Calm Down Gaskin

    I am calm, so save your patronising nonsense for someone else 😉

    but of course then you went and shafted the two MLAs who (presumably) were doing all this great work because their faces didn’t fit

    Unlike the stoops our members are active and they are the ones on the doors week in week out along with our elected reps.

    As Borden says, don’t take the electorate for granted buddy.

    I have more faith in them than you have, that’s for sure

    will you be maximising the nationalist vote with your transfers Mr Gaskin??

    Conor Murphy 1
    Mickey Brady 2
    Cathal Boylan 3

    No need to go on after that

  • This was amusing but I have a prior engagement with a drinking establishment.

    Óiche Mhaith

  • mcquillans

    I can confirm that Daithi McKay turned 25 on Friday, making him the youngest candidate of the four main parties and clearly the best placed to take a seat too.

  • pat cox

    chris gaskin talked up mitchell in foyle ergo haughey will take the seat

  • Wilde Rover

    If the SDLP fail to take another seat then it will be down to the failure of Hume and Mallon in the late 1990s to groom successors and give them the exposure that leads to candidates with youth, experience, and long-term face recognition.

    That the development of Conor Murphy’s political image went unanswered for so long by the SDLP must be one of the great political oversights of the last decade.

    Interesting to see some of the traditional terminology being used still, although I have a suspicion that this will be the last election where they will be used with venom.

    When/if the policing, Assembly etc is bedded down I suspect that SFHQ will inform the rank and file, on the QT, that “stoop” has been dropped from the SF lexicon for reasons of sensitivity.

  • Thomas Hogg

    McQuillans

    Christopher Stalford is 24 – he seems reasonably placed in Belfast South – he therefore is the youngest candidate of the 4 main parties likely to gain a seat.

  • Crataegus

    You can always tell when SF are in trouble Chris and fellow SF types massively increase their posts and try to deflect, discredit or take attention away from the problem. Their posts are if you like confirmation from SF that Haughey will take a seat as will Orla Black in North Antrim.

  • Pete

    On the age thing – the main point therefore is that Suzanne Breen is wrong and Sharon Haughey isn’t the youngest candidate in the Assembly elections from the 4 ‘main’ parties – so she shouldn’t be writing it in the Sunday Tribune!!

  • Henry94

    Crataegus

    You can always tell when SF are in trouble Chris and fellow SF types massively increase their posts

    Ah come on! If you defend your poition you are in trouble? If you don’t the case goes by default. Another no-win situation.

    The reality is that anti-Sinn Fein stories get a disproportionate coverage on Slugger. I don’t think anyone will deny that.

    This story is shown to be wrong on a question of fact and we’ll see how it is on prediction very soon.

  • Crataegus

    Henry94

    We will know on Thursday!

    Possibly more interesting will be the elections in the South come say June.

  • Nevin

    “we are at the doors every week of the year”

    Would that be the Sinner ‘thought police’ or the Sinner moneylenders? 😉

  • Observer

    Gaskin QC is now dillusional living on the British mainland and mixing with english gentlemen.

    By SF not co-operating with papers says alot. They’ll only support papers that write drival in their favour, like the Andytown News group in Belfast.

    As much as I dislike the SDLP and distrust them I hope they give the Shinners a run for their money. I’d write off the UUP b4 the SDLP. They’ll hold on.

    Gaskin has to acknowledge that when Shinners canvass the doors people will say ‘yes’, why? Becos ppl are afraid to say no.

  • Dec

    Gaskin has to acknowledge that when Shinners canvass the doors people will say ‘yes’, why? Becos ppl are afraid to say no.

    Observer

    I said ‘No’ to Sinn Fein canvassers/thought Police last week. Happy to report that 1 week after he assured me that ‘everyone was entitled to their position’, my knees/windows/car remain intact. Sorry to debunk your entirely reasonable and grown-up theory that all Sinn Fein’s electoral support derives from the threat of violence.

  • Henry94

    Observer

    There is no point whatsoever in sending out canvassers unless they are going to bring back accurate information.

  • Observer

    Henry and Dec

    Since you are both SF supporters I’ll take what you say with a pinch of salt.

    You can surely not say that internal SF polls are accurate.

    Mindu I will acknowledge that people on the doorsteps will be positive just to get rid of you.

    In my experience SF canvassers come in twos. There’s one nice guy and one ‘rough’ guy.

    People are afraid of them.

    Its like the Mafia doing their rounds.

  • kensei

    “You can always tell when SF are in trouble Chris and fellow SF types massively increase their posts”

    Really? There seems to have been a lot more SDLP posters at the moment.

    “In my experience SF canvassers come in twos. There’s one nice guy and one ‘rough’ guy.

    People are afraid of them.

    Its like the Mafia doing their rounds. ”

    Yeah, and it’s that fear that forces people to vote for them in a secret ballot.

  • Crataegus

    Observer

    I think you have a point. If I lived in a strongly Republican area and was visited by two fellas saying, “you’re voting SF” I would say yes even if I thought bugger off.

    Not everyone that says yes will be thinking this way but some will. You need to be very careful translating canvass returns into votes. People will tell you whatever you want to hear to get rid of you . SF ohh great of course dear, bye. If what you suggest is true only for 1 in 20 it would have a significant impact.

  • Dec

    Since you are both SF supporters I’ll take what you say with a pinch of salt.

    Read the first line of my post again and then come back to me.

    If I lived in a strongly Republican area and was visited by two fellas saying, “you’re voting SF” I would say yes even if I thought bugger off.

    Sometimes there’s even more of them, wearing hoodies and waving big sticks.

  • kensei

    “Not everyone that says yes will be thinking this way but some will. You need to be very careful translating canvass returns into votes. People will tell you whatever you want to hear to get rid of you . SF ohh great of course dear, bye. If what you suggest is true only for 1 in 20 it would have a significant impact.”

    Everyone says their canvass returns are good anyway, and this happens to all parties equally. What party says “we are going to lose” before an election?

  • Observer

    kensi

    Thats why sinn fein watch the houses on polling day and see if potential voters have been out to cast their vote.

    Is that not messing with the democratic process?

    People are also entitled not to vote. However I believe that they should, even if they spoil their ballot.

  • enda kenny

    I was unsure whether to laugh or cry after viewing the SDLP’s advertisement in the newspaper last week. The SDLP claimed to be ‘a united party for a united Ireland’. In the same paper I read a report about Enda Kenny TD, Fine Gael leader, visiting Newry to endorse Dominic Bradley and Sharon Haughey’s campaign. No doubt the SDLP would like to present this as a sign of their commitment to cross-border working, and that it therefore underscores their new-found fervour for a united Ireland. But let’s look at Kenny’s track record. When the Irish Government proposed giving even minimal speaking rights in the Dáil to Northern MP’s, Enda Kenny said: “Fine Gael rejects this undemocratic proposal, which goes far beyond the Good Friday Agreement and is an insult to the Unionist population in Northern Ireland.” So the SDLP are committed to a united Ireland by seeking the support of a 26-county party that doesn’t even want to give Northern nationalists a voice in all-Ireland politics?! As for the united party aspect, why don’t you ask SDLP MLA PJ Bradley who said in 2005: “I could envisage major political realignments which might include a Fianna Fail/SDLP axis at some point…
    and have grown up in a tradition in which De Valera and the principles of Fianna Fail were held in great esteem.” So, that’s what a united party is, South Down SDLP supporting Fianna Fáil and Newry and Armagh SDLP supporting Fine Gael. Keep up the good work, Dominic and Sharon, but perhaps you could change your party’s slogan to ‘consistently inconsistent’!

  • kensei

    “Thats why sinn fein watch the houses on polling day and see if potential voters have been out to cast their vote.

    Is that not messing with the democratic process? ”

    Er, no. Why would it be?

  • Crataegus

    Kensei

    Everyone says their canvass returns are good anyway, and this happens to all parties equally. What party says “we are going to lose” before an election?

    None but on the specifics of SF there is a fair amount of dissatisfaction with SF in Republican areas this time round and the canvassers may be getting it slightly more wrong than normal.

    With regards to people checking who has voted and telling people to get out and vote I do think it is intimidating for some and I also think information is being passed out from the polling stations! Something we should tighten up on.

    Dec

    Sometimes there’s even more of them, wearing hoodies and waving big sticks.

    I can well imagine and so can the person being canvassed.

  • Anyone else remember Chris predicting the Shinners were going to win 5 out of 5 in Slieve Gullion in the last council elections?

  • kensei

    “None but on the specifics of SF there is a fair amount of dissatisfaction with SF in Republican areas this time round and the canvassers may be getting it slightly more wrong than normal.”

    Then again, the poll results were fairly stable (and they normally under represent SF). the election will terll. Until then, all of this from ANY party is just talking up their chances. It’s just politics.

    “With regards to people checking who has voted and telling people to get out and vote I do think it is intimidating for some and I also think information is being passed out from the polling stations! Something we should tighten up on.”

    If the information is being passed from the polling stations, I agree. But in general there I think are many people glad of the lift to the polling station as is there are “intimidated”. If you are intimidated you can always take revenge and vote for their political opponents. It’s your democratic duty to vote, so I have little sympathy with this.

  • Dec

    I can well imagine and so can the person being canvassed.

    Craetagus

    The key word here is imagine.

  • Gaskin has to acknowledge that when Shinners canvass the doors people will say ‘yes’, why? Becos ppl are afraid to say no.

    People say yes if they are going to vote Sinn Féin. I come from a strong Republican area and people are not afraid to say no on the doors.

    You can surely not say that internal SF polls are accurate

    They tend to be very accurate if somewhat conservative in their analysis.

    visited by two fellas saying, “you’re voting SF”

    I have never been on a canvass, in various parts of the country, and heard a Sinn Féin member say “you’re voting SF”

    Sinn Féin canvassers tend to be muchy better trained than that.

    Anyone else remember Chris predicting the Shinners were going to win 5 out of 5 in Slieve Gullion in the last council elections?

    If the Stoops vote management had of being any good we would have.

    Sammy, forgive me if I take your “analysis” about Newry and Armagh with a pinch of salt. Afterall you consider Jonesboro to be a town.

  • dodrade

    Sharon Haughey may not be the youngest candidate in these elections but she’s certainly the best looking!

  • SDLP to the core

    I think Haughey will take a seat of the Shinners it won’t even be close I see her clear by 3 to 4 hundred votes.

  • Sinn Feiner

    This will be tight and will come down to transfers but once Davy is eliminated his 1,700 votes should come to us and just get us the 3rd seat

  • true irishman

    sinn feiner,

    If Hyland takes 1600 votes the SDLP will take the seat

  • Dougal

    Sharon Haughey said “I assured him there still are men in the SDLP!”

    Rory sniped “…how can you expect to win votes from among such a sophisticated electorate when you go about splitting your infinitives like this?”

    Rory, though grammatical wrong, this is NOT a split infinitive. Agreed, if this sentence were written as part a literary work, then it should have read “there are still” or better still “there remains”. However this was not prose. This was an utterance spoken on the doorstep. I feel the register of language was appropriate and does not represent a major grammatical failure by this massively talented young woman who earned a 1st from QUB.

    Of course I’m just being pedantic here but then you so were you weren’t you?

  • Rory

    Dougal,

    “Of course I’m just being pedantic here but then you so were you weren’t you? “

    No, Dougal, I wasn’t. I was simply taking the piss, which seems fair to me as that, in my experience, is what the SDLP has been attempting to do to the nationalist population since its very nascence.

  • Dougal

    I bow to your better judgement Rory.

    You are clearly more familiar with piss-taking and sarcasm than I am. Who gets your vote?

  • Sinéad

    The Sinn Féin team is led by the high-profile able MP, Conor Murphy

    High profile may be but “able”? He can’t or won’t go to Westminister and you can’t speak to him. I have tried to contact him three times about a local issue with which I am involved.

    The first time I contacted the office and was told he was in Belfast. Fair enough I thought, busy man…

    The second time (a few days later and without a return call) I was told by the office lacky that he was having his photo taken at B&Q. This was strange as this was at the time when the arsonist were at work in Newry and B&Q wasn’t the store targeted!

    The third time (and still without a return call), I was told he was in Westminister, London!! He that doesn’t even take his seat!

    It was at this point I needed to go elsewhere. Oh and yes, I was able to speak to a local representative, arrange a meeting face to face and discuss the personal matter)

    Votail SF? Not this time.

  • Jamie

    Sinéad, I had a similar experience too.

  • Gerenian Nestor

    I’ve heard someone else say that Haughey is the best looking candidate.
    Am I the only one who thinks she’s a boot?

  • It’s your democratic duty to vote, so I have little sympathy with this.

    I entirely agree with kensei here.

    If the Stoops vote management had of being any good we would have.

    Chris, you don’t really believe this do you. Because if you do, you don’t actually understand how the electoral system works. Let’s just start by critiquing the statement above. If the SDLP’s vote management were better Sinn Féin would have taken a seat? Er, run that by me again? How would better SDLP vote management help Sinn Féin?

    The SDLP polled 23.9% or 1.43 Quotas in Slive Gullion, i.e. they had a single utterly safe seat. Their vote actually split 1151/822 between the 2 candidates, but let’s say it would have split perfectly, 987/986, what would have happened? Well after Colman Burns’ small surplus of 25 was distributed (great SF vote management BTW), Peter McEvoy would have been eliminated and unless less than 39% of his transfers went to his SDLP running mate, she would have been elected.

    That’s right, better vote management would have left Sinn Féin needing 61% of the SDLP’s transfers, with another SDLP candidate still in race. I don’t think that’s likely, Chris. Do you?

    The defence rest m’lud, and humbly suggests the prosecution sacks its Barrister.

  • Rory

    Who gets your vote?

    Fair question, Dougal. As I live in London I shan’t be voting in tomorrow’s election but were I to I would apply the same principles I do in all elections – that is, in the absence of a communist candidate I would vote for the most progressive party with a chance. In tomorrow’s election in Northern Ireland that is clearly Sinn Fein.

  • Percival

    Rory

    Progressive? It has taken the Shinners nearly 10 yrs to catch up with the democratic mainstream in this country – and they still aren’t there yet.

  • Former SF

    “the most progressive party”

    Please define what you mean by this ambiguous term and …

    “..the most progressive party with a chance.”

    A chance of what?

    Whilst I can accept that moving away from a stance which excuses the treasonous murder of your fellow countrmen is “progress”, I fail to see how they are able to make the Assembly work. Other than party sycophants, few people here really believe that a SF/DUP combo will result in a lasting stable government. Furthermore, most Nationalists, though uncomfortable with the policing issue/endorsement, are more concerned with high rates bills and new water charges.

    Not again. Votail S.F. Not again

  • Bradd

    Gerenian Nestor

    Am I the only one who thinks she’s a boot?

    Yip! I’m gonna give her “1” tommorrow.

  • kensei

    Jesus H Christ. Tomorrow really can’t come too soon so the SDLP chorus flooding every vaguely Nationalist themed topic can go away again.

  • Rory

    I think history will show, Percival, that it was the republican struggle and Sinn Fein negotiating skills that helped bring about a semblance of democracy for the first time in this rotten little statelet. It has been the supporters of all that was rotten who have been dragging their feet on all that was agreed and democratically accepted under the GFA.

    Sinn Fein have been pushing heroically for full implementation of the GFA since it was agreed and endorsed and it has been the Unionist camp that have harried and hampered that implementation at every turn until Paisley finally came to heel having had his card marked in no short order by Blair at St Andrew’s.

  • padraig

    FFS, kensei why aren’t yu shouting about the Shinner sycophant rants on here?

    Big deal Rory, the Shinners support the GFA because it was “agreed and endorsed.”

    Who “agreed and endorsed” the dirty campaign by the Provos?

    Shame on the dirty Shinners and anyone who votes for them!

  • Observer

    Few red faces here, eh?
    Deary me!