Slugger Poll….

There is an impression circulating in press circles that this election has been quieter than normal. Certain, although there have been a lot of poster vandalism this time out, there is not the same competition for mindspace in the streets than in previous outings. Even so,the politicians claim they are hitting the streets as hard, if not harder than ever before. Although it is a crude measure (and Slugger readers are not necessarily typical voters), we’d like you to tell us how successful have the politicos been at getting to your doorsteps, by filling out the answers on the left hand side. If you have been visited more than four times, just {encode=”mick.fealty@gmail.com” title=”drop me a line”} with the number and we can add it to the mix.

  • The Devil

    Mick,

    If you have visited by the Sinn Fein “thought” police does that count

  • Damian

    In South Dowm…

    No Indies
    Big group of SDLP (25+ really!!!)
    Small group of Greens. (5/6)
    Small group of UUP (4/5)
    and Catriona Ruane for SF with only one person with her.

    Ho times have changed!

  • Overhere

    Not “hide nor hair” of any of them, not a one, then again I am in London LOL

  • seabhac siúlach

    How about a poll asking our voting preferences…(including the smaller and smallest parties)?
    Might be interesting…or is that unethical or illegal(?) so close to an actual election? It would, at the very least, answer the question of whether there are more nationalists or unionist readers of this sight…

  • seabhac siúlach

    And, by sight I obviously mean site…working too hard…

  • Animus

    We’ve had many visitors, although they have all sounded rather apologetic. Alastair McDonnell was very friendly to our child (a non-voting 2 year old) but completely blanked me at a photocall event three days later.

  • SuperSoupy

    I had one visit, it was from the SDLP. It was a nice surprise as no-one is registered to vote from this address (like at much of the recently opened new development they were blanket knocking).

    I asked why they didn’t have a register with them and how they were going to call back to the people they missed – I don’t think the canvasser understood the question.

  • sms

    I live in west Belfast and Gerry Adams and an entourage of 20! has just called at the door. To the Sunday times and the Sunday tribune that is an act of desperation, to others it is dynamism and last minute cleaning up. Take your pick, but he didn’t look desperate to me. I think they’re really serious about the fifth seat which I think is impossible.Mick, its a wee bit over the top to say that there has been a lot of poster vandalism this election.In this constituency the damage has been caused by the wind and rain and a shoddy product. All parties seem to be using the same supplier the are posters from all parties lying all over the place!

  • Kieran

    Does anybody train the canvassers? A UUP woman came to my door and her opening line was “Hello, I’m aware you might not normally vote us but I’m from the Ulster Unionists.” The main thrust of her doorstep canvass was to gain a second or third preference from me, (living in a predominantly Nationalist area.) The SDLP is the only other party to call but nobody from either SF or the DUP which is strange as they’ve normally been round by this time.

    Who knows, that nice woman from the UUP might just get lucky on Wednesdayt! 😉

  • Mick Fealty

    Reader from South Belfast:

    “we’ve had visits from politicians five times – SDLP, UUP, DUP, SF and Alliance. DUP didn’t stay to chat, just looked doleful, but everyone else made at least a ham-fisted attempt to beg for our votes”.

    Also add that having a pre-school age toddler she tends to be in when the candidates call.

    sms,

    You might be right about the wind and rain having disasterous effects on posters, although I was, partly, going on what I’d actually seen this time out.

  • Red Mist

    I live in the heart of West Belfast.

    SF were round the doors once about a month ago, rather sheepishly looking for an indication of votes. They were told for the first time ever that mine wouldn’t be going their way. This was followed by the quickest and most awkward exit from the aforementioned canvasser.

    Usually there would be a team of them but this time out there was only two and one of them wasn’t even from the area. I recall a few elections past when we had 20-30 people from our area canvassing our area in a ‘show of strength’. There was a buzz. Cars with speaker systems, flags, and local canvassers out hitting the pavement. Election day was something you looked forward to as you were confident and forward looking. I should know as I was one of them for years. Not this time round. The buzz is gone and the rhetoric is flat.

    Whilst I think some predictions of the demise of SF are well and truly premature, I do believe that they will start to feel the first of a long line of pinches this time round. They may not lose many of their new found friends in the ‘soft SDLP’ voters but they have lost a considerable amount of their workers. The activists who engergise the community and the foot soldiers who can pull the vote out.

    I haven’t had any others out yet, with the exception of a team of young people canvassing for People Before Profit candidate Sean Mitchell, who was of course with them hitting the streets. Its quite refreshing actually. Although I am first and foremost an Irish Republican it was nice to see so many young people enthusiastic, engergised and confident that they were doing the right thing. Its been a while since I have seen that confidence and hope from young people in my area. They were articulate and respectful.

    I’ll be giving them my vote this time round. Fair play to them.

  • Red Mist

    Whoopps spoke to soon.

    SF has just driven through the area with a speaker system mounted to a car. Haven’t totally departed with the tried and tested methods of the past yet.

    Although I have to say playing Boys of the Old Brigade does have a slightly hollow ring to it when you are asking people to support the PSNI/RUC.

    Nice try lads.

  • Crataegus

    No visits to castle Crat. But then they never do. The wonders of a high fence and seclusion.

    Out and about have noticed Alliance types, Greens, UUP all wondering pretending to be purposeful.

    What really amazes me is the low number of posters surviving. May be the weather, but I fell there is more to it than that. In the Ardoyne section of Oldpark there was not one SF poster last week. That is truly remarkable.

    My prediction another better than expected election for the SDLP, Greens take first seat or seats, Alliance take a seat in South Belfast but remain on 6,DUP gain a few but only a few, SF stall, lose a few gain a few, and the UUP take a pounding as vote goes down, but scrape into port on transfers in most places limiting real damage. The biggest percentage increase in vote will be to the Greens, but they are starting from a low base.

    Workers Party must be near the end of the line and as for the Socialists?*? What happened to Labour and also the Socialist Environmental Alliance?

    All much the same as ever but with a slight increase in the centre. Greens move up to 6th place.

  • glengormley gal

    In Glengormley we had Alliance at the door last Saturday, and a leaflet from Sinn Fein delivered yesterday ( there were 4 of them and they were delivering rather than canvassing.

    We also had a letter from David Ford.

    Nothing from anyone else in this part of South Antrim apart from post office delivered stuff, which given that the unionists have all Antrim based candidates is not surprising from them. In fact the UUP have all three candidates posters up, so no idea who they expect people to vote for 1st.

    I had expected to see the SDLP out door knocking quite a bit in the patch given that their seat is vulnerable, but not a peep from them.

  • sms

    red mist
    that “boys of the old brigade quipe”betrays your cynisim. Is there any reason why the young anti water rate people may not also be Irish Republicans or have you to go through some initiation ceremony to become . ” first and foremost an Irish Republican” Interesting question, what drove you out of the chukies was the the peeler thing or their lack of ” true socialism”?

  • Dessertspoon

    Nope not a sign in my neck of the woods of anyone. North Down (Ballyholme/Groomsport).

  • sms

    mick
    the only interesting thing about vandalised posters is whether they are vandalised by another political party. You say that you have actually seen it happen. tell us what party’s posters were vandalised and by whom ?

  • Inspector Clouseau

    A UUP canvasser called with my mother in Armagh. His parting words were “it’ll never work untile we get rid of Paisley” lol. Nobody must have told him that using Paisley as the big bad bogey man failed years ago.

  • Gum

    Alban McGuinness called at my door, handed me an election leaflet, then tugged it back again and asked if my parents were home! I am in my late 20s and look older!!

  • funnyface

    This seems to be an argument used by UUP across the country! If its not Paisleys fault, then it is someone elses – but never the fault of the UUP who flogged us the Belfast Agreement! and woe betide anyone who challenges them! Witnessed this for myself and it was ugly! The poor girl who dared to rebuff a UUP canvasser on her doorstep was slung insults. Modern politics don’t you love it! I have had three different unionist parties on my door. The only one that could offer me any policies or even a copy of their manifesto was the DUP. No alternatives from the AntiSAA unionist, just lets put the DUP out and we don’t think much of their candidate. Would be nice to see a smaller party out on the door steps and see what they would do for us and see if they have any endearing qualities.

  • Crataegus

    As a matter of interest why do you think canvassing works?

    There must be enough grumpy old Crats about who have just sat down to watch Stargate, to find it is no longer available, and then to be pestered by some nut case doing the rounds like a strange religious sect banging at the door, frightening the cat and telling you they can save you.

    Do people really think a visit once every 5 years means the political types care? What’s the IQ of the average voter?

  • Inspector Clouseau

    In Newry and Armagh the UUP are suggesting that their supporters transfer to Paul Berry an Anti StAA candidate, well he is sorta Anti StAA at least since he knew that he wouldn’t walk back into the DUP. Appartently they would have had him back but he couldn’t confirm that the sunday papers didn’t have any other incriminating evidence.

  • The Devil

    Just had the Shinners at the door about a dozen of them, I quickly ran to the computer and printed an enlarged photo of Liam Clarke and attached an elastic to it and slung it over my head…..

    “oh aye you want to talk to me now, well I’m not talking to you so you can fuck off! and closed the door”

  • Red Mist

    sms,

    “that “boys of the old brigade quipe”betrays your cynisim.”

    It is a very hollow transaction this time around given what happened at the AF.

    “Is there any reason why the young anti water rate people may not also be Irish Republicans or have you to go through some initiation ceremony to become . “ first and foremost an Irish Republican”

    That is a good point well made. I think most of the lads canvassing for Sean Mitchell would be republican. My point, granted it was not spelt out, was that anything that I would give my solid future allegiance to would need to be solidly republican. although some of those lads may indeed be republicans they are not standing as such. But like I say fair play to them and people could do a lot worse than give them their number 1 on Wed.

    “Interesting question, what drove you out of the chukies was the the peeler thing or their lack of “ true socialism”?”

    Cheeky. Unfortunately my life is not an open book and something I prefer to keep to myself.

  • fair_deal

    The UUP and UKUP both leafletted my house. The DUP were knocking doors around where I live but not mine. (My comments to a few party members that they were getting my vote on the condition no one arrived at my door trying to sell me St Andrews must have worked.)

    No Alliance so far which is a mistake if they are serious in taking Maskey’s seat. I didn’t even get the postal communication (but perhaps an oversight by the postie). Anna Lo should be trying the same tactic as Ford did in south Antrim ‘Ford or Meehan the choice is yours’ stuff. A strongly anti-St Andrews friend is intending to vote Lo no.1 as she is the “Smash Sinn Fein” candidate.

  • As a matter of interest why do you think canvassing works?

    Because it does. It’s not about what you seem to think it is. And the UUs haven’t worked out what effective canvassing is either, so I’m not going to post stuff on here, but can send you a private e-mail when all this is over…

  • John Farrell

    Constituency: Upper Bann

    At the house, only SF called so far and I dont think we have received literature from anybody.
    The local SDLP councillor lives a few doors from me and she usually makes an appearance but not so far.

    Out in Bangor, I wa approached by Alliance so naturally I lied to them. I told them I always vote Alliance but would not do so this time because I am a personal friend of Seamus Close and Sean Neeson and I didnt like the way they were stitched up by the genteel folks in AP.

    Actually Ive never even met Neeson and a two second grunt from Close hardly constitutes personal friendship but I think canvassers deserve lies.

    Tip for people canvassed for first time. Always tell them that you usually vote for them but not this time. Its the only answer that annoys them.

  • Mick Fealty

    Gum,

    We’ve already had that story on another thread about another SDLP candidate.

    sms,

    Are you really arguing it doesn’t happen? I saw this (North Down)in 05 (both lying neatly side by side and conveniently out of sight), and at night a gang of lads with ladders taking down posters at Knockbreda on the Dual Carriageway. I didn’t stop, so I don’t who they were targeting, or who they represented.

    I have photo of the poster concerned from this time out and will post it when I can get it uploaded onto Flickr.

  • sms

    mick

    re vandalised posters.
    I never said it didn’t happen I question if it is more prevelent this time round.A pic from 2005 is not much good.

  • monkey-magic

    Last general election i personally witnessed a car stop outside my house beside a telegraph pole that had martin mcguinnes smiling down from upon high. A guy got out of said vehicle, clambered at least 15 feet up the pole unaided like a monkey (highly impressed I was!) and preceeded to bash poor martin until he was toppled form his lofty perch. Then the car then drove off, no doubt to find another pole for that particular cheeky monkey to work his magic.

  • slug

    John Farrell you sound like a real miasnthrope!

  • Martin

    I wonder at what stage has there been overcanvassing—people would soon get sick of junk election litrature from the same person being pushed through their post boxes and making a heap every couple of days.

    Politicians sometimes have short memories–remember being talked 2 by a candidate who I mistakenly believed 2 be ok only to be snubbed by them on the street when I said hello about 3 days after they had been elected and I had been gulable enough 2 give them a lower preference—ah the mills of the lord,patience and all that sort of thing

  • brendan,belfast

    I live in south Belfast – mixed residential area. So far just the SDLP at the door and SF / UU leaflet drop. Alliance never come to this area which i think is strange. it could be pretty good for them – maybe they just don’t have the workers.

    At times like this i miss the Human Rights Commissioner. I used to love telling Monica that i would not give her a preference and would vote the rest of the ballot. and she kept coming back.

    If the Women’s Coalition liked this area surely APNI should try it?

  • BonarLaw

    Holywood- only the Greens and DUP have had the common decency to ask for my vote personally. No one else, not even Barney Rowan who lives 100 yards ’round the corner.

  • Doreen

    East Belfast: the only candidate I have seen was Mr Farry when I was having lunch in Holywood. Nobody has knocked our door at all, and I really wonder at everyone taking everyone else for granted.

    I would like to see some fresh faces so I will not be voting as I have always done, and I hope that quite a few egos get a knock.

    I wonder why there is no anti St AA candidate in East Belfast.

  • moyle rover

    Ballycastle, North Antrim, I have had Sinn Fein at the door but no one else. In a minor surprise the UUP have put up posters in the town, they usually dont bother. On another point the DUP seem to be working hard on tactical voting telling you what order for what candidate in your area, the UUP on the other hand have posters round Coleraine with only one candidates name on it no mention of the other one. Thursday could be a hard day for the UUP. I suspect there may be some sixth seat surprises for the UUP.

  • I wonder why there is no anti St AA candidate in East Belfast.

    Ask Bob McCartney does he owe Peter Robinson any favours for what happened back in the 1990s, Doreen.

  • Inspector Clouseau

    Sammy,

    You’ve been saying that on a couple of threads, go on spill the beans!

  • south down update

    Noticably low profile in South Down. Plenty of posters but two knocks on the door from “election workers” not the candidates. One SDLP and one Sinn Fein. last time I had the pleasure/misfortune (delete as appropriate) of opening the door to Catriona Ruane…no sign of her this time hmmm

  • You’ve been saying that on a couple of threads, go on spill the beans

    Back in 1995, the DUP not only gave Bob a free run in the North Down by-election, but Peter Robinson effectively ran his campaign for him.

    Now, I’ve no evidence of any arrangement between Bob and Robbo, in fact I’ll go further and say I don’t think there is one… but… don’t you think the absence of East Belfast from the anti-St. AA list of constituencies is odd. West Belfast is explicable, but East Belfast? The most unionist constituency of them all? Bizarre.

    I could be barking up completely the wrong tree, but you tell me why. What goes around comes around and all that.

  • SuperSoupy

    Sammy is right, canvassing is only effective if done right.

    Taken seriously over a number of years in conjunction with constituency work it’s a fine tool.

    Those playing a grown-ups version of knock-the-doors probably shouldn’t bother because when those taking it seriously appear they just look like the weak option.

  • Inspector Clouseau

    I just don’t believe that Bob would be so generous as to give PR a free run because he hlepd him get elected 12 years ago.

    I admit the absence of an anti-StAA candidate in East Belfast is weird, maybe one of the Bob McCartneys forgot to put the nomination papers in.

  • Crataegus

    Sammy

    Thanks for the offer and perhaps I have a fair idea really? As an individual I detest anyone calling uninvited not that its that easy to do mind you. Its an unwelcome intrusion, if I want to contact some political type for any particular purpose then I do so. Election time draw bridge stays up.

  • MICKYBRADY

    i had davy hyland at my door last week,followed no more than twenty minutes later by sinn fein,i heard charlie casey of sinn fein verbally abuse a lady who had given davy her postal vote,he was ranting and raving about this lady doing the dirt by siding with the vote splitters,i was just glad i didnt open my door,

  • Avalon Sunset

    The only time that we ever find out about candidates in Mid Ulster is when you cant push open the front door because of all the crap they drop through by post – never been canvassed directly, but glad of the firelighters.

  • Rebecca Black

    Not one canvasser has called at my door in Newtownards, although where I live is on a big hill so maybe the other parties simply cannot be bothered!

  • nmc

    I’m at the top of the Suffolk Rd., we had SF knock, (we didn’t answer), and this morning we got an addressed letter from the same crowd.

    I know the SF canvassers regretted knocking at least one door, the person who answered is a friend with a very colourful and descriptive language.

    As an afterthought, is there any party in favour of the Water Charge? I was looking through some of the print material pushed through the letterbox, some of it was laughable. Water rates was one common theme, but it seems like voting for not having nails driven into your flesh. SF is also against anti social behaviour, so they won’t be handing out free carry-outs in Colinglen Forest.

    Someone mentioned Sean Mitchell, the missus will be voting for him. He seems like a nice fella.

  • Red Mist

    I think you could do much worse than giving your 1 to Sean Mitchell and stopping there. There is no need to feel compelled as a former SF voter to give them a preference somewhere down the paper.

  • Gum

    Didnt see that story Mick. It’d be a bad pattern to adopt.