No one is taking any risks in calling this election before its time. But fears that turnout would be well down may be allayed by a good start to the day. I called in at the polling station in the Belmont Road this morning, and there was a steady flow (nearly got run over by a push bike) all morning, though the tally for the first hour was just over ninety, it seems to have picked up since. One guy (the one who nearly ran me over) took tickets off both the UUP and DUP canvassers, but clearly voiced his view that he did not want Martin McGuinness as First Minister. Was there ever a danger of that? Probably not. But the message was clear throughout the campaign, and that lack of a ‘springboard story’ might be the deciding factor in what was in the end, a competent gaff free performance from Empey’s team.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty