Sinn Fein takes South Antrim by surprise…

SINN FEIN carpetbagger Mitchel McLaughlin has topped the poll in South Antrim, with Willie McCrea of the DUP is also over the quota. It looks like Alliance leader David Ford will be safe, but the combined total of the SDLP’s two candidates doesn’t even make a quota.

  • Dáithí

    Fantastic vote for Mitchel McLaughlin in South Antrim. Looks like David Ford will be safe despite all the predictions. Terrible vote for David Burnside and the SDLP.

  • m

    Where did Mitchel’s votes come from?

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Sinn Fein voters!

  • nationalists / republicans who previously didn’t bother vote at all ?

  • ingram

    lol

    Gonzo

    well done Mitchel and Sinn Fein

    Ding Ding

    Marty

  • Robert Keogh

    He brought them in his oversize carpet bag….

  • middle-class taig

    That’s Mitchel’s career well and truly rejuvenated. Delighted for him. Phenomenal success for SF, on a day of spectacular successes. Hopefully his transfers can bring in the Stoops.

  • parcifal

    great, MM is without doubt the most personable politician in norn iron, sorta guy you’d want as your uncle.

    Dr. M. Ingram the bet will be decided ce soir 😉

  • méar ar an chuisle

    Now now Robert, Sinn Féin won a seat and made history in south antrim. Be gracious.

    Méar

  • John Farrell

    “SINN FEIN carpetbagger Mitchel McLaughlin has topped the poll in South Antrim, with Willie McCrea of ”

    Hmmm so McLaughlin is a carpertbagger but McCrea isnt?

  • middle-class taig

    Belfast Gonzo

    “Sinn Fein carpet-bagger Mitchel McLoughlin”

    but not DUP carpet-bagger “carpet-bagger”

    typical Alliance!

    Congratulations to Martin Meehan on doing all the hard work in securing this seat for SF.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Apologies… McCrea is of course a CB too.

    Doh!

  • slug

    I am very pleased that it looks like David Ford has kept has seat. He has campaigned on a lot of issues that I care about such as the north west railway line. In that constituency he would have been my number 1.

    It’s heartening for me that Alliance have grown today with some good performances from the incumbents and Anna Lo, and the new candidates Lunn and Farry hopefully doing ok.

    The future of Alliance is looking a little safer today and this – and the growth of the Greens – begs the following question…

    When are we going to get rid of the designation system, which denies voting equality to Alliance and Green MLAs simply because of their political position i.e. simply because they see themselves as neither nationalist nor unionist?

    When is this going to end?

  • overhere

    Well done Mitchel

  • PaddyReilly

    Where did Mitchel’s votes come from?

    The gradual expansion of West Belfast persons into Crumlin and Antrim, together with natives of Toombridge, etc.

  • slug

    That Belfast Telegraph poll that suggested a good Alliance result and a bad day for the UUP was not so off, eh?

  • Rory

    Great news, Mitchell and well done Martin Meehan, both republicans extraordinaire. Roddy McCorley did not die in vain.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Voting SF might have been a bridge too far for Roddy…

  • Red Mist

    Have to say, although it pains me, SF have had a good result.

    The lesson for any republican alternative must be to start small (ie council) and build around credible people not the mish mash of poor candidates the ‘independent’ republicans put up.

    I am a former SF voter but I wouldn’t just vote for anyone standing against SF recent moves.

    Sf are well and truly in the mainstream now. However, with more and more SDLP voters flocking in will it always be a natural home for republicans and socialists?

    I suppose only time will tell, but I for one am content enough that I didn’t vote against my principles.

    Interesting to see the Anti-Water Charges candidate Sean Mitchell poll close to 800 first preference votes in such a strong SF constituency. First election, new party, no finance, and the candidate at 19 (although he is very able) I think it was a great showing. Fair play to Sean and his team.

  • Numbers

    We will see where the SF votes came from when we see where the surplus goes.
    My personal betting is 60% to SDLP …. although it might be interesting if enough go to David Forde to get him elected.

    The world is a strange place.

    Wasn’t it McCrea who said he drove through South Antrim every day … which meant the road conditions had to be really good there.

  • Looks like David Ford will be safe despite all the predictions

    Not quite every prediction, a Dháithí.

    First election, new party

    The Socialist Workers’ Party is not a new party.

  • Red Mist

    Ouch Sammy.

    Sean is a member of the SWP but he wasn’t running for the SWP, nor was everyone involved in his campaign from the SWP, nor did the vast majority votes come from SWP supporters.

    PBP is an amalgam of many different groupings North and South but what I can say is that the young people involved in the campaign worked as hard as hell and deserve a pat on the back for being so enthusiastic about positive issues. If only everyone had their enthusiasm. Myself included of course.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Sean is a member of the SWP but he wasn’t running for the SWP,

    Nobody runs for the SWP. They always run under another banner instead. The word “socialist” tends to scare people off.

  • MICKYBRADY

    not to mention (workers party)now that would really scare you off literally.

  • nor was everyone involved in his campaign from the SWP

    They’ll use the kids and spit them out; the sensible older activists will walk away in disgust before too long.

    not to mention (workers party)now that would really scare you off literally.

    Say what you like about the stickies, but they still managed to beat Republican Sinn Féin in West Belfast.

  • David Ford

    Just in from a long day at the South Antrim count, plus a visit to Balmoral Count Centre to celebrate with Naomi, Anna and their teams.

    Unfortunately, the RO’s decision to end for the day about 22.00 means that I have to wait until the morning to reach the quota.

    But it does give me time to come home and re-read all those previous threads about the inevitability of the Alliance loss in South Antrim…

  • Henry94

    Comrade Stalin

    Stop picking on the Trotskyites!

    I had to say it.

  • Henry94

    David

    Congratulation on your result and the good day for your party.

  • Congratulation on your result and the good day for your party.

    Henry – appreciate the congratulations. Not such a bad day for your lot either – further inroads into the SDLP and smashes the dissidents to bits.

  • Pete

    On a different matter can anyone tell me if its correct that SF’ North Antrim youngster was predicted to loose the North Antrim seat not that long ago by Liam Clarke/Sunday Times? If so he was way out!

  • Henry94

    Sammy

    Indeed. A great day for all us moderates.

  • A great day for all us moderates.

    You know Henry, I’m in such a good mood I’m not even going to bite on that one!!!

  • páid

    “The gradual expansion of West Belfast persons into Crumlin and Antrim”

    Something must be done about this obesity epidemic.

  • kensei

    “You know Henry, I’m in such a good mood I’m not even going to bite on that one!!!”

    Not to piss on your parade, but I don’t think you have tackled your underlying problems; today you consolidated yourselves as Unionism-Lite by ripping a lot of votes from the UUP.

    FST – 1.1%
    Foyle – 0.5%
    Mid-Ulster – 0.5%
    N&A – 0.6%
    South Down – 1.5%
    West Belfast 0.4%
    West Tyrone – 0%

    It’s a fundamental weakness. Unionist votes can easily go back the other way if the UUP sorts itself out (yes, mad thought, I know), and in many senses that ties you to that constituency and their outlook. Which contradicts your aims. Plus you are pulling in a lot of votes for candidates rather than the party, which in the long run is a weakness.

    You’ve talked about long term projects, but I see no strategy.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Well done to Mitchel, anyone who actually raps doors knew that the result was never in any doubt. Of course the plethora of anonymous trolls who infest this and other sites yet again called it wrong or simply lied. Why they lie to such an extent when counting day will find them out simply beggars belief.

    Also well done to English carpet bagger Ford in illustrating just how tolerant we Irish are.

  • ford fan

    Its a bit rich to call David Ford a carpet bagger when he has lived in South Antrim all his adult life.

    And Mitchel has lived where exactly ?? oh yes, Derry – will he now be moving into his new Constituency ?

    And will he now lose that horrible Derry accent (and I’m from Derry before anyone starts complaining about that comment!)

  • It seems Sinn Féin don’t like sharing positive headlines with anyone else, so hear comes the cavalry out to attack Alliance. Anyone who can have as much venom as yousuns do after a great election result really needs to chill out. Maybe yoga or reiki might be worth considering.

    kensei

    Not to piss on your parade

    Not a particularly good attempt, anyway.

    We could also say:

    North Down – oh, less than 1% I think.
    East Belfast – less than 3% and shrinking.
    Strangford – 3% or so.
    SF in most of the South, most of the time – a couple of percentage points.

    Every party has its stronger and weaker areas. So does Sinn Féin. What is your point? Other than that you don’t like the Alliance Party, which we know already.

    PS – quoting West Tyrone as zero when we didn’t have a candidate and asked our supporters to vote for Deeny is buck stupid.

    Also well done to English carpet bagger Ford in illustrating just how tolerant we Irish are.

    Nasty hangover this morning, Pat? You should be in a better mood than that given SF’s results. Still useful for us all to see your venomous anti-English racism for all to see. Irish of equals? Not if you came here from England, apparently.

    Maybe Anna Lo is a ‘Chinese carpet bagger’ too? Or is that ‘different’?

    Seriously, Pat, that’s a “re-read the post and apologise” comment.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Sammy,

    have a word with your part colleague Gonzo about his only nasty and really quite pathetic snipe at Mitchel in the headline to this piece. When Alliance party hacks put their own house in order then deign to give me a shout. A touch of liking to hand it out but can’t take it.
    As it is the English carpet bagger was hammered by Mitchel, nasty taste for Alliance but get over it.

  • Pat – seriously, you really will regret not apologising for your overt racism when you calm down in a couple of hours.

    This is not your finest hour on Slugger.

    PS – you have an interesting definition of the word ‘hammered’.

  • kensei

    “Not a particularly good attempt, anyway.”

    You are in denial. Dude, I’m helping you.

    “We could also say:

    North Down – oh, less than 1% I think.
    East Belfast – less than 3% and shrinking.
    Strangford – 3% or so.
    SF in most of the South, most of the time – a couple of percentage points.”

    That is a key issue with SF. They can’t appeal, not even slightly, beyond their own community at the moment. I was sorry I missed the thread about the politics show, because the one question I wanted asked to both Nationalist parties is: “What are you doing to make Nationalism more appealing outside it’s traditional areas? How are you reaching out?”.

    “Every party has its stronger and weaker areas. So does Sinn Féin. What is your point? Other than that you don’t like the Alliance Party, which we know already.”

    It’s nothing to do with areas. It is to do with voter profile. You claim you want to be a cross-community non sectarian party or whatever other twaddle keeps you warm at night. Your vote by vast majority, is Unionist. That skews your candidates, it skews your world view and it skews your policy, whether you like it or not. If you are serious about what you say, you have to acknowledge you have a big problem. Taking one seat from the UUP shouldn’t mask that.

    I can’t see for the life of me how you are going to make any impact in Nationalism. I don’t see any evidence or strategy or anything. I can see a route for SF to greater popularity in the South (though not in terms of expansion in the North, at the moment); whether they pull it off is another matter. I don’t see how Alliance appeals within Nationalism.

    “PS – quoting West Tyrone as zero when we didn’t have a candidate and asked our supporters to vote for Deeny is buck stupid.”

    Nah, it isn’t. Had you have run there the results would have been comparable.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Sammy,

    ‘racism’, really hyperbole really does you no justice and cheapens the whole notion of the very real problem.
    As stated have a word with your party colleague re his headline. Yes hammered, you certainly never predicted SF topping the poll, maybe that is your gripe.

  • Your vote by vast majority, is Unionist. That skews your candidates, it skews your world view and it skews your policy, whether you like it or not.

    No it isn’t, and no it doesn’t. Have a look at Naomi Long’s transfers in East Belfast (yes, East Belfast). Maybe all those people transferring to Mary Muldoon are Unionists, right? Maybe they were brainwashed by a Vulcan mind ray? Oh, and how did Kieran McCarthy not only win, but substantially increase his vote, in Strangford, contradicting the Nationalist commenters on my blog who accused me of bias for daring to suggest that a constituency with a 16% and growing Catholic population might not elect a Nationalist MLA?

    And South Belfast and South Antrim, yeah, like they’re such total unionist ghettoes, aren’t they?

    You talk about Sinn Féin’s difficulties in breaking out of its own community. Well, maybe the need to see everything in binary, two-communities, terms, is part of the problem here. You need to push Alliance into a pigeon-hole because that’s how you’re comfortable dealing with the world. A major Sinn Féín tactic over the past few years has been to try and solidify a Nationalist bloc against an ‘other’ that it likes to paint as Unionist.

    It has been a very successful tactic in a lot of ways – I don’t for a moment think this is the end of the SDLP’s demise. But this makes an ‘all-Ireland’ strategy more difficult to achieve. While Sinn Féin rightly agitate the right for Nationalists to live their lives and express their identity as they see fit in places like Ballymena and Lisburn, they expect Unionists to keep their heads down and mind their manners in places like Derry and Fermanagh. In Newry, nationalists implement d’Hondy rigidly in the name of ‘equality’ and make sure that Unionists will never hold the Mayoralty again. And you wonder why the Huns are sceptical of your bona fides?

    In the long term, all that does is convince Unionists that they have no future in a United Ireland. And it polarises the community in Northern Ireland, undemining the middle-ground. And it all somes from the same “us and them” mindset that almost refuses to acknowledge the Alliance Party’s right to exist. Clever tactics, no strategy.

  • Henry94

    Pat and Sammy

    Look at anna Lo and Gerry Adams holding hands in this picture.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/6433249.stm

    No need to go that far but calm down.

    Pat’s point about the shite that has been talked about Sinn Fein on Slugger is spot on.

  • Yes hammered, you certainly never predicted SF topping the poll, maybe that is your gripe.

    No I didn’t. But then again, neither did any other commentators, including republican ones. And no, I have no gripes whatsoever about that, as one of the few people who called it correctly that McLaughlin was going to take Burns’ seat, I don’t have many gripes at all.

    As for the racism bit, yes Pat, hating the English is about the only socially acceptable form of racism in our society, and I’m not just talking about among Republicans here. Would you have referred to Anna Lo as a ‘Hong Kong carpet bagger’? I don’t think so.

    Right, I have work to do. Toodle-pip for now.

  • Pat’s point about the shite that has been talked about Sinn Fein on Slugger is spot on.

    Not from me, Henry.

  • kensei

    “No it isn’t, and no it doesn’t.”

    Complete denial. None as blind as those that can’t see.

    “Have a look at Naomi Long’s transfers in East Belfast (yes, East Belfast). Maybe all those people transferring to Mary Muldoon are Unionists, right? Maybe they were brainwashed by a Vulcan mind ray?”

    0% chance of a Nationalist seat – Alliance is preferable to proper Unionist. Given a real possibility of a Nationalist seat, in the vast majority of cases that’s what people plump for.

    You are serious giving East Bloody Belfast as an example of typical Nationalist politics.

    “Oh, and how did Kieran McCarthy not only win, but substantially increase his vote, in Strangford, contradicting the Nationalist commenters on my blog who accused me of bias for daring to suggest that a constituency with a 16% and growing Catholic population might not elect a Nationalist MLA?”

    There is a big personal vote there and there has been no real significant local Nationalist presence in the area. And you are up against the SDLP, who are cack.

    “And South Belfast and South Antrim, yeah, like they’re such total unionist ghettoes, aren’t they?”

    South Antrim is strongly Unionist, yes and again you have a personal vote. In both those places it is clear that you have ripped votes from the UUP, particularly in South Belfast, where both SF and SDLP vote grew.

    “You talk about Sinn Féin’s difficulties in breaking out of its own community. Well, maybe the need to see everything in binary, two-communities, terms, is part of the problem here.”

    That is reality, You can rant, but we live in a deeply divided community. And Alliance pulls the vast majority of its support from one community. If that isn’t a grave problem for a cross community party, I don’t know what is.

    “You need to push Alliance into a pigeon-hole because that’s how you’re comfortable dealing with the world.”

    I am more comfortable dealing with reality than anything else, yes.

    “A major Sinn Féín tactic over the past few years has been to try and solidify a Nationalist bloc against an ‘other’ that it likes to paint as Unionist.”

    You are a Unionist party. You support the Union or at a minimum are happy to have that perception. There are a number of ways you could deal with it. You haven’t done any of them.

    “yadda yadda yadda
    And it all somes from the same “us and them” mindset that almost refuses to acknowledge the Alliance Party’s right to exist. Clever tactics, no strategy. ”

    I’m not going into this in detail as I don’t have time and it is essentially whatabouttery.

    The Alliance certainly has the right to exist. And a genuinely cross-community would get my transfers. But everyone else has the right to point it out that if the Alliance isn’t what it says it is.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Sammy,

    no where is there an indication that I hate the English, you have invented that bit. A bit of a straw man invented there.

    Your party colleague Gonzo in a rather ungracious intro labelled Mitchel a carpet bagger. Ford has travelled a longer distance and thus if Alliance are going to bandy the carpet bagber tag around then surely it is only consistent to point out that Ford is the ultimate carpet bagger.

    Again, when Alliance put their own house in order you will sound a bit more credible.

  • ford fan

    Get real Pat – how is someone who has lived in an area for more than 30 years more of a carpet bagger than someone who lives 70 miles away and had only set foot in the place a few months back ?

    I ask again – will Mitchel be selling his house in Derry and moving to the constituency he now represents ?

  • MickMcDowell

    Can someone please explain to me the phrase carpet bagger. I dont want to be too presumptious but does it mean an ex-employee of Des Kellys

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Bizarre and almost childish performance from Ford on BBC election coverage in confronting Noel Thompson over the Alliance Party being lumped in under ‘others’.

  • Paddy Matthews

    Can someone please explain to me the phrase carpet bagger.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carpetbagger

  • In Newry, nationalists implement d’Hondy rigidly in the name of ‘equality’ and make sure that Unionists will never hold the Mayoralty again. And you wonder why the Huns are sceptical of your bona fides?

    Yet again Sammy your knowledge of Newry and Armagh is revealed as non existant.

    Henry Reilly was the Mayor 2 years ago (when he was UUP) under d’hont and now the current one is a stoop.

    Everyone gets a fair crack at the wip in Newry and Mournce council

    When you know **** all it’s best to stay quiet

  • Rory

    A carpetbagger, Mick McDowel, was originallya Unionist opportunist busnissman who travelled across the former Confederacy in the aftermath of the U.S. civil war buying up the property of the defeated and bankrupt landowners for scandalously low prices. They acquired their name from the travelling bags they carried which were often made from carpet remnants and they were much detested. Today it is a derogatory term widely taken to mean an outsider coming into a community and unjustly acquiring what is regarded as rightfully belonging to the locals.

  • Yet again Sammy your knowledge of Newry and Armagh is revealed as non existant.

    Henry Reilly was the Mayor 2 years ago (when he was UUP) under d’hont and now the current one is a stoop.

    Henry Reilly was not elected under d’Hondt! d’Hondt was introduced during his term.

    See:

    http://archives.tcm.ie/newrydemocrat/2005/05/25/story4426.asp

    http://www.u.tv/newsroom/indepth.asp?pt=n&id=60602

    Everyone gets a fair crack at the wip in Newry and Mournce council

    Not since 2005 they don’t.

    When you know **** all it’s best to stay quiet

    You should know.

  • Patrique

    David Ford has campaigned on many things in the constituency, but so has the Worker’s Party. Why the discrepency in the vote if campaigning on issues is the key. I am not in any party, voted for David No1 last time, and the WP number one this time. I had reckoned there would be enough unionists voting for David to get him elected for two reasons, to keep Mitchell out as many reckoned this was the battle for the sixth seat, and secondly because David Narcissist Burnside is not very popular.

    Now I attend all sorts of rallies and protests and the only politiocal parties who turn up are the Socialists, the SWP and the WP, and yet they do not do well at the polls. And these are issues like water charges, education cuts and industrial disputes.

    The point is that although we are thankfully heading towards politics with real issues, the water campaign frightened a lot of the big parties, we still have some way to go. If the people of Crumlin want something done they go to Tommy Burns, but they voted for Mitchel.And on the other hand, Willie McCrea was the moderate face of the DUP in this election.
    So some progress made, still a long way to go.

    So, some progress

  • Gonzo

    Your party colleague Gonzo in a rather ungracious intro labelled Mitchel a carpet bagger. Ford has travelled a longer distance and thus if Alliance are going to bandy the carpet bagber tag around then surely it is only consistent to point out that Ford is the ultimate carpet bagger.

    Is carpet bagger a term of abuse? You poor ,wee sensitive soul. Some people get awfully upset over very little. I went carpet bagging myself once, but barely managed a small rug, it being west of the Bann and all.

    But thank fuck I can laugh at myself instead of getting all wound up and lashing out hysterically.

    While McCrea could be described as one too, it’s hardly appropriate to call Ford one – after all he’s lived in the constituency longer than most people.

    As for the rather pathetic ‘party colleague’ jibe, I think you’ll find it’s several years out of date by now.

  • frankie

    “Now I attend all sorts of rallies and protests and the only politiocal parties who turn up are the Socialists, the SWP and the WP, and yet they do not do well at the polls. And these are issues like water charges, education cuts and industrial disputes.”

    Patrique

    Members of the Workers Party/Official IRA recently threatened to kill a senior union official who was due to give evidence in an employment tribunal (as was reported in several papers). Perhaps most voters realise that the WP are a criminal gang involved in threats, money lending/extortion and criminality.

    Plus they are fully armed and their party president recently evaded arrest/extradition over the importation of millions of pounds worth of counterfeit money.

    Some socialism !!

  • Ondine

    WP are a criminal gang involved in threats, money lending/extortion and criminality.

    A criminal gang involved in criminality? Whale oil beef hooked.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    The behaviour of McLaughlin and his cronies outside the count centre was disgraceful. I’ll discard the fact his cronies lifted the draft-dodging carpet-bagger up on their shoulders with a tricolour draped around him as this is typical Sinn Fein/IRA fayre and they were probably taken away with the moment as never in their wildest dreams did they believe they’d top loyalist (never mind unionist) South Antrim. However, chanting “UP THE RA” on at least three occasions is unacceptable and unforgivable and there should be a PSNI investigation and a file sent to the PPS to determine whether the SF/IRA members/supporters involved have a case to answer for promoting, glorifying and inciting terrorism and sectarian hatred…

  • Gonzo

    On that basis, the Eleventh Night celebrations would be banned immediately.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Concerned Loyalist: “However, chanting “UP THE RA” on at least three occasions is unacceptable and unforgivable and there should be a PSNI investigation and a file sent to the PPS to determine whether the SF/IRA members/supporters involved have a case to answer for promoting, glorifying and inciting terrorism and sectarian hatred… ”

    So much for this parade season… but then, even-handedness ne’er was a failing of the Loyalist community.

  • dave

    cl

    Perhaps you would rather they indulged in the same ativities as loyalists.

    http://u.tv/newsroom/indepth.asp?pt=n&id=80711