Alliance in good shape…

THE personable Kieran McCarthy was, I think, the last man elected in the last Assembly election. While he’s not home and dry in this one yet, the Alliance man has increased his party’s share of the vote more than any other in Strangford, which means he’s likely to see off the SDLP threat of Joe Boyle. Seems like this is going to be a pretty good election for Alliance, with the possibility of one gain in South Belfast in the shape of Anna Lo – who would be the first Chinese candidate to be elected to any UK assembly!

  • Gonzo, Kieran’s as safe as makes no odds. The SDLP totally overhyped themselves here.

    The only one I’m still sweating on is Lagan Valley, but the odds favour us.


  • slug

    Although the UUP lost votes to the DUP they also lost votes to Alliances, just as that Belfast Telegraph poll suggested.

    This is an interesting outcome, because what it shows is that there are many pro-agreement folks in the broad unionist community who backed the UUP’s stand against the DUP in 1997-2003, but who see no need to support the UUP any longer. It doesn’t mean they disagree with the UUP just that Alliance is perhaps where they feel more at home.

    I think the UUP had a tough job at this election. Their strategy of focusing on bread and buutter issues meant that they moved closer to Alliance, but that didn’t stop votes going Alliance, perhaps because as Peter Robinson there is no particular reason to vote UUP over Alliance any more.

    Although the DUP and SF have grown again in this election there also seems to be regrowth of the middle ground.

    If its true that Alliance and the Greens are going to increase seats then – as I said on another thread – this 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?

  • Belfast Gonzo

    The Alliance supporters who ‘lent’ their votes to the UUP are handing them back.

    I like it.

  • GavBelfast

    Still nowhere near the 9% in that BT Poll, though, or what they got in their hey-day, ironically in some of the worst days of the Troubles.

    But some good successes around the place, and I really hope that Anna Lo can break the mould in South Belfast.

  • Thank you STV for pimping my vote.

  • Robert Keogh


    When are we going to get rid of the designation system…

    When unionism has demonstrated that they can be trusted not to abuse the power they would have in a non-powersharing government. Which I reckon won’t happen prior to re-unification.

  • GavBelfast

    Another option to deal with this is for the SDLP and UUP (and indeed Alliance, and Green and Deeney if elected) to form an official Opposition and let SF and the DUP get on with it together.

    If they CAN get it together, it will be all the better for the other elected parties to put manners on them.

  • moyle rover

    While McCarthy is certainly home and hosed I would not say the final seat in strangford is finalised yet. It will end up a three way fight between the fourth DUP, second UUP and as an outside bet SDLP. SDLP largely dependant on poor inter unionist transfers.

  • Too Late

    Sorry for asking this but how exactly are the 2nd preferences distributed. Obviously they count up all the no.2s on the elected person but not all votes are counted on the transfer only a percentage – what percentage. Also when do they decide to eliminate the lowest person and why do they eliminate 2 or 3 at a time. The bbc site is rubbish for transfers. I want to know who transferred to who and when.

  • moyle rover

    try the rte site Toolate it breaks down the counts

  • Comrade Stalin

    Robert K :

    When unionism has demonstrated that they can be trusted not to abuse the power they would have in a non-powersharing government. Which I reckon won’t happen prior to re-unification.

    Robert, would that be the kind of power where 10% of the electorate are automatically excluded in the assembly ?

    Why not have a 2/3rds weighted majority vote instead ? That way unionism could not take over ?

  • George

    RTE have the information by clicking on the constituency of your choice and then detailed count.

    This is a good PDF document explaining STV. It helped me at any rate.

  • What happened to the Conservatives, esp. in Down North????

  • George

    Too Late,
    remember to take into account surpluses are also distributed.

  • Too late – I did a long explanation of this a few days ago on Slugger. You might find it on the internal search engine.

  • willis

    Is there any site which actually tries to post transfers as they happen?

    RTE used to be better than BBC/UTV but at the minute no-one is keeping up!

  • willis


    Apologies to RTE, they have got it right again.

  • slug

    Lunn is now elected so Alliance will not be making any losses. The only question is now North Down.

  • smcgiff


    Click on where you want to check…

  • Alliance now 2 seats

  • RTE isn’t too bad – bit slow, but could be worse. Way better than the BBC.

  • What was all that about the Conservatives winning a seat?

  • Crataegus


    What was all that about the Conservatives winning a seat?

    From my point of view sadly the Conservatives lacked substance. At a time when the UUP are imploding they should have done a lot better.

    Personally I would like to seen them elected just from the point of view of getting a bit more diversity of opinion in there. Obviously they haven’t done the ground work and if you compare their vote with what one would have regarded a similarly sized Green Party the difference in performance is striking

    N. Down Con 864 GP 2839
    S Down Con 391 GP 1622
    Upper Bann Cons 248 GP 1158
    Lagan Valley Cons 387 GP 922

    I can’t think of anywhere where the Greens were not well ahead of the Conservatives often with with 3 or 4 times the vote.

    There is no doubt that what is described as the centre now belongs to Alliance with Greens rising fast. I am not sure quite where the PUP fit in and how long it will survive, or if the vote was a sympathy vote and what is their capacity to build.

    It is also interesting to look at areas where Alliance were not expected to get elected in most of those when you compare the Green vote and Alliance vote Greens are generally polling better. To me that is puzzling and interesting.

    However for Alliance and Greens to make serious gains and move forward would require a heinous amount of work, a fundamental shift in public opinion and a decline in the position of the 4 main parties. At present the electorate seem to want two strong parties to represent them and the UUP and SDLP seem a bit supercilious but who knows how this will turn. Will there be an Assembly, then rates, water rates, education etc

    One of the messages from this election is if you are perceived as important ie SF and the DUP negotiated the StA and get the publicity then you gain as you are relevant but those who are not suffer. The SDLP have been shafted over and over by a series of inept Colonial administrators.

  • Where? In a council by-election in Kettering or something?

  • U TV are reporting that David Ford has now been elected.

  • I Wonder

    Shall we certain right-wing commentators demanding that Anne be repatriated now?

    On issues of principle, did anyone spot that a former UUP councillor, who was so committed to Conservative principles that he left that party last summer, seemed to change his mind about the Tories and stood as an Independent in this election? He got just over 300 votes.

    I saw him last night in Forestside and looked at me as if I should recognise him. I did – he’s a complete to*sser. 🙂

  • Crataegus

    Farry is in in N Down. Greens are about 274 votes short of quota at moment with small Alliance surplus and then Unionists to be eliminated.

    4 seats still in play.

  • GavBelfast

    Where does the 8th, 9th, 10th, etc, seat for Alliance come from?

    And why does the party do so badly in the West and majority Catholic / Nationalist areas generally?

  • Junior Apparatchik


    It’s the other way around: Why do Nationalist parties do so badly in areas where Alliance polls well?

    There’s as good as a “Catholic quota” in every constituency these days.

    Basically Alliance polls well in mixed areas (as do the Greens). In places where society has been totally carved up (Foyle, Belfast West, Belfast North) it does more poorly. Nothing to do with what you’re suggesting.


    The Tories’ failure in this election has gone totally below the radar – but the fact is this result is a calamity for them.

    They put up a Councillor in South Down who got utterly stuffed, a former Junior Minister in North Down who didn’t improve their vote at all, and a defector in Strangford with high hopes who got busted. All in an election where the UUP were shipping votes!!!

    The Tories don’t seem to realise there’s more to getting votes than attending conferences and getting angry with people on Slugger!

  • GavBelfast

    Junior Apparatchik,

    How is it the other way round?

    And where do more seats for Alliance come from? Unless it’s a 2nd one in East or South Belfast or maybe North Down, thay will have hit a glass ceiling.

    As East Belfast, North Down and east Antrim are just about the most ‘Prod’ constituencies there are, it suggests that Prods are more inclined to go for the non/anti tribal option than Catholics.

    It’s certainly a far cry from when I can just remember that the Falls returned Pip and Will Glendinning on the Alliance ticket to City Hall.

  • jeep55


    A further return to past fortune could see Alliance take a second seat in East Belfast – there were 2 quotas of non-alligned or Nationalist votes this time and the DUP vote was actually down – the third seat for them is not guaranteed. They could also take a second seat in East Antrim. North Down likes Alliance but it always likes change as well so I wouldn’t target it. The next seat on their radar has to be East Londonderry where Barney Fitzpatrick got back to 4.1%. Coleraine was always reasonable ground for Alliance and they can usually count on a percentage vote at or just below their overall rate. So if they can get back to 9% they’d have to be hitting 8-9% in a constituency like this. Thereafter they’d targetting North Antrim and Upper Bann but take it a stage at a time. Six seats held one gained – 7 seats on 5.2% of the popular vote – targetting 7 constituencies alone was the right strategy this time. And note that nowhere was the successful Alliance candidate worse than 4th to be elected. So if each constituency was reduced to 5 MLAs Alliance would likely hold all 7 seats.

  • IJP


    It’s a worthwhile point that Alliance’s 6/108 in 2003 would probably have been 4/90, but 7/108 this time would probably be 7/90 also.

    Your analysis is spot on except, under new boundaries, you’ve left one constituency out…