Sinn Fein takes 5 from 6 In the West

In a result unparalleled by any other party, Sinn Fein has taken 5 from 6 seats in west Belfast, on the back of a superbly delivered vote management programme. The party’s first preference share of the vote was a whopping 70%, with the SDLP seeing its core base vote reduced even further to just 4,110 votes. In spite of improving her 1st preference vote, Diane Dodds lost out on the final seat, marking the DUP’s only incumbent loss of the election. The Republican Sinn Fein candidate polled 427 votes and, with Sinn Fein’s share of the overall vote rising here, speculation that grassroots alienation with the direction of the republican leadership has once again been exposed as unfounded and ill-advised.

  • Dispair

    No wonder this place is in the shit state it is in!

    This can not be a good thing for democracy. We would do well to remember what happens when one party is in position of overall dominating power and influence. Or is it the case that we wouldn’t let that happen ‘co we are not like that?

    What’s that they say about “absolute power”!?

  • The Dubliner

    “We would do well to remember what happens when one party is in position of overall dominating power and influence.” – Dispair

    You don’t have that dynamic. You have one nationalist party gaining votes from another nationalist party. That is simply an irrelevant internal transfer of votes – mad dogs chasing each other’s tails.

    The actual republican task is to gain votes from unionist and ‘other’ communities in order to further the objective of Irish unity. That is the task that PSF have proclaimed as their “republican strategy” i.e. persuading unionists to vote for a UI.

    Unsurprisingly, PSF aren’t able to proclaim any success with that task or strategy; instead, they so trumpet on about internal votes transfers within nationalism as if that actually means anything to those who aren’t giddy about party power for party for the shear sake of it.

  • Irish Aussie

    Every silver cloud has a dark lining with most on here
    Well done SF outstanding result

  • Dispair

    I was at one of the counts and I can tell you that there are very few transfers from SF to SDLP. The Shinners are power hungry and want to do away with the SDLP so they can adopt the middle ground, in the hope that everyone will, in time, forget their past. The SDLP do on he other hand receive transfers from the Unionist side of the house. this is something the Shinners will not ,anage for a long long time! It is generally recognised that SF flatter the SDLP by adopting much of what they done over the past forty years. I don’t think 5 out of 6 anywhere is really a good thing that serves the good of anyone. But….., if that’s what the people want, then that’s what the people will have. Afterall, you can not legislate against people’s stupidity.

  • Token Dissent

    A sad sad result. I salute Attwood for sticking on in there.

    I have no time for Dodds at all, but nonetheless it is a terrible result for the Shankill. Without any effective representation alienation will grow.

    I feel especially for men like Chris McGimpsey who have given so much to improve conditions on the ground. For all his brave work he got firmly rejected 4 years ago, now Dodds (not half the candidate) has gone the same way.

    (By the way how can a Party so devoid of ability afford to waste a man like C.McGimpse?)

    Through gritted teeth it does have to be acknowledged that Sinn Fein’s vote management is superb. I guess republicans always have been brutally effective at internal discilpine….

  • The Dubliner

    Dispair, if it grew the overall nationalist vote, then I welcome it as progress. If it simply transferred votes within nationalism – as appears to be the case – then it’s a backward step, as the SDLP are better suited to the task of constitutional persuasion of the unionist community and ‘other’ than PSF are. Indeed, if PSF voters actually believed in the so-called “republican strategy” of engagement and persuasion, then they’d vote for the SDLP instead of a party that is crippled in that crucial task by its bloody history and more recently by its cul-de-sac of political cynicism.

    When it sinks in that republicans have to engage with unionists to make political progress, my bet is on the pendulum swinging back to the party most able to do that.

  • Rory

    Would you prefer, Dispair, that West Belfast had forgetten the past political machinations of the SDLP? Forgotten the crudity of their middle-class opportunist chicanery over the years? Forgotten their claim to be leaders of the then already well established rent and rates strike following internment in 1971 and their subsequent actual leadership of the state intervention to cripple those who followed that lead? Forgotten their “very reasonable” demand for the introduction of water charges?

    The only middle ground these bozos ever represented was the festering middle ground of the swampy marsh where parasites and leeches best propagate.

    (A bit flowery, I know. But it is late and I am tired and besides it is true and needs be said.)

  • Henry94

    And RSF nowhere. We have endured years now of people coming on here and telling us about how there was a growing opposition on the ground to the Sinn Fein leadership and the Sinn Fein strategy.

    Now they are telling us that Sinn Fein have too many votes and are too well organised.

    Anyone who calls themselves republican should get behind this strategy. Martin McGuinness told you in 1986 that if you walk away there is nowhere to go but home. He has been proved right.

  • John Farrell

    As always the dissident threat was hyped too much. They are pathetic no hopers.
    Great result for Sinn Fein.
    Decent result for SDLP. Well done Alex.
    As a pan nationalist, its exactly what I wanted.

    I cant really understand people supporting SF but not transferring to SDLP (Adams apparently told the Rainbow George idiot that he had given him the sixth preference).
    But if the votes show few transfers from SF to SDLP it relects not necessarily on SF MEMBERS attitude to SDLP but reflects on 25,000 SF VOTERS
    attitude to SDLP.
    As for Dodds….no great loss. So the Shankill and Blacks Road get to feel more “isolated”. Boo hoo.
    Loyalist “isolation” alienation” from 1998 is no different to nationalist isolation and alienation prior to 1972.
    Now the representatives of unionism are embittered saved MALE sourpusses and it all fits SF strategy perfectly.
    As Mitchel McLaughlin said (more or less) the greatest achievement of SF is sewing lack of confidence in unionism and the 2007 election has to be seen in that context.

    So 40 per cent of the population dont vote…although youd think the Green Party could work on garden centre unionism.
    I reckon that at eight counting centres around Norn Iron yesterday the BBC had say three reporters at each so with studio and radio stuff had maybe 50 “names” out there
    But we have a community now that we have to recognise that if you meet a Protestant who votes its likely DUP
    if you meet a Catholic who votes its likely Sinn Féin.
    Are those 50 “names” representative or all quasi independents like Brian Rowan.
    Noel Thompson describes voting as semi mystical but when he casts his 1 2 3 is it for Sinn Féin….SDLP……DUP..Alliance….UUP….

    And Carruthers McKee Austin Devenport Bradford Fitzpatrick Purdy Billingham Taggart Fowler O’Neill Tourish Travers Traynor Paterson Neill

    Of course Im not interested in the individual votes. Thats between Angie Phillips, Jackie Fullerton and the ballot box.
    What about McGarry, Quinn, McDowell and the Dry Your Eyes crew?
    among the 40% cynics or respectable neutral Green or Alliance?
    And our sports, entertainment and business leaders.

    The fact that Norn Iron is outwardly respectable and we are all nice to each other is at variance with 2007 election results.
    How does that mythical middle ground get motivated or how does society more honestly reflect the extremes that our society votes for.

    Me….well I dont care. I just vote
    1 Sinn féin
    2 Sinn Féin
    3 SDLP
    4 SDLP
    and dont ever move out of that cos it seems to me I should really only legitimately choose representatives from my “side”.
    Its a gross intrusion for me to try and influence the unionist vote. They have a right to decide for themselves…..
    if I voted
    5 AP
    6 7 8 UUP
    9 PUP
    10 DUP 11 DUP
    I am really only screwing up unionist right to choose their own.

    Perhaps a better system would be to introduce three colour ballot papers. After all if our elected representaives designate themselves as nationalist, unionist and neutral……surely the voters would have the same right.
    So our choices should be limited to our own communities.
    Yes that institutionalises two communities (or sectarianism as nice AP people would say) but the fact is power sharing and deHondt and proportional representaion already does that anyway.
    Lets sweep away the pretence.
    As for all those BBC names it would be interesting to know how many would choose a green ballot paper or an orange one or a white one when they go into the mystical setting of a polling station.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Never in any doubt with this result. Of course SDLP hacks and trolls like Crataegus lied for weeks of SF being in trouble etc etc. The people will always find these liars out and their persistent trolling has no other effect other than simply undermining the credibility of the site. Something illustrated amply by the Irish Blog Awards

  • Jimmy

    An astounding result by PSF I actually thought that RSF would eat into the PSF vote and we would see only 3-4 PSF elected in west Belfast at least, How wrong I was!,colorful wishful thinking on my part. However I cant help thinking it is all at the expense of the poor SDLP, PSF stole their Political clothes and hijacked the Peace process from them.
    I still wouldnt consider voting for PSF now though. we were in this position in 1974 with the SDLP and moderate Unionism, 2,500 avoidable deaths later I dont think PSF deserves my Vote and support.
    I often think is the PSF-Republican success nothing more than a massive damage limitation exercise thats actually working, after all when you,ve lost everything, the only way is up isnt it?. Thats an intelligent electorate for you and an even better political party utilizing everything at every opportunity.Well done.

  • merrie

    Dispair:
    >This can not be a good thing for democracy. We >would do well to remember what happens when one >party is in position of overall dominating power >and influence.

    Yes we do remember what happens: take Unionist overall dominance in the six counties from the 1920s until quite recently.

    Anyway, SF is in overwhelming dominance in only one of 18 constituencies. So what is the democratic problem? That SF is so popular in West Belfast, and managed the voting system so effectively?

  • Gilbert-Paul Jeannon

    A sophisticated and politicised SF electorate has again spoken again.

    When will this mandate be recogonised, by the London and Dublin administration and the political media who represent their views?

  • kensei

    “However I cant help thinking it is all at the expense of the poor SDLP, PSF stole their Political clothes and hijacked the Peace process from them. ”

    You don'[t when elections fighting yesterday’s battles and saying “Well, it was our idea anyway”. McDonnell on the BBC last night was still going with the line that SF and the DUP will screw up and it’ll come back to the UUP/SDLP. This is wrong, wrong, wrong. It is up to those parties to identify what they stand for, listen to their constituency (whoever that may be) and make some new clothes.

  • Baudrillard

    In some ways the coalescing of political opinion here into two monolithic blocks is a bit depressing – but nothing much to worry about.

    Let’s face it – local (and even national) politicians have little real power in the face of relentless and very fast capital globalisation. At most all they can do is tinker with the minor details. (They get to chose the curtain fabric while the City of London, Wall Street and Tokyo decides on what house we will live in).

    So – what’s going happen? Maybe in the long term the nastier bits of the DUP and Sinn Fein will be smoothed away to be replaced by efficient micro-managers of local economic circumstances. Perhaps they’ll keep some local flavouring to spice up the ‘spectacle’ but that’s irrelevant.

    History in Ireland is coming to an end.

  • Pól

    Looks like the election could not have gone any better for Sinn Fein. All seats defended and all 4 targets picked up.

    Chris – what chance has the second Sinn Fein candidate in Upper Bann got? Looks to be an outside chance still which would be amazing.

    Targets for next election can already be seen to be Upper Bann (if we lose), East Derry, Foyle and Fermanagh/South Tyrone.

    Great result – maybe we will get realistic discussions in the run up to the next election but its unlikely.

  • sanyo

    I hope those 5 out of 6 SF politicians deliver to the people of West Belfast. They have managed their vote well alright but lets see what they do when those five are given real power to change the lives of people in West. Over the last 15 years the place looks the same, living there one would expect locals to be demanding change. Two hours down the road in Dublin everything has changed for the better for people in similar areas to West, the lives of the working classes in the Republic is better that it was. The lives of the working classes in West is the same as in 1990. Why do voters not make the connection between their lives and politics. That the taxes they pay every month are supposed to be managed by their local politicians to improve and organise the world they inhabit????
    SF have shyed away from real politics because they don’t know anything about it (has anyone heard Adams talk about economic and fiscal policy, its cringe worthy), probably because their electoralte are in the same boat. Well when power arrives to SF watch them crumble and the SDLP will be waiting, thank goodness for them.

  • Jimmy

    To Baudrillard How right you are, It puts exactly into context the need or legitamacy of provincially or nationally governments. It opens the Question ‘should Politicians simply be the administrators of society run by Market and economic forces. Certainly Francis Fukijama (1990) has been totally underestimated when he predicted ‘The end of History’ An end to Ideologys and the Market ruling, in retrospect I think this is what Stormont will be, just like any other ‘administration’. Kind of makes you feel ‘whats the point’.

  • Jimmy, don’t quote Francis Fukayama. Seriously. He’s a total pseud with no credibility and even he has now admitted his “End of History” thesis was complete bull.

  • Chris – what chance has the second Sinn Fein candidate in Upper Bann got?

    Pól, he would need an absolute fluke at this stage. It’s not entirely impossible, but it’s highly unlikely. He would need Unionists to transfer very poorly to one another.

    I make the total Nationalist vote in Upper Bann out as 38.9%; it’s still a ways of a third seat but it’s getting closer.

  • Matthew Wray

    Let them have their West Belfast. Lots of people outside that constituency thinks its a toilet anyway!

  • MickMcDowell

    Looks like a great result for the Shinners but has been said before 5 elected representatives for one area is a little bit disturbing. re RSF lets be honest they are Dinosaurs living in the past who offer no alternative at all. I feel sorry for the SDLP. As regards the Unionist community its a bit sad they got no elected and this will only increase alienation but it is now up PSF to reach out to these people. Bit of a shame Johny Adair didnt run (like he was threatening to in the last election) would have been quite hilarious “my policies are eh uh! something eh sellin drugs eh uh pimpin women eh…..”

  • Pól

    Cheers Sammy – read that on your site this morning but was hoping someone else might say we had half a chance!!

    One of the downsides of being a SF supporter is since we get no transfers nearly all our seats are decided by the first count.

    No nail biting for us at all this time. Only Maskey was ever seriously in doubt after 1st count of our 28 seats.

    Suppose Meehan was in till the end last time but its a rarity.

  • “A sophisticated and politicised SF electorate has again spoken again.”

    For ‘sophisticated and politicised SF electorate’ read sheep.

  • Pól

    Beano,

    Sour Grapes.

    Might as well just skip on to predicting the next demise of Sinn Féin. No point in letting an election result get in the way of prejudice.

  • smcgiff

    Sammy Morse/Pol

    I’ve just been looking at RTE’s website, and I’d imagine SF are well in for the second seat.

    At the minute (per RTE) McCrum is 1,227 votes behind Ward with 4,031 UUP votes to be distributed. However, many of these may go to Gardiner or the two DUP candidates already in. It’ll be very close!

  • Dispair

    The Dubliner – “If it simply transferred votes within nationalism – as appears to be the case – then it’s a backward step, as the SDLP are better suited to the task of constitutional persuasion of the unionist community and ‘other’ than PSF are.”

    100% agree here. This is mirrors my view entirely.

    Rory asked – ” Would you prefer, Dispair, that West Belfast had forgotten the past political machinations of the SDLP?”

    Yes. I think the people of West Belfast and in deed society further a field would do well to remember what the SDLP has done. It wasn’t that long ago that SF were condoning the bomb and bullet as a means of bringing peace to Ireland. To the SDLP, it sounded as ridiculous and bound to failure thirty years ago as it does today. While SF was busy condoning the murder of innocent Irish men, women and children, (fellow countrymen=treason?), the SDLP was giving direction and leadership. Many people involved in NI politics won’t remember Sunningdale but hopefully all are familiar with the GFA. (i.e. powersharing, revision of the policing structures etc)

    This result is a bad result. Not just for the SDLP (to whom I owe no particular allegiance I may add) but I believe it is bad for broader society. Such political domination will only serve to further entrench people in the tribal trenches of sectarian bigotry. Reading Rory’s 03:35am post, it sounds as if he never climbed out of the trenches. SF trolls on here continue to snipe and jeer at anything the SDLP does which only serves to alienate their voters within their own community. As if our society isn’t divided enough! SF and it’s supporters, before trying to belittle the SDLP, would do well to remember that no fellow Irishman has been left dead in ditch or denied a family burial because of the SDLP. Clearly that means shit to people like Rory. What’s a few dead Irishmen matter if it means furthering the cause of a UI? I can say, without equivocation, as an Irish Republican SF does NOT represent me and I refuse to be patronised by the arrogance of them or their supporters

    This result is a two fingered salute to the political middle-ground (and I include UUP/Alliance parties here). Progress? I don’t think so. Rory, instead of trying to have a pop at the SDLP go get a shovel and dig your head out of the sand you seem happy to leave it buried in and, while you’re digging, you might just find another a body abducted, tortured murdered and buried by the treasonous Provo gunmen.

  • Pol, why would I predict the demise of Sinn Fein? The poeople of Northern Ireland have made it clear that they prefer the antagonistic tribal ballocks that passes for politics in this country than ministers who actually try and improve every day life here.

    Well congratuations, they’ve got it. Sinn Fein and the DUP can jump up and down waving their flags for another four years while we end up with our schools falling apart, underinvestment in hospitals and a second-rate university system, a white elephant of a stadium at the Maze and crazy water charges.

    Getting it right, eh?

  • westie

    Let them have their West Belfast. Lots of people outside that constituency thinks its a toilet anyway!

    I think of it as home; and I love it!

    And I love this result. Marvellous.

    What about the despair in the polling stations all the nay-sayers referred to?

    Seems that was all wrong.

    Happy Days! Rejoice, Matthew, Rejoice…

    YA LAD YE!

  • westie

    This result is a two fingered salute to the political middle-ground (and I include UUP/Alliance parties here). Progress? I don’t think so

    The people have spoken. Sin é.

  • No nail biting for us at all this time.

    Not much for us either, for a change.

  • Crataegus

    Beano

    We all await the arrival of the shearer. Where to from here for SF? What is the future of the SDLP?

  • Henry94

    This result is a two fingered salute to the political middle-ground

    The middle-ground is the Agreement and most people are standing on it now. Sideshow Bob and Ruairí Ó Brádaigh are licking their wounds this morning.

  • Frances

    beano,

    …for another four years while we end up with our schools falling apart, underinvestment in hospitals and a second-rate university system, a white elephant of a stadium at the Maze and crazy water charges.

    I agree with what you say but…., FOUR years? Do you think it will last that long?

  • sesn

    Henry94

    You could well be right H’ in so far as they (SF/SDLP) are standing on the shoulders of giants.

    Dispair,
    Agree 100% but in answer to the question ”Would you prefer…, …that West Belfast had forgotten the past political machinations of the SDLP?” I think you meant to say “NO”?

    My 2 penneth is that once again, the turkeys here voted for christmas but hey, that’s democracy! Everyone else who didn’t vote for them can get stuffed!

  • mickelmas

    SF & the DUP are the ones “standing on the shoulders of giants”

  • Matthew Wray

    Yes Westie – rejoice!
    -2nd biggest party in a parliament you sought to destroy (remember “no return to Stormont” posters?).
    -Signing up to a barely repackaged RUC (who won the war by the way).
    -accepting the principle of consent
    -watching Gerry Adams try to suck up to Ian Paisley for months on end and being spurned everytime
    -watching a pack of touts, bank robbers and cut-throats say they arent criminals

    If feel actually feel sorry for any loser who did time in jail for these eejits.

    Rejoice, Westie LOL

  • Mick Fealty

    Pat,

    Stunningly good result. Hard graft, and good organisation against every man for himself just about sums it up. Well deserved.

    However, even given the understandable elation in such victory I would appreciate it if you could refrain from unilaterally playing the man (ie crat)!!

  • Rory

    “For ‘sophisticated and politicised SF electorate’ read sheep.”

    What can one say, Beano, old boy, except crack open the bottles of Comfort and respond with the great majority of the nationalist population “Baa, baa, baa!”

  • westie

    -2nd biggest party in a parliament you sought to destroy

    I never sought to destroy nothing, mucker.

    I’m just a voter. And it is a happy day – we’re on the road to better future.

    Just cos you’re pissed off that SF did so well, don’t come on here gurning and squealing.

    Hooray for the results. Schweeeet!

  • middle-class taig

    do you see the smiling, intimate picture of Gerry holding hands with Anna Lo on BBC internet? That picture should be on all SF literature (particularly the stuff aimed at the south, the UK or the US) for the next few years:

    – nice people like Shinners too

    – SF outreach isn’t mere rhetoric

    – a United Ireland threatens no-one

    – “”it’s not just you lot that loyalists don’t like”, oops SNAP”

  • Pól

    Upper Bann could yet be very interesting. SF candidate got 150 transfers from the greens. going to be very close between him and the UUP for the last seat.

    If Upper Bann returns 3 Nationalists and 3 Unionists now that would be a big surprise.

  • Crataegus

    Despair

    I would agree if one wants a united Ireland the SDLP would be a more sensible choice. I am far from optimistic as to how this result will play out.

    On the run up to the election Hain gave the DUP and SF a major boost in clearly indicating that to him they were the only ones that mattered in the negotiations around that daft St Andrew’s face saving agreement. The media coverage gave SF and the DUP lots of coverage. It was established in everyone’s minds that the parties that mattered were the DUP and SF. The vote followed that course.

    If I were in the SDLP or UUP I would give very serious consideration about not taking the Ministerial positions that they have a right to and voluntarily go into opposition, for the good of the community. ( and it would be to the good of the NI community to have an effective opposition). IF there actually is an Assembly let SF and the DUP run the government. Let’s see how effective they are on rates, water charges, health, education etc. Get out from the middle and let us see how much they can agree on! Most of all be there free from collective ministerial gagging to put the boot in if they screw up.

    Pat

    I am being told that there is a lot of discontent in Republican circles. The people I would know would be more political than most. Some would have been very active in the Republican movement in the past. As SF moves to the centre there is a gap opening up on the left. You are gaining votes from the SDLP and that is your strategy but the votes for some of the independent Republicans was respectable. At present people have decided that they want two LARGE parties to represent them, and the framework leading up to this election assisted SF and the DUP, but times will change and as far as I can gauge there really is discontent.

    With regards Irish unity in my opinion if I wanted Irish unity I would vote for the SDLP and in that context regard a vote for SF as utter folly.

    Mick

    Thank for the defense, I obviously got under someone’s skin. Criticism from that quarter I regard it as a form of flattery!

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Mick,

    point taken re Crat. He was simply one of quite a number of anonymous posters who trolled for the whole election campaign and got things very, very wrong. It was therefore unfair to single him out for criticsm.

    On a wider point a lot of the posting that went on was so far off the wall re SF and some threads were simply invented to have yet another go at SF that it did interfere with the whole election coverage.

  • Dec

    Whilst, as Pat says, it is unfair to single out Craetagus for getting his predictions hopelessly wrong, it is also extremely funny. Savour the following:

    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.

    Posted by Crataegus on Mar 05, 2007 @ 10:14 AM

    On a personal note, I’m interested on hearing how much cash El Matador pished up the wall on Sharon Haughey taking a seat. The odds were 5/4, I seem to recall him bragging. Has anyone heard from him since Wednesday?

  • nmc

    Words eaten. They have done better than I thought they would, but what can you say, it was a resounding success.

  • GavBelfast

    “do you see the smiling, intimate picture of Gerry holding hands with Anna Lo on BBC internet?”

    You wouldn’t have done that, though, would you, even for the cameras? After all, you HATE Alliance, don’t you?

  • Pól

    On a side note I am selling an apt today in the heart of west belfast and as bids are coming thick and fast it appears a lot of people have little or no problem living in a one party constituency.

  • smcgiff

    UTV – ‘10.28am Sinn Fein`s Dessie Ward tipped to win one of the remaining seats in Upper Bann.’

    Is this one of the gains SF were expecting or would this make it more like 29?!?

  • Pól

    smcgiff

    that would make it 29.

    looks unlikely still – needs about 1500 out of 6000 unionist transfers to dissapear.

    9th count should be up soon so watch out on rte.ie.

    every count is crucial now.

  • GavBelfast

    Rory,

    You give every impression that winning and power (for yourselves) is more important to you than a United (and I mean UNITED) Ireland.

    You (and the DUP) don’t exist in the microcosm that you appear to think you do.

    This obedient feifdom in West Belfast is a great result for, but, really, so what for achieving unity of Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter?

  • Mick Fealty

    Seamus, I’ve just posted that one. Looks like it will make three nationalist seats in UB.

  • smcgiff

    Thanks Mick,

    Pol,

    I think those votes will dissipate to other unionists (If I understand this PR thing !?!)

  • Dejavu

    Are the DUP and SF going cap in hand to Gorden Brown leaving the prospect of effective and sustainable devolution in his hands?


    When two tribes go to war,
    Money’s all that you can score

  • petey

    lol the pathetic comments from Matthew Wray with regard West Belfast and SF strategy highlights how much it annoys himself and others like him about Sinn Féin’s success in this election.

    It was an absolute magical piece of vote management in West Belfast. Well done comrades. 🙂

  • Pól

    smcgiff –

    Another lesson for me on PR! You would think living in the south I would understand it by now but I thought since gardiner needed only 6100 votes that his transfer stop there but it appears they let his tally go to 7367 on the last count. are his votes over the quota now just lost? I thought Sinn Fein needed 1500 lost transfers and it appears 1250 of them went unneeded to Gardiner.

    As much as I would love this result (touch wood) it appears unfair that those transfers are lost.

  • Crataegus

    Dec

    Out of context, that was on a thread and at a time when SF posters where well, all over the place and over exuberant, in a way that only SF poster can. Orla Black was getting some truly vile posts etc. I still think that SF have problems to the left in Republican areas. Haughey and Orla Black did well all things considered, but the day was unquestionably SF’s. There is always another time.

    And where to now SF 6 seats in West Belfast? And then what?

  • Pól

    Crataegus –

    Where to now for Sinn Fein?

    Hopefully 5-7 new seats in southern elections in may.

    Then target south down SDLP seat for next general election with further progress in Foyle (the loss of Mitchel has knocked us back a bit there so we are now looking at the General Election after the next to take a seat).

    Finally, targets are all over the place for the next assembly elections. Note that Sinn Fein will start working on these now – not 3 months before the next election.

    FST, Upper Bann (if we dont get it today), East Derry and Foyle will be our next 4 targets. Similar election to this one – defend all our seats and look for incremental gains.

  • ui

    no petey,

    It was not a “magical” piece of vote management in West Belfast, though there’s no denying it WAS a massively effective vote manging strategy.

    This is great news for SF but no one else really.

    It looks like Muppets in the Nationalist community have sold their soul to the Shinners. That’s democracy for ya! Irishman left dead in a ditch, sure what does that matter eh?

  • Rory

    GavBelfast,

    I’m sorry to have to point out that your use of a capital letter in “United” and excessive use of capitals in “UNITED” are both superfluous. Simply “united” would have been the correct usage. However the misuse still doesn’t clarify what difference you intend (other than more capitals) between “United” and “UNITED”. Am I missing a veiled reference to a Manchester or Sheffield football team perhaps?

    I am sorry to hear that you are so unhappy with the ringing endorsement that the nationalist people of the six-counties gave to Sinn Fein on Wednesday. Do you feel perhaps that their aspiration for unity is the wrong kind of aspiration? Are the people not pure enough for you? Are they not to be trusted with making their choice? Or do you feel that they are too immature or too stupid to be given a choice unless they exercise that choice as you see fit?

    Of course I am prejudiced. I am very content with the choice they made. Indeed I am happy. Very happy indeed. Oh, Bollocks! I’m practically estatic.

  • On a personal note, I’m interested on hearing how much cash El Matador pished up the wall on Sharon Haughey taking a seat. The odds were 5/4, I seem to recall him bragging. Has anyone heard from him since Wednesday?

    Dec

    He lost his £100 bet to me, not sure how much he has lost overall.

    A great result from our comrades in West Belfast. As much as it pains a South Armagh man to say this.

    They are the masters when it comes to vote management and strategy!

  • Dec

    Crat

    The thread I re-read this morning involved a lot of people gleefully predicting the turning of the tide away from SF and towards the SDLP in constituencies I suspect not many of them called home. When you get into specifics you leave yourself open for ridicule (people have long memories here). To be fair to yourself, at least you’ve had the courage to show up today, unlike the Stoopmeister-In-Chief, El Predictador, who’s still a no-show.
    This most recent long-term absence of his reminds me of the time the details of 300 nationalists disappeared from Castlereagh PSNI and ended up in Loyalist hands and he was asked what the SDLP members of the Policing board were doing about it. Suffice to say, over 2 years later we’re all still waiting for an answer to that one.

  • middle-class taig

    Gav

    If you think I wouldn’t shake Anna Lo’s had you’re an eejit.

    HATE’s a very strong word! I’ve never said anything on here carry quite that level of vitriol – nothing like what is commonplace re SF.

    Moreover, I wished the APNI guys here well for Lo’s candidacy yesterday. Her election has sent an important message to some of the more unpleasant elements in our society.

    In any event, I’d be more than happy to see SF exploit APNI for political purposes.

  • Connor

    I must admit I laughed at the joker who proclaimed that West Belfast looks the same as it did in 1990, the drive from Divis Street to Poleglass is a world away from 1990.

    Where are the Divis Flats? Where are old houses in Clonard and Beechmount? Where are the Falls Baths? Drive to Andytown and the level of quality housing just keeps increasing.

    Sinn Fein have done a hell of a lot of work for the West, and still have a hell of a lot to do. The people of West Belfast will never go in their droves back to the SDLP, who encouraged them not to pay rent and rates, and then hunted the people down afterwards leaving many in crippling debt for years. Middle-class party for middle-class people.

    Attwood held on this time by the skin of his teeth, the Stoops are dying in the West, and good riddance.

  • GavBelfast

    MCT,

    Fair enough. Of course it wouldn’t look good to attack Anna, even if to do so would be consistent for you.
    Rory,

    You’re response was just very immature – absolutely no attempt to respond to the points, instead a load of pedantic semantics over capital letters.

    Your mindset, if representative, brings us no closer to unity on this island than Paisley.

    But, sure, enjoy your day (son, as Gerry might say). 😉

  • middle-class taig

    Gav

    If she’s as aggressive towards SF as the APNI guys on here I’ll be equally critical of her. I’m entirely consistent on this issue – if people are unfairly critical of SF, I call them on it. Typically, I find APNI representatives to be duplicitous, hypocritical, holier than thou, unsympathetic to nationalist concerns, snobbish and too quick to jump into bed with unionists. Anna Lo hasn’t given me any cause whatsoever to form such an opinion of her, so I’ll not judge her on her colleagues’ poor records.

    How can I address your points when you didn’t actually make any. You just directed a snide, supercilious insult towards me, and I defended myself (effectively, if the tone of your most recent post is anything to go by).

    As for the rest of your post – what’s motivating your sour grapes; I thought you were DUP?

  • GavBelfast

    MCT, you’ve given me a good laugh!!! I hope Anna Lo gives the whole Assembly hell – I don’t doubt she could make some of her felow party members uncomfortable, too.

    I am ever more unaligned than ever ….

    PS. I do think there’s a lot of magnanimity lacking in the winners: when even Paul Berry can show a bit of humility in defeat (in stark contrast to the stomach churning arrogance and certainty we used to see from him), good grace from winners in their joy would be welcome (might even do the winners even more good in future.

  • Dessertspoon

    In West Belfast and in th ewhole of Norn Iron people get the politicians/government they deserve. I just hope the overwhelming votes for SF and the DUP doesn’t just mean we will sit in contuing stalemate for another 5, 10, 15 years. Personally I don’t understand it but as others have said that’s democracy….sucks doesn’t it!!

  • sanyo on Mar 09, 2007 @ 10:03 AM wrote “…Two hours down the road in Dublin everything has changed for the better for people in similar areas to West, the lives of the working classes in the Republic is better that it was…”

    you’ve got to be kidding me… trying to say that life in working class communities in Dublin has improved since… whenever.

    There’s huge debt, crime & drugs. There’s a lack of family unity, infrastructure & opportunity for meaningful long-term employment. FF & FG politicians are seen only at election time, PD’s never as they write off the working class.

    It’s possibly better than the ‘heroin days’ in the early 80’s but it’s still sh1te.

    You don’t seem to have a clue. BTW when the Irish Thames says that qualitiy of life has improved… isn’t considered fact but opinion.

  • Mark McGregor

    This election and the results demonstrate one thing clearly –

    SDLP and ‘dissident’ Republican contributors to Sluggers were utterly wrong. They called the election wrong, made ridiculous predictions and have only served to dilute the analysis and comments from those that have a clue. Those that had their comments followed by loads of nonsense by people proved to be totally clueless.

    You know who you are – how do you feel today? like you wasted a lot of time and al your credibility typing gibberish for weeks?

    Can I be the first to say – Slap it up ye!

    *laughs at the SDLP & RSF trolls*

  • Northsider

    SDLP and ‘dissident’ Republican contributors to Sluggers were utterly wrong. They called the election wrong, made ridiculous predictions and have only served to dilute the analysis and comments from those that have a clue.

    And where are they today? The silence is deafening…

  • Mark McGregor

    Northsider,

    Not having to read their inane, nonsense ramblings is perhaps the biggest result of the election!

    All that type, all of it wasted and pointless. The trolls silenced so easily.

    They’ll be back next time with the same crap though.

  • Red Mist

    People who called the election wrong should come out and fight their corner.

    I myself thought the SF percentage vote would dip a couple of percent but I never thought they were in danger of losing seats. Have to say though, I was slightly surprised at the gains.

    I am a former SF member and I think the message to all alternative opinions is that you have to start from the bottom up and put the work in at local level. You also have to put forward far better candidates than were put forward. I don’t like SF direction but I don’t want to vote for RSF either. Sf have lost a fair amount of workers in my locality, competent people who can in the future prove a credible alternative to SF.

    It is expected that SF and DUP supporters will gloat after their gains, thats no problem. However, this result is not forever. When SF and the DUP are in government they will face the same ebbs and flows as every other government. When they make decisions people are unhappy with they’ll pay the price. Getting elected on manifestos is much different then getting elected on you track record in government.

    I look forward to the future, one with a credible alternative to SF.

  • middle-class taig

    Gav

    Not sure why I’ve made you laugh, but I think you probably needed it.

    As to your point on lack of magnanimity from the winners, I have to say I agree with you. Certainly on the nationalist side of the house, this is a time for SF to think about addressing two things: (a) bringing the dissidents back to the fold; and (b) securing a higher percentage of SF transfers to SDLP and vice versa. Seats were lost to nationalism today out of sheer bloody-mindedness.

    I’ve been feeling a little bad about giving voice to my anger at the SDLP’s strategic crassness. I’m sure they needed further bitching at them like hole in the head today.

    ******************

    One thing that might cheer you up. I forgot to post it yesterday, or rather I hadn’t the stomach to post it. I had a twenty-spot on nine matched pairs with Eastwoods (at 40/1), as part of a quad with a few “top the polls”. I got them all right except one of the matched pairs – I haven’t even worked out what I’m down because of it, but it’s a lot.

    The matched pair I got wrong was Adams Robinson – while everyone in the frigging country was lauding the Shinners for their vote management in West, and after I spent most of Wednesday defending him, Gerry done me out of a holiday in the sun by not getting his personal vote down, and Peter the Punt (how bitter tastes that pun in my mouth), for once in his frigging life, managed his vote down. Pair o’ bastards!

  • Posted by Pól on Mar 09, 2007 @ 12:45 PM

    Have i got a twin brother

  • Great result for Sinn Féin.

    Spied Mark Durkin today, not looking too good.
    The rash is back.

  • Crataegus

    Pól

    Certainly a very good election for SF and I admire your energy and determination.

    Dec

    I certainly got that one wrong, just did not see the SDLP and UUP implosion and thought Alliance would be in severe difs. On the question of discontent in Republican areas, I still think there is a level of dissatisfaction which at present has no real outlet. It is what I am being told, and isn’t spin, but often political types worries are not shared by the masses. Time will tell.

    Without doubt you had a good election and congratulations, obviously a lot of work by a lot of people to get the vote out.

  • Quagmire

    Well done Sinn Fein. Lets unite the orange and the green and create our new nation.

  • picador

    Pól,

    Great work by Sinn Féin, not only annihilating the much-hyped dissidents, but defying the pundits as well. The Stoops would do well to emulate you but they seem to be very slow learners.

    Good to hear plans are already afoot for the next election (assuming there is one).

    And keep a close eye on the Boundary Commission!

    P.S. Still can’t believe RSF were outpolled by the Sticks. Many’s a ‘true republican’ troller will be cursing into their cups tonight, ha, ha!

  • GavBelfast

    “Well done Sinn Fein. Lets unite the orange and the green and create our new nation.”

    Great idea! The creation of a near-monopoly situation in a constituency with a small, disenfranchised and alienated, disadvantaged, ‘working’ class Protestant minority is going to help, is it?

    Not that that’s SF’s fault, they did great in organising their vote, but spare us the non-sequitur.

  • North Antrim

    Dec/Mark Mc Gregor

    SDLP fans may have posted here that there would be more success for the SDLP and a decline in SF, however, they have been proved wrong unfortunately.

    Some of the candidates did not do as well as others – Sharon Haughey didnt do what was thought and apparently lost quite a few votes but Orla Black did extremely well gaining the SDLP vote in her area and securing the seat for Declan O Loan. This is a major achievement for Black given her lack of experience and lack of profile compared to O Loan’s!

    She deserves alot of credit and slugger posters should acknowledge that she gave SF a run for their money in her area and received a significant majority of their number 2’s in her area. SF will of course say different but it is well known that she is the only significant threat to the Shinners in North Antrim and they were desperate to ensure she didnt do well.

    It would be interesting to see if any of the Shinner posters here could admit.

    Does anyone know if any of the other SDLP candidates raised their vote in the areas they were allocated or not?

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Crat,

    come off it now, when you are in a hole stop digging. Your analysis over the past few weeks has been so off the wall that it would have been best to take a few weeks off. Regardless of what you are being told and remember, all your posts regarding SF had them in difficulty right from Ardoyne to Andytown, while the SDLP were on the up.
    The victory for SF over the dissidents was comprehensive to such a degree that the debate from that quarter is now over.

    North Antrim,

    ‘slugger posters should acknowledge that she gave SF a run for their money in her area’

    Mc Kay in on the first count and the SDLP struggled for the last seat. Are the SDLP’s expectations now so low that their performance here is regarded as a success?

  • North Antrim

    Pat

    Mc Kay was elected on the first count because he was the only candidate for SF. The SDLP always knew that they would not be elected until the final count as they were running two candidates.

    I never said that the SDLP would think this a success. What I did say is that Orla Black polled well considering the fact that she was given 33% of the area while O Loan was given 67%. She did not lose any votes out of this area and in fact increased the vote while O Loan lost. She also gained alot of number 2’s from SF – probably from both her own area and outside her area.

    She has done extremely well and she should be proud of herself. It is obvious that any increase in votes for the SDLP in an area are to be welcomed since it appears there were not many elsewhere.

    The success in North Antrim is therefore more a personal success than an SDPL success.

    It would have been very interesting to see who would have won the seat if she had been allowed to canvass throughout North Antrim! See the Irish Times today and you will see the full results right through to elimination and she matches O Loan all the way despite being totally unknown.

  • GavBelfast

    “Does anyone know if any of the other SDLP candidates raised their vote in the areas they were allocated or not? ”

    They did OK in Foyle.

  • slug

    I am a North Antrom guy and I say that Orla Black has indeed done well. She has something to huild on for the Council Elections and for the next Assembly when SDLP could select her for the East Antrim seat.

  • She deserves alot of credit and slugger posters should acknowledge that she gave SF a run for their money in her area and received a significant majority of their number 2’s in her area.

    North Antrim Рthis is a daft point (sorry). Only one Sinn F̩in candidate, no Green, no fluffy Independent. Where were SF second preferences supposed to go? To Lyle Cubitt?

  • Macarius

    Great result for Sinn Féin indeed but just for themselves alone.

    Democracy has punished the wider electorate here as only further alienation can come of it.

  • sean

    Over 10,000 voted against Gerry’s 6,000.

    Will WB be a consituency of equals? I doubt it.

    I wonder if the 20,000 or so men and women of Ireland who voted for SF gave any thouht for the attrocoities carried out in the name of the poeople of Ireland against their fellow countrymen?

    It looks like they were happy to sell their soul.

  • Quagmire

    Sorry GavBelfast I thought you were talking about the failed northern statelet there for a while, with the whole notion of the “creation of a near-monopoly situation in a constituency with a small, disenfranchised and alienated, disadvantaged, ‘working’ class minority is going to help, is it?
    Very strange!!

  • big jim

    “Great idea! The creation of a near-monopoly situation in a constituency with a small, disenfranchised and alienated, disadvantaged, ‘working’ class Protestant minority is going to help, is it?”

    Gav

    Perhaps you could give free tickets to the next northern ireland football game to soften the blow.

    Perhaps a monopoly would be less likely if the host catered only for a single identity !!

  • Mark McGregor

    North Antrim,

    Daithi McKay was elected on the 1st count over quota. Only Paisley polled better.

    Between them Black and O’Loan polled less 1st preferences than 2003 and didn’t reach a quota.

    That’s not much of a challenge to anyone.

  • North Antrim

    Mark Mc Gregor

    That is right yes between them they did poll less than 2003 – I think around 100 vote or so – but the loss was not on Orla Black’s vote so she still deserves a bit of credit given the fact that she is new on the scene with not as many years of experience as O Loan.

    She has done extremely well as did Daithi Mc Kay but Orla didnt have the advantage of having a popular party label beside her name which was getting votes across the board – I wonder how Mc Kay would do without this label beside him?

    I would say if Orla was the ticket for SF she would have polled alot more votes than Mc Kay – now that would be the time when they would outpoll Paisley! The tide was with Sinn Fein – not Daithi.

  • sean1

    ”No wonder this place is in the shit state it is in!” Thats what happens when english ministers run the place not because 5 SF candidates got elected.
    ”This can not be a good thing for democracy”. This is democracy.

    I do get hacked off when people dont vote then complain about the result.