Three Nationalist seats in Upper Bann?

The BBC is speculating that Dessie Ward, a Banbridge councillor from an SDLP background family, is on the verge of taking a seat in Upper Bann, not from the SDLP’s Dolores Kelly, but from one of the Unionists. An amazing steal, if he pulls it off!

  • Aisling

    FYI, Dessie has been a member of SF since his teens, certainly never connected with the SDLP

  • Yokel

    The demographics suggested this was perfectly possible and indeed, due.

    He looks far enough ahead to claim it.

  • Pól

    Looking at the figures now it appears he is likely to pull it off. When Savage is eliminated assuming his votes split 50/50 to the DUP it would take an 85% transfer rate to pull it off. Unless regional variations come into play and McCrum gets a higher proportion of transfers SF are home and dry.

    What a steal.

  • Observer

    Very interesting …

    Another demonstration of a fracture of the Unionist vote. A spilt between the UUP and DUP.

    Unionists are apathetic.

  • Yokel


    Correct. I await figures to see the extent of diffeential voting but it looks distinctly like there is one.

  • Jonah

    I don’t think so, much as it would be fantastic. Sam Gardiner has about 800 undistributed surplus votes to be handed round.

    I wouldn’t be at all surprise to see Ward still ahead after Savage’s votes have been transferred, but then Gardiner’s surplus would be enough to put the second DUP in.

    Am I reading that right?

  • John Farrell

    I live in Upper Bann and would still be very surprised if Ward takes a seat. But if he does its a great result
    Going down Meeting House Lane in Banbridge is a very fine old peoples home called Crozier House. Last week a poster of three very elderly men (Hatch,Gardiner, Savage) was on a lamp post outside.
    They looked older than the residents (although at 54 I hate ageism)
    If Ward does “steal” (oddly neutral verb) the seat, I hope it is not treated as another rural crime on the elderly (so prevelant in our constituency)

  • Yokel

    Its a pure catch up job here. Ward has few transfers left to add to so its down to what way the Unionists transfer.

    He’s done all his vote getting, its now catch me if you can.

  • George

    Gardiner got over 1,300 of Hatch’s votes when he was eliminated.

    Moutray got just 70 and Crum 60.

  • petey

    Why is an issue being made of his alleged family backround?

  • Jonah

    I’m not saying Ward taking the seat is impossible. But Savage’s votes will put Moutray past Ward. He needs 25 votes to do that and Savage has over 3,000.

    Savage’s votes should also narrow the gap between McCrum and Ward. Then, Gardiner will have 1,200 votes to transfer. Sure, some of them will be non-transferable. But what are tansferable will surely favour McCrum over Ward.

    I take your point George about Hatch’s transfers, but in that situation it was UUP votes being transferred with a UUP candidate in the mix. In the situation we’re talking about, it’s UUP votes being transferred with only DUP and SF candidates in the mix.

    A very different sceál.

  • smcgiff


    RTE have it as to get the last two seats:-

    Ward SF 4715
    Mountray DUP 4691
    McCrum DUP 3435
    Savage UUP 3045

    There’s 1,646 votes between McCrum and Ward. I don’t see how SF wont get the 6ths seat. There’d have to be huge Savage transfers from the UUP candidate (bypassing his own party colleague) to the DUP.

  • Yokel


    Arsehole journalism maybe?

  • George

    I am assuming that the majority of Savage’s second preferences will be to fellow UUP candidates and therefore non-transferable.

    The overwhelming majority of Hatch’s transfers went to the UUP.

    While there will likely be none to Ward, there will be a certain amount to DUP candidates, but certainly not the 1,300 Crum will need to pass Ward.

    Seems he is home and dry to me.

  • Jonah

    McGiff, I’m not arguing that Savage’s transfers will put both DUP past Ward. I’ve said I don’t think that will happen.

    I’m saying that AFTER that, we have yet to transfer Gardiner’s surplus, which amounts to about 1,200 votes and THAT count, will push McCrum past Ward.

  • Jonah

    I’m sorry. Everyone seems to be ignoring Gardiner’s surplus. Do I have my facts wrong? According to the RTE website he has an undistributed surplus of over a thousand votes. Is this wrong?

  • Pól

    Jonah – as much as I want to see SF get the seat I think your analysis is spot on.

    Unless UUP don’t vote down the ticket to the DUP in un precedented numbers it won’t go to SF.

    The other possibility which I have alluded to on another thread is that I dont understand PR.

  • Paddy Matthews

    Looking at the figures now it appears he is likely to pull it off. When Savage is eliminated assuming his votes split 50/50 to the DUP it would take an 85% transfer rate to pull it off. Unless regional variations come into play and McCrum gets a higher proportion of transfers SF are home and dry.

    Maybe I’m missing something here, but surely Gardiner has 1,240 of a surplus still to be distributed?

    Gardiner (UUP) 7,367
    Ward (SF) 4,715
    Moutray (DUP) 4,691
    McCrum (DUP) 3,435
    Savage (UUP) 3,045

    Quota: 6,127

    Undistributed surplus: Kelly (SDLP) 64.

    Is that not likely to move Savage ahead of McCrum? Hatch’s transfers seemed to be loyal enough (app. 1,800 to Gardiner and Savage out of 2,100).

    The question then would be whether DUP transfers (McCrum would undoubtedly push Moutray over the quota) would reverse the gap between Ward and Savage.

  • smcgiff

    Mmm, Jonah, you might have something there.

    But, it is UUP to DUP transfers which may not be great. Would they not be more likely to go to Hatch who’s been eliminated?

  • Jonah

    Thanks Pól, I thought I was going mad there for a moment.

    It’s a great pity, would be one of the biggest stories of the election if we nicked a second in such a unionist stronghold.

  • George

    he does have a 1,200 surplus. Also, I forgot that the eliminated candidates are also taken out of the equation so if the UUP vote down the card Ward won’t make.

    I retract and now am going with he will fail to make it.

  • smcgiff

    ‘I forgot that the eliminated candidates are also taken out of the equation so if the UUP vote down the card Ward won’t make.’

    Are they? Oh, bugger! 🙁

  • Dewi

    and why does it take so long on these last counts ?

  • Mick Fealty

    Sammy Morse reckons it slightly favours Ward, but it will be a tight squeek. There should be four Unionist Quotas here. If Ward does get through the middle it will be because of too great a disconnect in transfers between Unionist parties.

    I would not fancy Nationalists holding three next time out. Nor Dolores’ chances of holding the line for the SDLP, since Ward nicely segments the constituency.

  • anon

    Gardiner does NOT have a surplus to distribute. His above-the-quota-total comes from Hatch’s transfers. Surplus is only distributed from a candidate’s 1st preference votes above the quota.

  • Valenciano

    Anon is wrong – surpluses are distributed whether they come from 1st prefs or not – just check the West Belfast result for proof.

    I think Ward looks less than 50/50 but it’ll be a major blow for Unionists if they lose there. Indeed the loss of that seat, together with a possible SDLP hold in South Antrim would leave Unionism on 54 assembly seats, which would be the first time in the history of the state that they’ve failed to win a majority.

  • Valenciano

    Dewi the later counts take longer cos there are larger batches of votes to redistribute.

  • Jonah



    That’s bizarre and not the way done down here in Mexico.

    If that’s the case, and it’s the first I heard of it, then Ward should sneak it and I’ll buy him a pint to celebrate.

    In the absence of him, I’ll drink the pint, but I’ll be thinking of him at the same time.

  • anon


    Hatch’s elimination means that his votes went to Gardner, and some onto Savage, and wherever else they went. Thus Gardiner’s above-the-quota-total is not HIS surplus to be distributed, they are Hatch’s votes which as I say have already been distributed.

    Is that not right?

  • Kloot

    Ya sure would miss all the fun if it was all done electronically would ya. With the press of a button the result would be on the screen. No fun at all!!

  • Kloot

    if it was all done electronically would ya

    Should read would’nt ya

  • middle-class taig


    If SF get this seat, they’ll hold it. As to whether the SDLP holds theire, that’s another question.

    The nationalist vote here has been ust under 39%, with some transfers from Green and APNI. Next time round the nationalist vote will be 40% on its own.

    SF next time will balance better, probably 13.5/12.5. SDLP will run one candidate only – if they can hold the 12.7 they’ve gotten here, they’re safe. Transfers will push that to 13.5.

    Three nationalists just sub-quota will hold in this most fractious of unionist areas.

  • Jonah

    Anon, I’ve checked and I don’t think you’re right.

    Votes can be transferred right down the line. I remember an election down here where the same packet of votes elected three different candidates as the surpluses went wandering.

  • Dewi

    Anon – I think they must be redistibuted – that’s why u have to put down so many preferences on the ballot paper.

  • anon

    I stand corrected. How bloody confusing! But surely they won’t transfer as a full vote – just a percentage?

    I thought they transfered second preferences and if that was enough to bring someone over the line then they moved on and transfered the third, etc.

  • pacman

    The UTV website states that Peter Munce of the UUP has been elected in Foyle but the BBC site shows him eliminated. Can anyone enlighten as to the true picture?

  • Yokel

    Eliminated surely.

  • Aisling

    McCrum eliminated with 3438
    Ward on 4717
    Moutray (DUP)4692
    Savage (UUP)3143

    Tranfers from McCrum and Gardiner’s surplus of 1138 still to play out. Close for SF but not close enough

  • pacman

    That was my thought too Yokel but then UTV are noted for their atrocious spelling. 😉

  • markievicz

    Most of Gardiner’s surplus will go to his UUP running mate Savage. At most this would make his total 4281. This is less than Wards 4717. Next eliminated is likely to be McCrum DUP. Most of his votes will go to his DUP running mate Moutray. Savage will be eliminated and Ward and Moutray elected as they are the last two.

  • Yokel

    Hold on, McCrum would need to transfer just 500 votes to Savage to get ahead of Ward.

    Secondly, assuming that most of McCrums goes to Moutray (well over 7000 votes) to take him over the line won’t he have a final surplus to distribute before elimination of Savage?

  • aisling

    latest is

    Moutray (DUP)4732
    Ward 4718
    Savage (UUP)4207

  • parcifal

    Drum eliminated

  • Yokel

    That is a total of over 7000 votes not 7000 votes to transfer.

  • parcifal

    whoops McCrum , must be the poetry 😉

  • Suilven

    To me the SDLP/Deehan look to be in trouble in West Tyrone – only 54 votes ahead of Deeny on the fifth count with the eliminated Hussey’s transfers to come. These should be sufficient to elect the 2 DUPper’s and also favour Deeny. Anyone agree?

  • Dewi

    Mow I’m lost Markieicz – surely Gardiner’s surplus should have been distributed in count 10 ? didn’t he get elected count 9 ?

  • Pól


    After the 10th count there are 12400 unionist votes in the mix and Sinn Fein is on 4700 odd.

    McCrum is going to be eliminated on 3469. 1400 goes to Moutray to get him over the quota.

    That leaves approximately 2000 votes left. Savage needs 525 to overhaul Sinn Fein. Any preferences on these votes do not matter – if Savage has a higher preference than Sinn Fein (presumably any preference here) he has it.

    The upshot is 25% of DUP voters have to have voted all the way down the ticket to number 5 or 6 to get him in.

    Someone can correct me if my analysis is wrong.

    Looks to me like 90% certain of UUP seat.

  • Sean Fear

    Good grief this is complicated! Who on Earth invented STV?

  • markievicz

    Yes you may br right. Moutray’s suplus may make the difference

  • Yokel


    There’s a feeling that Hussey will transfer comparatively big to Deeny.

  • middle-class taig

    surely Gardiner’s surplus will elect Savage?

    great 2012 target, along with FST, South Down, and Foyle

  • middle-class taig

    yeah, unionist hold!

    good target seat for 2012 – need better balancing

    STV’s a great system

  • middle-class taig

    dear God, I keep finding my posts not getting through, then two the same go through at once


  • Yokel

    MCT it should go 3 3 in time. In fact I thought it would go this time on raw demographics but the numbers are slowing adding for Savage to get in last even if not over quota. It was, as i said a the beginning a catch me if you can situation for Ward, al he can do is sit and wait.

    If the UUP make it, thsi will be teh first unionist seat under potential threat where they actually did their trasnfers within unionism to decent effect.

    If it stays 4 – 2 next time I’d fear for the SDLP seat against SF, Ward seems a fairly shrewd wee operator so far.

  • middle-class taig


    Knowing the SDLP, they’ll probably run three candidates in Upper Bann next time! They’ve thrown away nationalist seats in South Antrim and West Tyrone and let the empty stethoscope back in in West Tyrone.

    Deeny holds and takes both a seat and a ministry off the SDLP – THAT is what should be on the SDLP’s election literature next time!! Brilliant display of turning a seat with four nationalist quotas into a seat with three nationalist representatives! Moronic! They owe a proper apology to the nationalist community in West Tyrone and further afield.

    They’ve gifted a sixth minitry to unionism by poor vote management, poor strategy, overweening ego and alienating republicans. Pathetic. Attwood needs sidelining, urgently, as does whoever reinstated McMenamin – there’s a reason people get deselected!

    Stalingrad? Little friggin’ Big Horn.

  • Tochais Síoraí

    MCT, the SDLP should hold on in Sth Ant unless I’m missing something, they’ll need to get lucky in WT alright though.

  • Yokel

    They have no room to manouvere in WT. Hussey will trasnfer heavily to DUP, and it only needs 100 to Deeny (assuming no trasnfers to SDLP and there ill always be a few) putting all three ahead of Deehan with 4 in the race for 3 seats, all thats left is elimination of the last place candidate, likely to be Deehan.

    South Antrim, have they allocated Ford’s surplus?

  • Yokel

    I’ve just looked, Lucas has a hard job to overhaul Burns, not impossible though unless Kinahan shows a poor transfer rate or indeed shows a few to Burns.

  • Pól

    After 11th count – Moutray elected with 1400 surplus.

    Savage needs 140 to overtake Ward.

    Looks like Ward is about 600 short.

    Definite target for SF next time.

  • local yokel

    if memory serves me right, didn’t the Shinners appoint your man from the Garvaghy Road to work along with O’Dowd in Upper Bann and to take charge and re-organise that whole area a couple of years ago. Seems they were thinking well ahead. SDLP can kiss goodbye to this seat in the future.

  • Joe Unionist

    Could be a tricky one for nationalists to take a 3rd seat in U Bann. You have to figure Calvert’s 1000+ votes would have gone to the DUP normally, and as DUP build their base in U Bann, that should help in the future.

    Mind you, McCrum was a particularly weak candidate. No profile in the area at all – the DUP didnt even come around the doors in Portadown. Strikes me that they took things a bit for granted, and have got the result they deserved.

    Is this the only constituency with a DUP MP where the UUP matched the DUP in MLA seats?

  • aisling

    Savage elected, although it was a good performance by SF. Headlines in the local press next week – “DUP transfers save UUP blushes!”

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    We’re getting a whisper that it’s moving away from Ward…

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    And Burns could be in in South Antrim…

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    And empty vessels MCT… keep knocking the ball around…

  • DK

    RTE have called it -2 UUP 2 DUP

  • DK

    And by almost 1300 votes over Ward

  • Pól

    Looks like almost 100% transferred from DUP to savage. Not even close in the end.

    In the greater scheme of things does not matter too much to Sinn Fein but would have been a great psychological win.

    Still delighted with the overall result which was as good as expected.

    Roll on 26 county elections.

  • Yokel

    Burns looks 90% to hang on South Antrim, Lucas needs almost perfect unionist transfers to come his way to overhaul it. In fact he needs pretty much all of Burnsides surplus to go all the way down to him.

    Very unlikely.

    Poor UUP turnout had probably ended up killing them off.

  • Two Nations


    Nothing to turn out to! Sir Reg just doesn’t cut it. They seemed like no-hopers to me. I put my 1,2,3 into the DUP this time even though Gardiner is a decent spud. I just don’t rate Savage (to be frank, he looks and acts like a big farmer without any wit or finesse) and I have no idea who Hatch is.

  • Pól

    Two Nations,

    Wasn’t Hatch the goalie on escape to victory?


  • aisling

    Two Nations “I just don’t rate Savage (to be frank, he looks and acts like a big farmer without any wit or finesse”

    Given that George Savage is a big beef and diary farmer from Donacloney outside Lurgan, its hardly surprising that he looks and acts like one.

  • Jeremy

    Two Nations. Dont know Savage and dont care to but your post makes you come across like some type of urban snob.

  • David Mullen

    Savage is a good lad. He’ a farmer alright and is more intelligent than you give him credit for TN. He’d do you a good turn regardless of your creed.

    Disappointed that there werent 3 nationalists after getting my hopes up but glad that there wasnt another DUP man. Predictions for 2012 – Dolores Kelly in the toaster

  • Bob

    Agree with Joe Unionist. McCrum was a dreadful candidate. Surely they must have someone else. A decent candidate would make them hard to stop for three another time.

  • George Savage is my neighbour. He is a pleasant man, who tries his best. It’s just that politicallyspeaking – he has the insight of a gnat. I don’t mean to be disrespectful to George, and will of course congratulate him. But being able to distinguish between the front and rear end of a cow does not necessarily make for a political collosus.Except in the UUP where he shows potential leadership qualities.

    As for “Junior” – mmm, how much thought did the DUP put into that one. A Charisma by-pass folks.

    Finally, I was intrigued by the performance of “the new face of Unionism” Portadown based Arnold Hatch. LOL – his election literature was pure quality – apparently he can “articulate” on behalf of the working class. Brilliant stuff.

    I look forward to MLA’s Gardiner and Savage having a mud fight to determine which of them is top UUP dog here in Upper Bann. It’s the way forward folkd, two falls or a submission to decide the winner??