‘Unionists’ only just in the majority…

It’s all over bar the shouting (and crying)… Final news: Deeney holds at the expense of the SDLP; and Burns nicks South Antrim. I left Sammy Gardiner’s transfers out when I talked to Sammy, so Ward was not as close as we thought. But there is close to three nationalist seats in Upper Bann next time out. The final totals make very interesting reading:DUP increase their status as top party with 36 seats. That should give them four seats in the new Executive.

SF move easily past a falling UUP to take second place with 28 seats, which should translate to three top table seats.

UUP fall down the league but stop at 18 (it could have been much, much worse). They should take two Ministries.

SDLP now have 16 seats. Not a bad fall back, but enough to mean that they get only one seat in the Executive, should they wish to take it of course. They could join Alliance and others to make the opposition to a more credible 26 in the 109 strong chamber.

Overall the total of those representatives likely to designate as ‘Unionist’ now stands at 55.

All figures courtesy of Sammy Morse!!

  • Jonah

    One thing that has to worry the SDLP is that their vote has dipped under a quota in a number of constituencies where they have the single seat.

    North Antrim
    North Belfast
    Upper Bann
    East Derry
    West Belfast

    Possibly others I can’t think of off-hand.

    Three constituencies, Foyle, South Down and South Belfast provide seven, almost half, of their 16 MLAs.

  • Batting order for Ministerial selection will be: DUP, SF, DUP, UUP, SDLP, SF, DUP, SF, DUP, UUP.

  • Paddy Matthews

    Very, very outside chance of an upset in Strangford:

    Hamilton (DUP) 4,983
    McIlveen (DUP) 4,560
    Boyle (SDLP) 4,512

    Quota: 5,146

    Undistributed surplus: McCarthy (All) 61.

  • Suilven

    Paddy Matthews

    McCarthy was elected the count before McNarry, so his surplus must already have been distributed.

  • German-American

    Sammy: So what would the ministerial allocations look like if SDLP declined to take its seat? How about if both the SDLP and UUP did so?

    Given politicians’ desire for power I suspect the chances of either the SDLP or UUP doing so are very slim, but it’s always fun to speculate.

  • John Farrell

    The DUP took those seats in Strangford.
    As far as I know theres 5 seats still available
    Foyle has three to be elected.
    SDLP 14 UUP 16
    which will go two SDLP one SF
    which would make it 16-16
    and 2 seats in East Antrim
    and three left standing 2 UUP & SDLP

    as I understand it if SDLP wins one of the two and make it 17 17, they get two ministries but I cant see O’Connor doing it. Indeed I expect my info is already out of date.

  • Paddy Matthews

    Suilven:

    McCarthy’s surplus would have been too small to save the bottom candidate (Carson), so it wouldn’t have been distributed.

    Logically, if it had already been distributed, then the election would be over at this point and Hamilton and McIlveen declared elected.

  • jeep55

    Paddy

    No small surpluses are sometimes left and never distributed if at all further stages of the count they make no difference. But if ever a stage appears where they mathematically could make a difference then they have to be distributed. This seems to be one such case. Just to muddy it more. This was Kieran’s surplus obtained after elimination of the Green candidate Stepahnie Sim. It could still be close enough for a recount.

  • jeep55

    Strangford

    Michelle McIlvene (DUP) home by 31 votes and we thought Kieran had a slim escape the last time!

  • smcgiff

    Unionists relying on Loyalist PUP for Majority!

    😉

  • dk

    Not much doubt that this was a bad election for “unionism” with the block down by 4 seats, while “nationalists” are up 2 seats and independents are up 2.

    Also, excellent result for Sinn Fein. I for one will no longer take their spin with quite so much of a grain of salt as I did beforehand.

    And I will treat stories of the imminent demise of Alliance with the contempt that they deserve. Is this election showing the seeds of a new middle-ground. I hope so.

    One last point. I don’t think we have a single person on this blog saying that they are a DUP supporter. Compare this to the masses for Sinn Fein and Alliance, and even the SDLP and, to a lesser extent, the UUP have their tub-thumpers. Why is this?

    Final final point – Bob McCarney – is this the end?????

  • I don’t think we have a single person on this blog saying that they are a DUP supporter.

    We have plenty of them dk.

  • John Farrell

    The two days of counting in any election seem to be the days when commentators and TV types seem to have a “last day of term…no uniform day”. They can be chummy with “Bairbre” “Breige” “Alban” “Reg” “Nigel” and “Naomi”. They can also drop the deferential pose and say things like “who do ya think youre kidding?”. A pity they dont get to do that more often.
    The feeling is that some politicians are popular with the Media and others arent.
    Interestingly Jim Allister who yesterday was on BBC in DUP scowling mode (hes one of their best scowlers) but was replaced today by a very affable and likeable George Dawson…..first time Ive ever seen him on TV and he was surprisingly good. Nice to see a DUP type appear to have a nice side.
    The news of Bob McCartneys departure seemed to be greeted with undisguised glee by those who should be neutral…..although to be honest I cant blame them.

  • slug

    “affable and likeable George Dawson…..first time Ive ever seen him on TV and he was surprisingly good”

    Agree. I was impressed by him on that BBC webcast. Bright and quick with his answers, interesting to listen to. I have been impressed by him too.

  • joeCanuck

    “Unionists relying on Loyalist PUP for Majority!
    😉
    Posted by smcgiff”

    Overall majority depends on who takes the Speaker’s chair.
    haven’t Alliance already said that they aren’t up for it anymore?

  • picador

    You’d think that the DUP would be eager to get into Stormont while this ‘majority’ exists. Because it won’t be there for much longer. Perhpas in another five years we can return to ‘majority rule’.

    Very much a pyrrhic victory for the DUP. The real winners of this election were SF.

  • hotdogx

    Does this result mean unionism is in decline in line with all previous elections? A bad election for unionism, while nationalists have done well.Are people changing sides?

  • GavBelfast

    “Very much a pyrrhic victory for the DUP. The real winners of this election were SF.”

    Yes, but is their prize power (in both parts of Ireland) or advancing genuine progress to Irish unity? They are no closer to the latter – there is more polarisation than ever, and that won’t bring it about, whatever about 50% +1.

  • Rory

    I enjoyed John Farrel’s observation on the pundits’ post=election bonmomie. Astute and true.

    As for me, Sinn Fein’s stupendous result has almost chased away my depression after Arsenal’s three-in-a=trot humiliation in knock-out competitions in the last days. I wonder if Wenger retires would Gerry Kelly consider….. No, too much to ask.

  • picador

    GB,

    Since the foundation of Northern Ireland unionism has been a majoritarianist ideology. Now that unionism is losing its majority, our politics are about to change forever. And who knows what the outcome will be? Interesting times ahead (at last).

  • Gerry & the peacemakers

    As a SF supporter I am naturally delighted with the election.

    But shame on the SDLP for almost costing Tommy Burns his seat and costing themselves a seat in West Tyrone.

    I hope this site will now revert back to rational discussion that disappeared in the last few weeks when we were lead to believe Bob McCartney and Ruairi O’Bradaigh were destined to be FM and DFM – obviously Ruairi would have boycotted!

  • Gerry & the peacemakers

    Oh also, well done to Alliance on their performance. Have to say I didnt give them a hope in hell!!

    And special thanks to Sammy Morse – your constituency breakdowns kept an election junkie going during the late nights.

  • fred

    by the same token only 44 of the assembly members designate themselves as nationalist or republican!

  • Oh also, well done to Alliance on their performance. Have to say I didnt give them a hope in hell!!

    Everybody always underestimates us. Oddly, we’re probably the only people other than Sinn Féin who know how to canvass properly and certainly by about a week ago we knew that things were going well. We also knew the UUP were in meltdown and that the SDLP weren’t having a great time either. But (sigh) nobody believed us.

    And special thanks to Sammy Morse – your constituency breakdowns kept an election junkie going during the late nights.

    Thanks Gerry. I enjoyed putting them together.

  • Yoda

    Just to join the chorus of congratulating Alliance: well done.

    And damn you Gonzo for teasing me with the possibility of an Alliance seat on the Executive…you flirt.

  • Cato

    Marvellous, wonderful, splendid, magnificent, tremendous, excellent, brilliant, smashing, fabulous, crackerjack, superb:-

    All words to describe the Alliance performance!!!

  • willowfield

    This was Unionism’ worst election EVER. So there shouldn’t be much for the DUP to be happy about – yet, of course, they are not concerned that unionism has 48.5% of the vote – they are only concerned that their own party vote has increased.

    The DUP cannot grow unionism. The only way to grow it is to appeal to the middle ground. Trimble managed this, but now that the DUP has well and truly defeated him and those associated with him, unionism is seeping votes back to the centre.

    The worrying thing for unionism is that it is difficult to see a way back for the UUP – due to the DUP’s cynical renegotiation of the FM/DFM election rules. Therefore unionism is destined to be led by the DUP for the next generation: and a unionism led by the DUP is incapable of growing.

  • [i]‘Unionists’ only just in the majority…[i]

    Everyone knows this is rubbish. Such wishful thinking on behalf of people on this site. The average turn out was 60% or something yet SF managed to get 93% in Lagmore in Lagan Valley, for instance, let alone other places. I’m sure the voter turn out for SF in Upper Bann and South Antrim must have bee pretty high too. The fact is SF are a lot better in getting their vote out than Unionists and a lot of Unionists are disinfranchised with the 2 main parties on their side – opting for Alliance instead. Rest assured if a border poll came around tomorrow you’d get a far better picture of the state of Unionism.

    ‘Unionism’ might not be in the majority but bigotted morons are, with all the votes for SF and the DUP. But sure we already knew that. You might think I’m condescending for calling so many people morons but that’s the truth: if people here honestly think a vote for Gerry Adams or Ian Paisley will somehow improve their everyday way of life then they are morons. Fact.

    Come back and prove me wrong when there is a glut of jobs in NI, when there is decent health-care and when the average wage even approaches the UK or RoI average.

  • [i]”The DUP cannot grow unionism. The only way to grow it is to appeal to the middle ground. Trimble managed this, but now that the DUP has well and truly defeated him and those associated with him, unionism is seeping votes back to the centre”[/i]

    Trimble defeated himself, along with Sinn Fein helping him considerably by making him look like a fool. His leadership qualities were severely lacking. He tried to do a deal with the SDLP but you could tell his heart was never in it. Once a Vanguard, always a Vanguard.

    I’m convinced if someone with a backbone had been the UUP leader in 1997 then we wouldn’t be in the mess we are currently in.

  • John East Belfast

    Diluted Orange

    “I’m convinced if someone with a backbone had been the UUP leader in 1997 then we wouldn’t be in the mess we are currently in.”

    love him or loathe him I dont hear many criticisms of Trimble saying he had a lack of backbone.

    As for mess the country is enjoying unparralled levels of peace, stability and prosperity and militant Irish Republicanism has disarmed and accepted the consent principle and the Union that goes with it.

    I suppose you are going to tell me it is the St Andrews Agreement that has achieved all that ?

    The UUP was always playing the long game and has paid a price to the short termists and opportunists who preyed on fear and ignorance.

    That we now have a First Minister (maybe ?) who his own Party could not even trust to go on a TV programme the night before the election only ilustrates how the majority of the Unionist electorate are lazy, apathetic and small minded.

    Ultimately the UUP have paid the price for having a lack of upfront talent as many of its unionist professional and middle classes have decided they would rather get on with their careers and businesses than get involved in the bear pit of unionist politics.

    The fact that such success has been afforded to them by moderate unionism and nationalism has been lost on them.

    I was disgusted to hear on Radio Ulster yesterday the number of ‘business’ people texting in that politicians had not made NI successful but the business community had.

    Plague on their houses I would say and I hope they dont come whinging to us when that awful man Paisley *!”!s it all up.

    Back to the topic of this thread I have always thought Paisley is the greatest threat to the Union.
    Just like Scottish Tories and their frustration with eternal Scottish Labour many moderate unionists in NI would start warming to Re-unification if they thought it could mean they could break from any prolonged ascendency by the DUP.

    ie NI unionism led by Paisley and his ilk is anything but safe.

  • willowfield

    Back to the topic of this thread I have always thought Paisley is the greatest threat to the Union

    The man whose objection to majority rule with civil rights for all sent us into the abyss is now the leader of unionism. How did this happen? Help!

  • jamestwo

    One thing I have noticed here from several different unionist posters. Unionist vote this election about 48%. Unionists bloc performance in seat terms poor. But ” aah ” they say ,” in a border poll we would swamp the polling stations” As the prod community backround total in 2001 was 53.1 % and due to the absolute decline in their population must be at most 52.5% now 6 years later. Where exactly are these thousand upon thousand of prods going to come from ?

  • Irish Aussie

    ” Rest assured if a border poll came around tomorrow you’d get a far better picture of the state of Unionism.”

    Everybody knows what the core issue is here.
    People who consistently don’t vote are actually making a statement. Why would people who take no interest in the admin of NI suddenly come out in numbers meaningful enough to effect the result of any poll. Also why would they not be offset by Nationalists doing the same thing.
    The much poo pooed Mori poll had an interesting add on about voting intention that I didn’t see commented on here.
    That 75% of over 55’s intented to vote, that dropped to 50% for 34 to 55’s and just 35% for 18 to 34’s. Nationalists are comfortablely a majority in this last age group, and people take more interest in politics as they get older.
    Even if the so called garden centre prods do exist in the numbers claimed (which I doubt) as each election cycle ticks over they will become, because of demograpics largely irrelevent.
    There isn’t going to be a border poll tomorrow but there will be a border poll some time in the not to distant future.
    In politics its always best to negotiate from a position of strength while it lasts

  • jamestwo

    BTW I should think the doc in WT will vote in the assembly as part of the Nat bloc if he wants a future in politics in that part of the world. Probably should even declare as a nat.

  • picador

    IA,

    That 75% of over 55’s intented to vote, that dropped to 50% for 34 to 55’s and just 35% for 18 to 34’s. Nationalists are comfortablely a majority in this last age group, and people take more interest in politics as they get older.

    SF seems to be able to get the younger generation out to vote.

    Even if the so called garden centre prods do exist in the numbers claimed (which I doubt) as each election cycle ticks over they will become, because of demograpics largely irrelevent.

    There’s clearly a signicant number of Prods who are not turned on, so to speak, by unionism.
    Republicans / nationalists must make an effort to engage with these people.

    Logically this might appear to be something that the SDLP would be more adept at than SF but the Stoops are in clear disarray.

    I would like to see SF dipping their toe in the water by canvassing ‘unionist’ areas. It would also help if they could stand more candidates from a Protestant backgrounds. AFAIK Billy Leonard was the only one this time round and unfortunately he didn’t get elected (though he might next time out).

  • Yoda

    will this affect the italics?

  • Yoda

    Well, that didn’t work…the formatting is still a bit wonky.

    What I wanted to say was: that’s really interesting post JEB.

  • Picador
    Do you think this election shows any demographic shift in favour of nationalists or is it just about vote management/ tactical voting-the normal stuff of normal elections in a PR system?

  • páid

    erm phil i’m not picador – but i’m a nationalist who has a grasp of mathematics.

    Alliance are a unionist party. That dot to the right of the last sentence is a full stop.

    And the south is not interested in a million outvoted surly prods.

    So stop trying to outbreed ’em and start talking to YOUR FELLOW COUNTRYMEN.

  • páid

    And phil, my saxon soulmate, that was a comment not directed at you 🙂

  • picador

    Phil,

    Do you think this election shows any demographic shift in favour of nationalists or is it just about vote management/ tactical voting-the normal stuff of normal elections in a PR system?

    Every election shows that the tide is turning, slowly but surely.

    Paid,

    And the south is not interested in a million outvoted surly prods.

    So stop trying to outbreed ‘em and start talking to YOUR FELLOW COUNTRYMEN.

    God spare me from idiotic Free Staters! Why don’t you go talk to them? You might learn a thing or two. Like why we will never again allow ourselves to be ruled by them.

    That proverbial boat should sail to Holyhead and not Stranraer.

  • picador

    P.S. to páid. The DUP refuse to talk to the elected representatives of northern nationalists. Or didn’t you know!?

    Do not sup with them who are unclean. that is the Free Presbyterian motto FFS. Ore something like that.

  • [/i]

    Done with italics???

  • fuzzy

    Unionists really need to start putting forward better candidates. Still seem to think people will vote for donkey with rosette on. Macrum here in Upper Bann may well be a decent fella but when he landed at the door there didn’t appear to be too many lights on upstairs. May have cost them a seat.

  • Well, I suspected that there would be plenty of nationalist posters coming on to crow, “We’re going to outvote you sometime soon.” But some of us also remember the metaphorical (and perhaps even literal) oozing of saliva in anticipation of the census results in 2002. And that was a bit of a letdown. Get a life, folks.

    Any referendum where there was serious prospect of change, would soon expose that there is no good economic case for a united Ireland. Mind you it would be fun, given the quality of some of the posters here, to see them fall flat on their faces.

    BTW, can anyone say how many transfers of sovereignty in terms of the territory of one state moving to another there has been since 1945?

  • moyle rover

    Loads watchman. Hong Kong, Germany, multiple russian states. Lots of former yugoslavia. East Timor. Zimbabwe. thats off the top of my head there must be loads more

  • GavBelfast

    “God spare me from idiotic Free Staters!” – Picador.

    You seem to have the same attitude to your ‘fellow’ countrymen/women as Paisley-type Unionists have to the English establishment.

    Your attitude won’t have them running to unite with you/us! Is the getting a ‘united’ Ireland project more important than the reality of it ever being in existence to some people I wonder?

  • Comrade Stalin

    paids:

    Alliance are a unionist party. That dot to the right of the last sentence is a full stop.

    Wrong, wrong, wrong.

    A unionist is a person with an ideological or patriotic view in favour of the union, and will always support the union no matter what. The converse is true of an Irish nationalist.

    Alliance do not have an ideological or patriotic view of the constitutional configuration here. Therefore they are not unionists or nationalists. The party policy is basically that the union should continue until the people have been united and can have a rational conversation about it. This is purely about trying to provide a stable framework to create a normal society. Messing around with the constitution of the state will destabilize the country and, if done prematurely, will almost certainly lead to a bloody civil war.

  • John East Belfast

    Comrade

    This state within which you reside only exists because of the unionists who give you the luxury of such posturing.

    “The party policy is basically that the union should continue until the people have been united and can have a rational conversation about it.”

    Who says we are not having an ongoing rational discussion about it ?

    What do you mean the people have been united – as good NI citizens ?

    And are you saying that once the people are united and having this rational discussion then the Union should discontinue ?

    Lastly if NI were playing the ROI in a football match who would you and from your knowledge the average Alliance voter support ?

  • IJP

    Who says we are not having an ongoing rational discussion about it ?

    I do.

    The divide on the “constitutional question” is almost exactly the same as the divide in the educational system and the divide on religious background. Simple fact.

    No one seriously debates the benefits one way or the other, other than arguing about what it suits them to believe (or, at least, prioritise).

    What do you mean the people have been united – as good NI citizens ?

    Can’t speak for Comrade but, basically, yes. United by rule of law, united in a functioning market economy, and united under government ministers representative of and accountable to everyone, not just certain sections.

    And are you saying that once the people are united and having this rational discussion then the Union should discontinue ?

    No.

    Lastly if NI were playing the ROI in a football match who would you and from your knowledge the average Alliance voter support ?

    NI. That’s where we all live.

  • JG

    Like why we will never again allow ourselves to be ruled by them.

    NI was never ruled by Free Staters so where does this again come from?

  • páid

    JG,

    To be fair to picador, I think he meant ‘no Catholics about about the place’ Unionists, not ignorant Free Staters such as myself.

    pic portrays the likes of me as well-meaning dopes from down Mexico way who don’t understand why our Ulster kinsmen won’t lie down like the croppy of old, or at least try and get on with Willie McCrea, sure he can’t be that bad picador, have you tried talking to him about music? 😉

    Interesting responses from our Alliance colleagues on this thread, though I have to say I’ll believe their peace and reconciliation pronouncements a little more when they’re not all confined completely and utterly to the Northern side of a sacrosanct border, and they can vary their bridge-building a little past the Northern Channel to red-haired, well-oiled Scotsmen.

    It wouldn’t harm ye to look south, now and again, lads.

  • It wouldn’t harm ye to look south, now and again, lads.

    Páid, we do, but have often been disappointed, not in political analysis, where we obviously share much with the post-nationalist section of Southern society, but with the fact that over the years, the same people always come North to help the Stoops, the UUs, even bloomin’ Bob McCartney back in the day, rather than work with us.

    Still, it’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, and we’ll continue to cement our relationships with ‘our friends in the South’.

  • páid

    Amen to that! 🙂

  • Tochais Síoraí

    Sammy, what happened to the link with the Prog Dems, was that just a Des O Malley thing?

  • manichaeism

    Observer and other supporters of marching,

    You have a unique country up there where lots of people seem to think it is somehow a good idea to march around all the time annoying the neighbours.

    Grow up!

  • manichaeism

    I accidently posted the above on the wrong thread.

    Sorry.

  • smcgiff

    ‘I accidently posted the above on the wrong thread.’

    Not to worry, it usually pops up in every thread! 😉