Virtual Ministers

An executive with 4 DUP, 3 SF, 2 UUP and 1 SDLP minister is likely. Order of selection is – DUP, SF, DUP, UUP, SDLP, SF, DUP, SF, DUP, UUP. What are the sluggerites’ predictions for which ministries the parties will take if power is restored? The DUP is committed to taking out Finance and Personnel but the rest are open.
The other ministries are:
Social Development
Regional Development
Cultural Arts and Leisure
Employment and Learning
Enterprise Trade and Industry

  • Two Nations


    what are all the ministries?

  • The DUP take the Ministry of Peace.
    Sinn Féin take the Ministry of Love.
    The UUP take the Minsitry of Truth.
    The SDLP take the Ministry of Plenty.

  • Rory

    Pity, Sammy, that the Greens could not take the junior Ministry for Bog Rolls.

  • SuperSoupy

    …and Sammy Morse will take a long hard look at his predictions and maybe realise he has no understanding of the Nationalist electorate?

  • belfastwhite

    Anyone want to bet on UUP getting Ministry of Health?

  • parcifal

    Who gets the ministry of silly walks?

  • …and Sammy Morse will take a long hard look at his predictions and maybe realise he has no understanding of the Nationalist electorate?

    Sinn Féin are clearly out to get me today. What’s up Soupy, you used to be able to have a halfway civilised debate with you?

    Oh, and could you tell Chris Gaskin to check his facts before he decides to be rude about me? Many thanks.

  • SuperSoupy


    That was uncivilised? Seemed a perfectly legitimate point – your predictions were heavily covered and it is very fair to point out that you have a poor understanding of Nationalists.

    As for Chris Gaskin, if you have a problem with him take it up with him. I’m not your mother.

  • Sean Fear

    I found Sammy Morse’s blog to be an excellent read. I doubt if there’s anyone who predicted the outcome of this election exactly, but I’m sure his was one of the better predictions.

  • belfastwhite

    Agriculture and Rural Development – SF
    Culture, Arts and Leisure – SF
    Education – SDLP
    Employment and Learning – DUP
    Enterprise, Trade and Investment – UUP
    Environment – DUP
    Finance and Personel – DUP
    Health Social Services and Public Safety – UUP
    Regional Development – DUP
    Social Development – SF

    Some of these too hard to call apart from Health which I still believe is the poison chalice and off course Finance which DUP said they would take.

  • Seemed a perfectly legitimate point – your predictions were heavily covered and it is very fair to point out that you have a poor understanding of Nationalists.

    My predictions were heavily covered because many people, yourself included, thought they were good. I didn’t get paid for them, I did them because I was interested. I seem to remember you having high praise for them at the time; what’s changed now? Are you trying to be wise after the fact.

    And where was I so far out:

    Lagan Valley: I said – not enough votes there for Sinn Féin but Butler has nursed the seat well and will be close. Not correct, but not as far wrong as you’re making out.

    Newry and Armagh: Incredible performance by Sinn Féín. I didn’t see you doing that well, but then again neither did many Nationalist commentators. I was right that Hyland was a more credible candidate than the other dissidents though.

    West Tyrone: “My call is for no change, but it’s really anyone’s guess and it’s entirely possible that SF could gain three, either at the expense of Deeny or of the SDLP, who would then face the embarrassment of being wiped out in their ‘Stalingrad’.”

    West Belfast: “Three months ago, I would have laid a big bet on 5 Shinners being elected here, but I just don’t see it quite happening this year.” Should have stuck with my original predictions.

    As I said, you were a big fan at the time, don’t see why you’re being so negative now unless you’re trying to be wise after the fact.

    As for Chris Gaskin, if you have a problem with him take it up with him. I’m not your mother.

    I didn’t even realise you’d had gender reassignment surgery. Congratulations. I think Chris and I have sorted it out and are now best fwends (seriously).

  • Interested

    Here’s my best guess

    DUP – DFP
    Sinn Fein – DE
    DUP – DETI
    SDLP – DRD
    SF – DCAL
    DUP – DOE
    SF – DSD
    DUP – DARD
    UUP – DEL

  • SuperSoupy


    Sammy along with the SDLP and ‘dissdent’ Republican trolls on this site lead a group of people predicting problems for Sinn Féin in the election.

    They were all completely and utterly wrong on every single count.

    At least Sammy has the balls to show his face around these parts today but he did read half the electorate well.

    Others don’t have the nerve to take their medicine. Though hopefully they are reading the gloating and feeling the ridicule in addition to reeling at the pounding the electorate gave them.

  • Greenflag

    Sammy Morse ,

    The people have spoken as predicted the bastards 🙂

    ‘The DUP take the Ministry of Righteousness (Biblical )
    Sinn Féin take the Ministry of a United Ireland under ontinuous Construction
    The UUP take the Ministry of Wishful Thinking and Remembrance of Times Past .
    The SDLP take the Ministry of Border Polls and other red/green herrings

    I hear there’s an out of work Italian former PM name of Prodi who could be available at short notice . Being Italian he should have the requisite practical experience of ever changing governments to do the business in NI ?

    Look on the bright side all ye of little faith . Nobody was shot during the poll and apart from the McGeough incident it was peaceful enough.

    What’s really important this weekend is not whether the Party of God can find enough ‘righteousness’ in the evil heart of Sinn Fein to share powerlessness with them but how many points Ireland will defeat Scotland by at Murrayfield tomorrow !

    Ireland 40 – Scotland 10

    BTW this will be the seventh in a row victory over Scotland 🙂 What’s wrong with the Jocks these days ? Have they lost their bottle or what ? It’s that ‘devolution ‘ confusion I bet . Neither one thing nor another no wonder the team does’nt know which way to play 🙂

  • John Farrell

    Im just wondering if theres going to be a “jealousy” factor before too long.
    Earning Westminster & Assembly salaries
    Rev Ian Paisley
    Peter Robinson
    Nigel Dodds
    Iris Robinson
    Jeffrey Donaldson
    Gregory Campbell
    Sammy Wilson
    Rev William McCrea
    David Simpson

    and McCrea has a son in Assembly also
    A First Ministers salary also to be picked up and four other Ministers salaries.
    Now thats a lot of dosh and good luck to them. Maybe if in charitable mood the will covenant some of this to their local church……….er well maybe not.

    But we have 36 DUP about 75% belong to a comparitively small Protestant group. and not exactly woman friendly. We have 18 UUP MEN.all middle aged or older (although God knows the younger DUP men look older). The DUP and to a lesser extent UUP seem to painting themselves into a corner.

  • Gerry & the peacemakers

    I would like SF to take DSD as this departments works very close with working class loyalist areas – Minister Martina Anderson – now wouldnt that be fun to watch.

  • SuperSoupy

    Sinn Féin the only large party that actually increased it’s number of voters from the 2005 elections!

    DUP, SDLP and UUP all dropped votes from 2005.

  • interested

    Do you actually know the make-up of the DUP Assembly team or are you just assuming they’re all Free Ps?

    Yes they’re over-represented, but 50% might be closer to the mark, and its decreasing with every election.

  • There is a strong case for Sinn Fein to take Enterprise.
    It would allow them to make the most of the head of steam building up behind the all-Ireland agenda, and acquire some economic credibility that would be useful in the Republic.
    I think there was a piece in the Sunday Business Post a while back suggesting that they were thinking along these lines.
    It would probably need to be their first pick ahead of Education if they are to get it.

  • SuperSoupy

    Total Unionist vote 47.8%

    A large minority but a minority.

  • Sinn Féin’s first pick will be Education as the DUP have indicated that they will take Finance.

    Conor Murphy Minister of Education. After that it will depend on what the other parties take. If Health is available they will take it.

  • John Farrell

    I am taking my figures of 75% as a reasonable estimate based on an earlier thread in which I doubted the figures of (if I recall correctly) 25ish out of 30. Yes that did sound high to me too but am told that Arlene Foster is CofI and the Robinsons and Wilson are members of pastor jacks church/tabernacle.

    it seems in the past the old pre 1970 unionist party was a broad church … pun intended which embraced “Scottish” Presbyterianism and “English” Anglicanism.
    It seems to me with UUP disappeared in Foyle and disappearing in west Tyrone, there is a Protestant reallignment as in 18th century or 19th century. A fault line appears to have opened.

    No idea about the validity of my figures of 75% but if you scroll back thru comments over the past two weeks or so youll come accross the reference.

  • Mick Fealty

    I would not dare to guess down the ticket, but since the DUP say they are after finance, we might have an interesting game of chess if that is what they choose first. It might make sense for Sinn Fein to go for a spending ministry like Health. Or even Education so that it can oversee the shaping of the post 11+ era.

  • BP1078

    Total Unionist vote 47.8%

    A large minority but a minority

    With those kind of figures, time for SF and SDLP to push for an early border poll, don’t you think?

  • Mick Fealty


    Brian Appleyard, speaking at the RSA yesterday morning, suggested there was little value in his comments section saying that not matter what his posts were about, his commenters always managed to take off on their own tangent within five posts.

    There is huge value in letting conversations flow, but I thought this original post deserved some serious attention…

  • Sammy along with the SDLP and ‘dissdent’ Republican trolls on this site lead a group of people predicting problems for Sinn Féin in the election.

    I note that you avoided my question – if you were a fan of my analysis two weeks ago, why not now? Anyone can be wise after the fact. In any case, I didn’t call a single seat for the dissidents. I’ll admit that I didn’t think they could possibly do as badly as this (beaten by the Stickies in West Belfast :-))))) ) but I’m genuinely glad that they did. Congratulations to Sinn Féín.

    The only area I remember you strongly disagreeing with me on was Lagan Valley, where you yourself were involved in that masterful operation to energise and motivate your potential vote. You were right. Again, congratulations on both counts.

  • Lad’s, quit with the attacks on Sammy who was at least brave enough to put his cards on the table and take any medicine today.

    He seems very good at reading Unionist/Alliance votes but he isn’t great when it comes to Nationalist Republican seats. Nothing mrong with that.

    He was the only one that I know who predicted the Green seat and the stoops failure to take strangford

  • So Interested’s predictions for the first two Ministries look fairly firm then:

    Robinson – Finance
    Murphy – Education

    Let’s see if we can get a bit further down. The suggestion DETI next also looks like a good one as most parties opted for economic ministries early on in 1999.I assume it would still be Nigel Dodds for the DUP’s second pick?

    Dodds – Enterprise

    I’m not sure if Empey would go for Health. The UUP passed it up with three picks last time. I’m guessing, if Enterprise is not available:

    Empey – Regional Development

  • John Farrell

    Surely if Sammy got one side wrong (as indeed did I)then logically he got the other side wrong (as indeed did I).

    If I called nationalists at 42 or 43 then logically I called 65 or 66 others (which is also wrong)

  • Pete Baker


    “He was the only one that I know who predicted the Green seat”

    It wasn’t exactly a prediction but..

  • Health is a potential poison chalice. NHS funding has peaked and whoever takes over will have to take charge of sorting out why there are so many problems in the NHS despite record funding. Not an easy job, guaranteed to offend a large group of people no matter what, so I would imagine not a popular choice.

  • fair_deal


    “He was the only one that I know who predicted the Green seat and the stoops failure to take strangford”


    “The SDLP will be targetting the Alliance seat but both indicators give Alliance the edge.”

    Although I did describe ND as the Greens best chance rather than certainty.

  • slug

    The UUP have pledged to take Education if it is still available. I think it is probably correct that SF will be attracted by this.

  • Exactly Pete, it wasn’t a prediction 😉

    Fair Deal

    Sammy was the only one who put the cards on the table and gave a prediction. I accept other alluded to it but he is the only one I know who actually said it.

  • Predict

    Agriculture and Rural Development – SF
    Culture, Arts and Leisure – SF
    Education – SF
    Employment and Learning – DUP
    Enterprise, Trade and Investment – SDLP
    Environment – UUP
    Finance and Personnel – DUP
    Health Social Services and Public Safety – UUP
    Regional Development – DUP
    Social Development – DUP

  • Slug

    Education won’t be available for the UUP

  • belfastwhite

    Education also will have it’s pitfalls with budgets tightening schools will be shut down and jobs will be lost. The 11+ debate will also ruffle a few feathers, one to avoid IMHO. DSD, DRD, and DETI all have nice come ons I suppect SF will choose one of these first.

  • Mick Fealty


    Is that a ‘prediction’? 😉

  • Environment will give the holder a chance to abolish PPS 14 which should be a nice, populist, achievement to sell in rural areas.

  • Pedant


    sorry to be a pedant but PPS 14 is actually DRD!

  • Chris,

    Is that a ‘prediction’? 😉

    Slightly stronger than a prediction 😉

  • Pedant,

    God we have stupid Departmental splits here. How come PPS 14 is DRD when the planning system is Environment.

    Oh hell, that makes DRD even more attractive – PPS 14 and lots of new roads opening in the next four years, even before any NDP cash comes in from the South.

  • Jeremy

    As attractive as continuing the work in Education would the Enterprise Trade Investment not be the better choice. It would have more of an impact on the electorate with lots of opportunity to prove economic credentials.

    Sammy – thanks for your constituency analysis. made good reading.

  • This IS a prediction (allbeit a farfetched one)

    Finance and Personnel — Peter Robinson
    Education — Conor Murphy
    Health — Mark Durkan
    Social Development — Nigel Dodds
    Regional Development — Reg Empey
    Agriculture — Caitriona Ruane
    Cultural Arts and Leisure — Michelle Gildernew/Mitchel McLaughlin
    Employment and Learning — Michael McGimpsey
    Environment — Arlene Foster/Gregory Campbell
    Enterprise Trade and Industry — Jeffrey Donaldson

  • willowfield

    Let’s pray to Almighty God that Catriona Ruane doesn’t get Culture, Arts and Leisure.

  • Greenflag

    Conor Murphy is one heavyweight when it comes to dealing with the media . He wiped the floor with the poor hapless RTE interviewer who tried to make a case for the DUP having a point re Gildernew’s gaffe . Rarely have I heard any RTE interviewer being impaled on the hook he had planted and made virtually eat his own words .
    No wonder Murphy topped the poll in his constituency!

  • páid

    John, Man of valour,

    now don’t get smart 🙂 and claim that you first spotted the structural shift in the dup/uup eclipse.

    If you’re sad enough to troll! thru past records you’ll see my contributions on the anglican v presby shift and shake-up.

    A lot of uuupers dont FEEL happy going DUP; there isn’t the same gap between sf and sdlp.

  • Rory

    Let’s pray to Almighty God that Catriona Ruane doesn’t get Culture, Arts and Leisure.

    Shall we pray then, Willowfield, that it be given to a unionist candidate in order that all arts and leisure (apart from male strutting and wife beating) are denied and culture is regarded as a Romish heresy?

    Which member would you see best fitted for the role?

  • John Farrell

    Actually Paid Ive been tracking the cultural shifts in Unionism since I first voted (Westminster General Election June 1970)
    A bit disappointing to wake up so early on a Saturday morning and find someone beat me to the punch about Caitriona Ruane.

    She is logical choice for Culture and all that stuff.
    1 West Belfast festival
    2 Fluent Gaelic
    3 Played Tennis for Ireland

    and will give her a higher profile for South Down Westminster run
    SDLP first preference 2007 14,462
    SF first preference 2007 14,134
    a diff of 330
    Now I find Ruane as irritating as anyone else but can anybody really see Margaret Ritchie making a speech in the British House of Commons.
    Indeed Id watch carefully Ritchies Assembly performances as she seems out of her depth already.

    The SDLP ministry will be interesting. The SDLP prolly went into election thinking two Exec seats were possible and indeed as Strangford, West Tyrone, Newry-Armagh showed it was “possible” but Durkan presided over this so it seems a bit unfair for him to say “hey guys and gals I directed such a great campaign Im taking a Ministry”
    With Durkan and McDonnell already double jobbing at Westminster, I think the Ministry will almost certainly go to number 3 4 and 5 in SDLP hierarchy.
    They are Attwood, Magennis and Hanna (who Id discount as having been there already in last executive)
    Peculiar I think that the first 5 in SDLps Stormont assembly team include all four Belfast folks.
    But the second tier of SDLPism ….Gallagher McGlone Dallat Ritchie Kelly various Bradleys, O’Loan (a rookie) Ramsey and Burns dont exactly appear ministerial.

    Step forward Mr Attwood who at least looks more energised than Alban.

    The real tragedy is that the SDLP has fallen so low. In 1970s thru Hume Cooper Currie O’Hanlon Mallon Fearon McGrady Hendron (and the very over rated Devlin) and the even more over rated Fitt they had real talent.

  • stakeknife

    It will be interesting to see which party is going to take up the ‘Victims / Survivors’ portfolio? Due to the recent furore over the Victims Commissioners appointment because she is the widow of an RUC reservist. Maybe this portfolio should go to Sinn Fein. Remember what SF say ‘There is no Hierarchy of Victims’ So I assume that this includes everyone except for some SF exclusions so that knocks ‘The no Hierarchy of Victims’ on the head. Maybe someone from SF could explain why everyones suffering is not the same.

  • bookkeeper

    I nominate Sinn Fein for Finance. They could balance t5he books and would not have to increase taxes. Just look at how sucessful republicans have been over the years at raising Finance. Pity to see such talent going to waste.

  • Rubicon

    FD – your sequence for nominations is slightly out – the DUP take the 7th and 8th nominations, SF 9th and the UUP 10th.

    1 DUP,
    2 SF,
    3 DUP,
    4 UUP,
    5 SDLP,
    6 SF,
    7 DUP,
    8 DUP,
    9 SF,
    10 UUP

    Of course – this only matters if the DUP agree to power-sharing. Do you have a prediction on that score?

  • Aaron McDaid

    Fair Deal is right. The only difference between you is the 8th and 9th.

    By the time the 8th post is up for grabs, the DUP will already have 3 posts, SF 2. That gives the DUP a score of 36/(3+1)=9 and SF on 28/(2+1)=9.33

    Therefore, SF pip the DUP for choice of 8th over 9th.


  • Reader

    Why should SF want the education portfolio? They can’t end selection on their own, and they can’t stop the outworkings of Bain. I think only the CCMS is ready with a plan for Bain, and SF will hardly want to be too closely associated with that, either. Education is a bit less of a poisoned chalice for a unionist party.

  • unionist

    UUP’s two minister’s, Sir Reg and Danny Kennedy.

    Enterprise and Health respectively

  • Rubicon

    You’re right Aaron – apologies to FD & yourself. Think I’ll make a visit to SpecSavers – I’d the DUP’s on 38 instead of 36!

    And I was wondering why my calculations in the pub last night differed from the one I made today. More beer please!

  • idunnomeself

    the half of teh contributors don’t seem to realise that there is an order at play here..

    I will be surprised if SF take DE, it won’t be much of a Department anymore after the RPA (most of the staff, budget and decisions will be leaving the Department) and they’ll run into trouble over selection (which lets face it they don’t massively care about). DE and DEL are the hot tip to merge to create a justice and policing Ministry, and thats before having to close half the rural primary schools in NI..

    They were going on about taking the more challenging Departments, and that is DHSSPS, although they made a royal hash of that last time, no matter what they said before the election! (but then Chris thinks they’ll take it.. hmm..)

    Which makes my predictions:
    DUP DFP (to cap rates- and to set the budgets)
    SF DHSSPS (the big challenge)
    DUP DSD (because this is popular spending)
    UUP DE (to save the grammar schools)
    SDLP DCAL? to prove green credentials re Irish language act, otherwise DETI
    SF DCAL if SDLP dont take it,

    The REAL poisioned chalice is Water Charges (DRD), i expect it’ll come way down, anything done to meddle with them will blow a hole in their planned budgets.

    Catriona Ruance (or indeed Nelson McCausland, for example) would be mad to take DCAL on, seeing as she has already called for funding for so many things, realistically she would then have to go to some group they have lobbied for before and cut their funding..

    But then the last time round I don’t think there was much logic used at all..

  • Prize for most academic thread of the day …

    There won’t be an executive! Not for any considerable amount of time anyway so there’s no point in speculating who’ll get what posts.

    As Tony Blair stated the other day,”The message from the electorate is clear,” the electorate don’t want a a government they just want to bash each other with bricks and never progress beyond tribalism; that’s why the DUP and SF are the 2 biggest parties.

  • noel adams

    Not sure which mimistry but my tip for office is Caitriona Ruane with SF 328 behind SDLP in S Down, logic dicates its raise the profile time for the next general election.