Dromore, posters and the Battleship Potemkin

Right: it is now less than a week until we know the outcome of the Dromore by election. I will again reiterate that this is not the largest political contest ever on earth and it may (only may) be less significant in world terms than the US Presidential primaries. However, it gives me something to blog about so here goes.The outcome is still pretty unclear. I see from the Dromore Leader that the TUV candidate Keith Harbinson has challenged the DUP candidate to a public debate tonight at 8pm but I have not heard whether or not the DUP will show up so the prospect of a debate is by no means certain.

Whatever the outcome of the election it will be interesting but as I have said before there is a grave danger of people reading too much into it. This especially applies to the TUV. A victory here will not mean that we are about to see the agreement come crashing down. I do not expect to be standing amongst a victorious crowd at the steps of Stormont having won final victory on Thursday or Friday. Though as an aside I was there for a walk with my four year old two weeks ago and thought the steps would be great as the Odessa steps in a remake of the Battleship Potemkin. Equally a defeat should not result in everyone packing up and going home, nor me returning to my remarks about caves which I have been chastised for making before. A good showing for any parties other than the DUP might well, however, be seen by the DUP as a (very small) shot across their bows and make them think a little more carefully about the PR problems inherent in the “love in”. The only problem with this is that Paisley must have been told previously about the problems his public bonhomie with McGuiness is causing with the electorate and indeed within his party. Despite this he seems to persist with this nonsense which I cannot see as gaining many / any liberal unionist votes and alienates more traditional unionists of any party.

If, however, elections were won and lost on the basis of posters alone the Greens would be on the cusp of a heroic victory considering that they have rather cleverly recycled theirs. Also on posters it seems that the DUP are angry that theirs were removed from Kinallen. As the DUP rightly say removing election posters is illegal; the opposite of “Bill Posters will be prosecuted”, remember that one?

  • Ulidian

    Mark,

    Is that your personal prediction or have you have info for those figures?

  • Mark McGregor

    Its just a bit of messing. Now I have a reason to check the result of a contest I had zero interest in.

  • Dromore Voter

    darth rumsfeld “I’ll get me sash”

    Unreliable rumour has it that Basil has one under his shirt and whips it out when opportunity requires it!

  • Ulidian

    Not too many DUP posters here today!

    They must all be kneeled praying at the great alter of Paisley offering up their souls for a favourable result today! lol

  • Dewi

    Counting tonight?

  • willowfield

    Why did Tyrone Howe resign from Banbridge Council?

  • Ulidian

    Tomorrow Dewi.

    Voting today tho.

  • Mark McGregor

    Dewi,

    Not on your life. They may start counting proper mid-morning tomorrow.

  • Dewi

    So strange – there will only be a couple of thousand votes – coould wrap it up in a couple of hours.

  • Ulidian

    He sighted other commitments.

    But the reality is that it was really his dad who pushed him into it. He had really no interest in politics at all.

  • The Fly

    Andrew aka Ulidian

    Not out canvassing for your mate Harbinson today? Still I suppose the “work” you’re paid for in the Ulster-Scots sector does require a certain level of committment, I mean its not like you could waste your precious time faffing about handing out leaflets or, err…. messing around here.

  • Ulidian

    Dewi,

    I agree, but Ulster has always been strange. The counters are notoriously slow here! Whereas on the mainland different ares compete against eachother to get finished first!

  • I think McGregor writes the Alliance off at his peril. Our candidate is actually well known and liked in the area which will attract many who would traditionally vote UUP. Plus even Unionists like Dromore Voter was impressed with the personalised letter from David Griffin, how many other will appreciate that. Plus with David having beeb so prominate in the community as VP of Banbridge Academy.

    I’ll go on a limb here and now and predict that Alliance will beat TUV maybe not by a significant margin. The nature of the TUV’s birth does not give a lot of scope for attracting transfer votes from the DUP or UUP while David Griffin because of the reasons i liked above. My full guess is DUP first, Alliance second, UUP just behind them, TUV forth, The Greens fifth, SF sixth and the stoops last.

  • Dewi

    SF to beat SDLP Pounder…..seems unlikely to the untutored:

    Votes by Party:
    DUP: 3,000 (49.8%), 3 seats
    UUP: 1,184 (31.3%), 1 seat
    SDLP: 712 (11.8%), 1 seat
    SF: 429 (7.1%)

    2005 result.

    Appreciate all sorts of thing effect local elections but that would be quite a move amonst a small number of people.

  • Dromore Vote Counter

    Low turnout and 3 way split of the Unionist vote gifts Alliance with the seat.

    Well Done UUP – this seat was yours if you had done the right thing and not run the illegimate candidate. Yet another big mistake from Lagan Valley UUP. Well done Basil McCrea, completely useless. You’re an embarrassment to the people of Lagan Valley.

    Some people never learn…

  • Dewi

    “Low turnout and 3 way split of the Unionist vote gifts Alliance with the seat.”

    Even I know that you have transfers…….

  • Mark McGregor

    Pounder,

    Only working off how Alliance fared the last time it set foot in the ward over a decade ago, poorly. Work and time may have changed things.

    Dewi,

    The reason I had SF ahead was because in the most recent election that covers this area SF creamed the SDLP in both the Assembly consituencies. Really cleaned them, wiped their clock. Badly now, not just a wee bit. Tanked them in every ward at every level. I can’t see how they can bounce back from that in a few months.

  • Ulidian

    Dromore vote counter,

    In an 80% unionist ward even a three way unionist split like you suggest would not come close to returning an alliance councilor.

    sorry but thats just wishful thinking!

  • Mark McGregor

    I retract my Alliance prediction. Just saw who their election agent is and its the clincher ;0). I put them coming in third with 500.

  • Dromore Vote Counter

    Transfers will be a big thing… I’m happy to be wrong but these are my thoughts…

    DUP don’t transfer – never have and never will. Speaking from various count experiences, the DUP simply just don’t transfer.

    UUP Transfers – Hate DUP won’t transfer there, TUV perhaps, but they hold a vastly different policy on powersharing etc so I wouldn’t bank on TUV getting UUP Transfers.

    TUV transfers – non existent – TUV Voters neither like the stance of the UUP or the DUP. However, they may take the ‘Bob McCartney Approach’ of March 2007 – “At least you know where you stand with the UUP” and UUP may gain some, but only a few transfers.

  • Buggerhed

    Alliance will do poorly. I expect the non-thinking vote in this area is property of the green party.
    The greens outpolled APNI in South Down and Upper Bann, both taking in parts of Banbridge (although no Dromore is in the latter), whereas I imagine that APNI’s Lagan Valley vote is in Lisburn but it’s been in decline for about a decade or so, especially with the Seamus Close fiasco

  • Dromore Vote Counter

    Ulidian,

    In an 80% unionist ward even a three way unionist split like you suggest would not come close to returning an alliance councilor.

    Who says there’ll be a high turnout of these 80%?

    (Disclaimer: I am not pro-Alliance)

  • Ulidian

    Well folks tomorrow will tell the tale!

    Wish i could say it was an equal fair fight all round, but who am i trying to kid! lmao!

  • Dromore Vote Counter

    Yes Buggerhed, the Alliance vote is in so much decline they still returned an MLA in March 2007.

    Again, let me remind you i am not pro-Alliance, but for fuck sake, please talk with a bit of knowledge and if not knowledge, common sense.

    Clearly, you are also not aware of other polling data circulating at the moment from Bel Tel and the NIO.

  • suchard

    All ball playing people are outraged at Black Carol’s claims.The Internatonal Rugby Board have issued a statement from a spokesman called Sid that she is bringihg the oval ball game into disrepute as not even the ugliest prop forward would ruck with her.Some commentators say that her recent performances have contributed greatly to the poor form shown by all except the Welsh and the Italians.According to our international Rugby reporter the Greek administrator Spherical Objects has said that they will delay their entry into the Seven Nations contest until Black Carol can give an undertaking in the future that all ball tampering will cease fortwith.
    The F.A. are of a similar mind and are very concerned at the rumours that The Brush is sponsoring a new Dromore Ladies Football team called The Black Amazons with a minimum age of forty five for entry. The Brush has promised to buy the strips from a Lurgan based supplier who recently supplied a Flute band in Stoneyford which it is also believed received a similar sponsorship deal.

  • Dewi
  • Dewi
  • Buggerhed

    Sorry what was wrong with what I said?

    I’m not out making vague statements like alliance “have a well liked candidate” and must be on cue to do brilliantly.

    I am of the opinion that APNI is becoming less relevant in our post devolution caring sharing era and therefore the Greens will be on cue to pick up the indecisive vote. (They have won such battles in the nearby areas of Upper Bann, Newry & Armagh and the overlapping South Down)

    One could say
    “the Ulster Unionist vote is in so much decline they still returned an MLA in March 2007.” Doesn’t necessarily mean that said party will find the Dromore election result happy reading

    Smaller parties tend to be good at getting their voters out. Between 1997 & 2001 there was a rise in turnout in local elections as they were held on the same day as the general election. However despite additional voters generally the numbers of APNI votes stayed the same (and so they had a lesser percentage). Eg. Ballymena North, Coleraine Central, Ballyclare

    Mr Crozier demonstrated Alliance are fighting a marker of round 200 in 1997. Bringing out this number of votes is not a success IMHO

    & just for the record
    Swearing isn’t big and it isn’t clever

  • Dromore Voter

    Another good flyer just through my door from Alliance –

    Heading ‘Don’t Forget’ – with an quaint elephant graphic.

    Then an ‘alarm clock running’ graphic with the words –

    Time is running out for you to help David Griffin Win!
    and
    Polling Stations close at 10pm TONIGHT!

    You guys really know how to get your message through – full marks.

  • Buggerhed

    “You guys really know how to get your message through – full marks.”

    Shame so few people are willing to hear it!

  • Dromore Voter

    Looks as if turnout was about 34% in Dromre by-election.

  • Dewi – I’m pretty sure SF will beat the SDLP, because Sinn Féin are absolute masters at low turnout elections and the SDLP, er, aren’t. And that stage 12 is the transfer of a surplus, so the actual number of papers transferred was 2048 at 0.69 each, or about 70%. Still not bad.

    Mark – I’m sure David’s election agent is flattered!!! I will e-mail you off list.

    Dromore Voter/Vote Counter – I will be truly tickled pink if your predictions are correct. I am not ordering in the champagne just yet, though. Too many flaky Unionists that didn’t quite flake at the end of the day.

    Turnout ~30% in the town at 9 pm.

  • Oh, and Buggerhed. Does every Green activist on the internet spend their entire time rubbishing – and actively misrepresenting – the Alliance Party?

    I’m not going to get drawn into a childish spat with the only other non-communal party with a credible chance of winning anything anywhere, but please change the script. Shouldn’t you be campaigning on the positive things you have to say?

    PS – your leaflet in Dromore implies the Greens would abolish tax, or at least corporation tax, VAT and any taxes paid by business on their profits. Are you sure that’s really what you wanted to say?

  • Dewi

    Sammy – you must get to see the votes tonight though – don’t they do turnout? And you get to tally? If not where do they keep the ballot boxes?

  • Turgon

    Dewi,
    They are going to be safely kept by me personally in a most fair and democratic fashion.

  • Ryan

    Turnout is 38% in the by-election with just over 3600 votes cast out of an electorate of 9600.

    Dromore Town around 36% with the rural area coming in at 40%.

    This will give a quota of just over 1800.

    This is an impressive turnout for a by-election that many including myself thought would be very low. Looking back at the 2000 by-election turnout was 37% so it appears voters have been energised to get out, as much as one can be for a by-election.

    The reason for this motivation I believe is because of the TUV and DUP Battle. The core DUP vote is solid and despite forecasts of apathy has came out. My prediction on what the vote will be is:

    DUP 1700
    UUP 800
    TUV400
    SF 250
    SDLP 200
    All 150
    Green 50

  • Buggerhed

    Sammy Sammy Sammy… dear oh dear oh dear. I have my fingers in quite a lot of pies don’t I: being a stoop on on thread and a green (party activist!) on another.

    “Does every Green activist on the internet spend their entire time rubbishing – and actively misrepresenting – the Alliance Party?”

    How could I possibly answer that? It’s funny you put a question mark after ‘the Alliance Party?’ as if it’s in some way beyond ridicule. I expect your asking how I could disagree with an organisation that stands for nothing

    “your leaflet in Dromore implies the Greens would abolish tax, or at least corporation tax, VAT and any taxes paid by business on their profits. Are you sure that’s really what you wanted to say?”

    Afraid that I didn’t stand in Dromore , so I didn’t actually produce a leaflet.

    If I had a vote today I’d have given the greens my fourth prefrence incidentally.

  • Dewi

    “They are going to be safely kept by me personally in a most fair and democratic fashion.”

    Very good Turgon – at the back of your cave guarded by Smaug no doubt.

  • Dromore Voter

    Ryan “Turnout is 38% in the by-election with just over 3600 votes cast out of an electorate of 9600”

    Garith Gordon BBC Radio Ulster has just said 30%

    At 10pm close in Dromore last night, figure being quoted was 30% and 34% when postal votes were also taken account. An observir at one of the countryside poling stations was quoting 38% there.

  • Dromore Voter

    Good picture of Tyrone Howe – a lost opportunity for the UUP. Symbolic of those who have simply walked away.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/7243977.stm

    Will the UUP ever learn?!

  • Mark McGregor

    Sammy,

    Do that. I’d like to hear about the split in Finnis out of nothing other than complete sadness.

  • Clonakilty

    We’ll al know soon enough, but for what its worth I reckon a higher turnout suits the DUP. People that are hacked off are more likely to come out and vote against the status quo – at about midday when the turnout was 10% Allister’s people were delighted and seriously believed their man was coming first (BTW Jim, running around in a Roy Gillespie-style baseball cap just looks silly).

    By-elections are odd things and its never easy to call them, but I think the DUP will top the poll.

    DUP: 39-45%
    UUP: 17-25%
    TUV: 9-17%
    SDLP: 8-10%
    SF: 7-11%
    OTHS: ~8%

    Alliance had very few people on the ground and I think that was a mistake – this election was a real chance for them to eat in to the UUP vote.

  • Chuckle Vision

    (BTW Jim, running around in a Roy Gillespie-style baseball cap just looks silly).

    Indeed, Clonakilty, but then we’re not all blessed with your boyish charm and good looks.I bet you could carry it off, though.

  • Dromore Voter

    Tally

    UUP 999

    GP 71

    SDLP 235

    SF 292

    AP 308

    TUV 685

    DUP 1021

  • Clonakilty

    Boyish charm? I wish.

  • Dromore Voter

    Above is UUP tally – dont know what others have come up with.

  • Dromore Vote Counter

    Intersting statistics Dromore Voter…

    If we follow it through it means

    Green Party eliminated first 67 votes to transfer will end up with a value of approx 40 – where they go nobody knows lol

    SDLP next and wud expect most of them to go to SF, although some will go to Alliance

    Alliance next with the chop – UUP could benefit from value of roughly 200 votes, taking them above DUP

    SF next with a value of approx 400 to be spread out… could be interesting to see how many their DUP Bedfellows get…

    At this point, the real fun and games will begin as the 3 Unionists are left…

    Impression being given yesterday was that TUV were encouraging votrs to transfer to UUP so if Harbinson comes in third, UUP will take the seat

  • Star of the County Down

    Very interesting if those tallies are accurate, Dromore Voter (and I have no reason to suspect they’re not). Can’t see many TUV to DUP transfers – the DUP could be in a hole here.

  • Dromore Voter

    39.15% Turnout

  • Dromore Voter

    Rumour has it that DUP tally has UUP in the 700’s – are the UUP figures optamistic?

  • Dromore Vote Counter

    Better turnout than expected – could favour the UUP

  • Dromore Vote Counter

    At this point I’m calling the seat for Carol Black.

    UUP Win, tight but its won!

  • Dromore Vote Counter

    Today’s story is how the TUV have shafted the DUP

    AND IN STYLE!!!

  • Dromore Voter

    Official Figures – first count

    UUP 912

    GP 59

    SDLP 290

    SF 350

    AP 357

    TUV 739

    DUP 1069

  • dewi

    What’s the quota DV?

  • interested

    Looks like the total vote is around 3700 – Quota around 1850 on that basis.

    Good result for the TUV – not really much way of going around that one. Protest votes are sent out at by-elections and fools ignore them.

  • the counter

    That gives 3776 total votes.

    Therefore:
    – DUP 1069 (28%)
    – UUP 912 (24%)
    – TUV 739 (20%)

    Is a 157 lead enough for Stewart? Interesting to see where transfers go, least of all TUV’s.

  • Dromore Vote Counter

    a 157 lead for Stewart is a crushing defeat for the DUP. Peter Robinson hasn’t directed this election too well…

    Is the beginning of the wheels coming off the Democratic Unionist Party cart????

    We await Paul Stewart’s speech to concede defeat to the Ulster Unionist Party.

  • the counter

    Quota confirmed at 1,889.

  • interested

    Dromore Vote Counter,
    I think I said in a post some time ago to Turgon that the only certainty in this election is that someone will attempt to portray it as something it isn’t.

    Its a bad day for the DUP – not the beginning of the end for the DUP. The vote shouldn’t be ignored but it shouldn’t be seen as utter meltdown either. Clearly Robinson had nothing to do with the election – I don’t think he took too much time away from working on a budget to run a by-election in Dromore.

  • Dromore Voter
  • Chuckle Vision

    Clonakilty

    DUP: 39-45%
    UUP: 17-25%
    TUV: 9-17%

    Even with that wide margin of error, you’re wide off the mark. Stick to fashion advice in future.

  • Dromore Voter
  • Dromore Vote Counter

    First Minister Paisley very glum and grim faced walking into British Irish Council meeting this morning…

    Even he knows he’s beaten today…

  • Chuckle Vision

    “First Minister Paisley very glum and grim faced walking into British Irish Council meeting this morning… ”

    Isn’t divine retribution supposed to be heading the other way?

  • Alliance had very few people on the ground and I think that was a mistake

    I don’t take advice from parties who lose nearly half their vote in the space of a year. Just because we weren’t getting into rows with the massive and frankly obstructive crowd of DUP and TUV activists outside Central Primary, doesn’t mean we weren’t about. You didn’t see us, you didn’t know what we were doing? Suits me fine.

    More than twice the vote we’ve ever had in the area and a council seat the next time they’re all up? I’m pretty happy.

    Slán amhaile.