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?

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