Transfers in Dromore

The Dromore results have been out for a while, but now that the dust has settled a bit, there are some points from the transfers.1) The UUP picked up more transfers than the other Unionists at every stage, and more than anyone after the first round.

2) Following the trend from the Assembly election in Lagan Valley, a lot of SDLP transfers went to the Alliance and not SF.

3) The total number of non transferable votes when SF dropped out was 64 higher than their first preference total.

What is clear is that the SDLP vote in Lagan Valley is going soft. The part that isn’t though, is still as ‘hard’ nationalist as it ever was.

  • Dewi

    It’s the 27 SF transfers to TUV that get me. I know there’s always the odd mistake etc – but 27 people is a lot of people.

  • Ignited

    Better late than never Michael, but most already covered.

    UUP has always faired better in transfers than any other unionist party it should come as no surprise that in Dromore the UUP won it on transfers.

    What is of note in my opinion is the significant amount of transfers that went from TUV’s Harbinson to the UUP’s Carol Black. Hardly cosy bed partners are they?

    Only time will tell, but the leadership in the UUP don’t really appear to think ahead so the strategy will be entertaining.

    It’s easy to read too much into Dromore but I would think this would be an area of interest to the UUP in general; will the TUV disappear as Alex Kane seems to believe? Or will they become King Makers?

  • Prince Eoghan


    Might that have been transfers of transfers. ie. alliance to SF to TUV, or stoops to SF to TUV? Just an idea.

    Managed to visit that OO hall yet?

  • Dewi

    Might well have been Prince but 3 Unionist parties still left. Of all the patterns that you describe I can’t see any fitting a pattern that would rationally transfer to the TUV.

  • Mark McGregor

    I’d bet on them being mainly Alliance, their vote did give 59 to the TUV directly, by far the biggest vote transfer they received.. In the words of an Alliance wag about the SF TUV transfers – ‘where are those guys heads at’.

    And most notable about the SDLP transfers was it was the first time they have favoured SF over Alliance in LV and in a part of the constituency where the SDLP were traditionally stronger and their vote perceived as very, very pale green. Along with the shinners beating the SDLP in the head-to-head its a silver lining to a very gloomy SF cloud in LV as they face up to a constituency radically changed by the boundary review.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it


    a good vote for the TUV could benefit SF by splitting the Unionist vote – Shankill ( Old Church in Irish?) Road voted for SDLP to try to stop SF getting a seat.

    If the DUP is torn asunder I’m sure many Nationalists will be delighted – though they may not say so.

  • PaddyReilly

    I think we can safely assume that a considerable portion of the electorate has not adjusted to the STV system yet, and may never do so. Even on Slugger we hear lots of talk about how the various Nationalist or Unionist parties are going to ‘split the vote’ in an Assembly election.

    The opposite are the multiple choice fanatics who do not realise that you ought to stop one short of the bottom when expressing your choices, and thus list all candidates from RSF through to TUV (or vice versa.) On the other hand, it may be that 27 SF voters think it is a good thing that the DUP should have another Unionist party to contend with, as Sammy says.

  • Buggerhed

    “a good vote for the TUV could benefit SF by splitting the Unionist vote – Shankill ( Old Church in Irish?) Road voted for SDLP to try to stop SF getting a seat.”

    Am I missing something here. I don’t see how those two things are linked. (Genuine question as opposed to normal slugger arrogance & sarcasm here)

    I assume you mean west Belfast 1992, – it also included the unionist Duncairn area (previously represented by Carson no in Northe Belfast), which I assume also voted tactically

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it


    Don’t know what year it was.

    Prods voted to stop their main enemy SF getting elected – Fenians voted to stop their main enemy DUP ( although may not admit it ) elected.

  • Paul

    Of course SF want to see the DUP vote shredded. They want to become the largest party with the most Ministers and committee places.

  • PaddyReilly

    Well I assume that if you are Unionist and live in the Shankill Road, it makes sense in an Assembly election to give your second preference to the SDLP, as that will help them gain the last seat rather than SF. (Assuming that you prefer the SDLP to SF). In a Westminster election there is some benefit in giving your vote to the SDLP candidate, because you should know that your preferred candidate isn’t going to win. However, if you do this the total Nationalist vote will appear larger than it actually is, so you might think that the tactic has backfired.

    The idea that it is good for Nationalism that there be 3 effective Unionist Parties is something else. A smaller DUP would mean that they would lose the position of First Minister in the Assembly, because SF would have become the largest party.

    At Westminster three contending Unionist parties would not help them gain seats, and in theory could lead to them being wiped out, (though in practise the Unionist electorate is sufficiently cute not to allow that to happen.)

    For the European Parliament, 3 contending Unionist parties, depending on what order they appear, could lose them the third seat, if any substantial portion of the 3 parties’ voters neglect to transfer to both the remaining Unionist parties. But as the second Unionist candidate in the last election was the UUP, which is more likely to attract transfers, being closer to the centre, one would not expect this to happen. However, if a major surge in the TUV vote brought all 3 parties to an equal footing, who knows what would occur.

    Nevertheless, Unionists have to be left destroy themselves: no-one else can do it for them. I can’t see how 27 SF transfers to the TUV will chivvy this process along.



    When are going to throw your hat into the ring in Lagan Valley?

    You’d be more than capable.

    Don’t tell me you are going to step aside and allow Eddie Hanna to destroy our party? (before defecting AGAIN)

  • valenciano

    Buggerhed, Duncairn aka Tiger’s Bay was never in West. The harbour estates east of the Motorway were but they were uninhabited. It’s estimated that Gerry Fitt and Hendron both got around 50% of the Shankill vote in 1983 and 1992, with Hendron increasing that to 75% in 1997.

    Anyone interested in looking at how people vote in reality can download the ballot papers for the Meath, Dublin North and Dublin West elections in 2002. Lots of people voted FF 1,2,3 and then went down the ballot paper alphabetically so a typical vote was something like 4,5,2,6,7,8,1,9,10,11,12,13,3,14. Many people obviously don’t get the system and need better education on how it works.