DUP still not selecting European Candidate

The Irish news are reporting that the DUP has again delayed selecting a candidate for the European election in June. I have heard that there has so far been only one nomination (Deirdre Nelson: a councillor in Ballymena, and slugger o’toole councillor of the year). The selection meeting was due to take place on 22nd January but the date for closure of applications has been moved to 23rd January.

  • With Doddsie it will be a doddle

    Nigel must volunteer his services for the good of the country.

  • Blackberry

    Given that Jim Allister wasn’t selected by the DUP until February 2004 they are actually ahead of schedule from last time around. Really Turgon if this is the best you can do you need to think about a new outlet for your energies.

  • Turgon

    Blackberry,
    Do not worry I have several outlets for my energies. Actually I confess to having done far too little blogging of late. I am very busy at work; I am sure that will greatly sadden you.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    It has been suggested (by Horseman) that Deputy Dodsy seat in North Belfast will only be secure for 1 more Westminster election and even that is not guaranteed – that may tempt him into Europe.

    The DUP should top the poll in Europe but the battle between the TUV and Tories will be interesting – anybody seen any poll forecasts – 2 Nationalist seats must be a possibility if the Unionists kick electoral shit out of each other.

  • Esoterica NI

    I can’t really see 2 nationalist seats being a possibility. The numbers don’t add up! Unless unionist voters suddenly decide to not transfer their votes to other unionist parties, but there is no evidence at all that this will happen.

    SF should go close to topping the poll, but I can’t see TUV getting more than 30,000 votes, meaning Nicholson should be returned as the third candidate.

    My predictions for what it’s worth!

    DUP Candidate 160,000
    DbeB (SF) 155,000
    JNic (UUP) 94,000
    AMag (SDLP) 85,000
    JimA (TUV) 30,000
    Alliance / Joint candidate 30,000
    Others 12,000

    Where do the transfers to bring Alban above Jim come from?

    UUP will benefit from DUP surplus.
    The others and Alliance / joint candidate last time split evenly between UUP and SDLP.
    And if Nicholson still isn’t over the quota by this tage then Allister’s transfers will go to him over the SDLP.

    In my mind Alban will have to poll at least 30,000 first preference votes more than Nicholson to get in. Not very likely IMO

    Esoterica NI

  • frustrated democrat

    Will we witness the most suprising comeback and early retirement in NI politics?

  • … (Dedrie Nelson: a councillor in Ballymena, and slugger o’toole councillor of the year)

    She obviously didn’t make much of an impression on you, though, Turgon, since you can’t even get her name right!

    It’s Deirdre Nelson>

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Esoterica NI

    2 Seats or not 2 Seats

    Last time out (2004) there was about 5% difference in favour of Unionism – if that drops by another couple off points (which happened between 1999 and 1994)then it starts to look quite close even leaving out impact of 3rd Unionist candidate.

  • Has anybody picked up any serious rumours about whether/who the Alliance/independent candidate will be this time?

    No names have so far pushed themselves forward, and lets face it, June in not far away in electoral terms, so if an organisation is to be built they need to start now.

    If there is no ‘other’ candidate, then this will have an impact on the outcome, I think.

  • Lidl Richard

    Why would a British party like the DUP want a European candidate?

  • slug

    About the others.

    1. The Conservatives no longer support the “other” candidate as they did last time and are joining forces with the UUP.

    2. There is talk of a high profile candidate supported by the remaining others, however I cannot at this point divulge who s/he is.

  • slug,

    … a high profile candidate supported by the remaining others …

    Outside of the DUP, UUP/Tories, SDLP, SF, and APNI, who is really left? Who are these ‘remaining others’? Eamon McCann’s perennial losers? Some assorted dissident republicans? The UPRG? Who outside of the ‘big five’ could ever be called a ‘high profile candidate’?

  • slug

    The premise of your post is a misinterpretation of mine.

  • Michael Shilliday

    I think Horseman that slug is talking about the perennial losers coming together to find a joint candidate to come nowhere near getting a seat together, like last time.

  • frustrated democrat

    I think that due to the intervention of the TUV SF will top the poll and the DUP will lose out. The overall number of votes will rise by 2-3% as the Conservative Unionist deal brings out stay at home voters and they will also draw from DUP and Alliance to show a 20% increase back towards 1999 levels. The SDLP will continue their slow decline and Alliance will lose out to the CU’s.

    Until we know the balance of the runners the others is of course speculative.

    SF 160
    DUP 150
    C/U 110
    SDLP 80
    TUV 35
    OTH 30
    Total 565

  • slug,

    The premise of your post is a misinterpretation of mine

    Why don’t you explain what you meant, then? I have reread your post and I’m no wiser.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    frustrated democrat

    That would give Unionism about 52% – a very good result – it can only be justified by the ‘stay at home voters’ – who may on the day turn out to be as elusive as ever.

    Have your predictions taken into account the increasing size of the Nationalist electorate? If you include Eamonn McCann (is he standing?) the Nat. numbers would have actually gone down on your figures.

  • Turgon

    Horseman,
    Sorry, I have fixed her name.

  • ZoonPol

    From June an MP cannot be an MEP – dual mandate. So sayeth the law so the era of the DUP triple mandates are over.
    If Nigel goes to Europe not only will he have to forego his Westminister seat but he is morally bound to give up his Northern Ireland ministry etc. Further there are many members of the DUP after the 2nd O/C post so sending him to coventry, sorry Europe, will be seen as an open door by others.

  • slug

    It’s a more interesting EU election on the unionist side than normal with the CUs fishing for new and centrist voters and the TUVs picking up the hard unionists.

    A block of unionist voters have shown a capacity to move around: early 1990s the Conservatives, mid 1990s back to the UUP, late 1990s to the UKUP, early 2000s to the DUP, etc.

    So this promises to be interesting.

  • slug

    It would be daft for Nigel to move from the power of Westminster to the irrelevance of the EU Parliament. Westminster arithmetic looks tight for the next election. The DUP have plenty of other candidates among their non-MP MLAs. Simon Hamilton would be a good choice.

  • frustrated democrat

    Sammy

    I was working on the principle that Gilliland who took a lot of Unionist votes or someone similar will not stand, so it is not a great increase in their vote. Also that another E McC or similar will be in the picture in others alongside the Alliance who took 14,000 last time out in 1999 the majority of which probably went to Unionists.

    In addition although the total nationalist vote is forecast to be higher in actual numbers it increases by less than the unionist side as if there are return voters they would be more inclined to be unionist.

    It is a prediction and will depend on who is in the others and also if the return and rapid resignation for the DUP takes place which might increase their vote.

    I will revise when the full list is known.

  • William

    I think there is a strong possibility that the Ulster Unionist / Conservative joint candidate will poll around 185,000 votes and replace the DUPes as the leading party. Nicholson is by far the most efficient candidate, well-respected and holding senior posts within the Parliament, so one would hope voters will choose a candidate who if good in the job rather than some idiot from the DUPes who will fight the election on local political issues, not European ones.

  • frustrated democrat

    William

    I think you are being just a trifle optimistic for the Conservative and Unionist candidate but I hope you are correct as it would signal an end to the current tribal politics and for the first time in NI real politics where a carve up on sectarian division is a thing of the past.

    I think 110,000 would be very acceptable for a first outing!

  • Silver Line

    Slug

    Suprised at your choice of Simon Hamilton does not seem like a character that has the it factor that a candidate needs? My suprise choice would be Nelson McCausland took Allaister on in Hearts and Minds and beat him also his high antics at being thrown out of the Assembly for attacking Adams was well receved and made him a house hold name for himself.

  • 6cp

    No matter who the DUP candidate may be, I reckon we’ll hear the battle cry: ‘Don’t allow Allister help SF top the poll. Vote DUP, Number 1’

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    ” frustrated democrat”

    “Alliance who took 14,000 last time out in 1999 the majority of which probably went to Unionists”

    The distribution of the 3 last candidates votes Alliance, Greesn and SEA was 22,412 to UU and 20,522 to the SDLP – a fairly even split – 52% to 48%.

    It will undoubtedly be a bitter campaign with accusations between the DUP and TUV of vote-splitting.

    It is hypocritical nonsense for the Tories to refer to Norn Irish politics as tribal when they have entered on one side against the interests of the other – the indigenous people of the island. They can take their ‘superior’ attitude and shove it up their posh, public school jackies.

    I cannot see the DUP supporters trusting the Tories as they have been told for decades that the Englezes have done the dirty on them – it will be a complete political turnaround for the Tories to top the poll- I would suggest their odds would be about 6/1 with the DUP 1/2 and SF 2/1.

  • D Cather

    “I think there is a strong possibility that the Ulster Unionist / Conservative joint candidate will poll around 185,000 votes
    – William”

    That’s very good William, I mean all he has to do is more than double his vote. Any idea where the 93,836 voters he needs are going to come from? I mean if you think that many people have been hiding out in Garden Centres since 1969, I suggest to you that some of them have probably died in the crush.

    I support free speech and everything, but perhaps next time you consider opening your mouth you’ll remember that people died winning free speech and maybe you’ll use your privelege with a bit more respect.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    D Cather

    ” I mean if you think that many people have been hiding out in Garden Centres since 1969, I suggest to you that some of them have probably died in the crush”

    lol. I did notice some furtive movements in the area of the compost bins last Sunday.

  • Turgon

    It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it,

    From practically the opposite of the fence I concur almost completely. To nationalists the UUP / Tories are in danger of looking unionist and one sided.

    The Conservatives problem here can be demonstrated by two comments from Cameron himself on their web site:

    “I am a unionist because the Union is good for all the different peoples in the United Kingdom.”

    and

    “The Conservative Party in government will never side with one part of the community over another.”

    They may lose some UUP votes with comments like that. if I were a DUP apparatchik I would be recording all those little sound bites for future reference.

    There is a way by which they can manage this but it is extremely nuanced and I do not think it is in reality tenable. I suspect the CUs will gain some garden centre votes but as D Cather suggests are there that many? Also why does everyone assume that garden centre voters are
    1). unionists
    2). middle class and right wing
    3). politically moderate.

    I hope I am wrong and their project works but I think it is much, much less certain than some on here and indeed assorted Conservatives think.

  • D Cather

    Sammy re the split of middle party votes:

    “The distribution of the 3 last candidates votes Alliance, Greesn and SEA was 22,412 to UU and 20,522 to the SDLP – a fairly even split – 52% to 48%”
    The 3rd count included 7221 votes of Bairbre De Brun’s surplus. The smaller parties were redistributed together because De Brun’s surplus was too small to carry any of them past Nicholson or Morgan

  • frustrated democrat

    Turgon
    “I am a unionist because the Union is good for all the different peoples in the United Kingdom.”

    and

    “The Conservative Party in government will never side with one part of the community over another.”

    What is the problem with these two statements?

    One says he believes the union is good for everyone of whatever religion and the second says that the party will not have any religious preference.

    He was not referring to political outlooks in the second part as he is a unionist politician and not a nationalist.

  • Turgon

    frustrated democrat,

    Nothing wrong with it at all. It is just a very fine line and a very nuanced argument. One which I think plays very well with a certain group of highly interested political types.

    It will, however, be more difficult to sell on the doorsteps and will be extremely easy to distort by political opponents.

    As I have repeatedly said I hope to be wrong. However, I doubt many people will be knocking on my door in Erne West asking me to vote CU telling me about this shiny new position. If they do I will simply ask if they are going to stand in the Westminster election and hence, ensure that for at least another parliament I have no representation in the nation’s parliament. Further I will ask if they think that to preserve some form of “neutrality” they will ensure I continue to be “represented” (in the vaguest possible usage of that term) by someone who believes that people should not go to the police about certain sorts of criminal activity and that a future generation of republicans may “have to” go back to “the armed struggle.”

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    ““The Conservative Party in government will never side with one part of the community over another.”

    “He was not referring to political outlooks in the second part as he is a unionist politician and not a nationalist. ”

    Therefore you are saying that the Tories WILL take sides on the issue of politics – ie the Union – so do tell how they are not part of tribal politics when they are politcally siding against the Irish tribe and in favour of the Britsh tribe? This is complete and utter nonsense, and double speak and muddled thinking and they have not even got the balls/honesty to admit that they will damage Unionism position by splitting the vote more evenly.

    As a Nationalist, I think it is spiffing as Posh Boy Dave Cameron might well remark – it will damage both Unionism and Toryism. The only alliance that makes sense is the one between the UU and the DUP – which probably wont happen until they are behind the Nationalist block in the assembly in terms of seats – which is probably the assembly elections after next.

  • frustrated democrat

    Turgon

    I can’t see the CU’s doing any deals with the DUP it would send out completely the wrong message about their non sectarian credentials to do such a deal. In addition the CU’s will be full time attenders at Westminister with a single job, not parochial, part time, multi jobbers.

    If the DUP are so concerned they should withdraw from the seat as they can’t win it now, as the CU’s will stand, we will therefore see if they are more interested in the voters or themselves.

  • Turgon

    frustrated democrat,
    I await with amusement how that line will play on the doorsteps out here.

  • frustrated democrat

    Sammy

    You always insist on mixing politics and religion and talking about tribes, some people have moved on.

    Politically the CU’s will be overtly unionists and not nationalists, that is the way it is. The CU’s (and Conservatives in GB) will not be trying to be neutral on the union any longer and will oppose a United Ireland on principle, but will still support the objectives of the GFA including the outcome of a referendum result.

    However they will not be interesting in getting involved in religious arguments, they do not see politics in religious terms. As it mentions on another thread, by Mick, they are actively looking for Catholic candidates.

    Do you think those candidates would be from a Tribe or will they be from a particular unionist political outlook that has nothing to do with religion?

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    frustrated democrat

    “You always insist on mixing politics and religion and talking about tribes, some people have moved on.”

    I have no interest in religion – it is all hocus-pocus to me. Tribal politics may be mainly badged by religion but is about Nationality and the Tories are taking sides against the indigenous tribe. They have the fecking cheek to talk down to us about tribalism as the Tory party has engineeered many tribal conflicts around the world even basing their foreign policy on the idea of divide and conquer.

    They are a Unionist party – and to try and pretend they are not actively invlolved in tribal politics is fecking double-speak nonsense that nonbody save the rump of the UU which has been decimated at the polls actually believes.

    You are right about one thing – this debate has feck all to do with religion.

  • frustrated democrat

    Sammy

    Then you are correct, the CU’s will not side with the nationalists (tribe, in your words) in any debate regarding the union they will oppose them as part of the unionists (tribe, in your words), personally I would prefer the use of electorate to tribe.

    The political situation has changed, is there a problem with that?

  • The New Insider

    Frustrated Democrat:
    It will be for the Electorate to decide if the ‘political situation has changed’ – I’m not as optimistic as you and ‘William’ are re. the CU’s prospects!
    ZoonPol:
    You’re quite correct about the dual mandate requirements, and the fact that if Nigel Dodds ran for Europe, and won, he immediately has to vacate his Westminster seat, thus causing a by-election in N. Belfast. However, he’s also legally bound to resign his Ministry (NB not morally bound as you say) – However he could stay as a back-bencher MLA, as well as being an MEP.

  • wiseman

    The DUP need a high profile candidate, that is why Dodds has been leant on by so many senior figures. I doubt that they would go for a councillor so Dierdre Nelson has no chance. If you were to look at the Assembly team there are few who stand out as potential candidates. In terms of profile (which is important) names such as Poots, McCausland or Storey would spring to mind, but given the requirement for profile I’d say that first timers, who may have the intellectual capacity, such as Hamilton, McIlveen or Ross must be discounted.

  • ZoonPol

    Thanks for that The New Insider. Well any NI career Politico would be nuts then to go for MEP – that counts Nigel out, unless of course if he is forced.
    Maybe they will go for dark horse: strategically speaking what harm is there if the DUP does not win a seat in Europe?

  • Turgon

    ZoonPol,
    An interesting point which initially seems correct but think about what would happen if Allister held his seat and the DUP lost. It would create a significant momentum for the TUV: that would be extremely dangerous for the DUP.

    I agree that per se not having a Euro MP would not do the DUP any major harm: it is who else would then have the seat which would be the problem.

  • ZoonPol

    On the other side of the coin if Alister loses it frees him from legal constraints to run for Westminster etc. 6 of one ….
    Being a QC I can see the benefit of letting the proverbial dog be. A win-win situation is if the DUP simply suggested that as he was Paisley’s heir to the seat he was seen then as the best candidate and in the best interests of all of Northern Ireland he is still seen as the best choice for the European Parliament. After all he, like Paisley before his remains non-attached political party members of it.

  • Turgon

    ZoonPol,
    Fair point. However, if the DUP leave him they leave someone on their “right wing” and if they make any further concessions (and who seriously believes P and J are not coming) they will suffer for it.

    Getting rid of Allister, they hope will reduce TUV momentum and I suspect they hope that if the Westminster elections are not for another year the TUV may have faded away by then.

    Finally not going for maximum attack is just not like the DUP; I doubt they could just stand aside.

  • ZoonPol

    I agree with your last point. The raison d’être of the DUP seems to destroy all Orange (sic) rivals and I have noted that there is an increasing degree of extreme republican violence that the media has had to spin in such a way as not to rock the Stormont gravy train. My pathway of letting sleeping dogs lie would indeed be a chess strategy to far for those most used to playing checkers and I fear 2009 will be an interesting year as even the Security Service has stated that there are webs of connexions increasing between extreme and not so extreme elements. Thus giving Allistor a gift and as you said, if he stays, then the odds are in his favour.
    As we are all aware, the Free Presbyterian was once called the DUP a pray so maybe the TUV are the rightful successors to that motif.

  • ZoonPol

    ‘at’ not ‘a’ 🙂

  • ZoonPol

    I have examined Decision 76/787/ECSC The New Insider Jan 11, 2009 @ 02:25 PM and it states that:

    From the European Parliament elections in 2004, the office of member of the European Parliament shall be incompatible with that of member of a national parliament.

    By way of derogation from that rule and without prejudice to paragraph 3:

    – members of the United Kingdom Parliament who are also members of the European Parliament during the five-year term preceding election to the European Parliament in 2004 may have a dual mandate until the 2009 European Parliament elections, when the first subparagraph of this paragraph shall apply.

    Stormont is not a Parliament but an Assembly and the European Communities (Definition of Treaties) (Common Electoral Principles) Order 2004 says nothing extra about it which enacts the above into domestic law.

  • ZoonPol

    I detect a legal loophole that the DUP can, and probally will exploit in the European Communities Act 1972. Unless there are amendments i do not know about a Stormont Minister can legally still be an MEP.
    Over to you The New Insider to prove me wrong.

  • autocue

    Am I the only one to notice that the Tory bloggers on this site seem a great deal more enthusiatic about the project (note how the UUP has suddenly become the CUs) than our UUP regulars?

    How humuliating for the UUP -taken over by a bunch of nerds, cranks and supper club dwellers.

    Whoever is selected, the question of who tops the poll will be a damn close run thing.

    Thank you Jim Allister!

  • darth rumsfeld

    well of course the last time Jim Allister was parachuted in it was to stop Willie McCrea- not in keeping with punt’s project for sober suited technocrats dontchaknow. I hear that the Rantin’ Rev is still interested – if not for himself( South Antrim would have to go) then for his wee lad from Mid Ulster.

    But there is close scrutiny of the possibility of running a name, and then standing him down before he has to give up his Westminster seat, and then immediatley post-election nominating a sub from the assembly backbenches to go to Strasbourg.
    I don’t actually think it can be done, but the idea of such a staggeringly cynical ploy shows the contempt with which some in the DUP are prepared to treat the Unionist electorate, now they’re top dog.

    Also, it shows the bizarre focus on an irrelevant election for a discreditted institution. But then the DUP are addicted to winning elections. Why not pick a non-entity- who’s going to hear of them ever again ( Is Bairbre de Brun actually still alive, and how can they tell?)? Why worry about “stopping SF from topping the poll”in the grand scheme? The DUP are going to get a seat, even if they ran Edwin Poots in a frock. Euros are no longer needed to run Albertbridge Road

    Ironically Jim Allister may well now be at his most influential- if only because the nervousness of any serious candidate to take him on shows only too clearly how the DUP know how much they betrayed their core voters, and how he will chew up and spit out any sacrificial sheep foolish enough to debate him. A party with guts would go toe to toe, and a politician with ambition would see the opportunity. Isn’t that right, Junior?

  • frustrated democrat

    autocue

    How do you know which is which in the posters?

    ‘How humuliating for the UUP -taken over by a bunch of nerds, cranks and supper club dwellers’

    That is the probable next government of the UK. What would you call local parties then?

    In any event it isn’t a takeover it is an election pact and most (though not all) on both sides are equally enthusiatic from what I have heard on the ground.

  • ZoonPol

    I am sure others will have noticed this but Alex Kane wrote a sober article – http://www.newsletter.co.uk/columnists/This-isn39t-a-triumph-of.4866159.jp

    I agree with it but i am sure we can better the situation.

  • autocue

    fd

    “That is the probable next government of the UK.”

    Sorry but what are the odds of the Jeffrey Peels of this world being within a sniff of government. Furthermore, you know exactly what and who I am referring to.

  • frustrated democrat

    Autocue

    There is only one Conservative party with one leader, you know the 2nd biggest party in the UK and the probable next Government in the UK. It is the one that will prepare the manifesto for the EU and the UK Elections.

    The fact there are sub groupings in Scotland Wales and NI is not relevant to overall party direction and policy for the EU and Westminster elections, only for those regions’ elections.

    There is no agreement with Conservatives and UUP for Stormont at this stage, although it might happen in the future if all goes well, so your comment is not relevant. Interestinly there are less nerds and cranks in the NI Conservatives than the other NI parties from my observations, you only have to look on to Slugger to confirm this, as for the Supper Club I have not been so can’t comment, have you?

  • autocue

    fd

    I should say fd that your comments are merely confirming my original assertion. The Tories who frequent this site are an awful lot quicker to spout forth about what has or has not been agreed and how this will/will not impact on politics here, going so far as re-naming the UUP the CUs in their posts.

    I wonder why it is that Tories like yourself and others are keener to talk about this than life-long UUP folks?

    Picture the scene: Michael McGimpsey having to sit how to parley about Westminster elections in SB with Roger (92 votes) Lomas. I repeat – how humiliating for the UUP.

    Also fd, if you don’t think Cameron would drop Reg like a hot brick if it suited him you really are deluded.

  • autocue

    Correction Roger Lomas polled a whopping 108 votes!

  • frustrated democrat

    autocue

    The UUP are the UUP and the Conservatives are the Conservatives, when they are in the EU/Westminister elections they will be the CU’s or something similar – what is your problem and how do you know exactly who supports which party if any? I have seen what I think are UUP people in full support maybe you missed them or thought they were Conservatives.

    I suspect if you thought it was in the interests of the party you support, whichever one that is, you would keep very quiet and hope it is the failure you want it to be. Incidentally http://threethousandversts.blogspot.com has a piece on what he expects the DUP to do – I think Chekov is from the UUP side.

  • autocue

    fd

    I have read the piece and whilst I have no doubt it will appeal to the sense of smugness which the UUP/Tories have concerning, well how should I say this “those backward facing, history obsessed, parish pump” proles who take part in the Orange Order and who have gormed the backbone of the Unionist community for the best part of a century, it conventiently ignores the fact that these people have votes too and will exercise them more readily and quickly than those damned elusive GCP’s!

    It is also false to assert that Dodds said delivery for the loyal orders was the only priority for the DUP. Still with all, I’m sure Doddsy is delighted to be attacked by the UUP for standing up for the interests of a block of people that up until relatively recently where actually represented in the ruling structure of the party you now aspire merger with!!!

  • autocue

    formed, not gormed. D’oh!

  • frustrated democrat

    autocue

    I can now safely assume you are from or at least support the DUP, just remember things change, you used to be a minor party and could be again if you are not very careful in your condecension.

  • autocue

    fd

    My condecension? Sorry but I’m not the one going around calling people names like your area Vice Chairman! Seemingly, anyone who expresses Protestant religous belief or who has anything to do with the Loyal Orders has no place in the “CUs” – in fact I recall reading on the NI Tory blog a certain poster advocated a ban on members of the OO from joining.

    Just think of the response from all these smug “new Unionists” if someone from the DUP openly advocated a ban on members of the Roman Catholic Church.

    I am reminded of a quote from the scriptures (shock, horror!) the next time the NI Tories accuse the DUP or indeed anyone else of being exclusionist or bigoted the should “cast the beam out of your own eye” first.

  • PaddyReilly

    D Cather

    The 3rd count included 7221 votes of Bairbre De Brun’s surplus.i>

    No, the De Brun surplus was never redistributed. See:-

    http://www.ark.ac.uk/elections/fe04.htm

    But as the third count included Éamonn McCann’s vote, it probably is the case that the SDLP are not getting anywhere near 48% of other centrist transfers.

  • darth rumsfeld

    autocue
    the UUP is a schizophrenic body at best. In the greater Belfast area it will happily abandon any historic link with Orangemen and such, but the resistance ion the merger will come from those with fiefdoms to protect. We all remember the chipping away at Martin Smyth’s base by the Gimp over years as a precursor to his..er… inexorable rise to Westminster (oops). Can you really see him- or any of the other Westminster wannabes for that matter- stepping aide, or loosening their grip on constituency associations?

    By contrast in the rural areas all your average delegate wants is a local man-not too old, say noone over 80- and certainly it’ll help if he’s an Orangeman. The type of ulster Tory who might stumble in to a selection meeting in the Orange Hall (natch) will be a strange and exotic butterfly to the locals. Why he probably won’t even be a farmer!

    The UUP has form of course. When the last batch of Tories crashed and burned a few of them drifted into the UUP. None- excepting Alex Kane of this parish-has flourished in the party. I think Bazza Mccrea my have been a Tory in England but I stand to be corrected. Trimble and Hermon attracted a few professional chums at one time post referendum, but few remain. And it will be interesting to see how the UUP welcome returning sons like James Leslie and Peter Bowles. Officially joy will abound of course.

  • PaddyReilly

    My predictions on the outcome. I would expect the total Unionist First Preference vote to fall to 46.1% of the total, but they would stand to pick up 3.9% of transfers.

    However, as John Gillisland last time allegedly attracted some Conservative voters, this time these votes will go straight to the Tory candidate. This would only mean that the Unionist First Preferences would be slightly higher, and the Centrist transfers they attract slightly lower.

    Jim Allister will probably be able to hang onto 30,000 plus votes, and there will be less Unionist votes around due to the death rate, so the DUP may well be deprived of a quota in the first count, and SF will top the poll. There will thus be no Unionist surpluses to distribute.

    Jim Allister will be eliminated and a lot of his votes will go the Tory candidate, so the DUP candidate may need several counts to achieve a quota.

    Then for the final seat, it’s down to Tory and SDLP. I wouldn’t expect either of these to be able to achieve a quota, so absolutely all the votes will have to be redistributed. Demographically speaking, the Tory candidate should win by a nose, which I calculate to be about 4,500 votes (+ or – 10,000 votes). However, anything less than perfect transferring on the part of Unionists would frustrate this.

  • autocue

    Paddy

    Your assumptions overestimate the strength of the SDLP. Leaving aside the fact that they have a dud candidate, SF won’t have anywhere near enough transfers to bring them over the line. After that where are the votes coming from?

  • PaddyReilly

    After that where are the votes coming from?

    The SDLP will garner the SF surplus, then transfers from whoever else is standing: Green, Alliance, Rainbow George etc. As they did last time.

    This will not be sufficient to bring them over the line, but as I pointed out, there probably will not be enough votes around for either candidate to achieve a quota. So the final candidate will be elected without achieving a quota.

    The dudness or otherwise (a purely partisan opinion, I fear) of the candidate will have nothing to do with the outcome. It is after all a dud job.

  • frustrated democrat

    autocue

    As you well know he was expressing his personal opinion based on his religious viewpoint or to be exact lack of it. He is quite entitled to do this and to hold whatever opinion he wants to and you are entitled to disagree with him.

    However those views do not represent Conservative policies where all are welcome within the party, that is quite clearly stated on their website if you choose to read it.

    Those who support the new pact will be quite happy for you to declare it irrelevant and to concentrate you efforts in other areas.

  • ZoonPol

    Could any of you tell me next week’s lotto numbers? Events will dictate where the votes will go.

  • ZoonPol

    This is from the second committee on the Draft European Communities (Definition of Treaties)(Common Electoral Principles) Order 2004 that I found most interesting, especially on what it implied by inference.

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200304/cmstand/deleg2/st040113/40113s01.htm

    Column Number: 005

    ‘…With regard to the dual mandate, the decision deals with persons who hold office as an MEP and as a member of a national Parliament, commonly referred to as ”dual mandates”. For hon. Members who want to follow the detail, let me say that that is covered in article 6 of the 1976 Act and is dealt with in article 1, paragraph 7 of the decision, which states that

    ”from the European Parliament elections in 2004, the office of a member of the European Parliament shall be incompatible with that of member of a national parliament.”

    ”National parliament” refers to the Westminster Parliament, so the provision does not apply to the devolved legislatures in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

    The measure is worth while and I commend it to the Committee. The majority of our European colleagues regard the job of MEP as a full-time post and the Government are inclined to agree. Members of the Westminster Parliament and Members of the European Parliament should have clear mandates and should be able to concentrate on doing their jobs without dividing themselves between the two bodies. It is difficult for a person to be an effective representative in both those bodies; only an exceptional individual could do it. The provision preventing dual mandates is therefore a welcome and positive step. ‘

    Is being Stormont MLA a full-time job? If false are they entitled to their high salary: If true should they not accept the wording as including the Assembly members?

  • autocue

    “Those who support the new pact will be quite happy for you to declare it irrelevant and to concentrate you efforts in other areas.”

    Why would I do that when I can have so much fun picking it apart and pointing up the glaring inconsistencies and damage that it will do to Unionism?

    Interesting to note that no UUP, oops, I mean CU person has come on here to back you up?

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    PaddyReilly,

    if E. McCann is excluded totally from the calculation the SDLP % is circa 30.

  • PaddyReilly

    if E. McCann is excluded totally from the calculation the SDLP % is circa 30.

    That strikes me as a little low. I wish they’d held the counts separately, instead of keeping them as a state secret. Then we would know where we are.

    I imagine a lot of McCann voters transferred to SF and no further, and consequently wasted their vote.

    The Gilliland voters would have gone slightly less than 50% to the SDLP and the Green votes somewhat more.

    Hopefully they will do a better tally this time.

    For Unionism this is not night, not quite sundown, but definitely the beginning of sunset.

  • frustrated democrat

    autocue

    I don’t think I need any back up, maybe you do.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    PaddyReilly,

    re. “For Unionism this is not night, not quite sundown, but definitely the beginning of sunset”

    As you are a great man for statistics – on a related matter – the figures released showing the number of newly registered voters by constituency were extermely low for West Belfast (half that of East Belfast) even if you didnt take into account the low age profile which would make them worse. I have seen no explanation of what was going on – SF would presumably have been crawling all over these figures if there was a hint of misrepresnetation.

    http://www.eoni.org.uk/press_release_01-12-9.pdf

  • autocue

    fd

    Again you make my pint for me. No UUP supporters on here only Tories. I wonder why?

  • Bigger Picture

    Awkfor goodness sake of course the DUP won’t stand aside and leave Allister with a platform. Get Allister out of Europe and there is no European money to fund the running of the party, the wages of Sammy Morrison or Ivor McConnell or Jim and his family. Hence it ends, hence the DUP will stand, end of.

  • PaddyReilly

    the number of newly registered voters by constituency were extermely low for West Belfast

    Weird. Perhaps it is because W Belfast is so certainly unwinnable by anyone other than SF that people are not registering.

    But what the stats do show proves a point that I frequently make that the Euro Election returns are the only really accurate ones. The variation in size between the constituencies is so large that the result of Assembly and Westminster elections will only vaguely resemble the %age of voters on the ground.

    There is also the “garden centre prod” argument, which holds that as the three constituencies of E Antrim, North Down and Strangford have a relatively low turn out in ordinary elections, the increased number of their GCPs voting in a referendum will frustrate the Nationalist hopes. But these constituencies have a relatively small population, and so are unlikely to make that much of a difference.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    PR

    “Weird. Perhaps it is because W Belfast is so certainly unwinnable by anyone other than SF that people are not registering. ”

    I think I will email the electoral office and ask them – the figures are so out of step they may have just mixed up their columns.

  • slug

    Sammy the reason is clear. West Belfast has one of the highest ‘out-migration’ rates of any NI constituency, including internal inter constituency migration (to other parts of NI). Its population tends not to rise because so many people leave West Belfast often at a young age.

  • slug

    Sammy: The other obvious reason – in addition to the known high level of out-migraiton from West Belfast – could be that West Belfast was already well-registered (perhaps because of Sinn Féin’s assiduous efforts in that direction), so the official registering campaign had bigger effects in other constituencies.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    slug,

    ta.

    re. the last explanation – I think it counts all newly registered irrespective of whether part of the electoral office scheme/efforts or not – but if not you could be on the money.

    re. your earlier explanation the numbers just look too out of step to be explained by migration – but clearly it could be a contributory factor.

  • slug

    Sammy – it counts ALL registered. Not all newly registered. The change is the change in all registered. Therefore both of my explanations apply.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    slug,

    that does not stack up – West Belfast with a far lower age profile and therfore less deaths than East Belfast has less than half the number of registered increases (and a fifth of North Belfasts) – that would take a very large migration. If I am understanding you correctly – then the fact that SF had organised the registering would be irrelevant if all registrations are inlcuded – and even SF could not register people who were below the voting age before the electoral office came on the scene at the schools.

    But just had a look at their website and my confusion is on the increase.

  • slug

    Also in terms of “out of step” I also disagree. West Belfast is only 200 less than the next lowest. The highest is 200 more than the next highest. So at each end of the distribution the outliers deviate from the next by about the same amount.

  • slug

    Deaths are actually smaller compared to out migration at NI level. (There are about 10,000 deaths per year in NI whereas far more than this migrate out. 10,000 migrate out from NI to GB each year and a similar number to places outwith UK). At individual constituency level in a place like West Belfast there is even larger imbalances between death and outmigration. Outmigration in a place like West Belfast can easily swamp the difference between births minus deaths.

  • slug

    Sammy:

    NISRA data on internal migration shows the following

    Pop Change through Inward Migration 2006-2007:

    East Belast +500
    West Belfast -700 (highest NI outmigration figure)

    Pop Change through births minus deaths 2006-2007:

    East Belfast +0
    West Belfast +500

    Population Change 2006-2007:

    East Belfast +500
    West Belfast -200

    The electoral figures should show a bigger increase in East than West – and the electoral figures you query show just that!

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    slug,

    ok – that looks pretty convincing – have you s link to the migration figures?

    What is the reason for the migration to East Belfast – is it a jobs thing do you think – or boundary change?

  • slug

    Sammy

    Its not a boundary change-the figures are I believe the current constituency not the proposed new one.

    Generally NI has experienced a lot of into-NI migration from GB and from other countries in recent years and the figure for East Belfast is not all that high compared to other constituencies.

    The overall pattern for within-NI migration is that people are moving out of Belfast (especially from North and West which is hardly surprising when you think of the quality of housing) and towards places like Lagan Valley, North Down etc, in the commuting zone, where lots of new houses are being built.

    In many ways the depopulation of Belfast is sad but this has been a UK-wide phenomenon, as people move out of cities.

    Though there are some signe of inner city regeneration in places like Manchester and Leeds –and the new flats such as OBEL in Belfast are the same phenomenon. We might then see central Belfast repopulate with a professional 18-45 age group, if this development phase is successful.

    I hope very much that it will be.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    slug,

    ta for that.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    slug,

    ta for that.