Cameron rules out unionist pacts

David Cameron has ruled out any pact between the CUs and the DUP at new next Westminster elections.

(From the News Letter) Asked whether his party would stand aside in any Ulster constituency, he said: “None. Out. None. Absolutely none whatsover.

“We’re a United Kingdom party. I don’t stand aside in Glasgow because it might help the Liberals. I don’t stand aside in East London because it might help the Greens.

“This is a UK party and I want everyone in Northern Ireland to have the chance to vote for what I hope will be the next Government of our country.”

This position is logical from an intellectual level; it is reasonable for Cameron to try to present the CUs as distinct from other unionist parties. However, it is interesting that Cameron has made this announcement rather than it being announced jointly. Reg Empey is apparently joining in by denouncing the DUP for hypocrisy over F/ST and South Belfast. Unfortunately at the time of writing the link is not working so we do not actually know his position on this (probably just bad luck with the links but the UUP website’s malfunction could give a subliminal message). Update: link now fixed. It remains unclear if this decision by the UUP has been taken spontaneously or been foisted on them by Cameron.

In the long term Cameron’s project may be beneficial to unionism. However, in the short term it may play fairly poorly on the doorsteps especially in F/ST where there is a high chance that this decision by Cameron will ensure the continued non representation at Westminster of this constituency. Alternatively he may just have signed the death warrant of the F/ST unionist association: there is little doubt that the DUP will mercilessly remind people of this decision come the next Westminster election.

Mr Cameron has insisted he will not abandon the “bold vision” if the European and General elections go badly for the new UUP-Tory alliance. That may well be true and I suspect that the CUs have to accept taking some initial damage in order to make their new project look realistic. The danger is that they could suffer badly in the initial phases of the project and it is possible that they could suffer so much damage as to reach a tipping point from which recovery would be nigh on impossible. In addition I am unconvinced that all or most UUP members really want the radical changes which the Cameron side of the New Force seems likely to demand.

I probably should not make space analogies but leave them to Pete Baker. However, is it possible that the UUP could reach an Event Horizon before they recover and vanish forever into the Black Hole of failed NI political parties? Unlikely but possible?

  • frustrated democrat

    Sammy Morse

    I am disappointed with your post, it does not address the fundamental issue that the Alliance Party has got its votes on being the ‘we are the not sectarian party’.

    You are linked to a GB party the LD’s, why if NI and GB politics are so diverse?

    The society here was brought up on 40 years of division, you sound as though your party has formed it politics based on division which of couse it has as it needs division to survive without division the Alliance Party is a party of the past.

    The only side the CU’s have come down on is the United Kingdom, across the UK the Conservative party is supported by people from all walks of life including those of every religion and none.
    If you want to say NI is different and that that all people who support the UK are from one religion you are a sectarian bigot as that is patently not the case. You may want to use ethno cultural as your division, the Conservatives will absolutely not accept that as a political division. How many people from the ethno cultural backgrounds you assume want a UI live in GB and vote Conservative? How many live in NI and believe in the UK.

    Your arguments have no basis in fact, they are only the arguments that you need to make to attempt to perpertuate an increasingly irrelevant Alliance party.

  • Driftwood

    But boy you need to get out more.

    Ah, you’ve now realised you’ve lost the argument.

    PS – I get out plenty. Was down your neck of the woods earlier visiting a friend. Lovely evening, great for a wee drive. Nice to see all those freshly erected Parsley posters in Saintfield, Crossgar and Downpatrick. Had a good Indian and a ‘few’ beers with Comrade Stalin last night as well. Good weekend all round – a bit of craic, a bit of winding up the Tory fanboys on Slugger and a bit of real election work to boot.

    fd,

    the Conservatives will absolutely not accept that as a political division.

    Sorry, you already accepted it as a political division when you got into that shotgun marriage with the UUP. Wrapping yourselves in the Union Flag – in a way that your counterparts in Scotland explicitly would not do – sends out signals that everyone in Northern Ireland can read.

    Clicking your heels three times and wishing Belfast was as British as Finchley or even as British as the East End of Glasgow will not make it so. Ther UK has not entered several international agreements with Norway over the government of Scotland, in the way it has with the Republic over the government of Northern Ireland… agreements, I hasten to add, devised by the Tory Party in one case and enthusiastically supported by it in the other. The nationalist:unionist debate in Scotland and Wales is primarily a civic question; in Northern Ireland primarily an ethinic one.

    You may well have a vision for a future society but to make it real you need to deal with the realities of the society you actually live in and not as you want to think it is. You can’t simply wish away the realities of the society you live in nor unmake the four centuries of history that always made Northern Ireland, and Ireland undivided before it, the odd partner in the union.

    an increasingly irrelevant Alliance party.

    Hee hee. So irrelevant people are falling over themselves backwards (including the Tory Party, the real Tory Party, not the UCUNF project) to try and get us to take the Justice Ministry?

    Talk is cheap.

    Who is going to have an increased share of the vote on Thursday week?

    Who is going to have the Worst Ulster Unionist Vote Ever?

  • ??

    Who is going to have the Worst Ulster Unionist Vote Ever?
    Posted by Sammy Morse on May 25, 2009 @ 02:02 AM

    Tell us.. who could it be 😉 surely not Jim NIc, after all the chosen one was only here a few days ago blessing us with his presence, i would have thought jim nic ratings would be 90% by now

  • 0b101010

    0b101010 (is that hex or binary with a mistake?)

    It’s binary. The 0b prefix tells you the base. If it were hexadecimal, it would have begun with 0x.

    If we are to move away from sectarian politics we need to have parties that have access to decision making processes who do not stand on Orange or Green principles.

    Of course, if only we weren’t so blind we’d see that our salvation lies in the Conservatives’ coalition with the party formally connected to the Orange Order until recently? The party filled to the brim with Orange Order members (an exercise for “blinkered” readers: count how many UUP Assemblymen are not in the Order). The same Conservatives that absorbed the former First Minister that stood in his sash at Drumcree, shouting red-faced at our Constabulary and Armed Forces? Yes, it should be obvious that our great secular hope lies in the party that also formed a coalition with the political wing of the UVF, the terrorist group that gave us the Shankill Butchers, amongst others, as well as over 400 corpses. That was New Force attempt one: the New Volunteer Force.

    You are blinkered by the past, open your eyes to the future the border is not the be all and end all for 99% of the people here regardless of their viewpoint on it.

    Open your eyes to the present and have a look at our country. It very much is.

  • cynic

    ??

    So you think two DUP offices opposite each other on the same street in Comber are good use of taxpayers money? Heaven help us if either bright spark MLA involved in this exercise of infighting and jealousy gets a ministry in future. Is there a Ministry of “I’ll bite my face off to spite my nose over petty differences”? If it was DUP funds being used do you think there would be two offices? I was speaking to a friend in Comber and they were saying that there is never anyone in either office other than paid leckey’s! Frankly I never see anyone in any of the political offices, anywhere. What a waste of our money!

  • loki

    ?? Your free speech comment in response to FD is hilarious. You’didn’t answer the question about the protest though? Who’s in charge- Swish or God.
    Plus- why the hell were they protesting anyway? Please tell me, I’d love to know.

  • ??

    loki why dont you ask them
    …………………………….

    So you think two DUP offices opposite each other on the same street in Comber are good use of taxpayers money?.

    Again have you asked both offices to see how many people they have helped? THought not

  • Comrade Stalin

    fd:

    I am disappointed with your post, it does not address the fundamental issue that the Alliance Party has got its votes on being the ‘we are the not sectarian party’.

    I don’t see why getting votes for being a non-sectarian party is an “issue”. If your point is that Alliance’s politics are defined by the tribalism that exists here, then of course that is true. You cannot stand on a position of being anti-sectarian and anti-tribal if no tribalism or sectarianism exists in the first place.

    This approach is required because people see sectarianism and tribalism all around them, and Alliance provides the option of taking a stand against it.

    You are linked to a GB party the LD’s, why if NI and GB politics are so diverse?

    Alliance’s stance on sectarianism and tribalism is derived from the liberal principles that it shares in common with the Liberal Democrats and other parties around the world. Being linked to a party (and enjoying a very constructive relationship – a much more broadly useful relationship, I would argue, than that between the Tories and the UUP) is very different joining with them in a financial and electoral alliance.

    The society here was brought up on 40 years of division, you sound as though your party has formed it politics based on division which of couse it has as it needs division to survive without division the Alliance Party is a party of the past.

    Division still exists and pervades our society. It needs specific ideas to dismantle it. You can’t just ignore it and hope that it will go away.

    But are the Conservatives really in a position to take on the job of tackling division and community strife in any society ? Can you point to any Conservative successes in uniting black and muslim communities elsewhere in the UK ?

    The only side the CU’s have come down on is the United Kingdom, across the UK the Conservative party is supported by people from all walks of life including those of every religion and none.

    That’s not what is reflected in the Tory shadow cabinet.

    If you want to say NI is different and that that all people who support the UK are from one religion you are a sectarian bigot as that is patently not the case.

    That’s not my point of view, personally. I don’t mind the idea, itself, that people might believe that closer integration with the UK could be a good thing. But the problems with that idea are nothing to do with religion here.

    Instead, they are to do with the fact that historically, we’ve had our own political identity. Unionism in the C20th was not about closer links with the UK. It was about a monolithic British identity combined with fully devolved government. The referendums, communiques and inter-party agreements that have followed since have all explicitly or implicitly endorsed some kind of devolution, not the return of powers to Westminster.

    People here do not identify with Cameron or his cabinet, or the Conservative government that he intends to establish, and they never have. The lure of non-tribal politics won’t change the fundamental suspicion that everyone here, irrespective of their politics, has of politicians in Westminster. Governments in London will always serve the needs of their immediate electorate in England first, before the regions.

    You may want to use ethno cultural as your division, the Conservatives will absolutely not accept that as a political division.

    I hope you’ve told the UCUNF’s Orange Order members about this.

    How many people from the ethno cultural backgrounds you assume want a UI live in GB and vote Conservative? How many live in NI and believe in the UK.

    How many blacks and muslims live in GB and vote Conservative ? That’s the question David Cameron needs to be dealing with.

    Your arguments have no basis in fact, they are only the arguments that you need to make to attempt to perpertuate an increasingly irrelevant Alliance party.

    Well, as Sammy said, let’s look at the election results. If you’re so sure of yourself, do you want to take any bets on the outcome ?

  • cynic

    ??

    You just don’t get it do you?

    No matter how many people both offices have helped there have been no reports of queues of people down both sides of the street at each DUP office. Are you saying that it is obsolutely essential that there is two offices facing each other and each costing the taxpayer? The Ulster Hospital could probably have a few more nurses on the money being wasted by two petty minded MLA’s. I have noticed that you like to repeat the mantra “answer the question”. Perhaps for once you will actually answer a question yourself.

    I will ask it slowly for you……is it essential to have two DUP offices in Comber facing each other across a street?

  • SM

    People here do not identify with Cameron or his cabinet, or the Conservative government that he intends to establish, and they never have. The lure of non-tribal politics won’t change the fundamental suspicion that everyone here, irrespective of their politics, has of politicians in Westminster. Governments in London will always serve the needs of their immediate electorate in England first, before the regions.

    How many blacks and muslims live in GB and vote Conservative ? That’s the question David Cameron needs to be dealing with.

    Posted by Comrade Stalin on May 25, 2009 @ 11:19 AM

    Comrade

    BME candidates – Tories have them at all levels of representation from council to Lords. Yes BME people vote Tory. Yes more work needs done to encourage them to seek candidature, and that is happening.

    I fundamentally disagree with your proposition that people here can’t and don’t identify with Cameron and his putative government. I do, and many people of similar background do. If you expand that out to LibDem and Labour, then lots more do. We are all united in our annoyance that our part of the UK is unable to vote for parties that matter, and that all our pygmy politicians are so focused on little parochial things.

    I care about tax, about foreign policy, about who is our PM, and until now I couldn’t vote on any of those issues. I don’t give a damn about the sectarian headcount, yet the only party hitherto which expressed an anti-sectarian viewpoint, Alliance, is a wasted vote at Westminster, and has policies at Assembly level I fundamentally disagree with (eg. selection).

    For the first time in my life I will have the chance to vote in the general election for a party I actually believe in, and that has a realistic chance of getting in. And yet all the arrogant cynical commentators from other parties tell me it is all b*llocks and nothing changes. I disagree, I’m voting for change.

  • We are all united in our annoyance that our part of the UK is unable to vote for parties that matter

    You’ve been able to vote Conservative since 1989. Since 1994, never have more than 1% of the electorate chosen to do so.

    But, hey, don’t let the facts stand in the way of what you think.

  • SM

    Sammy

    They’ve been on the ballot paper yes. But with no media coverage, few resources to poster/leaflet/canvass, not in every constituency. They also faced the inertia of voters who think, with respect to Westminster elections, that it is important not to “waste ones vote” – thus they tend to identify the two most likely winners and pick the lesser of two evils.

    I have always been fairly interested in politics and I only realised that the Conservative Party existed in NI in 2007 – I was too young to be aware of the oft quoted Laurence Kennedy in North Down thing at the time. The average man on the street didn’t know they were here I’d guess, and if he did would be wary of voting potentially “wasting his vote”.

    That is what the UUP link up brings to the Conservatives – media coverage, donations, membership increasing, and crucially being perceived as a credible winner, not a potentially wasted vote.

    PS: I’m sure a cartoonist could make something good out of that phrase “wasted vote” 😉

  • ??

    They’ve been on the ballot paper yes. But with no media coverage,………

    Was william hague in town today? no mention of it on the BBC

  • SM

    ??

    Yes

    Saw him in some of those photos that appear at top of Slugger homepage. And no sign of him on BBC website that I have seen, but then they barely mentioned that Cameron Direct last week either – maybe an article will pop up later or maybe they just have a thing about politicians not from NI. Who knows!

  • New Blue

    Sammy, Comrade, ??

    Which of your parties is going to stand a candidate in every seat at the next Westminster elections?

    Is that not what party led democracy should be focusing on?

    Or should we only allow people who agree with us who are lucky enough to live in the ‘right areas’ have the choice for who they want.

    Times are changing, people like me want more for Northern Ireland and are prepared to actually go out and vote for it.

    And, more importantly, I’m prepared to get out and sell this to anyone who will listen.

  • ??

    I cant wait till june 4th to see the end of Jim n Reg. WOnder who will be the next UUP leader?

  • SM

    Yawn…

  • cynic

    ??

    Are you not going to answer the question I asked? Maybe it stumped you or you just can’t bring yourself to acknowledge waste by your party?

  • Comrade Stalin

    SM

    They’ve been on the ballot paper yes. But with no media coverage, few resources to poster/leaflet/canvass, not in every constituency. They also faced the inertia of voters who think, with respect to Westminster elections, that it is important not to “waste ones vote” – thus they tend to identify the two most likely winners and pick the lesser of two evils.

    I don’t know where to start with this.

    Firstly the NI Conservatives did have plenty of resources, resources disproportionate to the size of their local membership I might add, ie the full backing of Central Office. In the North Down by-election in 1995 they spent significant sums of money including having a billboard campaign in the constituency, as I recall. They ended up with one of the lowest votes ever recorded in the Party’s history. What does that tell you ?

    A wee hint. Don’t expect to get sympathy standing on a platform of the electorate wanting to vote for you but being too stupid to be aware that you exist.

    I have always been fairly interested in politics and I only realised that the Conservative Party existed in NI in 2007 – I was too young to be aware of the oft quoted Laurence Kennedy in North Down thing at the time. The average man on the street didn’t know they were here I’d guess, and if he did would be wary of voting potentially “wasting his vote”.

    Wasted votes can’t happen in things like assembly and council elections, and yet the Conservatives have no seats in either aside from a brief swansong in the early 1990s. They couldn’t even pick up transfers, let alone votes. Why do you think this was the case ?

    That is what the UUP link up brings to the Conservatives – media coverage, donations, membership increasing, and crucially being perceived as a credible winner, not a potentially wasted vote.

    this is the weirdest delusion I’ve yet read :

    – the UUP are not credible winners. Starting from a strong base in almost all the Westminster seats, they’ve steadily lost them all over a relatively short period of time. Their leader is a bumbling indecisive mess, the party can’t decide whether it is for or against the TUV, or for or against powersharing, or indeed for or against alliances with the UVF.

    – the UUP media coverage has been disastrous. Are you even aware of the stupid campaigns they ran recently – “decent people”, the London bus, fish and chips etc ? And prior to that their MP for North Belfast declaring “I don’t care if there’s a united Ireland, by the time that happens I’ll be dead” ?

    – the party is skint! It doesn’t have “resources”. It’s got bugger all in the way of members aged under about 40.

    The benefit that this linkup is supposed to be bringing is for the Conservatives resources, funds, and electoral expertise to be used to prop up the UUP. Not the other way around !

    If I was you I’d prepare myself for a nasty shock on June 5th when the election results come in.

    By the way, the reason why there are no Lib Dem or Labour Party candidates here, and indeed no Fianna Fail/FG/etc candidates here, is because those parties did their homework and realized that they could not penetrate the electorate here.

    I don’t believe Cameron is committed to NI. Instead, he needs a presence here to show that his talk of strengthening the UK has legs. The UUP are his vehicle. I don’t think he realizes the scale of the gamble he has taken on.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Which of your parties is going to stand a candidate in every seat at the next Westminster elections?

    I imagine that Alliance will run in all 18 constituencies, just like last time.

  • oneill

    “If I was you I’d prepare myself for a nasty shock on June 5th when the election results come in.”

    Perhaps you’ll be getting them on the 5th, in that parallel universe most of the Alliance seem to be residing in anything’s possible I suppose.

    The rest of us mere mortals will have to wait a little longer.

  • New Blue

    Comrade Stalin

    You imagine or you know?

    Sammy

    You know that if this partnership does step up to the mark, that your vote will take the biggest hit.

    I am looking forward to seeing the candidates that are selected to stand for Westminster seats next year, the message that will be put out to the electorate by the CU’s will be the first real challange to the Alliance party mandate since your party (or it’s founders)left the UUP.

    But I see this as a good thing, because the possibility of having debate on real issues (education, employment, housing, health, poverty etc.) between a party that claims no real stake in Westminster and the next Government will be quite interesting.

  • Driftwood

    While I’m pretty sure Jim Nicholson will get the 3rd seat, what is going to happen in the general election if Jim Allister polls strongly here? 3 Unionist parties standing in several constituencies? Because the TUV realise that 50,000+ 1st pref votes means a viable entity.
    And that will have the DUP in stormy waters. In contrast, Nationalism seems content to sit back and watch the show.

  • Comrade Stalin

    oneill:

    Perhaps you’ll be getting them on the 5th, in that parallel universe most of the Alliance seem to be residing in anything’s possible I suppose.
    The rest of us mere mortals will have to wait a little longer.

    Mea culpa.

    New Blue:

    You imagine or you know?

    I imagine; I’m not party to Alliance’s internal decision making processes. But I doubt the party is likely to make a decision on the matter until much closer to the time of the poll. As of right now, though, I don’t see any reason why all 18 constituencies would not be contested (including North Down).

    This really is a red herring, though. And tactical voting (and tactical elections where certain candidates stand aside, like in the case of Martin Bell etc) isn’t restricted to NI.

    You know that if this partnership does step up to the mark, that your vote will take the biggest hit.

    If by “step up to the mark” you mean win more votes than Nicholson last time, no, I think a lot of the votes will come from your transfer pact with the TUV and the dynamic of how transfers play out within unionism in wider terms. Alliance voters did not switch to the Conservatives in vast numbers in the past, and I do not believe they will now. If they did it would indicate a failure of the party to get it’s message across, but from what I understand from hearing about the feedback on the doorsteps, the party is getting the message across just fine.

    This is all academic, as Alliance’s vote share will rise and yours is going to fall and the TUV transfers won’t shore it up (although they will be instrumental in your taking of the seat). You know that yourself, that is why you won’t take up a wager on it.

    I am looking forward to seeing the candidates that are selected to stand for Westminster seats next year, the message that will be put out to the electorate by the CU’s will be the first real challange to the Alliance party mandate since your party (or it’s founders)left the UUP.

    Bring it on. Just make sure you take your crash helmet with you.

    I hereby predict that your share of the vote will fall as compared to the 2005 election and you will win no seats. Do you want to put some money on it ? I’ll bet Sammy Morse and a couple of others will take you up for a bet too.

    By the way, this is still a red herring. The serious decision making in Northern Ireland (barring accidents with the justice ministry) is done in Stormont. Westminster elections are going to become a secondary concern. If it’s your view that this should not be the case, the implication is that you expect a Conservative government to take powers away from the devolved institutions. I hope you make this clear.

    I double-dare you to make predictions about the number of Conservative seat gains in the next assembly election (assuming there are still 108 members).

    But I see this as a good thing, because the possibility of having debate on real issues (education, employment, housing, health, poverty etc.)

    Yeah. As if Cameron actually has any serious policies on any of this issues. This is usually the point where someone pipes up to say the Conservatives have to keep their policies secret to stop Labour from stealing them.

    between a party that claims no real stake in Westminster and the next Government will be quite interesting.

    Given that UCUNF will have no seats, your talk here reminds me of the little runty guy who hangs around with the school bully.

  • Driftwood

    The serious decision making in Northern Ireland (barring accidents with the justice ministry) is done in Stormont.

    So, tax rates, Nat Ins rates,interest rates (BoE I Know), public spending,pay policy, foreign policy,defence etc..are now going to be decided at Stormont?

    First I heard of it.Brilliant! Let’s lower the basic rate of tax to 5% for up to 50k earnings.
    And abolish Capitol Gains tax.

    BTW who actually decides how much money the Stormont administration receives?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Driftwood:

    And that will have the DUP in stormy waters. In contrast, Nationalism seems content to sit back and watch the show.

    Depends on whether the TUV have the courage to risk splitting the vote and letting a nationalist in. They didn’t in the past.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Driftwood:

    So, tax rates, Nat Ins rates,interest rates (BoE I Know), public spending,pay policy, foreign policy,defence etc..are now going to be decided at Stormont?

    And what makes you think the NI Conservatives will ? They’ll be working to a manifesto determined in Millbank, largely without their input.

  • ??

    So, tax rates, Nat Ins rates,interest rates (BoE I Know), public spending,pay policy, foreign policy,defence etc..are now going to be decided at Stormont?…….

    Yh i can just see PBDC phoning reg to discuss the N Koreans and their missle. Are the UUP really this deluded?

  • Driftwood

    Comrade Stalin
    That’s going to be a dilemma for the TUV
    On the point about decisions being made at Stormont. What decisions? Education is an example.

    I agree with this guy from 18 months ago:
    http://www.allianceparty.org/news/003313/mccarthy_slams_executive_saying_assembly_is_becoming_a_talking_shop.html

    What’s changed?
    It’s got worse. I think Westminster should always be the ultimate arbiter in any decision. And yes, I think powers should be put back there until the schoolchildren at the Assembly start behaving like Parliamentarians. I am aware that Cameron’s front bench is not 100% representative of all sections of British society. Lets hope we get Lord Trimble there soon to redress the balance 🙂

  • Driftwood

    They’ll be working to a manifesto determined in Millbank

    I’m happy with that.

    Northern Ireland lacks a ruling elite, a well educated political class. Shaun Woodward (Labour I know)is head and shoulders above our political oompah loompahs.

  • slug

    Regarding the UCUNF project there is John Stuart Mill’s argument (in his book Considerations on Representative Government) that PARTICIPATION in politics is good for the people (that is political participation is not just instrumental but has intrinsic benefits).

    The type of politics one participates in , by voting on, the type of issues that are determined by the voters, that are influenced by their represenatives, are relevant because they get the voters thinking and debaring about how to justify who they vote for.

    Voting for and against parties that play a role in big issues make people think about and discuss those issues – issues of fairness, development, tax, public servies, war.

    So participation, along these lines, isn’t just about getting better government, having a say at the top table in order to bring benefits directly (though these instrumental benefits are important) its also intrinsically beneficial to the quality of the discourse of those who participate in the system – the voters and activists.

  • SM

    Comrade

    What is this voting pact with the TUV you speak of? I have it on good authority that Reg Empey and Jim Nicholson were asked directly by constituency officers at a briefing after Easter “how do we respond when canvassing if asked where to put 2nd preference?” and the reply was to tell people to make their own mind up – there was no UUP position beyond Nicholson 1.

  • New Blue

    SM

    That is exactly the position we have been putting out on the doorsteps.

    People who canvas for a party have no right to tell the electorate where to put their second or third choices.

    Comrade

    What odds will you give me on a UUP / CU standing of minimum 23 seats at the next Assembly elections?

    What odds will you give me on Jim N receiving more then 18% of first preference votes?

  • What odds will you give me on a UUP / CU standing of minimum 23 seats at the next Assembly elections?

    6-1.

  • Sorry, that’s for winning 23 seats or Nicholson getting 18%. I might even be more generous with the odds on Nicholson.

    What odds would you give me for Nicholson getting less than 14% of the first preference vote?

  • Driftwood

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8067505.stm

    Sammy, will you give me evens on the Conservative Party being our next government? (real government) Tenner to Cancer Research.

  • New Blue

    Sammy

    I’ll take a punt on both @ a tenner each.

    If you are happy I would like my winnings donated to the Simon Community (if you are feeling generous on the Nicholson thing – give me 10-1 and help make a difference for homeless people when you pay out).

    I’ll offer you 10-1 to your charity of choice on a £10 bet for Nicholson to poll below 14%.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Driftwood:

    That’s going to be a dilemma for the TUV
    On the point about decisions being made at Stormont. What decisions? Education is an example.

    So we should get rid of Stormont because of the poor showing of the politicians we elected to it (many of whom have no experience of government)?

    Why not go further and get rid of the Commons because of the expenses scandal (a scandal committed by MPs many of whom had decades of experience in government and opposition) ?

    I agree with this guy from 18 months ago:
    http://www.allianceparty.org/news/003313/mccarthy_slams_executive_saying_assembly_is_becoming_a_talking_shop.html

    Alliance supports reform of the executive and assembly. Not the dismantling of it.

    What’s changed?
    It’s got worse. I think Westminster should always be the ultimate arbiter in any decision. And yes, I think powers should be put back there until the schoolchildren at the Assembly start behaving like Parliamentarians.

    Does that mean the Assembly should vote in a fancy expenses system, go on to claim on it up to the hilt, and then conspire to avoid discipline and prosecution when caught ?

    I am aware that Cameron’s front bench is not 100% representative of all sections of British society. Lets hope we get Lord Trimble there soon to redress the balance 🙂

    Ah yes. Let’s make the government more democratic by appointing a person who probably would not be elected if he stood in any seat in the entire country. Great idea.

    SM:

    What is this voting pact with the TUV you speak of?

    First you did not know that the NI Conservatives stood in elections here until 2007. Now you’re not aware of certain basic things that are going on. You don’t sound like you know your ground very well.

    New Blue:

    People who canvas for a party have no right to tell the electorate where to put their second or third choices.

    So what’s this UUP-TUV voting strategy all about then ?

    What odds will you give me on a UUP / CU standing of minimum 23 seats at the next Assembly elections?

    I will match Sammy’s odds.

    BTW out of interest (and not related to the bet), which seats do you expect to win and from whom ?

    What odds will you give me on Jim N receiving more then 18% of first preference votes?

    18.0% or greater first prefs ? ie the best result since the UUP’s heyday in 1994 ? 7-1.

    Driftwood:

    Sammy, will you give me evens on the Conservative Party being our next government? (real government) Tenner to Cancer Research.

    That’s not a serious bet since it will take a minor miracle for the Tories not to win.

    A serious bet would be on the UCUNF (excluding Sylvia) having any Westminster seats at the next election.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I do not promote any pact when I am knocking on peoples doors, I have never advised anybody on where to place their second or third choices.

    In relation to the bets, I’ll do the same as I offered Sammy, proceeds to go to the Simon Community. I expect at least 10-1 for 18% or better (just because you seem so sure it’s a non-runner) – it’s for charity so I’m sure you won’t mind giving me those odds.

  • Frustrated Democrat

    There is no TUV – CU pact

    I have heard anecdotal evidence that the TUV are unofficially advising their voters not to transfer to the DUP though.

  • SM

    Comrade

    As I said in my previous comment the specific answer given by Jim/Reg was that canvassers were not to answer if asked for transfer instructions. No nudges or winks given. All the above from reliable person who was at said briefing. How much more do you want to repudiate your point? I’ll take the recent first person account of an election briefing over a blog entry from before the CU agreement was finalised.