Vote Match Europe…

Of all the voter choice thingies online, I like this one… Vote Match looks for your policy choices, and then in Northern Ireland asks you which parties you incline towards and then grades them against the match on actual policy… It’s not long, but you have to ‘think’… Which is a good thing; no?


  • SM

    That is a clever idea. It even matched my intended voting preference…

  • Mark McGregor

    Bizarre. Maginness, de Brún and Agnew all tied on 51/67 for me. Spoiling my ballot didn’t make the list.

  • This is a great idea.

  • Pete Baker

    IJP it is then! 53/60.

    Followed by.. Hmmm.. Jim Nicholson.. 46/60.

    And Steven Agnew.. also 46/60.

    Then Maginness.. 41/60.

    De Brun.. 34/60.

    Dodds.. 32/60.

    And, finally, Jim Allister.. 29/60.

  • Mark McGregor


    How did you get all the results? I can only see matches for my tied top three.

  • New Blue

    I now definately have no choice – the website says I must vote for Jim N!!

    Excellent idea

  • Pete Baker


    I lied and said I’d consider voting for any of those on the list.

    Figured that was the way to bring into play all possible outcomes.

  • Interesting!

    I get:

    Alban Maginness 57/60
    Steven Agnew 53/60
    Ian Parsley 51/60
    Bairbre de Brun 46/60

    I excluded the 3 unionists, of course. I would have expected to find Agnew at the top of my list. Maybe I’m not as green as I thought I was.

  • Pancho

    Guessed my top three spot on.


    Didn’t realise what it was so it was nice for something to tell me that I’m Green.

  • I hit the bullseye of Nicholson’s ring, if you’ll excuse the expression.

  • I accept that my exclusion of the unionists was a litle unneccessary – I’m not going to vote for them, but it would be interesting to know if I have dark side.

    So I re-did the test, and got:

    Alban Maginness 57/60
    Steven Agnew 57/60
    Ian Parsley 56/60
    Bairbre de Brun 44/60
    Jim Nicholson 31/60
    Diane Dodds 28/60
    Jim Allister 26/60

    So my disagreement with the unionists includes EU affairs. I’m relieved. And Agnew moved up to joint first place! Phew …

  • RG Cuan

    That’s cool!

    Agnew scored high for me too, then Maginness, Parsley and de Brún.

    There were some results for de Brún however that were ‘open-minded’ where I would have thought she would have had a particular stance.

    I did it for Scotland, where the Lib Dems, Libertas and the SNP came out top, and Wales, where the Green Party, Plaid and Libertas (again?!) were the top three.

    Great service, it woule be useful to have one for local elections here in the future.

  • nineteensixtyseven

    Alban Maginness (Social Democratic and Labour Party) 55/65
    Steven Agnew (Green Party of Northern Ireland) 55/65
    Ian Parsley (Alliance Party) 49/65
    Bairbre de Brun (Sinn Fein) 48/65
    Diane Dodds (Democratic Unionist Party) 29/65
    Jim Nicholson (Ulster Conservatives and Unionists – New Force) 29/65
    Jim Allister (Traditional Unionist Voice) 28/65

    Wow, it matches my preferences remarkably well.

  • Greenflag

    Now that was a surprise . I guess a Greenflag opting for the Green Party is fair enough but how did I manage to get the three Unionist parties in the right order at the bottom ?
    I think I’ll have a go at an english constituency to compare

    ‘Steven Agnew (GP) 65/75
    Alban Maginness (SDLP) 62/75
    Ian Parsley (AP) 59/75
    Bairbre de Brun (SF) 49/75
    Diane Dodds (DUP) 37/75
    Jim Nicholson (UCUNF) 37/75
    Jim Allister (TUV) 32/75 ‘

  • Mark McGregor

    How did they work out the candidate positions? Ask? Assumption? Or evidence based?

  • Mark McGregor


    That means people may assume I’m considering voting for SF, SDLP or Greens.

    That is not the case.

    No cigarette has been received. Ballot is heading for the spoil heap.

  • It gave me 53/75 for Allister, 44/75 for Dodds, and 39/75 for Nicholson. But I will not be voting TUV because of its opposition to the Executive. It will be Dodds 1, Nicholson 2. But shows that we don’t always vote for those who share our views on EU issues!

  • RG Cuan


    It says on the Vote Match website that they contacted the various parties and that most responded.


    Most of your differences with the unionist parties probably came on their stances on the Euro, EU membership etc. I did mine again, as I orginally left them out, and they came in the last three positions as well.

  • New Blue


    I’m anti smoking, but can I buy your vote with some nice chewing gum?


  • Greenflag

    Now this is a surprise .

    Problem being I haven’t a clue who this Reza Tabrizi Jury Team is ?? No problem with Ukippers and Tories at the bottom but Libertas ahead of Labour ? At least the GP is consistent across both sides of the Irish Sea . But to be honest I don’t consider myself an ultra environmentalist more a what makes common sense type.

    Reza Tabrizi (Jury Team) 54/69
    Green Party 53/69
    Libertas 52/69
    Liberal Democrats 49/69
    Labour Party 44/69
    Conservative Party 40/69
    UK Independence Party 25/69

  • Mark McGregor

    Cheers Pete and RG.

    Did it again to include the others, happy to see my top three remained the same – consistency.

    Agnew, de Brun, Maginness – 51/67

    Parsley – 44/67

    Nicholson – 38/67

    Allister – 37/67

    Dodds – 29/67

    Bit surprised Allister is so far of Dodds. I must really hate the DUP!

  • Mark McGregor

    New Blue,

    My Facebook deal is if a canvasser gives me a cigarette, their party gets a vote. At present I have been canvassed once and received zero smokes.

    If you are in Crumlin call in and make your pitch. I’m open to persuasion, good gum may get that vital vote ;0)

  • Greenflag

    So I googled Tabrizi and he’s apparently the Voice of Reason – a moderate British Iranian Muslim and wants to bring back (was it ever there ) honesty to British politics ) . And politics without political parties ? Sounds like a wonderful idea just like Santa Claus .

    Good luck to the chap anyway- If it was PR he’d get a preference for trying but despite the result I’d probably vote the LD’s this time if I had a vote .

  • eranu

    hey that was fun! i seem to be an alliance man meself… unfortunately for them i dont have a vote.

    first time i did it i left out SF and got
    Ian Parsley (Alliance Party) 56/65
    Steven Agnew (Green Party of Northern Ireland) 47/65
    Alban Maginness (Social Democratic and Labour Party) 45/65
    Jim Nicholson (Ulster Conservatives and Unionists – New Force) 42/65
    Diane Dodds (Democratic Unionist Party) 30/65
    Jim Allister (Traditional Unionist Voice) 28/65

    second time i included SF. i think I answered all the questions the same but i didnt select all the same important and unimportant issues. i selected less issues on each this time. im still an alliance man.

    Ian Parsley (Alliance Party) 53/64
    Steven Agnew (Green Party of Northern Ireland) 46/64
    Alban Maginness (Social Democratic and Labour Party) 44/64
    Jim Nicholson (Ulster Conservatives and Unionists – New Force) 39/64
    Bairbre de Brun (Sinn Fein) 37/64
    Diane Dodds (Democratic Unionist Party) 29/64
    Jim Allister (Traditional Unionist Voice) 27/64

    i seem to be more SDLP than CU. funny enough ive only seen the SDLP and CU youtube vids. vague as they are, i liked the fact that alban included his family life, suggesting to me good family values type stuff. then featuring a farmer (i think) and some other business, showing how the EU affects actual people and business here.
    the CU vid talked about UK wide involvement, which is all good, but i dont remember much on issues. although that could be down to my memory..

    mick, maybe you could make it compulsory for the slugger bloggers to post their results? probably need someone to look over their shoulders while doing the questions in case of cheating. imagine the laugh we would all have if they ended up more in line with the people they dislike the most 🙂

  • Greenflag

    rg cuan,

    ‘Most of your differences with the unionist parties probably came on their stances on the Euro, EU membership etc.’

    Indeed . They don’t like the EU- but they’ll take the money thank you very much . Reminds me of SF with HMG’s Treasury . Still you can’t blame any of them them for being men of no principle when it comes to principal of the financial kind . Seems to be an endemic state in Parliaments everywhere these days . All that high minded bullshit is finally seen to have ended up in moated mansions and form filling errors all of course at the taxpayers expense .

  • Nomad

    Think this sums things up for me nicely really! I’ve been doing some research into them.. even if the Electoral commission are denying my postal/proxy vote. 🙁

    Steven Agnew (Green Party of Northern Ireland) 62/73

    Alban Maginness (Social Democratic and Labour Party) 61/73

    Ian Parsley (Alliance Party) 59/73

    Bairbre de Brun (Sinn Fein) 45/73

    Jim Nicholson (Ulster Conservatives and Unionists – New Force) 43/73

    Diane Dodds (Democratic Unionist Party) 29/73

    Jim Allister (Traditional Unionist Voice) 18/73

  • nineteensixtyseven

    “even if the Electoral commission are denying my postal/proxy vote. :(”

    What reasons did they give? I got mine the other day and got it sent off on Monday. My friend got his from London and it has some crazy parties on it!

  • Mark McGregor

    Funny how those with the Greens and Alliance in the top two don’t hit a Unionist until number five in all but one case so far (i’m discounting the declared vote free contributor).

  • RG Cuan

    Since we’re on the topic of Euro elections, below is a link to what every candidate on the island is saying about the Irish language.

    Points of interest for me where Agnew and Parsley – perhaps Mr Agnew would have been lower on my list if Vote Match asked him about his stance on my lingo!

    Parsley does score much better and I thought our unionist candidates could’ve at least been polite enough to reply…

  • Pancho

    Tried it for Yorkshire.

    Greens again,

    But then Conservative. Which is straight up odd.

  • Nomad


    “What reasons did they give? I got mine the other day and got it sent off on Monday. My friend got his from London and it has some crazy parties on it! ”

    I’m a little unclear, they originally said I couldn’t have a postal vote (I’m in America if it matters) but I could have a proxy vote through parents. They then wrote about a week later saying they were unsatisfied with the information they had. I keep meaning to call them, but holidays and time difference are getting in the way.

  • Pancho

    RG Cuan, why do you want your MEPs to speak Irish? If it is not their first language then it is a straight up waste of money.

    Are you going to watch a few of our MEPs speeches?

  • Comrade Stalin

    The Wilted Rose :

    But I will not be voting TUV because of its opposition to the Executive. It will be Dodds 1, Nicholson 2.

    You are aware that Nicholson wants to reduce the powers of the Executive and his Conservative allies want to recentralize power in Westminster ? There’s a good selection of candidates there, all of whom are more committed to the executive than Nicholson.

  • RG Cuan


    I’m not asking non-Irish speakers to use the language, nor even say they are going to learn it.

    I thought Parsley’s reply was pretty fair though I thought Agnew could have done better on the last question.

  • Comrade Stalin

    BTW, according to the FAQ, the candidates were all sent a survey, except the UUP whose responses are based on those for the Conservative Party.

  • John O’Connell

    I came in with

    Stephen Agnew 83/87

    Alban Maginness 79/87

    Ian Parsley 73/87

    But I’ll be voting SDLP.

  • Mark McGregor


    I really like that. Not because it’s an issue close to my heart but some of them have given commitments I’m pretty sure they have no intention of actually delivering on (bet you a quid none of those talking about classes etc. even start a course). It’d be interesting to see the follow up emails and responses in 6-12 months.

  • RG Cuan

    I agree Mark.

    The guys in Conradh na Gaeilge have done some excellent journalistic work putting this together and, as you say, it will be interesting to see how many castay true to their word.

    Apart from those already fluent, i’m guessing less than 30%.

  • RG Cuan

    *how many candidates stay…

  • eranu

    i wonder is there any way to get our EU contenders to give slugger their answers to all the questions? surely they’re not a secret, and it would make an interesting issues thread?

  • Comrade Stalin

    eranu, if you do the survey you can see the answers given by all the candidates you select at the end.

  • frustrated democrat


    We give the EU £4.7 billion not the otherway round

  • frustrated democrat


    The CU’s do not oppose the Assembly they are fully supportive.

    They do have some doubts as to whether or not it is ready for P&J as yet due to inability of the DUP and SF to work effectively together and also the fact they want to abandon D’hondt for the ministerial position which should have gone to the SDLP.

  • The Third Policeman

    Interesting document RG, out of curiosity what does de Brun’s reply mean?

    “Ar siúl aici go leanúnach.”

  • daisy

    The results of this have horrified me. I opted for voting for all of them, and Agnew came first, but Nicholson was second! I need to lie down in a darkened room. Thankfully TUV and DUP were bottom so I don’t feel that I’m going completely mad.

    I had intended giving SDLP a 2nd or 3rd, but having listened to Alban on UTV Live last night, I don’t think I’ll bother. There’s nothing there to inspire. Time for SDLP to bring in some fresh faces.

  • eranu

    CS, ta. i must need a new pair of glasses after missing that..
    im pro uk joining the euro, i re did the test to be against it and alban dropped to 4th and jim nic went up to 3rd. have to say that in terms of getting NI people to see what parties actually match their views on issues, this tool is the best thing ive seen in a long time!

  • eranu

    he he daisy, so will you be doing the logical thing and voting for the parties that reflect your views???? 😀

  • Gael gan Náire

    Did Steven Agnew actually set up that site or something?

    He came top of my list! I haven’t a notion of voting for him though I admire the fact that he is standing.

  • RG Cuan

    Third Policeman

    Ar siúl aici go leanúnach – Continously being carried out by her, ie that she is speaking Irish in the Parliament since it became an official working language.

  • daisy

    eranu, I think I might just vote for one party…

  • kensei

    Party Match
    Alban Maginness (Social Democratic and Labour Party) 55/60
    Steven Agnew (Green Party of Northern Ireland) 53/60
    Bairbre de Brun (Sinn Fein) 47/60
    Ian Parsley (Alliance Party) 44/60
    Jim Nicholson (Ulster Conservatives and Unionists – New Force) 36/60
    Diane Dodds (Democratic Unionist Party) 29/60
    Jim Allister (Traditional Unionist Voice) 29/60

    But thes eare weirdly skewed by three factors:

    1. I’m fairly open minded on a lot of issues
    2. Candidates having no answer. For example:

    SF have apparently no opinion on:

    The EU should make it possible for any EU citizen go to any hospital in the EU and have the doctor treating them able to access their health records instantly.

    Plus being against this seems startlingly right wing for them:

    The EU should stop internet service providers from limiting their customers’ access to websites and applications for commercial reasons. (I
    I imagine they do, if you asked them. Worse, the greens apparently have no opinion on:

    The EU should make it possible for any EU citizen go to any hospital in the EU and have the doctor treating them able to access their health records instantly.

    It’s a bit odd.

    3. They won’t let me select, by question what is important so I can’t exclude a lot of stuff I don’t care about or highlight something as really, really important. Doing ti indirectly I end up missing things.

    No idea how that would move me. Ballpark is right. I suspect you could ask a few more questions of the Greens and tweak the importance that would stuff them.

  • kensei

    So I balls the copy and paste of that post up. But like an impressionist painting, the general feell is there.

  • Mack

    I got :-

    Ian Parsley – 45/69
    Jim Nicholson – 43/69
    Alban Maginness – 42/69
    Steven Agnew – 42/69
    Bairbre de Brun – 35/69
    Jim Allister – 33/69
    Diane Dodds – 32/69

    It’s a pity they don’t have Dublin where my vote actually is..

  • otto jaffe

    I got, in this order.

    1) Green
    2) Liberal Democrat
    3) Social Democrat
    4) Crazy Lefty
    5) One-Nation likeable Tory
    6) Thatcherite nasty Tory
    7) Horrible anti-everyone Bigot

    Surprised to find I have more apparently in common with the Nordic Green/Left candidate than the European People’s Party candidate (maybe on the border question but this survey didn’t include that). As I think Kensei says de Brun may have the benefit of less disagreement. She appears to have no opinion/no response on lots of stuff.

    A Libertas position would have been interesting.

  • Comrade Stalin


    The CU’s do not oppose the Assembly they are fully supportive.

    I stand corrected. Nicholson has a policy of “returning social and employment legislation to national control” and I stupidly overlooked that he was referring to the EU context, not an NI regional context. My apologies.

  • Pancho

    It seems like Angew is exactly what a lot of people want for europe. But not many seem to be to keen on putting him on your paper.

    What more does the guy need to do?

  • SM

    What more does the guy need to do?

    Posted by Pancho on May 28, 2009 @ 09:08 PM

    Persuade people its safe to leave the tribal votings patterns of yore.

  • Pancho

    This is a european election. This not the time to gamble?

  • SM

    This is a european election. This not the time to gamble?

    Posted by Pancho on May 29, 2009 @ 12:01 PM

    For me yes; for lots of tribalist NI folk it’s all about the headcount. Sad really!

  • kensei


    I’m not terribly keen on this type of approach. It’s inetresting but limited. Politics is about more than a list of policies put up on a website.

    Boxes can get ticked but mean subtely differnet things. Parties have different emphasis and different instincts, and what is actually likely to be done can differ markedly from the offical policy. The character of the indvidual matters.

    With me, I like me poltiicians with a certain pragmatic bent. I just do not believe for the life of me that the Greens qualify in this regard and have a dislike of hair shirts.

  • SM

    Sad to see that none of the local candidates have responded to the Open Rights Group about their policies:

    ORG EU Election Survey

  • Greenflag


    ‘ it’s all about the headcount. Sad really!

    What’s sad ? Thats the reality of an NI 6 county State . It can’t be anything else . You might as well tell a zebra to stop being born with black and white stripes and move to something a little less monotonous?

    As long as you have an NI State in it’s present format, sectarian voting will continue which is why there is’nt ever going to be a change to mandatory power sharing – until the present NI State disappears from history or is replaced by a smaller predominantly Unionist State following a fair repartition of NI.

    Putting a hungry lion into a cage with a lamb in the evening and expecting to see the lamb at breakfast is not an outcome I’d bet money on ! The lamb will not eat the lion -it will be the reverse . Nothing sad about this it’s just a natural outcome given the open cage environment and the natural proclivities of lions and lambs .

    Now if you put a proper fence between the two so that the lion cannot get to the lamb then you will extend the lamb’s life dramatically . This will prove frustrating for the lion , and the lamb will suffer from extreme stress anxiety thus shortening it’s lifespan as well as turning it into a nervous wreck.

    A possible solution could be to build not a rail fence but a large wall so that neither the lamb nor lion will be tormented by having to look at their ‘predator ‘ or ‘fresh meal on legs’ through a see through railing !

  • Greenflag

    Question ,

    What more does the guy (Agnew )need to do?

    Obvious I’d have thought . Stand for a seat in the Republic or some other part of the UK other than NI . QED

  • Greenflag

    sm ,

    ‘Sad to see that none of the local candidates have responded to the Open Rights Group about their policies:’

    I can see this ‘sadness’ is getting you down if not upset at the failure of the NI parties to look beyond the tribal headcount .

    I forgot to mention in the above lions and lambs analogy another course of action which could be taken by those of a more idealistic bent than myself . This would involve trying to persuade the lions not to eat the lambs but to repast on green cucumbers and spinach instead . This could be a hazardous adventure as some lions may listen for a while, but those who just have to be what nature intended them to be , may in a momentary lapse decide to have a taste of the persuader as an ahem appetiser ;).

    Not likely to be successful I’m afraid or about as likely trying to persuade Bernard Madoff the Great Ponzi Scheme Thief of Wall St that stealing 30 billion dollars was sufficient for his familie’s requirements for the next millenium at least and that continuing to steal another 30 billion was just not cricket and moreover likely to arouse suspicion ? ! Sometimes the only way to stop a dog barking on Sunday morning is to put lead in it’s ear of a Saturday night. The lead is inserted by means of a browning semi automatic .

    Still give me a barking dog any day over a Madoff . The former might disturb a night’s sleep but the latter destroyed the lives of millions .

  • SM


    You’re such a cynic.

    The constitutional issue was settled by GFA – status quo until referendum produces majority to change it. SF, SDLP, UUP, HM Government, Irish Government all signed up to that, two referendums and the Republic even changed its constitution.

    So let people vote on policy not headcount! The two tribes are largely myth in my experience anyway – I went to uni with and have always worked with a very “mixed” crowd, we work together, socialise together, etc. and an outsider couldn’t tell which tribe was which. I guess a lot of us don’t vote because all the local politicians represent a world that we simply don’t experience – that of tribal hatred. Ironically the communities which perpetuate the tribal stuff so obviously and so violently at times have so much in common with each other and not very much in common with the affluent sections of their own tribe.

  • LabourNIman

    My top three were

    Steven Agnew (Green Party of Northern Ireland) 53/69
    Alban Maginness (Social Democratic and Labour Party) 47/69
    Ian Parsley (Alliance Party) 44/69

    Which is good as it was who I was planning on voting for – only with Alliance 1st