Initial election thoughts

I had decided not to blog about the election until the results were in. However, so detailed are the unofficial results compiled largely by Mick that I felt I should make some sort of comment. To think had Mick not provided us with this service we might have had to do real activities instead of sitting in front of our computer screens: Mick has saved us from talking to our friends and families; again Mr. Fealty we are all in your debt sir. (in all serious Mick a stunning achievement, even if I personally failed you).

Clearly these results are preliminary and therefore (like my wife) I reserve the right to change my mind completely. I will also analyse the results in more detail (with suitable silly literary and historical references) at a later date.

For the meantime, however, we could do worse than look at each of the unionist parties and where the preliminary results suggest they are.
Turning first to the CUs. They seem to have done pretty well. I had anticipated them falling a fair bit but it looks as if they have held the line fairly well. They will obviously present this as a huge success and, in truth it is. However, this success could pull them in multiple directions. They are not currently capable of presenting themselves as a serious alternative to the DUP as the lead party in Stormont, yet they are an unapologetically pro agreement party. Unless they can produce a cadre of serious politicians who could take over on the hill, this victory could be a very temporary one. Against that, however, increased media attention etc. will give their leadership more opportunities to shine; again, however, this vote will protect Sir Reg and his leadership has so far brilliantly fused Jim Molyneaux’s lack of charisma and dynamism and Trimble’s utter incompetence: at least up until now.

In addition on a falling poll it may be that the stalwart UUP voters who always trail out to vote unionist did so as ever. Remember that the UUP victory in the Dromore by-election was achieved despite a fall in UUP percentage of the vote (as well as a fall in absolute numbers).

This relative victory may privately be a problem to some of the Tory modernisers. Jim Nicholson is hardly a “new force” and yet he did quite well. This victory could pull the UUP in multiple directions. Incidentally note I have switched to using the term UUP. The problem is that the UUP wing may well suggest that they are on their way back to their natural position as the main unionist party and the help from the Tories whilst welcome does not mean that the party should fully immerse itself within the Conservative Party. They will suggest that a steady as she goes strategy will soon result in the rightful order of things being restored with them in charge.

On the other hand of course the Conservative brigade will suggest that this victory shows what a good idea the new link up is and that had the link been “an ever deeper union” then the party would have achieved even more. Indeed I strongly suspect a certain cohort of the NI Tories would have liked to see Nicholson defeated so that they could push their agenda. To my mind both wings of the CUs may be in error in their analyses but I will return to such musings in the coming weeks.

Turning to the DUP. Such was the disaster of this campaign that even if Diane Dodds does get through it will have been a major defeat: one which I think should be covered in a blog of its own and one which I will put up this afternoon. Suffice here to say that they made the error which Jim Molyneaux always cautioned against: that of getting so far ahead of their supporters that they could no longer see them.

Looking at the TUV, I am pleased but hardly that surprised by the result. We fought (from our viewpoint) an absolutely flawless campaign. We have a fairly large number of people who are willing to go out and canvass all day, then poster and then get up the next day and do the same. It was also interesting that during canvassing no one I saw denounced us and the usual reason for refusing election literature was that they already had it and would be voting for Jim.

Jim performed well in the party political broadcast and was perfect on television and radio. Yes he is forceful and at times abrasive but that is what TUVists expected and wanted. On the debate he did exactly what was needed: knew the issues, denounced the DUP and attacked SF.

There are complex issues to be looked at regarding where next for the TUV and they are dependent on whether or not we have won the seat. There are challenges and opportunities either way which need to be analysed when we have a more compete picture. For the meantime I cannot resist reminding some of the DUP commentators that they suggested Allister might get 10-15,000 votes and that Dromore was the high water mark for the TUV. That level of failure to read the unionist electorate is in a politician or political analyst pretty unforgiveable

As a final anecdote, I remember when I realised the DUP would destroy the UUP at the last Westminster elections: it was when two very middle class women I worked with openly said they would be voting DUP; the embarrassment which once attended voting for Paisley had gone. On this occasion several people (again women) who I work with asked me how I was going to vote and as soon as I said Allister they agreed that they were going to do the same. Then at the end of the campaign I met a lady who was once my boss in a previous job: she knew relatively little of my politics and we had not met for several years. Almost her first words to me were “I hope you are voting Allister.”

As I said a few weeks ago “The times they are a changing.”

  • Bigger Picture

    While i in no way take away from the gains that the TUV have made from the DUP, it is also clear that the expenses issue damaged them very badly.

    Strangford, lagan valley and east belfast being the three lowest turnouts really speaks for itself.

  • Sam Flanagan

    Bigger Picture;
    “it is also clear that the expenses issue damaged them very badly.

    Strangford, lagan valley and east belfast being the three lowest turnouts really speaks for itself.”

    Pretty strange the way the revelations on the “expenses issue” just happened to come out at the most damaging time? Wonder if there are any further “damaging revelations,” that may surface just prior to the next election?

    Perhaps there is a Bigger, Bigger, Bigger Picture at work?

  • RG Cuan

    the usual reason for refusing election literature was that they already had it and would be voting for Jim.

    You obviously didn’t venture outside unionist/loyalist NI Turgon…

  • Comrade Stalin

    Jim performed well in the party political broadcast and was perfect on television and radio. Yes he is forceful and at times abrasive but that is what TUVists expected and wanted. On the debate he did exactly what was needed: knew the issues, denounced the DUP and attacked SF.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if he could be forceful when loyalists are murdering people ?

  • Conquistador

    or the meantime I cannot resist reminding some of the DUP commentators that they suggested Allister might get 10-15,000 votes and that Dromore was the high water mark for the TUV

    now now Turgon. It wasn’t only DUP morons who said that, Sammy McNally was sure TUV would struggle to match Bob McCartney in 1999.

  • McCollum

    Early predictions from those at the count suggest that Brown will top the poll, Nicholson will be elected under quota with alliance transfers to the second seat. The third seat will be a battle between Allister and Dodds

    Should these predictions be accurate there is only one loser in the election – the DUP.

    *The DUP said they had ensured Unionist confidence was at an all time high – low turnout demonstrates they were wrong!

    *The DUP claimed they must top the poll to stop SF – They are fighting for the third seat, had they not split the Unionist vote then maybe a Unionist could have topped the poll. Nevertheless the importance they placed on topping the poll makes them look extremely weak if they can’t confidently deliver a third seat

    Monday will validate this prediction and will end speculation as to who will gain the third seat

  • oneill

    “or the meantime I cannot resist reminding some of the DUP commentators that they suggested Allister might get 10-15,000 votes and that Dromore was the high water mark for the TUV”

    Turgon

    I made an agreement with a certain Mr Patrick Powers a couple of weeks ago, your man scores 50,000 plus he pays me out enough cash for me to take even the Robinsons out for a dinner. If Jim A manages it, do pass on my thanks next time you see him;)

  • McCollum

    TUV have as Jim Allister predicted exceeded all expectations. The pundits underestimated the impact of the TUV. However the success of the party was in large delivered by ‘Jim Allister ltd’ , he was an excellent candidate that demanded respect because of his knowledge and strong record in Europe. Importantly his ability to represent himself in the media was fundamental – particulary on the politics show against a dismal showing by dodds.

    The challenge for the TUV is to deliver candidates that like Allister can connect with the electorate & media – so far the only front runner in any constituency is Keith Harrbinson.

    Keith meets the critera being young, fresh and media savvy. Since causing upset in the dromore by-election he has a profile in the lagan valley area. Also active in the Orange provides him with a core base to build on. Candidates as capable could be hard to find however!

  • JimOnAWhim

    Allister got my vote, even though I have little time for his hard line local rhetoric.
    Why?
    He seems to have worked OK in the EU job, and – setting aside his SF views – talks sense any time I hear him.
    The DUP line of “vote me so as SF aren’t #1” turned me right off (BIG time), plus Dodds doesn’t seem like a strong candidate, plus I just couldn’t face another highly/doubly paid DUP family.
    Can’t see me voting TUV in other elections – at the end of the day I want to see my politicians (of all shades) working together.
    Shallow reasoning I admit, but I’m not a political beast.

  • DC

    Allister if he stands for the assembly will get my vote somewhere useful so as to tie down the DUP allowing the moderates a chance to take the initiative while the DUP has to answer to him.

  • Rasharkin

    The dup are in a sticky wicket. They have crossed the rubicon of powersharing with SF and even though they have come across very strongly in the media over the past 2 years they have still shed a significant chunk of votes to the TUV and even the UUP has held their own, eating into DUP votes in Lagan Valley.

    What do they do now then? If they go to the right they should expect to lose votes to UCUNF, if they stay more centre-ground they lose grassroots votes to the TUV.

    I’d imagine the DUP will try and put the brakes on P&J now and the Assembly will fold before the end of the year. However I think this will cause them even more problems because the TUV will be vindicated and on the other side the UCUNF will regain middle of the road unionists. With the Westminster election coming up unionist voters may find the prospect of a UUP Minister within the British cabinet relishing.

    The 2 good years the DUP have had were not ‘good’ at all, they should have followed through on Paisley’s initial leadership and delivered P&J which would benefit all the community. Because they have led Gregory Campbell and others hold them back, allowed the situation develop where SF put the brakes on the Executive and dressed up stagnation as party victories they have done themselves more damage than enough. The fact that many of them have lined their own pockets has left them totally detached from their grassroots.

    They’re damned if they go one way and damned if they go the other. Welcome to Trimble country, only this time unionism is in an even weaker position than last time.

  • McCollum

    Never mind who takes the third seat on monday – whos defecting from the DUP?

    Which rat will leave the sinking ship first?

    Taking of ships sinking in the water I’m off for a nice cold drink of the stuff. It says on the bottle straight from spring WELLS.

  • Inspector Cleauso

    Turgon,
    I have two young sons who probably like myself will inherit a unionst outlook. Pray tell me what JA and his allies can provide for them in the way of effective political representation. The truth is that our nationalist neighbours are voting for the SF in huge numbers, should we allow ourselves to be disenfranchised because of that?

  • RG Cuan

    suggest that Brown will top the poll

    Petty and ignorant name changing illustrates how far some people still have to come…

    Despite Allister’s own capability, the TUV’s negative politics and message will mean that the majority of Unionists – who I’m guessing would like NI to actually progress and not be dragged into the past – will vote elsewhere.

  • drumlins rock

    maybe he meant Gordon Brown?

    oh by the way post no.9 I think could account for almost half of JAs vote, in my estimate, its def alot more tham out DUPing the DUPers

  • Scroller

    I voted JA no.1 in the election because of expenses, jobs for the Dodds and Robinson families and cos he is good in Europe. Plus it was PR.

    I will however vote DUP next time round again as I want to see Unionism go forward with a vision as opposed to negative rhetoric.

    As for those who voted for him cos their backward and religious they should really get a life and wake up to the 21st century.

  • OC

    Scroller: You sound very reasonable. Just a quick question:

    What do you feel about a NI Irish Language Act:

    1 Mostly For
    2 Mostly Against
    3 OC is an a-hole for even asking

  • borden

    Pat McLarnon on Politics.ie is assuring the republican ‘I hate SDLP’ community that the final result will look like this:
    Sinn Fein – 28%
    DUP – 18&
    UCUNF – 16%
    SDLP – 13%
    TUV – 13%
    Ans tops there – surely this can’t be correct? Is he claiming that the Greens?Aliiance have a combinrd vote of 12%??
    Having read Blmoral SDLP and Sammy can anyone be that sure of the result on Monday?

  • SM

    Despite Allister’s own capability, the TUV’s negative politics and message will mean that the majority of Unionists – who I’m guessing would like NI to actually progress and not be dragged into the past – will vote elsewhere.
    Posted by RG Cuan on Jun 06, 2009 @ 02:32 PM

    I agree!

    Vótáil Coimeádach agus Aontachtach

    David Cameron beidh sé Príomh-Aire

  • danielmoran

    turgon…. you may remember [or not] the theory i put in a post to you some months ago about what i thought trimbles motives in taking the gamble in 2000 that he did, were.
    however you had better info to hand. anyway, this euro debacle for the duplicity party could lead to ructions and more desertions in opposite directions even, from the party before the westminster elections.
    They certainly will not want to start a commons battle from their position in stormont with the shinners. so i wouldn’t be terribly shocked to hear they had pulled out of stormont in advance.
    i think the uup can get their westminster seat back next time, leaving robinson et al back where they were prior to 2000. what goes around can come around.

  • riverlagan

    Diane Dodds will be made the scapegoat if she fails to be elected even though it was her party colleagues who nominated her.

  • drumlins rock

    OC, personally i think it is about time Unionists took Irish language issues seriously, and work with those who are serious about it, But i def dont want to see it go down the road of tokenism of supposedly bi-lingual signs (my knowledge of Irish is limited to townland names generally, but many of retranslations back to irish are dubious) and token letter headed paper and newspaper adverts, these things just really annoy most unionists and make the language a political football.

  • AA

    Some UUP are saying they’ve beaten the DUP in Lagan Valley and East Antrim.

  • RG Cuan

    Maith thú SM! Registered with any classes yet?

    If you want to say David Cameron will be Prime Minister, put it like this: ‘Beidh David Cameron ina Phríomh-Aire.’

    By the way you know what Cameron comes from Gaelic (Cam Shrón) and means ‘crooked nose’?!

  • Bob Wilson

    Turgon it is wrong to suggest that any significant cohort of Ulster Tories wanted Nicholson to lose. Sure some felt he wasnt the most dynamic candidate but he has been taking the Tory Whip for the last decade and has become an increasingly strong advocate of our link up

  • Greenflag

    ‘Almost her first words to me were “I hope you are voting Allister.”

    As I said a few weeks ago “The times they are a changing.”

    True . A section within Unionism is heading backwards again . Of course as always it’s on a point of principle.

    Does anybody on the Unionist side seriously believe that the TUV can share power with SF on a basis more favourable to Unionism than what the DUP or UUP achieved ?

    Answers on a postcard please to Resident Clinical Psychiatrist , Purdysburn Restraining Unit , Belfast – Please ensure you correctly spell your name , address and postcode and also telephone number at work and home so our white coats will be able to find you easily and remove you to a place where the real world does not intrude !

    From Sunnigndale through the GFA to St Andrews it’s a clear trajectory in only one direction .
    The TUV can no more change that, than Canute could have persuaded the North Sea waves to reverse their course

  • Bob Wilson

    Also Turgon You’re wrong to suggest the UUP is being pulled in different directions the vast bulk (with the possible exception of Hermon) can see the way forward is with the Conservatives. The strategy worked at these difficult elections and will work even better at the General Election.
    Remember a large section of the electorate have voted for a candidate clearly identified with a mainstream UK political party. The days of unionist parties containing contrardictory views is coming to an end and the Union is being strengthen by drawing NI into the mainstream.

  • Sam Flanagan

    Bob Wilson;
    Will the CONservative party give the British people a referendum on EU membership during their first term of office if elected to government?

  • oracle

    “DUP commentators that they suggested Allister might get 10-15,000 votes”

    That is quite true Turgon, and TUV was dismissed at every opportunity, however there was one punter on Slugger who stated

    SF would top the poll with a massive vote (correct)
    That the SDLP vote would slip (correct)
    The DUP would get less than 90,000 (correct)
    The TUV would get 60,000 – 80,000 (correct)
    The CU would see their vote slip (wrong)

    this punter also told us to get on DeBrun at 2/1 to top poll
    to back TUV at 7/2 to get 50,000 plus

    I wonder who it was?…. oh! that’s right it was me

  • Outsider

    Oracle

    I think you may have been flawless in your predictions as I assume to CU vote will still slip.

  • Anonymous

    Wow, Oracle, you really do predict the future! That must be how you just claimed that several things which are still speculation are definitely correct, such as the SDLP vote slipping (Word is its marginally up) and the DUP vote slipping below 90,000 (I’m hearing reports of 93,000)!

    Amazing!

  • borden

    With all this wild speculation does anyone really know how this vote is going to pan out on Monday? I suppose its safe to say that de Brun will be elected but what next? Who do we believe?

  • Do it right, Reg

    If the UUP have done ok this election, I hope they dont pander to the whims of Lady Hermon in the next period. Kick her out.
    They need to go full steam ahead with their Tory link and produce new faces, not rehash the old failures.
    I rang Lady Hermon’s office last Wednesday to enquire as to why the Lady wasnt in the Commons during NI questions. I mentioned that I was considering giving them my vote but I was concerned that the sole UUP MP rarely made an appearnce, escpecially today in the monthly NI timeslot.
    I was met with a barrage of haughtiness, how dare I question the Lady’s commitment, all the real work is done in Committees, dont I know how NI Questions works, she was meeting a constituent, she has a close relationship with Sammy Wilson (relevance?), and, get this, if I didnt agree with her not being there perhaps I wasnt looking at the right party to give my vote to! … all the day before an election!
    I mentioned that perhaps Lady Hermon wasnt in the right party herself, given her public utterances on the UUP/Con link up.
    How dare I!

  • Outsider

    Here were my initial election perditions:

    De Brun will top the poll – 150000
    Dodds will finish second with 110000
    Allister will need transfers but will finish third, he will get around 85000 first preference votes.

  • Carson’s Cat

    Turgon,
    You can’t take it away from Allister that he outperformed most predictions in this election – on that basis alone its been a good day out for him.

    He isn’t going to win a seat – which he himself did predict, but only the anoraks are going to remember that point and people will only remember that the DUP got a chunk of their votes taken by Allister.

    However, it would be as foolish for the TUV to believe that they’ve got those votes now as it would be for the DUP to dismiss the result and believe they’ll automatically come back.

    Expenses was a huge issue in this election. People had their newspapers and tv screens filled with it for nearly the entire period of the election campaign. The DUP tried to make some of it stick to Allister (who isn’t white on the issue by any stretch) but either through not doing it forcefully enough or public/media disinterest in MEPs activities generally it didn’t gain momentum with Allister. The DUP having the most MPs and being in Government simply made them sexier targets for public and media attention. Allister benefitted form that – no doubt about it, and it may have also held the UCUNF vote up a little with people not making the predicted switch to the DUP.

    There were sufficient people who mentioned to me that they were voting Allister “this time” to think that there is the possibility of at least half of Allister’s vote coming back to the DUP. There is a hard-core of the unionist electorate which won’t accept the Shinners in Government – frankly they’ve got zero long-term vision IMO, but they’re entitled to their opinion. It would be utter suicide for the DUP to chase those votes by closing down Government.

    Those other 50% (maybe more, i’m not completely sure) of Allister’s votes needs to be won back though by the DUP. They can’t sit around and hope that they’ll drift back naturally. And they also possibly cant automatically rely on the innate crapness of the UUP to see further leaching of votes from that side. They need to actively target those people with particular messages and actions and win them over.

    On the other side of that too however – there’s no doubt that a portion of people who are still ‘with’ the DUP just didn’t come out and vote. Those people who were going to vote for Allister on Thursday were certainly going to come out and do so – there were others who registered their ‘protest’ by just staying at home. Increased turnout at other elections should reduce Allister’s %share. However, it would again be madness for the DUP simply to rely on this.

    Allister’s most fundamental (and I use that word particularly) problem in the future however is that he can’t be on the ballot paper everywhere except at a Euro poll. Ok – he can choose a constituency himself, but that leaves 17 others and he just doesn’t have the people around him who can attract anything like the vote he can. If Cedric gets wheeled back out in Strangford then the TUV ain’t getting whatever portion they got last At an Assembly election Jim could “do a McCartney” and run in multiple constituencies, but that kind of blatant egotism is what destroyed McCartney ultimately.

    I don’t know for sure, but I suspect people felt it was ‘safe’ to vote for Allister last Thursday. Europe’s a long way off and it doesn’t mean too much. I suspect they’ll be less inclined to do so at other elections – but that’s no reason for complacency.

    To give my own opinions to finish – frankly anyone who voted for Allister to close down Government as some kind of unionist utopia are not only quite blind, but have the strategic view of an ostrich. Its all very well opposing SF, but how do you oppose that rather large chunk of the nationalist electorate who choose to vote for them – and like it or lump it, the violence has ended and is getting further away by the day. Allister admitted during this campaign that there were no circumstances under which he would accept SF in Government.

    In wonder Turgon, do you believe that too, and do you seriously believe then that ending the current assembly with end up in the establishment of a new one in which SF have absolutely no prospect of ever holding any kind of Government office.

    Frankly, at the pit of many unionist stomachs there’s a part of Allister’s message which attracts them. However, its a very very short-term viewpoint which just ain’t going anywhere. Not unless he’s prepared to do a bigger u-turn than the one he accuses his former colleagues of performing – and with a much harder-core nutter element in his new party – some of whom don’t actually accept power sharing, even with the SDLP yet….

  • Turgon

    Carson’s Cat,
    Thank you. I agree with very large amounts of your analysis: to the extent that actually you will see that much of my latest blog could almost have been copied from your erudite post.

    I do think unionists need to sit down and think about the future. In the past Robinson suggested this from a position of strength. I hope he still means it from a position of whilst not weakness, lesser strength.

  • frustrated democrat

    Turgon

    Your assertion that Conservatives didn’t want Jim Nicholson elected is very far wide of the mark Paterson, Cameron, Hague, Pickles and serval other shadow ministers have been in NI to support the campaign plus the entire Northern Ireland leadership were fully committed to getting him elected. In fact there are no more than a handful of NI Conservatives who are less than happy with the deal, as usual they got the media coverage. The biggest confirmation is the money they invested in the Nicholson campaign. The Conservatives were fully and completely committed along with the team from the UUP and many lessons have been learnt that will be applied in the coming months as they move towards the Westminister election

    On the ground initial concerns of some UUP grass roots have been ameliorated as the campaign progressed and they saw the positive Conservative support and the on the ground campaign has been the best supported for many years.

    It has always been accepted that Nicholson although an able MEP wasn’t the most media friendly candidate on show and due to that expectations weren’t too high; it seems they were much too low which is a credit to his performance and work rate during the election.

    The Westminster elections will have an entirely different focus which will suit the CU campaign style much better, however much remains to be done.

    The deal is safe and secure.

  • Outsider

    He isn’t going to win a seat – which he himself did predict, but only the anoraks are going to remember that point and people will only remember that the DUP got a chunk of their votes taken by Allister.

    Carsons Cat

    This is not a given, Allister is still in contention for a seat and who would rule him out at this stage?

  • Carson’s Cat

    Outsider,
    Any reliable (and none are perfect) predictions I’ve seen have had Allister in 3rd place within unionism. He’s getting transfers from nowhere except another unionist being eliminated.

    What could happen will be Allister’s elimination pushing Nicholson ahead of Dodds and elected first. Such is the hatred of power-sharing that the harder-line the TUVie, the more likely they are to transfer to the most pro-Agreement candidate.

  • Outsider

    Carson’s Cat

    I really do wonder what the point of elections are if people like you simply know the results before the votes are tallied.

    Where is the evidence that Allister is third amongst Unionists?

  • Turgon

    Carson’s Cat,
    Can I please ask you to use the term TUVist not TUVie: I much prefer it.
    Regards

  • RG Cuan

    Is it because there’s a ‘ie’ in there Turgon?

    I think TUVer is the best option…

  • Turgon

    RG Cuan,
    I had not thought of that but a good point. I used to like Prodiban in the days before the TUV but I got a lot of grief for that along with Ballymenastan.

    Could you give me an appropriate Irish translation for TUVist?

  • McCollum

    Allister could yet pick up the third seat without all the votes that party councillors and MLAs can produce through their families! Quite a feat!

    Carsons cat:

    “If Cedric gets wheeled back out in Strangford then the TUV ain’t getting whatever portion they got last At an Assembly election”

    I have to agree with you there the band of has-beens will do the TUV no good. Many like Cedric have been dismissed so many times by the electorate and even when they did get elected they only did “set-pieces” for the press. Where the DUP and UUP vote held was where they have hard working representatives. People are increasingly scrutinising candidates and their ability. The expenses scandal has demonstrated that hard working credible reps are hard to find.

    The DUP do have some excellent reps (unlike the UUP & TUV) who will help maintain their vote. In fact a decrease in their vote may be a good thing might get rid of their weak links like – willy irwin, trevor clarke, edwin poots, ian mcrea.

  • McCollum

    Allister could yet pick up the third seat without all the votes that party councillors and MLAs can produce through their families! Quite a feat!

    Carsons cat:

    “If Cedric gets wheeled back out in Strangford then the TUV ain’t getting whatever portion they got last At an Assembly election”

    I have to agree with you there the band of has-beens will do the TUV no good. Many like Cedric have been dismissed so many times by the electorate and even when they did get elected they only did “set-pieces” for the press. Where the DUP and UUP vote held was where they have hard working representatives. People are increasingly scrutinising candidates and their ability. The expenses scandal has demonstrated that hard working credible reps are hard to find.

    The DUP do have some excellent reps (unlike the UUP & TUV) who will help maintain their vote. In fact a decrease in their vote may be a good thing might get rid of their weak links like – willy irwin, trevor clarke, edwin poots, ian mcrea.

  • Carson’s Cat

    Turgon,
    Thanks for the compliment.

    I’d be all on for unionist co-operation. However, unless something dramatically changes it just aint gonna happen.

    Firstly, UCUNF have made their intentions to run in every seat quite clear – so there is no chance of any co-operation in terms of winning back seats for unionism. Something which even the DUP and TUV might be able to come to agreement on.

    Secondly and in terms of the Assembly etc, where will the agreement between DUP/UUP and the TUV come. As I said in the last post, Allister during this campaign ruled out SF ever holding Government office in NI. Now lets remember the amount of emphasis the TUVvies put on the ‘never never never’ quote of Paisley (despite that being opposition to Dublin’s role in NI post the AIA) so they’re hardly likely to take kindly to any softening of the stance on that one.

    Frankly – I don’t believe Allister himself really believes that SF should never ever hold Government office under any circumstances, but was driven to it by the rather large element of nutterdom in his core support. Do you agree with the position that there are absolutely no circumstances ever in which SF could be in Government? Lets remember, never is an awfully long time….

    During this election I’ve had TUV canvasser/supporter types tell me a) that they’re completely opposed to power-sharing of any type, never mind SF, but didn’t even accept that the SDLP should be in Government and b) that they’d sooner have a united Ireland than any kind of SF in Government, no matter what controls were present etc etc.

    Do either of those positions sound remotely reasonable to you Turgon, and do they sound like the type of people who’d wear any kind of co-operation with the DUP?

    The TUV would rather transfer to Alliance (as testified here on Slugger) than the DUP yet you claim that they’d be all happy to accept co-operation on issues with the DUP.

    What is the long-term TUV solution then Turgon. The idea that you can exclude SF from Government in perpetuity is ridiculous – particularly if the SDLP vote slides any further. Even FG in the South have floated them in Government there – and from what I’ve seen, many people in the South could teach hard-line unionists a thing or two about hatred of the Shinners!

    Getting back to the initial point – unionists do need to sit down and think about the future. But from what I can see, TUV strategy seems to entail a great flag-waving day just after Stormont collapses and we’ve ‘run the Shinners out of Government’. There’s no clue about how you replace that Government – or with what…

    There’s also certainly no clue about how you deal with a large chunk of the nationalist electorate – who at present it would appear you think can just be conveniently ignored. They cant when the terrorist threat doesnt exist and your excuses just get thininer and thinner….

    I’d actually love to be able to go out and vote TUV. It’d be great to throw former provos out of Government. Absolutely fantastic – but utterly self-defeating. Unionism has the ability to take on SF and run rings round them in Government. Allister could have been a very valuable part of that – but the real unfortunate reality is that he has chosen not to. He was on board with a policy which clearly accepted that SF could sit in Government in the right circumstances. Why on earth has he left that behind and effectively admitted some kind of defeat which says that unionism can never take on those nasty Shinners because they’ll always win – that is TUV policy summed up.

    Its a real shame, because if devolution has proven one thing – its not nice, not very comfortable facing SF across the table in Government – but it has exposed just how rubbish they actually are if you take away their guns and ignore their talk when they hark back to the ‘good old days’. They actually can’t deliver in Government – but Allister’s prepared to ignore that and has actually retreated in policy terms to one where he apparently thinks unionism could never out-perform the likes of Barry McElduff….

    That’s just sad.

  • Carson’s Cat

    Outsider,
    Frankly I wish in NI that we’d do election counts a bit quicker so there wouldn’t be the need to do tallies and we could just get the result.

    However I accept that at a Euro Election there has to be a gap. Tallies are going to be carried out by parties and that info is always going to get out and be discussed.

    I’m not saying that any info I have is true because I don’t know – and frankly all those kind of predictions should come with a huge health warning. Allister might not come third within unionism – but just too many people are saying it – even those without a vested interest – for it not to have a degree of credibility.

  • RG Cuan

    Turgon

    Traditional Unionist Voice would be:
    Guth Aontachtach Traidisiúnta or Glór Aontachtach Traidisiúnta

    The abbreviation then would be ‘GAT’ with a party supporter being a ‘GATeach’, ‘GATóir’ or ‘GATaire’.

    Take your pick for the next party leaflet and website rebrand!

  • Turgon

    RG Cuan,
    Thank you I promise to use that at some time.

    Regards

  • SM

    TUVite sounds more biblical and could be useful for talking of smiting the heretical DUPes for consorting with infidels 🙂

  • Turgon

    SM,
    Yes a good point. Do you want to raise it with the high command?

  • fin

    “The abbreviation then would be ‘GAT’ with a party supporter being a ‘GATeach’, ‘GATóir’ or ‘GATaire’.”

    would fans of the leader be called Alli-gatoirs

  • RG Cuan

    No prob Turgon.

    Nice one Fin!

  • OC

    OC, personally i think it is about time Unionists took Irish language issues seriously, and work with those who are serious about it…

    Posted by drumlins rock on Jun 06, 2009 @ 03:43 PM

    TY for your honesty. You are the kind of reasonable fellow that NI needs.