Election round-up, marks out of ten

So it’s all over, time to pick over the bones (I’ll have a look at the predictions competition tomorrow). So how about a marks out of ten thread for all the candidates based on today’s result.

(mine below the fold – add yours, dispute mine etc.)

Dark horse Jim Nicholson

10 out of 10

Broadly considered in a last place battle and at risk to Maginness but in the end he came through as 2nd elected and increased his share of the vote.

Boy Wonder Steven Agnew

10 out of 10

I suspect most, including the Green party, would have been happy with them doubling their vote and getting 10k. He over trebled the vote from last time and boosted the actual vote – something no other party managed

Jim ‘The Voice’ Allister

10 out of 10

Never a serious threat to win but he confounded almost everyone by polling 66K and forcing the DUP into real difficulties. A credible marker for the future.

Alban ‘close shave’ Maguinness

7 out of 10

Never really in with a shout but he was there to the last and kept what the SDLP had after a long period of decline

Bairbre ‘topper’ de Brún
6 out of 10

While poll-topping is a very good result for the optics it was only possible through Unionist vote spread. She dropped her vote in % and real terms.

Ian ‘Vegetable’ Parsley

5 out of 10

Despite Alliance wanting to compare this election to 1999, I compare it with Gilliland in 2004 and they didn’t manage any real movement other than back.

‘Desperate’ Diana Dodds

3 out of 10

From poll toppers to chasing the last seat in a mere five years. Vote shredded and now facing real competition on two fronts.

  • iain

    cs,

    You imagine ‘yes’.
    Thats the very point, IJP didnt say yes or no. He waffled….and lost my vote.

  • Continental Drifter

    Iain,

    Aye, right.

    CD

    PS: Another reason he was the best candidate is you’re all still on here trolling about him!

  • oracle

    IJP was not the most knowledgeable on Europe, I think any sane person would agree that Jim Allister has that already wrapped up in his CV.

    However I would personally like to thank IJP for defending himself and his party everyday on Slugger and for Davis Ford who came onto to slugger to defend IJP.

    It’s a pity there aren’t more IJP’s Ford’s and Danny O’Connors out there…
    HATS OFF TO ALL THREE

  • McCollum

    We lost the best MEP, lets hope we will gain the best MP. There is no doubt JA was the most capable and the best candidate.

  • Otto Jaffe

    Filtering for “constructive criticism” in the 101 posts here so far I get

    1. “Brit Up”
    2. “Don’t waffle”
    3. “Respect the traditions”

    LTU’s “Brit Up” also came with something like “find a southern partner too if it makes you feel better”. If that’s important it sounds like a branding and a communication issue rather than any strategic realignment. Alliance have a natural sister party in the UK in the Lib Dems – Paddy Ashdown and Lembit Opik would seem likely Alliance material if they’d stayed in NI.

    Alliance also has (I think) a natural sister party in the South. Members who have run in the South have joined Fine Gael. Ok FG are EPP and the LibDems ELDR but with the Tories leaving the Christian Democrats for a Democratic Union aligned group, who cares. As others have said the locus of Alliance supporters’ preferences may be at the Christian Democratic end of the liberal spectrum anyway. When I left a Unitarian congregation in England to come home to NI I was directed to the Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church of Ireland but with the caution that I’d find things a lot more traditional and hat-wearing there. It’s true. Even non-conformism is more conservative in NI.

    All the Trinity Prod Alliance types I know seem more FG friendly (now that the PD’s have given up the ghost) than anything. FG is a good brand in Liberal Prod Greater Belfast.

    I’ve failed the “don’t waffle” suggestion but boring on, Alliance might take a look at the Swedish People’s Party. Traditionally they represent the Swedish speaking community in Finland but in an engaged and less chippy way than we’re used to here. Like Alliance they’re part of Europe’s Liberal Group and like Alliance they tend to draw support both from a middle-class minority community base and from people in the majority community who feel their style of business-like liberalism represents them better than any of the majority parties.

    The SFP have prettier Euro candidates than Alliance though.

    http://annabertills.fi/#home

    Not sure how Alliance uses this but I do think it’s about beefed up communication, not a change in position, policy or strategy.

    Example. Alliance oppose the 11+ but support integrated schooling. The bilateral approach used by Lagan College is a middle class parent’s ideal. No trauma for any 11+ kids, guaranteed places for all you kids at the same school, selection and streaming at 14+ so no-one is held back but you get to play sports with all types so less (hopefully) of the social retardation that comes sometimes with an unrestrained academic. That’s Alliance’s policy and (up to a point) Alliance can claim some kudos for the fact that this model even exists in NI. Alliance have policies which are thought-through, just, progressive and still middle-class friendly.

    Alliance – “More than just the Corrymeela Party”.

  • The Windslow Boy

    and more than we did at the last Assembly election. This vote was our best since the GFA – but apparently we’ve done badly. Like, seriously – wise up!

    Sammy are you just stupid?

    36,139 > 26,699

    ie Assembly vote > European vote

  • Otto Jaffe

    5.5% (european vote) > 5.24% (assembly vote)

    and for the Green’s (UC allies and transfer donors)

    3.3% (european vote) > 1.74% (assembly vote)

  • Driftwood

    The bilateral approach used by Lagan College is a middle class parent’s ideal.

    The schools most famous pupils were/are the Shoukri brothers.

    Way to go!

  • Otto Jaffe

    Scraping the barrel of argument there Driftwood. Guilt by association based on a sample of one.

    Maybe the move to the Boy’s Model helped.

  • Sammy are you just stupid?

    Given that turnout fell by over 200,000, in your book, you’re not comparing like with like. 5.5%>5.2%, so stop being obtuse.

    IJP was not the most knowledgeable on Europe, I think any sane person would agree that Jim Allister has that already wrapped up in his CV.

    Perhaps, but he hates Fenians. I’m afraid in my book, that’s a pretty major lacuna in someone’s CV.

  • The Windslow Boy

    turnout fell by over 200,000

    A disaster for all parties (except the greens) Everyone else’s vote was done. No point in pretending the Alliance are exempt from this

  • The Windslow Boy

    There are lies, damn lies and statistics.

    Sorry but percentages don’t impress me.

    You’re vote went down. Fewer people came out to put a mark in the Alliance box, ergo a poor result

  • Curious

    “The only Taigs closer to his comiseration speech than I was were Bairbre de Brún and Alban Maginness, and I can’t speak for them, but I found his speech filled with ‘gravitas’ – according to members of the Green Party – a spittle-flecked rant directed at me and my kind. ” – Sammy Morse

    Does anybody actually have his speech? I’ve heard several people remark on it: some thought brilliant, others thought cazy, I’m dying to hear the damn thing now.

  • AJJM

    Ian Parsley was hardly awful. Alliance are just being pushed to side. Their core liberal middle class unionist vote is being wooed by the UCUs! I can see meltdown for them in the future – there is nowhere for them to move to. They are being pushed at all sides, and will ultimately be gobbled up as the UCU project progresses.

  • Cushy Glenn

    In many ways Allister ( of whom I admit to being a fan) would have been ideally sidelined of the DUP had let him win. He’s a ferocious man on the details, and Dodds will never have the intimidatory factor mon general had for Brussels apparatchiks. Now he has a free rein to concentrate on unnerving the DUP at home and keep gnawing at the rump – picking off nervy MPs like Simpson McCrea and Dodds at will.

    Isn’t it interesting that Wells Storey and Simpson were at the count for the briefest time necessary and kept as far away from Diane as was possible. The Self-preservation Society at Dundela Avenue will be very interesting to watch for the next 11 months. Expect tensions with the children (Timmy Johnston, Richie Bullick and co)whose livelihood depends on the Punt dynasty

  • Otto Jaffe

    “Their core liberal middle class unionist vote is being wooed by the UCUs!”

    Is it? Unless the UCU’s can actually do integrationism better than Alliance then maybe they’ll be a more comfortable transfer option rather than an alternative first preference. That’s how it seems with Alliance folk I know. If anything the trend looks more like the centre eating out towards the edges. The liberal Green/Alliance has spread by 2% since the Assembly elections and the DUP have lost the chief prod-rep slot to the Tories.

    Jim’s greatest service has been to highlight the rapid decay of residual unionist fears of nationalist emancipation. 72% of unionist voters last week voted for parties openly committed to power sharing. And better still unionism has stopped worrying about protecting privilege. Remember when the fear was that those “communists” were going to nationalise our small businesses and take away our farms and shipyard apprenticeships? Now it’s all about a fair deal and building a prosperous society together.

    The only one raving about communists now is Jim. I hope he stays around. We need him as a benchmark to show everyone else’s progress.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Windslow:

    You’re vote went down. Fewer people came out to put a mark in the Alliance box, ergo a poor result

    Fewer people came out to put a mark against any of the candidates than before. So does that mean none of them had a good result ? You’re obviously a bit new to all this.

    Iain:

    You imagine ‘yes’.
    Thats the very point, IJP didnt say yes or no. He waffled….and lost my vote.

    Not a big deal, Iain. There are votes to be lost in each of the options you outlined. A political party can’t please everyone, and I’m afraid that if you will only vote for a political party or candidate which has a black and white, yes vs no answer to any given question, you might find yourself abstaining a lot in the future. Alliance is a somewhat europhile party, and the people who are shouting for a referendum are generally not.

    AJJM:

    core liberal middle class unionist vote is being wooed by the UCUs!

    Alliance’s vote rose by about 3%. The UCUNF vote rose by about 0.5%. Alliance didn’t lose votes to UCUNF. Given that the majority of Jim Allister’s transfers went to UCUNF, I’m not entirely persuaded that he was helped into position by middle class liberals. I will grant that he scored a very good result and fought a mostly clean fight, aside from the Sunday tabloid reports about the UDA leader and the UCUNF election posters.

    Cushy:

    Now he has a free rein to concentrate on unnerving the DUP at home and keep gnawing at the rump – picking off nervy MPs like Simpson McCrea and Dodds at will.

    I wouldn’t be too sure about this. I’m not sure if it’s my bias against Jim, but I thought Arlene Foster very comfortably nailed him to the wall on Nolan this morning by stating the case for powersharing (framed somewhat in terms of keeping tabs on SF), and the election results imply that these are arguments that appeal to unionists. If the DUP had run her or someone like her as a candidate, they’d have done a lot better. Jim’s result against Dodds was like stealing candy from a baby.

  • slug

    Best way for Alliance to attack UCUNF is to attack them from the left.

  • Marcus

    “In many ways Allister ( of whom I admit to being a fan) would have been ideally sidelined of the DUP had let him win.”

    I have been thinkig the same myself. When Allister was of in Europe it would have been difficult for him to fully commit to stirring the sh*t in N.Ireland. Now that he is no longer an MEP he will stepping up his game locally.

    By the way according to the tallies the Green Party were doing very well in North Down (mid teens %)and South Down (around 10%) – our hard work is paying of! 🙂

  • Comrade Stalin

    I have been thinkig the same myself. When Allister was of in Europe it would have been difficult for him to fully commit to stirring the sh*t in N.Ireland. Now that he is no longer an MEP he will stepping up his game locally.

    I imagine Allister has to eat, which means he’ll need to go back to his law career. And he won’t have the office on expenses to do this stuff either. He’ll need to find funding and manpower to get the message out. Not saying he won’t be able to do that, but right now it’s something he doesn’t have.

  • otto jaffe

    There’s a lovely to-let sign up outside the Holywood Road bunker Comrade Secretary. Perhaps he’s off to North Antrim.

    Marcus. Noticed in an interview that Stephen was very happy to talk about “the party in the South” and “the party in Westminster”. Is the European Green Party all one big happy family or is this just North Down speak?

  • AJJM

    Otto Jaffe:

    “Is it? Unless the UCU’s can actually do integrationism better than Alliance then maybe they’ll be a more comfortable transfer option rather than an alternative first preference. That’s how it seems with Alliance folk I know.”

    It is inevitable that the UCU’s will continue along the road to normalised politics (the pace of this is my main concern). Then, Alliance will have to adapt or will be removed. I’d welcome a future where politics is fought on economic and social grounds between Alliance, UCU, and whoever wishes to join them.

    “If anything the trend looks more like the centre eating out towards the edges. The liberal Green/Alliance has spread by 2% since the Assembly elections and the DUP have lost the chief prod-rep slot to the Tories.”

    That’s a very interesting analysis. However, I think at the next General Election, and indeed the next Assembly election the recuction of Alliance’s vote and indeed the DUP’s vote – coupled with the rise of the UCU.

    Comrade Stalin:

    “Alliance’s vote rose by about 3%. The UCUNF vote rose by about 0.5%. Alliance didn’t lose votes to UCUNF. Given that the majority of Jim Allister’s transfers went to UCUNF, I’m not entirely persuaded that he was helped into position by middle class liberals.”

    What an utterly misleading statistic, although I wouldn’t have expected more of someone who names themselves after a tyrant. The candidate your party endorsed at this election got 1.1% less than the candidate you endorsed at the last election. The candidate the UUP endorsed at the last election got 0.5% less than the candidate the UCUs endorsed at this election.

    Alliance did lose votes to the UCUs. They lost my vote. They lost the vote of others I have talked to who voted similarly to me (Nicholson 1, Parsley 2). Middle class liberals are attracted by what the UCU are trying to do. They are attracted by Cameron and the Conservatives. That is undeniable.

    Obviously he was helped into position by middle class liberals and then boosted by Allister’s anti-DUP, anti-Dodds Unionist vote.

  • IJP

    AJJM

    I’ll come in here since you’re addressing the real issues and I think you make an interesting case.

    It was evident that we lost some “1-Nicholson, 2-Parsley” and “1-Maginness, 2-Parsley” votes to the usual European Election “no point in voting Alliance for Europe” crew – one UCU canvasser told me as much. But the reason was never recorded as the “new UCU project” (worthy though I’m on record as saying it is), but simply wanting to be sure a certain (perceived moderate) party got in without seeming to “waste” the vote on one that couldn’t – few people realise the vote transfers in full at elimination anyway). For the same reason, perhaps more to the point, I also picked up on the very first canvass night that about a quarter of our own support simply wouldn’t turn out (“voter keenness” is a phrase now entering the BBC vernacular with reference to election predictions) – it seems each party has almost the same proportionate problem, as is typical right across the EU at this level.

    Given that, it was also evident that many people chose to come the other way, from UCU to Alliance (and indeed from SDLP to Alliance) despite our lack of real prospects. Tallies are quite clear, for example, that we received more first preference votes in this election in North Down than in 2007, despite the much lower turnout – I guess we should, in my home constituency, but it still indicates first-time Alliance voters (an almost non-existent species in past European elections).

    As Comrade has pointed out, it is a constant feature of Alliance history that its vote declines dramatically at each European election. This is the first time ever that trend has been reversed. The question for both UCU and Alliance is how typical the vote shares from last Thursday prove to be – will they be typical for an Assembly election, or will some of those “natural Alliance” votes come back and increase the Alliance share further? My guess, to be honest, is that Alliance’s share will not increase as dramatically next time around as it traditionally has after other European elections.

    Your point about the strategic challenge presented by UCU to Alliance (or indeed vice-versa) probably deserves a thread to itself, as it is an interesting one particularly with reference to an imminent X-vote election. But I have to say I genuinely didn’t come across a single voter on the doorstep who seemed influenced by it (other than to express mild confusion) – certainly not once was I asked for my response to it.

  • SM

    IJP

    I too am one of your lost voters, previously an “All – 1” person, attracted by the advent of proper politics here with the CU project.

    I went:

    Cons – 1; Green – 2; All – 3; …

    I know that neither of you were going to benefit from those but I expressed my preferences as the system says one should 🙂

    Green got 2 because he came across better in the campaign. No offence to you, I am sure you are an excellent man, but my family’s perception of you from TV was a bit smarmy or something – sorry about saying that but you can probably work on that perception-wise for future elections.

  • Comrade Stalin

    What an utterly misleading statistic, although I wouldn’t have expected more of someone who names themselves after a tyrant.

    What was misleading about it ? Kensei points out that small percentages (ie 0.5%) are within, or close to being within, the margin of error, which means I’m being generous.

    The candidate your party endorsed at this election got 1.1% less than the candidate you endorsed at the last election.

    True, but the candidate we endorsed at the last election wasn’t wearing an Alliance rosette. And the Tories backed him too.

    The candidate the UUP endorsed at the last election got 0.5% less than the candidate the UCUs endorsed at this election.

    Er, I think that’s what I said.

    Alliance did lose votes to the UCUs.

    Given the significantly lower turnout where do you reckon they got the extra ~3% from then ?

    They lost my vote. They lost the vote of others I have talked to who voted similarly to me (Nicholson 1, Parsley 2). Middle class liberals are attracted by what the UCU are trying to do. They are attracted by Cameron and the Conservatives. That is undeniable.

    I think it’s very deniable, for two reasons. Firstly, the middle class (non aligned) liberals who voted for Parsley and Agnew mainly transferred to Alban.

    Secondly, middle class liberals don’t care for the Tories and want to be at the heart of Europe. The Conservatives are Eurosceptics signing up with far-out right-wingers in Europe. I don’t think Nicholson is so comfortable with that particular aspect of Tory policy, but the fact that he didn’t say that in public marked him down a few notches in my book.

    Obviously he was helped into position by middle class liberals and then boosted by Allister’s anti-DUP, anti-Dodds Unionist vote.

    Yes, that vast new 0.5% of middle class liberals helped Nicholson to get .. almost the same proportion of first prefs as he had in 2004. Then, the non-nationalists who voted for Parsley and Agnew mostly transferred to a nationalist ahead of your shiny new Tory/Unionist paradigm of cool. What does that tell you ?

    For the UUP, this election marks the end of a long line of dismal failures at the polls. From that point of view, it’s good. From the point of view of UCUNF and attracting non-unionists, well, generally speaking you didn’t, not to any extent greater than you did before. Not a good start for the Tory linkup.

  • Starry Plough

    The idea that Parsley was the best candidate on the basis of him being ‘the most articulate’ is nonsense. Elections are not fought on the basis of intelligence, for a start–if they were I dare say we’d have a TUV MEP this week. Elections [i]are[/i] fought partially on intelligence but mostly on manifesto and ideological reputation–disregarding a freak situation, ([i]such as nominating a Dolores Umbridge double as your candidate, Peter[/i]) if a candidate is lacking either, then they will suffer badly.

    As such, The Alliance Party and their respective candidate can be as knowledgeable about Europe as they want to be but until they continue to talk about ‘the rabble’ of North of Ireland politics and the ‘scourge of tribal politics’ without appearing to give any logical or coherent ideological structure to these attacks then they will be consigned to also-rans for the remainder of their short existence.

    When I stated in an earlier post that Parsley would be better suited to the Conservative Unionists it is because the supposed ‘intelligence’ that he possesses would be better used under a coherent and successful ideological structure rather than a glorified pressure group party. The only other alternative would be an Alliance ‘electoral pact’ with the Liberal Democrat or Labour banner.

  • Integrationist unionists tell Alliance their only future is if they become integrationist unionists.

    Yeah, right.

  • Starry Plough

    I don’t think my username is befitting of a Unionist, integrationist or not.

  • otto jaffe

    Ok Starry Plough

    How about,

    “Alliance, Northern Irish Liberal Democrats”

    they could use this branding

    http://www.eldr.org/en/index.php

    and they wouldn’t even need to change the colour scheme.

    Does that work for you?

  • Marcus

    “Marcus. Noticed in an interview that Stephen was very happy to talk about “the party in the South” and “the party in Westminster”. Is the European Green Party all one big happy family or is this just North Down speak? Posted by otto jaffe on Jun 09, 2009 @ 09:07 PM”

    Not sure exactly what you mean by this. We are ‘all one big happy family’ as we are all members of the European Green Party. When a Green MEP is elected they join the EU Greens in the EU Parliament that are united by ideology. When any other party goes in and joins the left, socialists, centre right etc it is a marriage of convenience more than anything.

    In the next westminster we are looking good to get our first MPs in Brighton & Hove and Norwich as we topped the poll in those westminster constituencies according to the Euro tallies.

    We got decimated down south, an awful result and alot of good councillors not returned.

    So yes we are all happy to talk about our wins and loses of the EU election.

    Not sure if that answers your question.

  • otto jaffe

    Thanks Marcus

    What I meant was that Steve seemed happy to talk about both the Southern party and the GB party as if the NI party was simultaneously part of both. You have an international brand which means you can be both all-Ireland and cross-community.

    It’s a happy situation to be in.

    Here it is from Keith

    http://keithbelfast.com/blog/?p=223

  • And now for something completely different ….

    All i’ll say is that listening to Ian Parsley on the platform at the Count on monday, coming as it did just after listening to Jim Allister’s rant, was like a breath of fresh air – and the place needed it.

    7/10