Kicking off is the by now required blog reading of Chris Gaskin and his run down of Sinn Fein’s performance north and south… It comes with some important suggestions regarding organisation and adopting a more strategic approach towards policy formation…. It’s worth scrolling upwards too for his take on the Unionist situation too…- Slugger regular Seymour Major runs Tory Story, and fingers up to six constituencies that the Ulster Conservatives and Unionists could bowl at with a reasonable expectation of success…
– Andrew has set up his own blog now. He believes that as the party of Unionism the DUP has some urgent lessons to learn:
The party now needs to rebuild and reconnect with its grassroots. That involves going onto the streets, into the churches, into the Orange Halls and into the shops and telling people what the party stands for today, and why it has taken that stance. Why and how are they relevant to the Unionist poplation of Northern Ireland?
– Checkov reckons that the task facing the UCU now is to refine its messages and repeat them over and over… but, he cautions:
The means to achieve this is not to jettison either its conservative or unionist components, but to emphasise their compatibility and ensure that the correct type of conservatism and unionism are articulated. That means a socially aware conservatism which is progressive in intent and an inclusive brand of unionism which is civic and political in character.
– Ignited (another UCU blogger, hmmm… doesn’t that say something?) has Jim Allister as the outright winner of the Unionist contest, even if he was the only loser:
Jim Allister’s slogan of “Principle, Integrity, Experience” and his track record in Europe have stood him well, and I don’t think anyone would question his commitment. From a standing start against the established political parties Jim has demonstrated that there is a niche for his brand of politics.
– Bob Balls is less impressed and is distinctly unimpressed by the size of Jim Allister’s vote:
Okay, so the DUP campaign allowed Allister to play hard on DUP hypocrisy (the flip side to that being his integrity & principle), but it also had the effect of inflating Allisters vote from Unionists voting tactically to shut that woman up (in the immortal words of Jim Fitzpatrick). So perhaps Allisters big poll really is unfeasibly large.
– Matt McDermott is certain that this was a good performance by the SDLP and reckons the party would have taken an extra two seats had this been an Assembly poll (though he doesn’t say where). Yet he believes the party needs to move on from where it currently is:
while SF are defined and will find it hard to shift any more ground without losing support, we have an opportunity to redefine ourselves and relate to those that feel no affiliation. There is a new breed of politics in the SDLP, something that SF has failed to do. There is no desire for sectarian politics and only the desire to move NI forward.
– A Pint of Unionist Lite ponders on the possible demise of Gordon Brown and asks whether it is good for the Union or not?
– David Vance on how the mainstream UK parties can make the BNP shrivel up and die…
– Alan, no doubt now back home and rested after two days at the Okay Corral (aka the count centre at the Kings Hall) has a great account of European democracy in progress notes how the real interest of the party workers (and ourselves) was over by the end of the verification on Friday…
– And don’t forget to sample Keith’s ala carte sound reporting on the ground in the count centre too…
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty