Possible indicator of further DUP problems

There is definitely at least one election on the horizon so its time to pull out some random figures and extrapolate wildly…..

In preparation for the Westminster Election the Electoral Office has launched initiatives to deal with low registration in several areas:

In East Antrim, South Antrim and Belfast North around 18,000 households in wards with low registration levels will be receiving a leaflet from the Electoral Office over the next few weeks reminding them of the need to be on the Electoral Register.

All three constituencies returned DUP MPs and they were the largest party at the Assembly election

Nine wards of particular concern over low registration will be subject to a ‘mini canvass’ by EONI:

· Windsor, Glencairn and Bloomfield in Belfast
· Clandeboye in Bangor
· Movilla in Newtownards
· Audleys Ward in Downpatrick
· Lisnagarvey in Lisburn
· Ballee in Ballymena
· Town Parks East in Magherafelt

Six of these wards are large majority protestant areas according to the Census (permit the sectarianism, there is an election due), two (Town Parks East and Windsor) are pretty evenly split on religion and Audley’s is majority Catholic. Additionally all but two (Windsor & Audley’s) sit in a Council area that returned the DUP as the largest party.

While there are bound to be other contributory factors, a theme of stronger DUP areas suffering disproportionately from problems with voter registration does seem to be presenting.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Are they working class or middle class do you think Mark?

  • Mark McGregor


    No idea. You can get Socio-economic classifications for the wards through the Census link.

  • Neil

    Ballee in Ballymena is a working class area. An old fashioned style council estate, (i.e. identical small houses, one way in, one way out etc.)

  • FitzjamesHorse

    The ones I recognise all seem to be classic “sink” estates (I hate that term but feel its a term we all know)and pobably in areas where there is no competitive element to elections.
    In comparative terms west of the Bann is more “competitive”.

    Of course David Ervines old chestnut that these predominantly loyalist estates have no stake in the future might be true. But its hard to think that sink estates (and again I hate that term) like catholic Poleglass has any major reason to be motivated to vote.

    While I understand that the Electoral Office is concerned about low registration I am not sure that blitzing THREE constituencies with leaflets is justified in terms of equality.
    The millionaire business man on Malone Road deserves to be targetted too

  • Scaramoosh

    Looking at the demographics etc; I would think that the TUV, with some good marketing, could pick up votes should any of the slumbering peoples be enticed to the polling booth.

  • Driftwood

    If Audleys Ward in Downpatrick is anything to go by, a free can of Tennents Super for anyone who votes should increase the turnout significantly.

  • Marcionite

    Manditory voting is the only way. Australia has it yet the DUP give it a suspiciously withering dressing down.
    [a href=http://www.dup.org.uk/articles.asp?ArticleNewsID=1733[/a]

    Scared that the silent majority would turn out and vote Alliance thus rendering the usual parties of division to the sidelines?

    If you live in a society, you are subject to the laws passed those who are elected therefore you are morally obliged to take part, even if its unwilling and a ‘donkey vote’ as our Antepodean friends call it

  • Dev

    Robinson is backin the hem, just announced on BBC

  • Dev

    *SIGHS* clearly I meant to write: Robinson is back in the helm, apologies

  • Marcionite

    Interesting about Robbo being back at the helm. Won’t this distract him from the negociations or is it an indicator that talks are near an end one way or the other?

  • Jimmy McGurk

    While I am generally supportive of compulsory voting, seeing it as a kind of civic duty, it can have the annoying effect of people who have no particular interest in politics or aren’t particularly well-informed, having major influence in stuff that I am passionate about.

    On the other hand, at every election in the US there is a huge amount of energy expended by political parties on just getting people out to vote. In a compulsory voting system, this energy can be better directed elsewhere.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Mark, Ironically I think this illustrates a much bigger threat to SF than to the DUP, the social norm across the UK, and most of the world i’m guessing, is that deprived urban areas or “sink estates” or what ever you call them have low levels of voters participation, this is usually only broken by parties that are outside the norm and challenging the system, such as the DUP, SF, the BNP and occasionally some socialist parties, as both the DUP & SF are now part of the system that they will loose much of that section of their base, in the DUPs case it was much more sporadic support and they always had limited success in harnessing this vote, whereas SF built their party around it and many of its main workers comes from such areas I’m guessing. The voting machine they created in many such areas should be studied by any serious party! but I think that base is already starting to slip away, and return to its natural state of apathy, the very low european turmouts masked it but expect it to becoem a factor within the next 5 – 10 yrs.