Sinn Fein top Tele poll with 21% of vote…

Sinn Fein tops the BelTel poll… with 21% (a 1/5) of the electorate. Hmmm… Pre Ritchie SDLP is on 13% which is a nice squeeze that could lose them Assembly seats, but with what’s happening in Unionism get them an extra ministerial seat through d’hondt… The DUP is on 18%… The UUP is on 15%… Alliance is on 7%… And Jim Allister a more realistic 6%… PUP and the Greens pull up the rear with 3% each…

Adds: there’s a lot of people not declaring… so we might expect that to add a slight benefit to the TUV… Also worth adding is that polls in NI come few and far between and are notoriously poor at replicating reliable results…

  • Ulick

    Combined SF-SDLP bloc on 34%
    Combined DUP-UUP bloc on 33%

    Ulster’s Doomed!

  • That’s Sinn Féin’s bounce from ‘disappearing’ the Irish language from the latest agreement….

  • Mick Fealty

    Ulick,

    you’ll notice just how far short that is from 50+1

  • Slartibuckfast

    Nationalists usually get over 40% of the vote so if anything the SF percentage of the vote isn’t as high in that poll as it would likely be in a real one.

    Interesting days ahead.

  • Mick Fealty

    Bairbre topped the poll in June with 26%… that’s a statistically significant loss of 5% in 8 months.

  • Ulick

    Sorry Mick I was just having a little fun with the figures. I did notice it is short of 50%+1. I also noticed that the figures don’t add up to 100% so it’s all relative.

    The poll merely confirms SF’s status as the largest Party which we saw at the last Euro election, so no big surprise there. What I find more significant is that when you tot all all those declared as unionist you get only 42%. Even taking in account an under-representation for Jimbos TUV and don’t knows, the unmistakable trend points to the ‘Ulster’s Doomed’ scenario (as in Horsemans blog) and that the days of unionism trotting out the “majority community” line is over.

    Maybe it’s all just another of Gerry’s staging posts?

  • Mick Fealty

    Bald men fighting over the proverbial comb?

  • Mick Fealty

    They don’t that’s right. The vast majority are giving up on the idea that voting signifies anything other than encouraging fights over stuff people don’t give a damn about.

  • Ulick

    Bairbre topped the poll in June with 26%… that’s a statistically significant loss of 5% in 8 months.

    That was 26% of the vote Mick, as the Tele poll doesn’t add up to 100 then surely we can’t compare percentages?

  • Mick Fealty

    Let me get clarification…

  • Stephen Ferguson

    http://alturl.com/5oqp

    Sure you want that border poll?

  • Ulick

    ‘NI Life and Times Survey’

    **–yawn–**

    Just a pity people never to seems to vote in line with the NILTS.

  • Stephen Ferguson

    Ah, so it’s only Belfast Tele polls that count then??

  • Sammy Morse

    Assuming the other 14% were don’t knows and refusals (and I don’t know this and therefore might be proven badly wrong), we get headline figures of:

    SF 24%
    DUP 21%
    UUP 17%
    SDLP 15%
    Alliance 9%
    TUV 7%
    Green 3%
    PUP 3%

    The PUP figure seems very high. But everyone is within a margin of error of their Euro 2009 performance, except for Alliance (polls always overstate our vote – I’m hoping this one is wrong!!!) and TUV (whose party vote was always going to be lower than Jim Allister’s personal vote).

    Even though opinion polls here are about as reliable as John Terry’s marriage vows, the message from this one seems to be, “nothing to see here gentlemen, move on please”.

  • Ulick

    Stephen, I’m not totally sure what your argument is here or what you think I said, but let me be a little bit clearer. I never mentioned anything about a border poll or anything else. But two things from this poll:

    1. it confirms SF as the largest Party which they were at the last election anyway.

    2. it confirms the continuing decline in the Unionist share of the vote as documented by Horseman over on ‘Ulster’s Doomed’.

    Now I’m not saying that the end of Unionist majority equates to a nationalist/Republican majority because it doesn’t. What anyone else wants to read into those two points is their own business but I haven’t offered any suggestions or conclusions.

  • Mick Fealty

    Thanks for the translations Sammy…

  • Stephen Ferguson

    Is that the same ‘Ulsters Doomed’ who claims there will be a catholic majority in Northern Ireland in 9 years? Yes, his figures should be relied on…

    The fact is ON THE ISSUE OF THE BORDER only 39% of catholics actually want a United Ireland. Sorry if this ruins your romantic fantasies but the truth needs to be told.

    Using Sinn Fein and SDLP voting trends to argue the end of the border doesn’t take into account large chunks of both parties’ electorate would vote against a United Ireland if it came to the crunch. Jobs, benefits, lifestyle, etc come before romantic pipe dreams.

    Ulster’s as safe now as it’s always been.

  • iluvni

    So protecting an (alleged) paedophile and child abuse arent enough to turn the average Sinn Fein voter off the party.

    Just what would be the point of no return for them?
    I’m struggling to come up with an example. I considered perhaps it would be murdering a nun, but theyve done that one, havent they?

  • Ulick

    Stephen,

    Is that the same ‘Ulsters Doomed’ who claims there will be a catholic majority in Northern Ireland in 9 years?

    Well if he has, I haven’t noticed.

    Erm your second ‘point’ is not a fact at all, merely your opinion based on something that is continuously shown to be out of line with how people ‘actually’ vote.

    3rd para – again just your opinion Stephen.

    Last – when you produce some irrefutable evidence maybe then I’ll believe you.

  • ardmaj55

    Ulick [6] The last census showed that religious breakdown of population figures are no longer a reliable guide to margins of the communities, so the best way to judge that is from elections. The margin is probably tighter than it was thought at the 2001 census. At the time of the results being published, some Unionists, showed their true colours in their statements. Jeffrey Donaldson suggested the the criteria for any referendum should be, NOT 50% of the entire NI electorate, but rather 50% of the unionist electorate. Catholic voters are clearly non persons for wee Jeffrey. More surprising was the reaction of Sylvia Hermon who suggested that the 30,000 gibralter voters should have vote in NI to provide a cushion for unionists. Old attitudes die hard here.

  • Mark McGregor

    Mick,

    The margin of error is 3% in addition to Sammy’s figure. So the ‘statistically significant’ aspect amounts to exactly nothing.

  • RobertNoonan

    There will be no majority if they keep using condoms.Condoms should be banned.The Prods are catching up. Ban the condoms

  • Stephen Ferguson

    “Well if he has, I haven’t noticed.”

    It’s on his page a number of times. Perhaps you should thoroughly read a website you quote to back up your opinions.

    “Erm your second ‘point’ is not a fact at all, merely your opinion based on something that is continuously shown to be out of line with how people ‘actually’ vote.”

    Erm it’s based on an impartial public poll. People don’t vote for or against a United Ireland in elections here, they vote for parties who will best represent their interests. You are the one using election results based on health, education, policy to try and show support for a UI.

    “Last – when you produce some irrefutable evidence maybe then I’ll believe you.”

    I’ll try again – scroll down to see the catholic vote – http://alturl.com/5oqp

  • Marcionite

    How does a united Ireland equate to Ulster being doomer? Ulster will still exist. The roads will still be there, the towns will still be there, and the people too. So what exactly is ‘doomed’?

    So you don’t want a united Ireland, fine, that’s perfectly fine but let’s not live in the world of hyperbole and emotive-armageddonism.

  • Slartibuckfast

    People in NI voting on education, health etc. LOL

  • Jaggers

    Why doesn’t a 7% vote for TUV (6% adjusted upwards by 1% to reflect the 14% don’t knows) represent a collapse from the 13.6% recorded last May (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Ireland_(European_Parliament_constituency))

    Surely a 50% drop in votes in one year represents a collapse and probably the only “statistically” significant result from this poll.

  • Ulick

    Stephen,

    It’s on his page a number of times. Perhaps you should thoroughly read a website you quote to back up your opinions

    Then please point it out to me. I didn’t use his website to back up my opinions – I used the Belfast Tele poll to back up his opinions.

    Erm it’s based on an impartial public poll. People don’t vote for or against a United Ireland in elections here, they vote for parties who will best represent their interests. You are the one using election results based on health, education, policy to try and show support for a UI.

    It’s a survey that has continually been shown to be inaccurate for whatever reasons. But if that’s your comfort blanket go for it.

    I’ll try again – scroll down to see the catholic vote – http://alturl.com/5oqp

    See previous comment.

  • Dewi

    “Jeffrey Donaldson suggested the the criteria for any referendum should be, NOT 50% of the entire NI electorate, but rather 50% of the unionist electorate. ”

    Did he? When and where? That’s fascinating.

  • 24.How does a united Ireland equate to Ulster being doomer?

    The title of the blog in question still remains a puzzle for me. I’m not sure if the self-appointed “Horseman of the Hun Apocalypse” simply equates Ulster with some mythical Prod Homeland that I’m not aware of or what exactly – if I were a resident of the other 3 counties I’d be a bit p-eed off to hear some Nordie ethno-nat number cruncher telling me my province is for the scrap heap of history.

    Regarding the poll, going on the revised Sammy Morse numbers I make the total pro-Union number 45% with a 6 % difference with the total pro-nat vote which is the same stable figure it’s been for the last several real elections. Having said that, Tele poll so presumably TUV and SF vote underestimated by 2-3 %?

  • Scaramoosh

    Sammy Morse;

    “the message from this one seems to be, “nothing to see here gentlemen, move on please”.

    Surely, the message from this should be, why it is that the Alliance is so incapable of mopping up the vote of the Protestant “Don’t Cares.”

  • Chris Donnelly

    Mick

    A very good indicator for republicans, though some dodgy conclusions being drawn from this poll.

    Firstly, the combined nationalist vote tally of 34% should have made the pollsters blush- there is a long and dubious tradition of grossly underestimating the Sinn Fein vote in northern polls. Indeed I can recall the polling company which produced one such poll in this very paper issuing a subsequent clarification piece in the paper after the results were proven to have decisively deflated the Sinn Fein- and combined nationalist- share of the vote.

    The combined nationalist share of the vote has been underestimated by somewhere between 6 and 10% in this poll; Sinn Fein, as the largest nationalist party, can be expecting between four and seven percent of that vote.

    Therefore it is reasonable to conclude that Sinn Fein will comfortably top the poll in percentage terms; translating that into seats is another story, given that the boundary changes will have created a number of single nationalist seats in predominantly unionist areas, constituencies in which republicans have traditionally failed to make up the decisive numbers.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Mick

    A very good indicator for republicans, though some dodgy conclusions being drawn from this poll.

    Firstly, the combined nationalist vote tally of 34% should have made the pollsters blush- there is a long and dubious tradition of grossly underestimating the Sinn Fein vote in northern polls. Indeed I can recall the polling company which produced one such poll in this very paper issuing a subsequent clarification piece in the paper after the results were proven to have decisively deflated the Sinn Fein- and combined nationalist- share of the vote.

    The combined nationalist share of the vote has been underestimated by somewhere between 6 and 10% in this poll; Sinn Fein, as the largest nationalist party, can be expecting between four and seven percent of that vote.

    Therefore it is reasonable to conclude that Sinn Fein will comfortably top the poll in percentage terms; translating that into seats is another story, given that the boundary changes will have created a number of single nationalist seats in predominantly unionist areas, constituencies in which republicans have traditionally failed to make up the decisive numbers.

  • Gerry Lvs castro

    Re the NI Life & Times Survey — just out of interest, when was the last border poll held, and what was the result?

  • ardmaj55

    Stephen Ferguson [Msg17]
    All this talk about the likelihood of a border poll and whether it would lead to UI or not is missing the point a bit. As far as many in the Catholic side are concerned, it’s more to do with unionist establishment paranoia about losing their majority. Most Catholics are less exercised about whether NI stays in the Union or not, than are concerned that Unionists are running constituencies for themselvesa alone and refusing to share power in the ones they have. Once the majority is overturned, NI will be fine where it is.

  • Drumlins Rock

    the last border poll was in 1973 ans the result was 99% in favour of remaining in the UK, pretty conclusive I would say 🙂

  • Neil

    NILT surveys have been subjected to ridicule here in the past, for obvious reasons. For example:

    http://www.ark.ac.uk/nilt/2007/Political_Attitudes/POLPARTY.html

    In 2007 according to NILT 14% of the electorate identified themselves with SF. Shockingly, 26.2% of voters actually came out for SF. Nearly 100% error margin on that one. They’ve obviously revived it upwards for:

    in ’05 according to NILT 9% of the electorate were SF voters. However in ’05 we also had an election and in what can only be described as a massive shock to NILT readers, 24.3% of voters came out for SF. Why the error is greater than 150%! No wonder the ascribed SF an extra 5% of the vote after that spectacularly inaccurate poll.

    I could easily continue to go back through the years, comparing the bull from NILT polls with the actual result but looking at the past two elections they are on average over 125% inaccurate. To me being 125% inaccurate kinda takes the point out of doing a survey.

    Finally the fact that you cite the wildly inaccurate NILT surveys and point to the bottom of the page saying look, 44% of Catholics want to remain in the UK against 39% who don’t. Now for the average person that would set alarm bells ringing, especially coming from the most dubious source of polls in the UK give their average > 100% innacuracy.

    It is as described a comfort blanket. You can continue to pay attention to NILT surveys and ignore the elections, cause the elections say that 24% of people vote for SF, but the survey says 9% so the survey must be accurate and the real world’s all wrong! And look it says there Nationalists aren’t Nationalists, everyone loves the Queen and the entire troubles was orchestrated by Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness while the rest of they fenians are really Loyalists, even though they pretend to be Republicans.

    In summary, NILT surveys = bullshit, proven so year on year, and invariably they wre weighted in favour of the Unionist point of view, as comparing the poll results with proveable figures (like actual election results for example) illustrates boldly.

  • Neil

    the last border poll was in 1973 ans the result was 99% in favour of remaining in the UK, pretty conclusive I would say 🙂

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/march/9/newsid_2516000/2516477.stm

    In a referendum on the future of the province, 591,280 people or 57% of the electorate voted to retain links with the UK. A boycott by the Roman Catholic population meant only 6,463 voted in favour of a united Ireland.

    So, all you have to do is get Catholics to boycott any vote, and you can reproduce your result. Hell, why not try to remove the vote from Catholics altogether, save any hassle.

  • Gerry Lvs castro

    Simple solution Neil — hold a border poll this year and remove any doubts.

  • Neil

    That sounds like a suggestion it will only happen once, which is not acceptable to Republicans and Nationalists. It should happen soon, and every few years thereafter.

    Republicans have to win once. Loyalists have to win every time for ever. So yeah I agree. Bring it on.

  • ardmaj55

    Dewi msg 3 During the latter end of 2003 when the census of 2001 [religious breakdown of returns]was due to publish, there was a lot of speculating by commentators and politicians that the margin between the two main religious communities was getting tighter and could even be close to 50%, JD was on Talkback or at least on R.Ulster saying that it was 50% of UNIONIST voters and not 50% of NI voters that should be determining of the conclusion to be accepted. Not afraid of appearing to be a bigot, our jeffrey.

  • Gerry Lvs castro

    Personally speaking Neil, I’d say a border poll every ten years or so would seem reasonable.

    The NILTS 2008 survey suggesting a mere 18% in favour of unification would seem extremely small even from a Unionist standpoint — wouldn’t do any harm to either community to get some hard figures.

    If however (as I think most might expect) the actual figure is in the 20-30% range, it should hopefully put the constitutional question to bed for the forseeable future and allow the MLAs to actually deal with the real issues — health, education, utilities…

  • Dewi

    Intersting ardmaj55 – not heard that suggestion from anyone.

  • Neil

    I too have a fondness for confronting reality, it would be good to get hard numbers. As for MLAs dealing with real issues, speaking generally here, that’s not their M.O. If they started that caper, people might make them for fools, their skills tend to lie more towards agitation…

  • ardmaj55

    It’s perfectly true though, Dewi, as is the quote from Sylvia Hermon at the same time, suggesting that voters from Gibralter should be allowed to vote here to shore up the unionist parties who would be demoralised at the the fact that it was not their NI anymore. Presumably SH thought that since the 30,000 GIB voters were catholics, so, nationalists couldn’t object. That was an insult to their intelligence.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Neil, the GFA includes the possibility for a Border poll, and also the clause that it can only be held every 7 yrs at most. I couldnt resist putting the 99% result in, and if you wish to interpret it as 58% please fell free too do so, but that means any future poll would require 50%+1 of the ELECTORATE to vote for a UI, not 50% of those who voted, I think most unionists could live with that remote possibility.

  • David Crookes

    Ulick’s first point (#1) should be taken very seriously by the DUP and the UUP. Many unionist voters are bemused by the DUP’s obsession with parades, and by the UUP’s inability to plot a clear course. By contrast, Dawn Purvis has raised the profile of her own party and earned a lot of respect. How so? Well, Dawn is interested in doing useful things. Don’t be surprised if the PUP do well in the coming election. Some people in areas that might surprise you would happily vote PUP if they were given that option.

    Most unionist voters are sick to death of the squalid word ‘Garvaghy’, and they won’t thank the politicians who have brought that word back into currency. For their part many UUP voters resent the fact that their party seems to rejoice in making a display of its own impotence (even in relation to the matter of education). Neither the DUP nor the UUP should take their present amplitude for granted. Unionist voters don’t want a pit bull terrier, and they don’t want a chiwawa. They want a collie or a retriever that will justify its own existence by doing useful work. I mean to say, we should be talking about new railway lines, not about parades.

    Maybe the the coming election will encourage a number of tired and toothless old dogs to go away and stop growling. Any young dogs who are thinking of getting involved in the game will need five things: energy, intelligence, literacy, imagination, and urbanity. The bygone days of yore really have gone. We need to stop using the Union Flag as a tablecloth. Big Jim and the Hardliners are as relevant to the present age as Big Tom and the Mainliners.

    Ulick’s 33% should be construed by the DUP and the UUP as a final public warning.

  • ardmaj55

    Chris Donnelly, [7] I expect the Unionist parties are less worried about the shinners topping the poll, than the prospect of this fact, motivating more nationalists to vote for both SDLP and SF. that would make it harder for them to ever get top of poll in NI again. There’s quite a bit more apathy among Unionist voters than Nationalists.

  • interested

    Once Unionism starts to see the DUP got a good deal their share of the vote will go up!

    • There will be no sinn fein control of policing and justice.
    • There will be no SF Justice Minister.
    • There will be NO Irish Language Act.
    • There will be NO new North-South Bodies
    • The Parades Commission will not be in place next year.
    • Outstanding Issues such as Education will be addressed and the working of Government will be improved.
    • Additional resources for the Police and the Courts 1.1 Billion
    • 400 million for hearing loss claims
    • Part Time Reserve recognition payment 22 million
    • PPW to be retained for former officers
    • Parades There will be no jumping ahead – parades will be completed in the same way as policing. There is a timetable for parades legislation to be completed.
    • Failure of other parties to keep their commitments will have consequences.

  • Dewi

    Interstingly ardmaj55 the Euro Elections indicated that Nationalist apathy was rapidly approaching Unionist. Little evidence of major differential turnout.

  • Gerry Lvs castro

    @David Crookes Can’t really argue with most of that — I think most Unionists could care less about Garvaghy and other ‘contentious’ parades.

    Rather than time, money and endless quangos being wasted on parading, shrines, truth commissions, enquiries into the past, Ulster Scots/Irish, I believe most people would rather see a decent health service, job prospects and funding for schools & roads. But as Neil quite rightly points out, our esteemed MLAs seem skilled solely in agitation and point scoring.

    The DUP and SF need to let go of the past and that means pushing minority issues such as parades, inquiries & languages way down the agenda. The UUP & SDLP need to give us reasons for their existence & the TUV just need to get a life.

  • The Blow-In

    Ahem….

    Sorry to interrupt yer intra-Northern Ireland wee bicker, but, has anyone asked people south of the border do they want to have anything to do with you?

    The political leadership both your communities have elected are starting to make our shower look competent… and thats saying something.

    I’m still amazed at how worked up people can get about ‘united ireland’ yet you didn’t give a damn about health cuts and education cuts…

    yes indeed, why would anyone want to have anything to do with you???

  • Drumlins Rock

    sush, dont tell them Dewi, they might just wake up to that fact, the SF vote will be most interesting in westminister elections. The high PUP poll is the biggest surprise, it def should get PR worried about his seat if it looks as if alot of his working class voters are drifing in Dawns direction, prob less of a threat to Doddsy though. On first appearances the TUV sitting on the same as the Alliance would you think give them similar number of seats, however there vote is probably more evenly spread across the country and they are on the “transfer repellant” when it comes to the assembly election, on these figures I cant see them breaking through.

  • With the nationalist and unionist blocs approaching parity and both blocs being divided into a number of parties, the logic of mandatory coalition involving every single significant party is getting increasingly threadbare.

    50%+1, with at least one unionist and one nationalist MLA in support should be enough of a safeguard to create a coalition which would actually have to agree on its policies.

  • David Crookes

    Thanks, Gerry lvs castro (#25)! Yes. We ALL need to get a life. It would be brilliant if we had a rail link from Belfast to Newtownards, but when you say so to certain politicians, they look at you as if you’re not right in the head.

    NI means NOT INTERESTED. Favourite question of the Wise Old Ulsterman: ‘Sure, what would you want to do that for?’ It’s a wonder we’re not all still churning butter by hand. As a matter of principle.

    We need a New Sensible Party. (I know the Alliance people will say, ‘We ARE the New Sensible Party.’ But then they would, wouldn’t they?) If the PUP joined up with the Greens, that would be a start.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Blow-In, did a quick check on whats the big story “down south” on Politics.ie, and it is “Jim Corr – Illuminati Plant?”. Guess we are missing the big picture up here squabblnig over the border and should be joing together to fight the New World Order.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Message #5
    .”Bairbre topped the poll in June with 26%… that’s a statistically significant loss of 5% in 8 months.”

    Ah Mr Fealty, your much appreciated neutrality is showing again.
    Ms de Bruns 26% was REAL.
    This 21% is a Belfast Telegraph POLL…..and not worth a candle.
    You I think have been around long enough to know that BT polls ALWAYS understate the extremes.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Msg 14 Mr Morse…..yes indeed. Same again

    “But everyone is within a margin of error of their Euro 2009 performance, except for Alliance (polls always overstate our vote – I’m hoping this one is wrong!!!)”

    Alliance Bloggers also have a habit of overstating their vote.

  • BryanS

    Well said Blow in! Is it not time we stopped calling catholic people nationalists or republicans? They are patently not all Nats or Reps indeed not even a majority are. And Blow in makes the perfectly valid point that a referendum in the south would not wish for a United Ireland sorry they might WISH as in a sentimental dream but they certainly wouldnt vote for one.

  • ardmaj55

    Dewi 24 That word, ‘interestingly’ again, Dewi. You’re not by any chance UTV’s Ken Reid posting here on the sly? He can never get through a sentence without that. He must be making Steve Davis jealous. I don’t think SF need worry, it’s the SDLP voters who are most likely to stay away, Mrs Ritchie or no Mrs Ritchie.

  • David Crookes

    The Blow-in: no reason at all, sir, but thanks for all the joy you’re bringin’ to unionists, as that nice girl Agnetha Fältskog might have said.

    Drumlins Rock: you can’t satirize some people. Yesterday on the web I found a reference to BILDERBERG PUPPET LADY GAGA! You can sum up Jordan Maxwell, Anthony J Hilder, and the rest in four words. ‘Everything is everything else.’ I’m waiting for someone to warn me that the Chinese Lantern is really an Illuminati plant. Maybe you’re right, and the Irish border is far less dangerous than the herbaceous border.

    But sure didn’t St Patrick drive all the reptilians out of Ireland.

  • Scaramoosh

    herbaceous border..

    Is parsley herbaceous?

  • David Crookes

    Yes, Scaramoosh, at the moment, but tomorrow you may have to look for him among the Greens.

  • Drumlins Rock

    do you think Gerry talks to Shaun WOODward

  • Harry J

    the UUP share has fallen since the Euro election – seems david cameron cant help them, the DUP have a least stopped any further fall and allisters vote has been slashed by 50% –

  • David Crookes

    No, Drumlins Rock, he’s too busy trying to SHADOW OUR DAWN.

  • The Original Sam Maguire

    Nevermind a pinch of salt, I’d take this information with whatever reserves of salts the councils had before the cold snap at xmas.

    In case anyone has forgotten, this poll being brought to you by the same people that once projected that the PUP would win 3 seats in East Belfast.

  • Medillen

    “Once Unionism starts to see the DUP got a good deal their share of the vote will go up!

    • There will be no sinn fein control of policing and justice.
    • There will be no SF Justice Minister.
    • There will be NO Irish Language Act.
    • There will be NO new North-South Bodies
    • The Parades Commission will not be in place next year.
    • Outstanding Issues such as Education will be addressed and the working of Government will be improved.
    • Additional resources for the Police and the Courts 1.1 Billion
    • 400 million for hearing loss claims
    • Part Time Reserve recognition payment 22 million
    • PPW to be retained for former officers
    • Parades There will be no jumping ahead – parades will be completed in the same way as policing. There is a timetable for parades legislation to be completed.
    • Failure of other parties to keep their commitments will have consequences.

    Posted by interested on Feb 12, 2010 @ 03:24 PM”

    Far be it for me to offer the DUP advice as you are going enough damage to yourselves, but interested (I do not know if you are a staffer or just a supporter) this is what is wrong with the DUP strategy, a tick box exercise of what you have managed to block Sinn Fein doing prior to an election. It may have some currency with a section of your support but ordinary unionists and loyalists want delivery on the issues that effect them and you can only do that with Sinn Fein in a genuine partnership. So decisions need made or your fate is predictable.

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    Lets have an Assembly election to go with the Westminister election and put paid to all this interpretation of dodgy polls.

    Give the politicians what they profess to love. Let them pay homage to their masters (well for a few weeks until after the election). Then as per usual post election the Servants get uppity again. Sadly in politics the Electorate just cannot get the staff.

  • DerTer

    FJH
    I was beginning to think that you wouldn’t be tempted out on this one!
    I offered the thought to you on another thread yesterday that one of the problems about caring about whether Northern Ireland remains in the UK or, alternatively, that it become part of an independent all-Ireland state, is that in both cases it seems that to be a true devotee you are required to abandon your critical faculties. In light of the serious statistical evidence adduced, this has been more than adequately demonstrated on this thread; and I have in consequence some wider points to make:
    • Polls like those of the BT and NILT are of course full of flaws and hazards for the unwary – and margins of error
    • But the sheer consistency in the series of findings over the years of a substantial number of Catholics who wish to remain in the UK makes the phenomenon – if I can call it that – statistically soundly-based
    • What is also of importance – something already referred to here earlier, but worth some emphasis – is that it is not at all difficult to believe that Catholics who belong to the ‘stay in the UK’ tendency might nonetheless vote SDLP (or indeed SF), for what I might (offensively perhaps) describe as tribal-defensive reasons; and of course the same is certain to be true in regard to Protestant tribal attachment
    • Related to that, in a piece of inelegant profundity, the English historian A J P Taylor once described himself as “a man of extreme views, weakly held” (he claimed to be a Marxist/Marxian, but acknowledged that he had never done anything to advance the cause of proletarian revolution)
    • I think it fair to say that political scientists/sociologists/statisticians have not yet dealt adequately with the issue of the depth of individual sentiment identified by Taylor
    • The relevance of this to our own situation is that we have no idea of how deeply or shallowly people are attached to their unionist or nationalist views, or about how little or how much it would take to move them away from those
    A skill that our politicians need to develop, therefore, is to listen to people on the doorstep rather than engaging purely in pressing their party line.

  • BryanS

    Perfectly put DerTer. These labels are one of the most dangerous aspects and assumptions in what passes for political discussion in Norn Iron

  • BryanS

    If only I had stayed in full time education beyond the age of 23 I could have expressed those same thoughts succintly.

  • The Original Sam Maguire

    While much is made of the NILT survey by Unionists about the amount of Catholics that wish to stay in the union I’d have serious reservations about their methodology.

    I honestly fail to believe that the Nationalists questioned come from the heartlands FST, WT, MU, Foyle, N&A, SD, West Belfast or the Nationalist parts of East Derry and Upper Bann – places the union has basically ignored.

    I have no doubt there are ‘Nationalist’ voters in Unionist constituencies (and even South Belfast) that would have a looser opinion when it comes to the constitutional question and may even be closet unionists in an ‘I’m all right jack’ type of way but to suggest that 1 in 3 of your average SF or SDLP voting Joe Soaps in Dungannon, Derry or Downpatrick would actually vote to maintain the union in a border poll is nothing short of delusional.

  • BryanS

    Stick to the GAA Sam you are delusional

    Wasnt gerry a beaten docket tonight on Tuberty?

  • lamhdearg

    the original
    i think the point that is being made is that not all catholics would vote for united ireland, and therefore a simply head count of caths v prods is not a basics for saying it will happen,everyone would get to vote in a border poll even if they are a pale green from north down,

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Belfast Telegraph Opinion Polls exist for the sole purpose of boosting “moderate” unionism since the days of Terence O’Neill when they helpfully produced coupons so that those supporting O’Neill could cut out and post to BT.

    Not much has changed. The quite bizarre thing is that people put credibility in them.
    My own methodology with pollsters (and of course canvassers) is to lie thru my teeth. As these arent real people , it doesnt matter.

    For those tempted to express a foul mouthed opinion to canvassers in Cornmarket in late April.

    I recommend “disappointment”.
    “I always vote DUP but I dont like the Robinson affair”
    “I always vote UUP but the pact/lack of pact with DUP disturbs me”
    “I always vote Allaince but they dont deserve the Justice ministry”
    “I always vote SDLP but dont like the new leader”
    “I always vote Sinn Féin but I dont want parades to proceed”.

    basically all parties can handle the fact that you never vote for them but it really pisses them off that they might have lost a vote.

  • The Original Sam Maguire

    The point I’d make LD is that the vast bulk of Nationalists wouldn’t contemplate voting to maintain the union in a border poll – NILT suggests a vast number would and while there may indeed be a few but nothing even remotely near what they would suggest.

  • lamhdearg

    original
    i agree.

  • Slartibuckfast

    Who ever thought they’d see America vote in a black President in their lifetimes? I certainly didn’t. Yet here we are.

    A UI will be voted for at some stage. It could be 50 years but it will happen. I just wish those pricks would first pointlessly stop killing people in the name of it.

  • joeCanuck

    My own methodology with pollsters (and of course canvassers) is to lie thru my teeth.

    Good man; That’s what I do too. Nothing else makes sense – gives your opponents a false sense of security, makes those you do support work harder.

  • PaddyReilly

    Opinion Polls aren’t really possible in NI: there are too many parties and too much local variation. The Belfast Telegraph poll is unsurprisingly too close to Belfast opinion and insufficiently representative of the peripheries. PUP and Alliance are too high, TUV too low.

    Indeed in a pravince in which elections are held every year nearly, there is no need for opinion polls: one just refers to the most recent election. Polls are merely pacifiers for people who don’t like the election results.

    The big surprise is the amazing recovery of the DUP vote. But then this is after all only a survey. Maybe the DUP had some input into its making. Given the troubles the DUP has been through recently you’d think their vote would have taken a battering. Indeed, I will continue to believe this a more likely hypothesis than what the BT says.

    But then we have to bear in mind, we are not governed by opinion polls, nor are we even governed by a system which replicates the percentage results even of devastatingly accurate opinion polls. If the BT percentages were correct for every constituency, then Sinn Fein would gain 18 out of 18 seats in the forthcoming Westminster Election.

    As no attempt is made to elicit the 2nd preference votes, the data here will be useless in predicting the results of a Stormont election, so you might as well forget it.

  • Alias

    “A UI will be voted for at some stage. It could be 50 years but it will happen.”

    I think this fits into the category of propaganda that has the purpose of neutralising threats to British sovereignty by creating the bogus impression that X will happen irrespective of efforts to make X happen therefore efforts to make X happen are redundant. 😉

    Of course, X hasn’t happened in 90 years, and there is no reason to assume that it will happen in the next 90 years – just as there is no reason to assume that NAFTA means that Mexico, America and Canada will merge into one state.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Id be interested in the actual “behind the scenes”at these polls.
    Does the Belfast Telegraph think……hmmm lets generate some interest……lets approach our usual poll people.
    The headlines will generate enough sales to pay for the poll.

    Or does the Polling company sit around “brainstorming” and some pony tailed executive/office boy comes up with “does anybody remember the Belfast Telegraph phone number…..we might be able to convince them that if they pay us loadsa money for a survey, then it will pay for itself with a few extra copies”.

    Gin and tonics all round.

  • Scaramoosh

    Hey ,,,in two hundred years we might see N.Ireland’s first black First Minister …

  • Drumlins Rock

    scara, 15 yrs ago I was in Toronto and said to a mate Belfast will someday be a bit more like this with a mix of races, prob take about 20 yrs though, now my local town is 20% foreign nationals/immigrants, amny of whom are here over 5 yrs now, so things change quicker than we think, we have had out first woman First Minister, ok it was for a coupel of weeks just, but hey who knows lol

  • ardmaj55

    Scaramouch [8] In 50 years we might see our first Catholic FM [actually allowed by Unionists to do the job]. The FM post here doesn’t count because Marty is ALREADY Joint FM now.

  • RepublicanStones

    Would that be Dunagannon you are talking about Drumlins?

  • RepublicanStones

    minus that extra ‘a’.