DUP regaining confidence, or is there an election coming up?

Interesting quotes from Ian Paisley in the Newsletter this morning, who when asked to comment on the possibility that Sinn Fein might take the First Minister’s role had this to say:

“I don’t think there is going to be a day when the unionist parties will be so disordered that Sinn Fein will be the largest party. There has been a swing to unionism and I believe we’ll not have that.”

Checking the figures over at Ark, there is a noticeable Unionist swing when you compare 2009 voting percentages (U49%, N42.2%) with those in March 2007 Assembly elections (U45%, N41.4%) as a percentage, but there is virtually no change in the total figures between 2005 (U48.6%,N42.2%)and last year’s European elections. So the swing would seem to relate to the difference between a single seat constituency, and multiple fights, where unionism seems to do relatively poorly…

But the governing questions in the coming election will not so much lie in voting percentages so much as in the seat by seat battles. In only one is the TUV thought to have a chance of winning (the DUP are defending an 18,000 seat majority in North Antrim). In the rest they will run to inflict as much damage as they can muster, and possibly help ‘flip’ a seat out to the UUP/Conservatives…

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  • ding dong

    I don’t think there is going to be a day when….

    Belfast holds the first Gay wedding in the UK*

    Martin McGuiness will be joint first minister of Northern Ireland with me*

    A DUP minister will fund the Gay pride in Belfast*

    A DUP minister will attend a GAA match*

    I’ll Have to resign before the DUP chuck me out*

    My church will turn on me and virtually sack me*

    Iris Robinson will become the talk of the place for taking a 19 year old lover.*

    I’ll say yes, yes, yes!*

    *delete and insert as appropriate.

    A paraphrase of previous nightmares Ian Paisley could never see happening.

    On this basis I’d take all this ole fella has to say with a pinch of salt.

  • Kevsterino

    At least he dropped the “never, never, never” thing.

  • PaddyReilly

    there is a noticeable Unionist swing when you compare 2009 voting percentages (U49%, N42.2%) with those in March 2007 Assembly elections (U45%, N41.4%)

    Arrived at by the process of not comparing like with like. Assembly elections do not work on the same principle as Euro ones; exactly who stands and where will affect the outcome, and you are ignoring the 2nd and subsequent preferences, which are crucial to the effective result. Different kinds of election held on the same day will produce different percentages: there is no swing, it’s just a matter of different systems.

    So if Unionists allegedly won only 45% of the vote (recte 1st preferences) in 2007, they ended up with 50% of the seats (+ 1 loyalist).

    In 2009 the same happened: they ended up with 50% of the seats, plus one, in the European Parliament.

    And amazingly, given the unbalanced nature of the Westminster system, they have in that parliament, 50%, plus one, of the NI seats.