It’s an open race in GB – but open and shut in NI?

Well, they’re off. Timetable below, courtesy the FT. Just under a fortnight to the nominations deadline. Locally, despite the Ucunf fiasco. what’s the betting that unionism can’t get its act together, with all those distractions added? Just as the powersharing coalition has weathered its latest storm, they’re all set to fight the bit out again. Who is the real enemy and who is merely the opponent? Will the DUP and SF leading roles survive the contest? There’ll be plenty of wobbling over the next five weeks. The personal politics have never been so bizarre and may affect calculations but in my blissful ignorance of the intimate details, I’ll stick my neck out and say the personal pressures on Messrs Robinson and Adams will count for little. In GB the Nats have their work cut out trying to join the leaders’ debates. With the polls all over the place, and the Guardian’s latest breaking the recent trend of a lengthening but still unemphatic Conservative lead, it’s safe to plump for a close election; but who can tell at this stage? A low turnout could be the biggest bugbear of all.

Thursday, April 8 – adjournment
The last effective working day of the Westminster parliament’s sitting is expected to result in a scramble to push through government legislation.

Monday, April 12 – parliament dissolved
Writs are issued for the UK’s 650 constituencies for the House of Commons. Every seat in the lower chamber of parliament then becomes vacant, although ministers retain their positions as heads of departments in a caretaker capacity until the next government is formed.

Thursday, April 15 – first leaders’ TV debate
ITV, the commercial broadcaster, is expected to host the first instalment of a three-part televised debate among the leaders of Britain’s three main political parties: Gordon Brown of the Labour party, David Cameron of the Conservative party and Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democrats. The theme will be domestic affairs.

Tuesday, April 20 – registration deadline
Nomination papers must be delivered by 4pm, while the candidates for each constituency are announced at 5pm. Voters must be registered on the electoral roll by this date.

Thursday, April 22 – second TV debate
Sky, the satellite broadcaster, is due to host the second leaders’ TV debate on the theme of foreign affairs.

Thursday, April 29 – third TV debate
The economy will be the theme of the last leaders’ TV debate, which will be hosted by the BBC, the UK’s public broadcaster.
Thursday, May 6 – election day
Polling stations will be open across the country from 7am to 10pm BST. First results are expected within the next few hours.
Friday, May 7 – results

  • alan56

    Not so sure that the personal problems of Robinson and Adams will count for little. There is a ‘fog of war’ out there and it may well have an effect. Both leaders have seemed bruised and a bit unbalanced by recent revelations. Will this translate into vote swings? Who knows. If the stories have more legs then it might have an impact.

  • Driftwood

    Check out the locals. Stuck 2 quid on Naomi at 100/1. Vance is 10/1??. Comrade yerr on at 20 quid, as 100 is beyond my gambling remit. Though if Naomi wins, half my winnings to the Simon community.

    Gerry is 1/500, way to go. It’s all looking like not much change.

  • sdelaneys

    No change in seats is most probable although I can see a small drop in votes for Robinson and Adams.

  • Driftwood

    Looks like SF holds in FST and SB. I think the only real battle is in Strangford. I also put a few quid on a hung parliament, at almost 2/1.
    You pays yer money….

    Big diffs between the bookies on NA, but all the favourites never win in a meeting.

    BTW, not advertising, but Betfair is King in the days preceding the election.

  • Garza

    Ah so many betting options, me thinks im going to lose a lot of money lol.

  • Drumlins Rock

    always go into an election persuming nothing will change, and then judge all the evidence for a change based on that persumption.

  • Cynic2

    Vote Developers’ Unionist Party – the party so stupid it doesn’t even ask for the payments to be in brown envelopes

  • Cynic2

    Gee Driftwood …..I know Alistair must be pissed off at losing the leadership contest but has he defected?

  • Garza

    According to Ladbrokes, Alliance to win East Belfast 100/1! I don’t they will win it, but might be worth to put a quid on it.

  • Procrasnow

    It just will not be the same without Big Ian and Iris.

  • Comrade Stalin


    Comrade yerr on at 20 quid, as 100 is beyond my gambling remit. Though if Naomi wins, half my winnings to the Simon community.

    Hilarious, I knew it. After all your huffing and puffing, you haven’t got the confidence in your own argument to back it up with hard cash.

  • LabourNIman

    You are living in serious denial if you think Adams vote will go down..

  • union mack

    Especially as west Belfast is effectively a one-party state 😉 Attwood is no challenge, nor is any other SDLP candidate. The only thing we may see there is a lower turn-out…

  • Greenflag

    Apart from one or two constituencies in NI the result is already a done deal. The FPP sytem plus the census tribal breakdown figures ensures that much at least .

    The Tories will need at least a 7.5% swing from Labour and that would give them a only a small majority of 20 . A hung ‘parliament ‘ seems the most likely .Even a 1.5% swing to the Tories would still leave Labour with a small majority . The big question is will the Liberal vote hold or will enough liberal voters decide to opt for a certain Labour Government or a certain Tory replacement ?

    Has Sammy Morse made his NI predictions yet ?

  • union mack

    The news that Willie Ross is to stand for the TUV in East Londonderry has thrown that race wide open too. With a good CU candidate attracting UUP and probably some moderate nationalist/Alliance types to get Gregory out, and Ross taking the hardline vote from around Limavady and Garvagh, this could be a DUP loss. Reg Empey needs to get the wool off his eyes, see the potential still to inflict a blow to the DUP despite his pathetic weakness of late, and stand in South Antrim. If he sneaked SA and EL, he could probably claim a decent result.

    As for nationally, it’s Labour to win most seats, but needing a Liberal coalition if they want to govern. I think the Libs may surprise a few people with their performance in this election.

  • Greenflag

    union mack ,

    ‘I think the Libs may surprise a few people with their performance in this election.’

    If so it’ll be by default . Disenchantment with Labour allied to lack of credibility in the Tory alternative .

  • RobertEmmett

    prediction: our “leaders” will have thier big jobs for another five years.

    ordinary people… maybe not