Fermanagh South Tyrone: Some Stats to Ponder

Following the decision to field a Pan-Unionist/ Conservative candidate in Fermanagh South Tyrone, the electoral math in the constituency has altered considerably. In the event of the SDLP’s candidate deciding to remain in the contest, then Michelle Gildernew would be facing a mammoth challenge to retain the seat.

As of the 2005 Westminster election, Sinn Fein’s Michelle Gildernew held 72% of the combined nationalist vote- some 18,638 votes compared to the SDLP candidate’s 7,230 votes. In that election the combined nationalist vote exceeded that of the combined unionist vote by some 2,933 votes.On those figures, Gildernew would need to increase her share of the combined nationalist vote to some 89%, ensuring that more than 4,200 of those SDLP voters (or 60% of them) transfer their vote to Gildernew this time around. To put this in context, when Sinn Fein romped home with five of the six MLAs in West Belfast in 2007, it did so having taken 85% of the combined nationalist vote. Gildernew will need to match and exceed that figure if she is to retain the seat for nationalism.

In short, she needs to ensure nine in every ten nationalists vote for Sinn Fein (up from seven in ten in the constituency in 2005.)

Certainly not impossible, and if republicans could choose one constituency in which they would have a four week period to deliver this message, then it would be Fermanagh South Tyrone. But were they to pull it off, it would be a fairly unprecedented achievement.

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  • PaddyReilly

    The Larne gun-running occurred in April 1914. More relevant would be the anti-democratic policing of the early 1920s, with the intent of defeating majority rule in that area. Both would be strictly irrelevant if Unionists could accept that there is a Nationalist majority in the area and try to accommodate its wishes, something that happens in the Nationalist parts of Wales and Scotland, but as this whole thread shows, Unionism doesn’t do accommodation: it exists to make the other sort as uncomfortable as possible.

    24 Hours is a long time in politics. Yesterday’s post is now irrelevant: as I said on the other thread, in an expanding universe, time is on the side of the outcast. Those who once inhabited the suburbs of human contempt find that without changing their address they eventually live in the metropolis.

    The electoral conflict in FST is between 3 constitutional (British Constitution that is) and non-violent parties. The perpetrators and justifiers of militant Irish republicanism are now someone else. In their reckoning it would be one colonialist and 2 Uncle Tom parties. Kindly do not bother us with the events of the last millennium. Wake up and smell the semtex, grandad.

  • Sammy Morse

    Ah so the Tories are now linked to the OO – presumably in a vast worldwide conspiracy involving the NeoCons in the US, Israel and little green men in a giant flying saucer in geosynchronous orbit beaming signals down to confuse us into no voting SF.

    Nice try at creating a straw man but it doesn’t add up. I wasn’t aware that Israel and little green men were in talks with the DUP and the Orange Order at Hatfield House a few months ago.

    And the American neocons were unsuccessfully telling Cameron to get Reg under control.

    If UCUNF wants to indulge in grubby little sectarian pacts, that’s their business, but it makes a mockery of any claim they might make about changing the nature of politics here.

  • Well said Sammy Morse.

  • orly

    Looks like Rodney has this one in the bag by at least a 4 figure margin

  • Greenflag

    paddy reilly ,

    ‘Unionism doesn’t do accommodation:’

    It does .Within ‘unionism’ Look at FST . As you can see and as Sammy Morse points out above their ‘claim’ to changing the nature of politics in Northern Ireland has all the credibility of an Albanian Government Minister announcing that Albania will put a man on the moon before Christmas .