Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts

The election has potential to be surprising, any leftfield results won’t be known until the count but I’ve been considering how each party may judge a successful return. Levels of success rely not just on the number of MPs returned but comparative votes from the last Westminster election and since along with other considerations. For example SF were the largest party in terms of vote after the European election but that wasn’t the case at the last Westminster electon. Similarly the DUPs vote is almost guaranteed to fall from the last Westminster election but that doesn’t reflect the emergence of the TUV in the last European. Success will be judged on several levels – the number of MPs, percentage and actual votes and how the result would translate into seats at Assembly level (arguably more important for some).

My thoughts below on judging success are by no means definitive –please suggest other factors that could indicate a successful outcome for the parties.


Retaining seats all their Westminster seats will be the main aim. Adding a seat in South Belfast, as a full gain or countering a single seat lose elsewhere, would also be an excellent result.

The can’t expect a gain in vote in percentage or real terms from the last Westminster election as the TUV are now involved but need to improve on their percentage at the Europeans given the TUV aren’t running in every constituency (not running in FST makes this more difficult).

Sinn Féin

Retaining all their seats is the key aim. They have limited chances for an additional seat but coming through the middle in Upper Bann as a full gain or to counteract a lose in FST would be a big victory.

They’ll return the largest vote but increasing on it from the European elections would be a success.

Retaining FST would be a massive win but losing it with the SDLP vote suffering badly would be a minor success.


Retaining all seats and increasing their percentage and vote, there seems no realistic option for adding a seat.

Retaining SB in particular but with an increase in vote.

Losing in FST but increasing percentage and vote


They must return 2 MPs from somewhere, they must increase their percentage and actual vote (again not running in FST makes this more difficult).

South Antrim in particular needs to be a gain.


Winning 1 seat (North Antrim)

Reaching a quota for Assembly elections in numerous constituencies

(They can’t increase their vote or percentage from European election as they are only running in 10 constituencies)


Retaining percentage and vote and/or growing in certain constituencies

(Can’t really expect to win any seat)


Retaining vote at Assembly level in ND under Agnew

  • alan56

    Seems like a reasonable analysis to me. Would just add that McKinney could do well in FST.

  • Mark McGregor


    Fearghal’s ‘well’ will be relative. If he holds the vote at Assembly level that’ll be acceptable, pushes it up to a full quota that’ll be decent but if he pushes it over a full quota and makes reaching a 2nd possible that’ll be excellent. Any fall in vote in percentage terms will be utter failure.

  • Danny

    For me, success will be judged on how many independant and/or non-partisan/sectarian Members get elected.. in other words, it’ll be a failure.

  • alan56

    I just get the feeling that SDLP have not had an exciting or high profile a candidate in a long time in FST (no offence to Tommy Gallagher) and he could surprise us all?

  • Mark McGregor


    Currie in 86. Massive ask for Fearghal to get to that level would require nearly doubling their current vote – I think he’ll be doing well to hold the current vote.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Success would be retaining all seats and getting South Belfast. And they will claim credit in FST.
    success would be retaining all seats but Strangford (“special local considerations”) and South Antrim (TUV effect will be blamed) offset by winning South Belfast and half credit for FST.
    Failure would be losing South Antrim, Strangford & Upper Bann (TUV intervention would cost the seat but no declared runner) and not gaining South Belfast.
    Robinson wont lose East Belfast but ig drops in his and Paisleys vote would trigger his resignation……enter Dodds and Foster.

    Sinn Féin.
    Success….Holding all seats is the aim.
    Limited success….losing FST and SDLP not retaining South Belfast. Ruane, Anderson doing well without winning and edging ahead/keeping ahead of SDLP in East Derry, East Antrim, Lagan Valley etc…with an eye to Assembly.
    Failure……no real prospect of failure but individual votes like Adams will be scutinised.

    Success…they will claim FST as Connor will take Tory whip. Empey and Nesbitt will also win. Good showings in East Derry, Upper Bann will increase their percentages.
    Failure…Nesbitt not getting elected.
    Disaster…McCrea retaining South Antrim. Gildnernew winning FST.

    Success would be holding South Belfast and claiming the tactical vote of unionists in Derry and South Down to keep SF second. A boost in Newry-Armagh
    Failure would be a bad vote in FST WT, MU, UB,LV.

    Success….they wont win seats but Long may go close and LV should do ok. But I see supporters in ND rallying behind Hermon. I expect they will poll disaterously in South & East Antrim.

    With three candidates they are not a credible political party. Best result for them is that the ballot papers get re-cycled to Inversoft.

  • Wankleberry Deluxe

    yes horse

    DUP: 7
    SF: 4
    SDLP: 3
    UCUNT: 2
    Independent: 2

  • dundonald voter

    im not to sure about how the elections will run but i think we are in for a few shocks. sinn fein and the dup are getting a lot of stick from the people round the doors. to be honest the sooner peole start to get away from the secterian scare tactics the better we will all be. i hope people start at this election to change.

  • dundonald voter

    by the way we all know that unionists are more worried about next years local elections and who will be first minister. but if i were a unionist leader i would be very happy to be deputy after all the first minister’s post has been a poisoned chalice for them. trimble it wiped paisley 18 months before it wiped him and since robinson got it his carrer has been a disaster!!! maybe deputy dosnt look that bad after all

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Sinn Féin are canavassing in Dundonald???
    No wonder theyre getting stick.
    sorry dundonaldvoter, i couldnt resist it. lol

    but seriously I have heard much the same about SF but its the low key verbals politicians get from “supporters sounding off” rather than outright hostility.

  • Militant Tosser

    yes horse. 2nd attempt after eirigi’s mawkish cheerleader-in-chief decided to go all Stalin. My predictions:

    DUP: 7 seats. Vote share down but not a bad performance
    SF: 4 seats. Vote share marginally down
    Stoopies: 3 seats. Vote share marginally up, a relatively good performance
    UCUNF: 2 seats. Vote share up, modest performance
    Independents: 2 seats. Connor and The Lady romping home: just deserts for little Parsley

  • dundonald voter

    well the way the two parties (sinn fein dupers) have behaved fitz the only real difference between them is their repective names!!1

  • dundonald voter

    i cant see dup taken 7 seats. by the way when i talk about the usual scare tactice listen to smmy wilson screaming again about how sinn fein sdlp are rejoicing because jim allister called for his supporters to vote cu were they are running. someone tell sammy its a democracy and people can vote for who they like. by the way it was so important for the dupers to win the european election because it would be such a disaster for unionism if they didnt and all and if they won it God help us because wed only be one step away from a united ireland. well sinn fein one and the sky didnt fall in.

  • dundonald voter

    arent running

  • dundonald voter

    stop it sammy let the people vote for who they like. reminds me of the 60’s unionists vote us and well keep your bins blue instead of green!!!

  • dundonald voter

    also with the wee carve up in fst i think natinalist/republicans could come back to haunt unionism. there silly we tactics has set voting her back 60 years. nationalist/republicans although no official agreement is in place i can see a silent one were they will vote tactically in fst and south belfast and heres one maybe even in north belfast and maybe lose dodds his seat. well see. and if it happens well unionist unity will only have itself to blame

  • Isn’t success for the TUV just coming second where they stand? That way they will likely have one or two quotas come the Assembly elections.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Alan, at this stage a party like the TUV needs to keep up momentum, they have to take NA, or else poll very well all over to make an inpact.

  • dundonald voter

    well theres every chance they might take n.a and theres every chance they could hurt the punt over here in the east. wise men come from the east so lets see us you our wisdom and unseat this miserable self sever

  • dundonald voter


  • Alias

    “For me, success will be judged on how many independant and/or non-partisan/sectarian Members get elected”

    If they were non-partisan then it wouldn’t make any sense to be elected to a partisan British parliament.