Ford tries to ‘bump’ Long over the line?

I’ve not been able to take politicians forecasts of their own fortunes seriously since Mitchel McLaughlin told me in all seriousness that he was going to win the Foyle seat in 2005. Now David Ford is pushing his candidate in East Belfast as a real possibility for taking a seat, without quite saying that.

With Sammy Morse’s warnings against any party (including his own presumably) who relies on canvass returns ringing in my ears, I would say the Alliance party need to lodge this idea in the minds of East Belfast voters to move enough UUP voters across to her in order to dispatch the DUP leader. With Naomi still down on 10/1, she might be worth an outside punt…

But I still think the real metric is the size of the TUV’s, not just how much the ‘liberals’ take from one another…

, , ,

  • cynic2

    Ford’s judgement was always suspect. Power has now gone to his head if he things she has a cat’s chance in hell in that seat

  • slug

    Wouldn’t anti Robinson strategic voters be better voting UCU?

  • cynic2

    yes….so would the TUV …and Alliance. Then they might unseat him and Ringland would be an excellent and honest MP

  • Polster

    European Election result tallies shows East Belfast to be a four-way marginal. Alliance 20.3%, DUP 21.4%, 22.5%, TUV 19.9%.

  • Polster

    UUP 22.5%

  • Granni Trixie

    Cynic: Naomi would be an excellent,honest,intelligent person from East Belfast to win the seat. As a member of Alliance I am more than happy with Fords judgement and leadertship.How many members of parties in all honesty can say that?

    Mick: not often you are so not on the ball. For yonks it has been recognised by Alliance and David Ford that Naomi has as good a chance of gaining EB seat since Oliver Napier was pipped at the post years ago and we have all been working towards that goal.

  • Driftwood

    Ford reminds me of another pompous David who famously told a party conference to return to their constituencies and ‘prepare for Government’.

    Even the bookies know David Vance has a higher chance than Naomi Long.

    If Peter Robinson does lose the seat to Trevor Ringland then there will be quite a few in the DUP who will shed few tears.

  • dingdong

    Only one moderate will be able to unseat Robbo and he can be unseated.

    EB people need to decide who – for my money only Ringland can do it, intellignet, unionist, moderate and honest. Even the TUV can find something in him to support

    If the people pf EB want rid of Robbo they can but tactical voting will be required.

    maybe EB needs a unity candidate – anybody but Robbo

  • John East Belfast

    The major difference between Trevor and Long is that Trevor is a unionist.
    Unionism polls 85% plus of the East Belfast electorate.

    Why would East Belfast unionists vote for the AP when the AP makes it clear proactive unionism as a poltical concept abhors them ?

    When the SDLP and SF Election manifestos make it clear that the ending of the Union remains a priority then the East Belfast electorate are not going to vote for someone who isnt going to defend it unless they have been tricked.

    It is our job to make sure they arent.

    I met an elderly Middle Class wife of a Presbyterian Minister on the doorsteps who was going to vote for Alliance until I pointed out to her that a vote for Alliance will be a defacto vote against the Union. I also pointed out that the Alliance Party’s affiliation with the Lib Dems means that they also favour getting rid of the pound as soon as possible.

    She is now voting for Trevor.

    Any vote for Naomi means UCUNF arent doing their job right

  • Pete Whitcroft

    I’ve just put money Long, Dodds, Paisley and Lucas (Caroline not Mel).

  • Oracle

    For Alliance to win this seat they would need to take 65% of the UCU vote…. 65% now think about that folks…. it’s not going to happen, only a lunatic would claim that it will…

    A vote for Alliance is a vote for Robinson

  • cynic2

    Dear Granni

    I agree completely re Naomi. But she hasn’t a hope in hell of winning anything. Ringland has so Alliance votes have a choice. More Robbo or a fresh, clean face who is credible and has no baggage

  • John East Belfast

    Alliance high water mark was 1979 when Robinson narrowly pipped a 3 way 15,000 split between him, Napier and Craig.

    However Naomi is no Oliver Napier and Trevor is no Bill Craig.
    and Napier was a unionist

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    If I seriously thought that Naomi Long had a chance at 10/1……Id be on it.
    And teams of Alliance members would be swamping Paddy Powers and William Hills. The sooner the better before the price falls.
    A fortune appears ready to be made.
    Even a £10 bet yielding £100…….but in comparison Id rather have £10 in the Presbyterian Mutual Society as I MIGHT actually get some of it back.
    But Ive yet to see David Pointless Ford in the bookies. Has anyone else seen him there? No.

    Part of the perfect storm that Naomi Long needs is for the Short Strand to vote for her en bloc……and they wont.

  • slug

    Long is an MLA and a councillor both? Will she stand down from those if elected?

  • jeep55

    John East Belfast

    “I met an elderly Middle Class wife of a Presbyterian Minister on the doorsteps who was going to vote for Alliance until I pointed out to her that a vote for Alliance will be a defacto vote against the Union. I also pointed out that the Alliance Party’s affiliation with the Lib Dems means that they also favour getting rid of the pound as soon as possible.”

    So let me get that right. You (UCUNF) are supposed to be a modern moderate unionist party – I mean that is the spin from your campaign? Whereas this encounter shows you to be an orange card carrying, europhobic, intollerant bigot! Why would anyone, even remotely in favour of Alliance principles, want to vote for you? At least with Robinson what you see is what you get.

    “She is now voting for Trevor.”

    Trevor who – sure he doesn’t even reside in the constituency?

    slug

    Naomi – if elected to Westminster – will resign her MLA seat

  • John East Belfast

    The only intolerant bigot is yourself as shown by your post

    What is wrong with being a unionist opposed to Euro entry exactly ?

  • Trevor who – sure he doesn’t even reside in the constituency?

    I always thought this argument is very backward indeed, but since you brought it up:

    Does Alan Muir live in Newry & Armagh.

    Did DR Farry move to Fermanagh and South Tyrone whenever he contested that seat, before running off to North Down?

  • Long could win the seat. The operative word is could. That is if huge segments of the UUP vote defect to her. This unlikely and indeed more unlikely than the other scenarios: Robinson wins; David Vance picks up DUP and UUP votes and wins; Ringland picks up some Alliance and DUP votes and wins.

    Clearly all the above could happen. It is just that Naomi Long winning is the least likely of those scenarios. As Driftwood says a TUV win is significantly more likely than an Alliance one.

    Probably the best point made here is by John East Belfast. When Oliver Napier came close he was a unionist. A moderate one and indeed a Catholic one if memory serves correct but a unionist. Over the last number of years Alliance has shed its very moderate unionism (but still unionism) completely. That makes an Alliance victory in East Belfast significantly less likely than it was in 1979.

    I do admit that Alliance are shameless at speaking out of both sides of their mouth simultaneously. I well remember Alliance canvassers in East Belfast asking me to vote for them. They tried to play up their unionism. However, their leaders actions and public statements over recent years have undermined any pretence to their unionism.

    As an aside I saw some Alliance types (obviously from Belfast) putting up posters in Enniskillen a few nights ago. I did consider stopping and asking if they thought they would get more votes than they had posters but I felt sorry for them and drove on.

  • Re-engaged

    Was not impressed by NL on Sunday with Mark Davenport and less so by DV on Nolan on Monday – both poor and neither offered anything or did anything to say they are really confident of doing some damage in East Belfast. It looks more like ever now that a tired and discredited PR will fall over the line. This seat will be up for grabs next time round as it will not be PR defending it – then it is anyones

  • Granni Trixie

    Surely it is to Ringlands disadvantge that he is a virtual
    unknown to EB wheras Naomi has a good track record of working for the people there not to mention that she is the current Lord Mayor of Belfast. (yes I know you middle class sporty types know Ringland).
    I would say that it is Naomi who is PR nearest rival.

    Unionism: How could APNI “abhor unionism” when so many members are (usually soft) unionists? As I said before, we are a mix of complex identities . Personally I consider myself “Northern Irish”, for instance.

    LIb Dems: Although APNI has what you might call a “special relationship” with the LIb Dems, unlike, ahem, certain other NI parties linked to mainland parties, it retains the right as an independant to do what is in the best interests of NI.

    JEB: you ought to be ashamed of yourself – when canvassing ofcourse I put the best spin etc but would not be prepared to speak untruths for the sake of a vote. Wise up.

  • Harry Jay

    In 2007, East Belfast had an electorate of circa 49,757.

    Peter Robinson can expect about 40,000 of those votes (as he and the DUP are so brilliant) . 5,000 will stay at home and other parties will be fighting over the rest.

  • slug

    I know I am only one voter but I would prefer Lib Dems and Allliance to have a UCUNF style relationship so that the implications for national government are clearer.

  • John East Belfast

    Granni

    What untruth did I say exactly ?

    As for Alliance abhoring unionism phrases like intolerant orange bigot slip off your tongues at every opportunity – see JEEP avove.

    My main beef with the AP – apart from your smug, holier than thou and sanctimonius attitude to Unionists – is you are not honest with the unionist electorate.

    As for being a unioinist and in the AP – what strategy do such people have of defending the Union against SF & SDLP poliies ?

    – None is the answer

  • slug

    If we had joined the Euro we’d have to give several bn to Greece right now-just as France and Germany are.

  • Granni Trixie

    JEB: whats the point of engaging with you when you appear not to read any answers which do not suit your prejudice.

    For example,I genuinely tried to explain some Alliance identities as part of a complex whole with reference to “a Northern Irish identity” – what is dishonest about that?.
    West Belfast is an important aspect of my identity as is East Belfast from working in Halcome St off the
    Woodstock Rd. I also identify with ‘disability’. So the nationalist and unionist aspects have to take their place which is not at the top of my list.
    How typical I am within Alliance I simply can’t say.

    But from the evidence above you obviously have not the capacity to understand,do you?.

  • cynic47

    Forget about what you hear on the street. Its what happens when the voter is standing in the booth with the pencil in their hand. The big question is how many of the people who voted for PR in the past will now do the same? How many won’t bother to vote? Mud sticks…….The X might move!

  • John East Belfast

    Granni

    You can have whatever views you like – including being all things to all men – but I am saying that they are not unionist views.
    The vast majority of the EB electorate would identify with being N.Irish, East Belfast but being unionist is top of their list and they want to know what is your strategy for standing up for them against a SF & SDLP objective of ending the Union ?

    Why dont you go to the EB electorate and tell them you will roll over in the face of their SF & SDLP opponents ?

    Ps – can the alliance party please speak to me without throwing intolerant, prejudiced, orange bigot into the conversation ?
    would you say that to the East Belfast electorate as well ?

  • Comrade Stalin

    JohnEB:

    I met an elderly Middle Class wife of a Presbyterian Minister on the doorsteps who was going to vote for Alliance until I pointed out to her that a vote for Alliance will be a defacto vote against the Union.

    John, I assume you are well aware that there is only one way to vote against the Union, and that is by voting “yes” in a referendum asking people if they want Irish reunification.

    In other words, it is clear that far from regarding this as an election about change (as your party would have it) you regard it in the same way that the old Official Unionists have always regarded elections – as being de facto referenda the border. In speaking to this woman you deployed the weapon of fear – fear of the taigs taking control via a united Ireland – to scare the woman into voting for you. At least I’m glad that you’re up front about that, and you’re not trying to hide the fact that all this UCUNF fluff about constructive non-tribal politics is so much waffly bollocks.

    yes….so would the TUV …and Alliance. Then they might unseat him and Ringland would be an excellent and honest MP

    I have nothing against Ringland, I’m sure he’s a very nice man. But there are several problems with his candidacy. First, he is a prisoner of the Tory whip. The Tories seem unlikely to win outright, so If there’s a hung parliament or Labour win, he will have no bargaining power. Second, he has no political experience, unlike those in various other parties who have worked their way up through campaigning on issues over the years. Politics is a craft that has to be learned and the more experience one has, the better. Third, he is a member of the UCUNF, and as we have seen above, UCUNF (aside from being a disorganized, incompetent wreck who couldn’t even look after Theresa May properly) is staffed by traditional Unionists like John EB up there who, rather than campaigning on issues, would prefer to intimidate people into voting for his candidate by spreading misleading scare stories and lies about the other candidates being fenian lovers.

    It is quite clear that UCUNF do not fancy their chances in East Belfast. That’s why Sir Reg targeted South Antrim for himself, since he didn’t want to be humiliated by coming in third place.

    slug:

    I know I am only one voter but I would prefer Lib Dems and Allliance to have a UCUNF style relationship so that the implications for national government are clearer.

    Well, I disagree. I want whatever candidate I elect to represent me. I don’t expect mainland politicians to appreciate the nuances of the unique character of politics in this part of the UK. And you know what – the Tories agree with me, not you. They know that appealing to people to support national politics cannot work, otherwise they would be standing on their own ticket.

  • Comrade Stalin

    On the chances of Long winning, it’s going to be damn close. If Alliance can get its vote out I think she could just about nip it.

    I don’t think UCUNF are seriously canvassing the constituency. They’ll be focussing on their parachute drop in South Antrim.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    If its going to be d*** close………then 10/1 is a bargain you cant miss. Are you going to make a trip to Paddy Power?

    I know many people are a bit “superior” about betting…but its not any different from the Stock Exchange. Does anyome know an admittedly high risk investment that can pay back Ten TIMES the investment in just a few days.
    With basically even money (5/6) on some candidates, its an excellent chance for partisan Sluggerites to bet on their guy/gal….or the expert pundit on Slugger….to make a few quid.
    Come Monday 10 May…we should all be considerably better off…….but 10/1 on Ms Long seems too rich for my blood.

  • John East Belfast

    Comrade

    “UCUNF is staffed by traditional Unionists like John EB up there who, rather than campaigning on issues, would prefer to intimidate people into voting for his candidate by spreading misleading scare stories and lies about the other candidates being fenian lovers”

    You just cant help yourself can you when it comes to displaying your own prejudice.

    Because I dared to advocate unionism I have now been described as an “intolerant”, “prejudiced”, “orange bigot” who calls his opponents “fenian lovers” by three Alliance supporters on this thread.
    However NOT ONCE did I use any of this kind of language – it was all introduced by the AP commentors from their own narrow minded views of what they think I believe rather than what I say – typical Alliance

    If I was thinner skinned I should be asking for an apology now.

    The fact of the matter is that the UNION DOES MATTER to the majority of voters in East Belfast and as I have said before all i want an AP member to tell me is what is your policy to defend and advance it when two other political parties in this election have the ending of it as a stated aim in their manifesto.
    Is that so difficult ?

    If you dont care, or if like your colleague last year who wrote to the News Letter expressing pride in his “nationalism and republicanism” you are nationalists then you should just say so ?

  • dundonald voter

    Trevor who – sure he doesn’t even reside in the constituency? conquisdor

    how many standing for election actually live in the area?

  • dundonald voter

    Harry Jay says:27 April 2010 at 6:12 pmIn 2007, East Belfast had an electorate of circa 49,757.

    Peter Robinson can expect about 40,000 of those votes (as he and the DUP are so brilliant) . 5,000 will stay at home and other parties will be fighting over the rest.
    dont you just love harry

  • dundonald voter

    cynic47 says:27 April 2010 at 7:37 pmForget about what you hear on the street. Its what happens when the voter is standing in the booth with the pencil in their hand. The big question is how many of the people who voted for PR in the past will now do the same? How many won’t bother to vote? Mud sticks…….The X might move!

    very true cynic i think its shaping up like 2005 when a lot of people were predicting the end of the dup, and then they reached their high watermark. i have a feeling the dup will lose a lot of votes in east belfast and maybe the seat. they could also lose a few seats in the other contests

  • Comrade Stalin

    John, of course you’re a mad bigot.

    No, a bigot is not someone who thinks that the union is a good idea. A bigot is a person who uses fear, or the cynical exploitation of fear, to scare people into supporting him. You just admitted that you intimidated a voter into supporting you by waving about mad scare stories based on a total fabrication of Naomi somehow being some kind of cheerleader for ending the union, a prospect which is now further away than it has been for some time.

    Bigots are characterized by their use of fear, and what you’re afraid of is normal politics where people shed their fears about other people undermining the constitutional state of the country. I don’t believe you’re really afraid of the union ending, because you know just as well as I do that even if 18 non-unionist MPs are somehow returned by some kind of freak occurrance, that the union still won’t end unless there is a referendum.

    The story you claim to have told that woman about Naomi is completely false. Naomi isn’t a Unionist, but she’s not out to destroy the union, or otherwise make any kind of fundamental constitutional change. That leads me to the other characteristic about bigots – you lie non-stop because you’re too swamped by your fears to be truthful about the nature of things you perceive as a threat.

    The fact of the matter is that the UNION DOES MATTER to the majority of voters in East Belfast

    Well, you’re after telling me that someone had the union far enough from their mind that they were considering voting for a non-unionist party. Until you reminded them of the imminent fear of being overrun by an Irish republic. You’re like something straight out of the 1950s. Like I said, unionism has not changed. You’re a traditional unionist.

    If you dont care, or if like your colleague last year who wrote to the News Letter expressing pride in his “nationalism and republicanism” you are nationalists then you should just say so ?

    John, the union can’t end unless a majority of us votes for it in a referendum. What can you do between now and the referendum that will change that ? Nothing. So stop playing on people’s fears and start adopting the constructive, non-tribal politics you keep talking about.

    I’m personally not wedded either to the union or Irish reunification. Right now, I reckon the union is probably as strong as it’s ever going to be, and Irish reunification is probably more distant than it has been at any time since partition. There’s absolutely nothing you, I, or any of the 18 Westminster MPs can do to change any of that.

    fitz, I certainly have put money on Naomi. If she wins it’ll take a fair few years of the mortgage. I think her chances are a little better than 10/1, so I think it’s a good bet.

  • PaddyReilly

    JEB

    The Minister’s wife was only humoring you to get you off the doorstep. She’s going to vote Alliance.

    Whether they will win I cannot say. But they will come within 1000 votes of doing so.

  • John East Belfast

    Comrade

    LOL !

    That women was really petrified – you left out the bit where I told her that the Catholics were going to come up the Newtownards Road with pitch forks looking for Protestant babies.

    You really have lost the argument when you post crap like that above.
    The only lies told on this thread is by people like yourself.

    Nor of course did I say that Naomi was out to destroy the Union – I said the AP was not going to defend it – which of course is true.

    If you arent going to be totally up front with the EB electorate then people like me have to put them straight

    For the last time – SF & SDLP have stated objectives and will undoubtedly develop plans and initiatives to end the Union – they are nationalists and totally entitled to do so. However what are you going to do to stop them ?
    NOTHING – do you not think the EB unionist electorate should know that ?

  • Driftwood

    http://www.oddschecker.com/specials/politics-and-election/belfast-east/winning-party

    I got Naomi at 100/1 so I can lay it off, Comrade, i’ll take your bet of 100 quid for second place, with the caveat it’s split between Simon and 2 animal charities, CPL and NCDL.
    If Vance gets it we both contribute.

    Most of my work environment are East Belfast based. no-one has a bad word to say about Trevor or Naomi. PR seems to be toxic waste. But that will not translate in to votes. And the boundary changes favour David Vance.

    Most disillusioned Robinson voters will simply not vote. Of those who do it will be mostly Vance, some for Trevor, virtually none for Naomi. The UUP vote will be solidly Trevor Ringland (probably increase).
    Robinsons ‘strength’ is voter apathy, and sadly that is what will elect him.
    So it goes…

  • apollo293867

    Oi!

    that was me and I live in Enniskillen!

  • Driftwood

    *NCDL is now ‘Dogs Trust’ as apparently a lot of people didn’t know what ‘Canine’ meant! CPL is Cats.

  • apollo293867

    And I dont care if we get only ten votes. We are running a campaign based on fairness and equality. We are trying to build an inclusive Northern Ireland and trust me we will prevail!! I am proud of what we are doing here, especially as it is has been reduced to a sectarian headcount.

  • aquifer

    Col Tim Collins could have taken this for the UUP

  • “lodge this idea in the minds of East Belfast voters”

    Some EB voters will also have an opportunity to vote in the Castlereagh by-election on the same day. When they see the list of candidates will they ponder possible paramilitary connections?

    Sharon Skillen, the DUP candidate for Castlereagh, has been romantically linked to former Maze prisoner Tommy ‘Tinker’ Taylor.

    I understand the MSM has been researching membership of the board of Hanwood Trust and has found names of some quite well known politicians, developers and paramilitaries. Can we expect to see the results of this research before or after May 6? Why are the paramilitary board members missing from the IFI photo-op?

  • The Alliance are excited In East Belfast because they got almost 19% of the vote in 2007.

    The DUP ran three candidates and Naomi couldn’t top the poll then.

    Also remember that the Alliance were beaten by the UUP in 2007 here, and that was UUP meltdown disaster year.

    There really is little point discussing the prospects of the Alliance winning EB because it’s not going to happen.

  • James Broadhurst

    Long has no chance. The Alliance party are saying this in order to deter people from tactically voting for Ringland to unseat PR.

    However, if people do want to unseat PR, they need to vote for Ringland. Simples…

    Won’t happen though. Long has a good reputation in East Belfast.

    In the end, by far the most likely scenario is that Long and Ringland poll quite closely and Robinson wins, despite losing a sizeable chunk of votes to the TUV. I can, unfortunately, see no other outcome. (much as I would love to see the end of Robbo)

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Youve nailed it.
    On Slugger we have had four Party partisans DUP, UUP, AP and TUV talk up their chances. Allowing for a certain naive quality all round…AND allowing for sincere level headed punditry…I am of the opinion that at least two Parties are whistling in the dark here.
    This is probably one election too soon for Long to take East Belfast…and taking their first Westminster seat would be a big thing for them….in fact we would never hear the end of it. But their best tactic is to talk Ringland down.
    The problem with celeb candidates is that they have other interests.
    Its hard to see Ringland and Nesbitt for example…stay in for the long haul if they dont win. Of course the Assembly is not that far away.
    Yet somehow I cant see either of them as MLAs being too happy at their role of following Empey downstairs at Stormont and all nodding sagely behind him.
    They think they are meant for better things.

    And has any of Sluggers expert pundits actually been in the bookies yet?

  • South Belfast

    The odds on Naomi Long are being slashed as we speak. They’ve gone from 33/1 on Ladbrookes to 12/1 and from 20/1 on Toals to 12/1. So they bookies are starting to be cautious on this one.

  • Granni Trixie

    Right. You will never hear the end of it.

  • Granni Trixie

    Why would Ringland poll closely to Long? Just doesnt make sense. The UUP/Tories have made a mess of things (ask Roy Garland) so no party vote and no personal vote as Ringland is a blow in.

    Long: from wee girl in Dee street to Lord Mayor of Belfast and much political experience to boot.

    No contest.

  • Driftwood

    Granni
    The bookies have PR as well odds on favourite. They also have TR as the only real rival, even then he is 4/1. Disillusioned DUP voters will go to other Unionists, if anywhere. Certainly not to a non-Unionist. And the core UU vote is a lot higher than Alliance.
    Naomi’s long experience counts for little among Unionists.
    And boundary changes are ‘Unionist’ friendly (ie NOT Alliance). dream on.

    It’s all academic because Robinson will win, old habits die hard, and this is not the X factor.

  • Comrade Stalin

    However, if people do want to unseat PR, they need to vote for Ringland. Simples…

    Why would people vote for an inexperienced Tory who is a member of an incoherent party which can’t even competently organize a radio interview, whose leader ran off to South Antrim because he didn’t want to face the electorate in his own constituency ?

    fitz, I’ve been to the bookies.

    Driftwood:

    Disillusioned DUP voters will go to other Unionists, if anywhere. Certainly not to a non-Unionist.

    Why’s that ?

    And the core UU vote is a lot higher than Alliance.

    So why did Reg not run for the seat there, if he had a chance of winning ?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Nevin,

    Sharon Skillen, the DUP candidate for Castlereagh, has been romantically linked to former Maze prisoner Tommy ‘Tinker’ Taylor.

    I’d be careful with this, Nevin. There are certain individuals in other unionist parties who have, or had, personal links of this nature with paramilitary figures.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Also remember that the Alliance were beaten by the UUP in 2007 here, and that was UUP meltdown disaster year.

    “disaster year” ? The UUP has been in meltdown for the past ten years. Losing all it’s MPs, financial ruin (followed by Tory bailout and the attendant problems), the mess in South Antrim .. I can’t think of a time when the UUP wasn’t in meltdown. The European election was the brightest spot, where the party merely managed to keep its vote level in the face of TUV transfers and a terrible DUP campaign.

    The UUP was on the verge of bankruptcy when the Tories got involved and if they hadn’t been there, it’s quite likely that it would have folded completely.

  • Driftwood

    Not rocket science Comrade.
    Those disillusioned with Robinson will not vote (most likely), go to Vance- the boundary changes will suit him- or go to Ringland. The people who voted UU last time will all vote for Trevor, and probably a few Alliance who want rid of Robinson. Vance is the unknown factor.
    Naomi will pick up her usual vote give or take a few from Trevor.
    Reg didn’t run because he (or Naomi) have virtually no chance against Peter Robinson. Like Gerry Adams, he is the iconic figure. You know this. Naomi may get 2nd place if there is a big vote for David Vance, entirely possible, and he’s a cert for the Assembly next year.
    I took Naomi at 100/1 because I thought she’s better than that. But she needs a perfect storm against Robinson, with David Vance to take UU/Tory votes.
    Reg knows South Antrim is vulnerable, why not?
    BTW Why do Alliance hate Trevor Ringland so much?

  • James Broadhurst

    Wee girl? Not anymore she isn’t. How have the UUP/Tories ‘made a mess of things?’

    Ringland will out poll Long. But I don’t think she will be that far behind.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Fair play to you Comrade Stalin.
    If you got her at 10/1 youve got a bargain bet.
    Id place her chances higher (but cant see her winning).
    Vance did himself some good tonight on the TUV Broadcast.
    He was the only one who actually mastered the autocue which appeared to be an an angle giving the impression that Klpatrick and Harbinson had one eye “looking at you and the other eye looking for you”.

    In betting I went for a “treble” but didnt touch East Belfast

  • Granni Trixie

    FJH: please tell me why you have gained an attachment (1745)? Is it a wee test?

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    When Slugger got its makeover, I couldnt log in on the other one and set up a new one.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Was out and about in East Belfast and was actually quite heartened by a few things.
    First of all I think its a sign of a certain maturity that SDLP posters were in the vicinity of the Stormont Hotel. Indeed a feature of the campaign is that very few posters have been damaged by the vandals. I like that.
    On Albertbridge Road I was even musing that it would be a sign of maturity if Communities actually guaranteed the display of the other lots posters.
    Some observations. A LOT of Vance posters and something about them looked fresher than Robinsons.Ringlands posters showed him without a tie which I found a departure from the norm. Thats modernisation I suppose because as far as I could see the Victoria UUP office on Holywood Road and the Pottinger office on Albertbridge Road both had the “old” UUP logos…no mention of the Conservative link up. In the case of Victoria its a fine old iconic building in East Belfast and new signs would I think affect its impact…but cant say same for Empeys office at Pottinger. Does this mean the link up is a passing phase?
    But nice to see a Ringland poster on the middle of the road between Ravenhill Road and Madrid Street.
    Nice to see SF and SDLP posters at the Mount and even at the first/last lampost on Ravenhill Road.
    Certainly I felt a change of mood music there.
    Enough to make Naomi Long win next week.
    No. But certainly noticeable.

    And nice to see

  • Drumlin Rock

    Well isnt it a great job the Alliance has given the people of F&ST a “non sectarian” option, well the 2 or 3% who will vote for yous anyways.