New “united” Spratt posters appear in South Belfast

They've united, so have we! Vote Spratt - DUP election poster featuring pictures of SF's Alex Maskey and SDLP's Alasdair McDonnell

They’ve united – so have we!

The meaning and context of the word “united” is probably open to interpretation (and misinterpretation) in these Spratt/DUP posters spotted tonight around Donegall Pass, near the old School of Music building.

The sharp-eyed may spot the election mark to the right of McDonnell’s image – so it’s an official DUP poster and not a piece of rogue campaigning.(Thanks to @kateyo for the tip off.)

Update – Or did they have these printed just in case Bradshaw would agree to pull out?

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  • slug

    Horrible “they” and “we”.

  • alan56

    Not sure it is all that clever… There is a sort of smart alec feel to it…emmmm?

  • slug

    Not clever at all.

    SDLP didn’t ask for this so-called unity.

    SDLP candidate in this constituency are more attractive to many unionists than the DUP candidate-if it really was Spratt v McDonnell quite a few unionists would prefer McDonnell.

    The whole thing assumes something which is false.

  • coconnor

    The DUPers already called McDonnell the Sinn Féin proxy candidate, so it’s clear that they’re wedded to this fallacious strategy.

    Disgusting playing of the sectarian card.

  • Mark McGregor

    Ladies, thats politics. I’m sure they will be sticking thousands of similar eve of poll leaflets through doors as you cry about it.

  • Jean Meslier

    The word in Newry/Armagh is keep an eye on N Belfast

  • dundonald voter

    how can you vote for a man whose one letter away form a pratt? funy when they agreed a candidate in fst they didnt put things up like this. there excuse in fst was the mp didnt go to westminister. whats the excuse in sb? blatant secterian politics by a grubby party whose desperation for this seat is remarkable. does a mla salary not pay enough pratt? by the way jean meslier your 100% correct

  • dundonald voter

    horrible little man jimmy spratt

  • Ulsterscot

    Curious to see such criticism of the DUP for essentially trying to win a seat in an election. Surely playing to win shouldn’t be considered a fault. There is a single nationalist up against a two unionists. Only one unionist is in with a realistic chance – and he is seeking to mop up all the support he can. In the circumstances, surely “Well played” should be the response….

  • alan56

    Share of vote figures will be interesting

  • aquifer

    The DUP is toxic

    And Spratt is the waist

  • dundonald voter

    Curious to see such criticism of the DUP for essentially trying to win a seat in an election. Surely playing to win shouldn’t be considered a fault. There is a single nationalist up against a two unionists. Only one unionist is in with a realistic chance – and he is seeking to mop up all the support he can. In the circumstances, surely “Well played” should be the response….

    theres a way to win. theres winners and losers and theres dignity. the campaign with spratt is turning secterian. can he not win on his own merits? no resort to playing im the prod card. by the way ulster scot i hope your not naming yourself after the language or is it a dialect? theres another waste of money pumping money into a supposed language which is a north antrim dialect. but if you get wee jimmy into south belfast im sure hell put the dialect on the street names.

  • dundonald voter

    im pinicky in finicky

  • dundonald voter

    and make sure you dont allow wee jimmy to claim expenses at westminister. i mean he charged the taxpayer £25,000 from finaghy crossroads to stormont my God think of the damge he could do in london

  • Michaelhenry

    heard the whispers, hope its true.

  • slug

    I really wish you would use quote marks when quoting others dv

  • The Raven

    “The word in Newry/Armagh is keep an eye on N Belfast”

    Does this mean yer wee man McAuley is going to win??? 😉

  • Jean Meslier

    Yeah, Jimmy panicks as the finishing post approaches and dashes for the line.
    At least the orange collarette mask hasn’t slipped in FST and the unholy DUP/UU/TUV alliance stumbles over the election day line towards a conservative utopia, (relieved that the PLAN has got this far) I wonder however have they underestimated how formidable an opponent they face in this battle?

  • Mark McGregor

    Is Spratt pushing at the limit of electoral law?

    False Statements etc

    6.12 It is an offence to publish a false statement of fact about the personal character or conduct of any candidate or to state falsely that any candidate has withdrawn from the contest.

  • aquifer

    It would be worth Jimmy’s while to offer Paula Bradshaw his Assembly seat to withdraw.

  • Michaelhenry

    you could be on to something MARK.

  • alan56

    Mark. Very good point but probably arguable..legally

  • Michaelhenry

    if spratt were to win there will be a legal challenge, christ it could last untill next years assemply elections.

  • Mark – I thought about that too. That’s why I think it is open to misinterpretation. They could justifiably say that the DUP is a “united” party, without splits. In fact they could say Spratt is a pro-union, pro-United Kingdom candidate. Or the poster could imply that Paula Bradshaw – the major candidate obvious by not being mentioned by name on the poster – is lending her support …

    Any number of (mis)uses of the word “united”.

  • Mrazik

    Who have “we” united with? The poster doesn’t make sense.

  • dundonald voter

    Mrazik says:5 May 2010 at 10:34 pmWho have “we” united with? The poster doesn’t make sense

    oh but it does. they have united with the sandy row orange men!!

  • unionistvoter

    Implication is clear the DUP are suggesting that there is no other unionist candidate.

  • dundonald voter

    unionistvoter says:5 May 2010 at 10:43 pmImplication is clear the DUP are suggesting that there is no other unionist candidate
    are the orange men in sandy row going to do away with paula bradshaw then? has she been warned by the psni that her life may be in danger

  • I’ve dropped Jimmy Spratt and the DUP press office an email to ask!

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Its also the word where I live. But it is based on poor SDLP canvassing returns.
    But those kids will probably take a few votes.

  • medillen

    Its very thin.

  • Margaretann

    Under an election poster of Robinson at the traffic lights @ Knock Carriageway/Braniel is an enlarged Monopoly Money £5 note. Very wiity and very very apt.

  • G O’Neill

    I hope so but won’t hold my breath Dodds should hang on but i think this is definetly a future target for SF.

  • Mrazik

    Er, no it isn’t.

  • G O’Neill

    Just out of Interest fitzjameshorse do you think the kid will take a couple of votes off both Dodds and Kelly equally or should it affect one side more than the other?

  • John Joe

    The numbers aren’t there for a Kelly win. Core unionist vote has been solid at around 53% – UUP poll too low and SDLP a little too high for it to be a contest between DUP and SF. I’m assuming that any and all claims that N Belfast is in play are just to avoid complacency in getting Dodds’ vote out. There has been a stubborn abstentionist attitude in some republican areas of Ardoyne and the New Lodge that has maybe kept the SF vote slightly below what it might have been. Similarly, the SDLP have become very jaded in N Belfast and there has been a growing young nationalist electorate who maybe lean much more to SF, thus expanding SFs electoral base relative to the SDLPs. So perhaps Kelly is pushing up closer to Dodds, but the bottom line in N Belfast has been for unionist voters to close ranks behind either a single candidate (a la Cecil) or the lead candidate (i.e. Dodds) – hence the TUV not wishing to challenge for the seat and give Kelly a glimpse of daylight.
    All those things taken into account, there is a possibility that any swing from the DUP to UCUNF or even a drop of a few percent in the overall unionist vote may mean that this is a real contest. But it will be a shock if it does because no-one clearly predicted it.

  • Jean Meslier

    “how can you vote for a man whose one letter away form a pratt?”
    Funny. I’m sure Paula also sees a small furry rodent in the same name

  • Philip

    Michaelhenry, why do you have to take the Lord`s Name in vain to make a point ?

  • G O’Neill

    Spot on analysis John joe – I can think of very few occasions when something like this was not on the radar prior to polling day- i think the odds of 4/1 for Kelly are a good reflection of the state of play.

  • dundonald voter

    no jean thats his face

  • Lionel Hutz

    Mark, surely you have emphasised the wrong part. The poster is unambiguous in stating that McDonnell and Maskey have united – a false statement

  • Framer

    Has Maskey not withdrawn given that Mark reminds us it is a crime to ‘state falsely that any candidate has withdrawn from the contest’?

    If he has, we have an objective pan-nationalist front, or should I say a sectarian contest on the nationalist side in South Belfast.

    How can any unionist not find the poster effective at pointing this out even if it is put up by the DUP?

  • Sean Og

    North Belfast is not in play this time but South Belfast certainly is.

    Jimmy Spratt will be an MP in slightly over 24 hours. Take the 4/1 available at the bookies before the polls open.

  • Lionel Hutz

    That’s the Sinn Fein dream

  • the DUP have no hope in South Belfast. Period.

  • Garza

    Well Horseman’s blog tells it all. Vote DUP and cast U&C’s to hell.

    I think I know where my vote is going.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    G O’Neill
    Re your question to me on how I saw North Belfast and the Mcauley vote. I expressed my view in a long comment on “the perfect storm” needed for a Kelly win.Too long to republish here but available in the archive under “Is North Belfast in Play” a post by I believe Chris Donnelly.
    As to Boy McAuley and his impact…I quote this from my own Blog..on North Belfast.
    “There is unfortunately a joke candidate….Macauley……apparently doing well with Sixth Formers at St Malachys and Fortwilliam but the kids at BRA are more sensible”.

    My prediction is Dodds 42%, Kelly 36%, Magennis 12%, Cobain 5%, Webb3% Macauley2%

  • John Joe

    I think Macauley won’t get his deposit back – for a start, in my day, more than half the Sixth Formers in St Malachy’s and Fortwilliam weren’t even from North Belfast! And if he did pick up votes there it might be Alban that loses out.

    As to the rest – NB hasn’t been traditionally a high turnout constituency and I’d wonder at voter registration levels in particular areas. I’d have Dodds as only +4% over Kelly (i.e. just outside the margin for error). Maybe Dodds 41%, Kelly 37%, Magennis 13%, Cobain 6%, Webb 2%, Macauley 1%.

  • Keithbelfast

    explain how it doesn’t make that clear Mrazik.

  • Sean Og

    SDLP fighting hard in South Belfast. There was a team of young people giving out leaflets to pedestrians and commuters on the Ormeau Bridge at 8.00am.
    This one will go to the wire and Alastair knows that every single vote is important.

  • They started leafleting doors after 4am!

  • daisy

    Maskey’s posters are all over the Markets area, but I thought he’d withdrawn from the contest?

  • Lionel Hutz

    That hasn’t been any strong winds yet. The winter is usually when they are ‘taken’ down. I had a SF European Election poster outside my house until about November

  • Yep. Some nice leaflets likening going ‘over the top’ in 1916 to voting for Spratt. Very respectful to people who fought and died.

  • snowstorm

    Alasdair’s people are fighting very hard indeed, he should pull through.

  • slug

    I hope Paula wins but failing that would prefer Alasdair.

  • StarHound

    I’m not sure how it is exactly that ‘Alasdair’s people are fighting very hard indeed’. I’ve had one leaflet through the door, same as from the other parties apart from the ultimately pointless avalanche I’ve had from Paula Bradshaw. I did see Conall Mc Devitt and some young, neatly turned out houmous eaters dandering up the Lisburn Road last night but that has been as much as I’ve seen all campaign.

    I would really like know why the SDLP think that they should be entitled to borrow my vote but they don’t seem to be have enough people on the ground to go knocking doors and engage. Since Margaret Ritchie has been elected they have made one mistake after another – the biggest mistake seems to have been electing her in the first place. I’ll bet Big Al has had a few chuckles to himself watching her woeful debate performances.

    From a few recent conversations around the place it seems that quite a few people in South Belfast are confused and annoyed about the direction and state of the SDLP, some I’ve talked to (ranging from ex-SDLP Sinn Féin voters, Sinn Féin voters, SDLP voters and floaters have said that they won’t be voting, are considering not voting or will be holding their noses to vote SDLP hoping that something is done soon about Ritchie. The main issues have been:

    – Ritchie’s leadership – a total car crash, who can really defend it?

    – The point of the SDLP – just how are they different from Sinn Fein now? Where is the vision?

    Policy – Can you want a ‘Shared Future’ and a United Ireland? – Eleven Plus – Yes, No or Malone Road Fudge?

    Party Unity – Why does it seem that everyone in the SDLP hates each other and is out for themselves? Why does the SDLP still looks like separate unrelated fiefdoms.

    – The Fianna Fáil snub – why was she so deliberately offensive and just who was she speaking for?

    – Abstentionism – Big deal. Just how has it hurt Sinn Féin’s ability to negotiate or deliver? Are the SDLP just chasing status and OBEs and do they keep their fingers crossed for the oath to the queen?

  • slug

    I am pretty confident that Alastair will win this, simply because South Belfast unionists will not vote “tribally” for Spratt. McDonnell is not a hate figure while there are enough unionists who are not fond of DUP; the UUP also have a good candidate who they will want to support. So while Paula will experience a squeeze, it will not be enough to lose McDonnell the seat.

  • Danny

    He never mentioned me at all, Philip.

  • andnowwhat

    “They’ve united”. A falsehood. Maskey withdrew without consultation with the SDLP.

    “So have we….Vote Spratt…DUP”. Inferring that the DUP have united with someone. Given that they have not this is another falsehood.

    I agree with Mark. This may very well break the electoral rules.

  • slug

    What are the implications for the election if it does? A re-run?

  • andnowwhat

    To paraphrase Father Jack Slug, that would be an electoral office issue.

    There are also other implications. To me, it’s as if Spratt is belittling the intelligence of unionist voters in the area ie. they haven’t a clue what’s been going on this last few weeks. It’s also a falsehood IMO re. Paula Bradshaw.

  • StarHound

    As well as the above, it could also have the effect of driving wavering Nationalists and Republicans straight to the SDLP, cancelling out any benefit the DUP might have achieved from scaring Unionists.

  • It scared me enough into wondering if I should vote tactically for McDonnell.

    I’m sure there are many CU & Alliance voters thinking similar things this morning.

  • andnowwhat

    Democracy…don’t ya just love it. You can’t even go and cast a simple vote here because they’re so dodgy.

    I’ve searched on the net to find out about the lehality of this poster but I’ve found nothing solid yet.

    Would anyone else know?

  • ‘Well played’? – Not when he is intentionally misleading the voters – I wouldn’t vote for him on the basis that he is telling a lie in an attempt to get me to vote for him – but that is just one of many reasons.

  • They are linking two people from two different parties as having united – and then saying ‘so have we’ so who have the DUP (who is the publisher of the poster and therefore the ‘we’) united with?

  • andnowwhat

    Obviously I meant “legality”.

    Sorry, my typing is crap

  • dundonald voter

    looks like the anti robinson feeling is really manifesting itself in the east belfast polls. could be a new mp for the east!!1

  • andnowwhat

    I hope you’re right DV but I fear it’s more wishful thinking on your part.

  • dundonald voter

    oh no

  • dundonald voter

    new mp in east belfast

  • sigh

    Fat Al knows his market. There has been no sign of him on the other side of the park, maybe he thinks that’s where Westminster is.

    …or, shock, horror, could he have a wee touch of the sectarians?

  • andnowwhat

    Oh Jaysus……please not let it be Vance.

    Mind you, it could our Boris Johnson moment.

  • dundonald voter

    hopefully ringland

  • dundonald voter

    though vance is going poll well, very well enough to eat into robinsons vote to get the new mp elected

  • Re-engaged

    Was in EB this morning and the air was dripping with anti-Robinson feeling people spitting feathers!

    Only person who is genuinely fighting PR is Naomi – Trevor will do well to beat her!

  • dundonald voter

    Re-engaged says:6 May 2010 at 6:04 pmWas in EB this morning and the air was dripping with anti-Robinson feeling people spitting feathers!

    Only person who is genuinely fighting PR is Naomi – Trevor will do well to beat her!

    re enegaged thats what im getting to. could be a shock here in east belfast. if its naomi long good luck to her. im just looking forward to having a new mp. if its naomi just as good as any and a fine politician. if its trevor so be it.

  • dundonald voter

    i voted trevor by the way, but if as you say naimi is doing as well as you say id have voted her!!!

  • Come back in the morning and define what “well” means in the case of Vance’s projected vote!

  • The Raven

    Truly, this is too much to hope for. Please stop posting this stuff – it gets my hopes up….

  • dundonald voter

    even the dupes at the polling stations are saying they are confident though the punts majority will be down. this from the most up beat party in the world talking like this. dup decoded speech for we are in the shit!! its going to happen raven hes away