And Polling begins…

As the polls open, here’s an open thread for all your polling day news stories and gossip..

  • I just voted at a school with milk boxes left outside. Be vigilant! Don’t let them steal the milk…oh, is that where that comes from?

    Staff were happy. They couldn’t find my name on list even though I saw it immediately. Lots of uncrossed names at the empty 8am Belfast East Polling station.

  • Keithbelfast

    The UCUNF option looked a bit bare without a logo on the ballot.

  • Jean Meslier

    It would seem the SDLP have abandoned their traditional caravan presence outside Newry’s main polling station at the Sports Centre. It has been replaced by a small flatback trailer containing a number of shoddily assembled vote Bradley posters, some of which are now lying on the footpath causing annoyance to early voters as they negotiate their way to the polling station.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I’ve always thought this idea of camping outside the polling stations shoving leaflets at people was a waste of time. I find the presence of candidates there to be slightly intimidating. This is why you’ll seldom see Alliance types doing it. Far more productive to pay a wee visit to supporters to remind them to come out and vote.

  • Keithbelfast

    Ok, I know the guy was spat on, but the reaction is ridiculous.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/election_2010/england/8663681.stm

  • Jean Meslier

    I agree entirely Comrade Stalin. People entering a polling station will have surely already decided who to vote for. My observation re: Newry Sports Centre is based more on H&S than first past the post.
    However in PR elections the old polling station leaflet can be useful to help voters with the preference strategy within a particular party, especially for parties standing multiple candidates (Something that doesn’t concern the Alliance party in Newry/Armagh)

  • Keithbelfast

    from twitter so take with extra salt – Eyewitnesses report tangled UKIP banner forced Nigel Farage’s light aircraft to crash land. Pilot trapped. Farage escaped with minor injuries.

  • slug

    The good weather is good news for the less foaming-at-mouth candidates.

  • slug

    Actually I quite often go to polling station not sure who to vote for and its only when I vote that I know. It may sound odd but there is that thing that you feel you should vote but its hard to decide which one. When you’re in the booth you just vote without really having a strong feeling one way or other.

  • slug

    A bit like a multiple choice question where you have to give an answer but don’t know which is right. I am interested in politics and feel that way so surely others much feel the same way. Generally I try to vote out of my comfort zone in those situations – vote different from how I voted last time etc.

  • slug

    Early reports – turnout 25% up.

  • slug

    I think the TV debates have energised people.

  • slug

    Twitter also suggesting high turnout.
    I think this is going to be a very interesting election indeed. The higher the turnout the more likely a decisive result I would expect.

  • Keithbelfast

    its 10am slug.

  • Fretjumper

    Firstly, how do you start a topic on here? Secondly, here is the question I’d have asked if I knew…Will there come a day when we vote on policies and not on the Constitutional question? Eg if Reg or Peter’s parties had a policy on jobs creation in W Belfast that was better than anything Gerry had thought up, could and would people go for it? Same for SF of SDLP getting a load of jobs for Banbridge? Could we as the NI electorate ever vote out of the box for our own good?

  • Eire32

    Keithbelfast

    Mad that video, that BNP dudes, off his head!

  • slug

    Yes I think there is no doubt that is coming, Fret.

  • Keith (8:13am) – Yes, as I exercised my franchise first thing this morning, I thought that John McCallister looked like the poor relation on the ballot paper without a party logo. Surely they should have registered a UCUNF hybrid logo with the electoral office?

    Meanwhile, for the day that’s in it, thoughts here on voting for human rights: http://bit.ly/aFNRtU

  • Keithbelfast

    The DUP want to look into alternatives to female contraceptives. did anyone take this into account when they exercised their franchise this morning?

  • slug

    It’s looking like a good turnout at Hamilton Road, Bangor, according to a tweet by Stephen Agnew of Greens.

  • Jean Meslier

    How about a separated at birth section on this thread re: the candidates.

    We have Willie Frazer in N/A, however I am refusing to go there. But William Irwin (DUP) has an uncanny resemblance to Jim Allister. I hope no-one gets confused.

    Maybe Conor and Buzz?

  • Cynic

    Catriona Ruane is already having an impact on education standards. Last night SF stuffed hundreds of leaflets through doors in Fermanagh headlined ‘Save the Seat – Stop the Orange Order – Stop Rodney Conor”.

    On the back it shows a helpful pie chart of the religious / political headcount in FST – Unionist 46% Nationalist 53%.

    Now leaving aside the fact that SF deny Protestants and Catholics the right to make up their own minds about what political box they are put into, just who are the missing 1%.
    Are these undecideds, too lazy to bother or can Michelle just not count?

  • Ash Cloud

    Let’s just wait for the result and see if Rodder’s is successful in keeping the uneducated taigs from “about the place”

  • slug

    Can we lose the sectarianism please?

  • Fretjumper

    ‘Let’s just wait for the result and see if Rodder’s is successful in keeping the uneducated taigs from “about the place”

    I despair! Norn Iron… bigots r us. If this is the prevalent attitiude (on both sides) what is the point in voting? If this UCUNF/DUP pact put up a monkey would unionists vote for it to keep a Nationalist/Republican candidate out?

  • Ash Cloud

    Of course they would, but the difference is Rodders and those Councillors who already shadily appointed him to Fermanagh District Council have already made a monkey out of the Fermanagh rate payers by costing them £250,000 plus his large golden handshake and a future job for his wife, if he wins a seat in Westminster! Are the Connors the new Robinsons?

  • grandimarkey

    Could the 1% be ‘Other’?

  • Cynic

    Ah isn’t it refreshing to see the reasoned face of republicanism rejoin the fray. We have missed you and your associates for a while.

    We will see if you remain as happy when we have a Conservative Government and the door to No 10 isn’t quite as open as before and the old expenses tap at Westminster is turned off for those that don’t take their seats. That’s worth £600k to Michelle across the life of the Parliament. All those researchers will have to go!

  • Dukeofa
  • oracle

    I thought his reaction was appropriate… I find physical violence in a public street extremely distasteful but I believe the BNP member was 100% correct in his actions.
    If someone spat on me I personally wouldn’t have stopped beating the culprit until I was forcibly dragged off by several police officers or he had stopped breathing.
    It’s a disgusting act requiring a distasteful reaction

  • Jean Meslier

    “How about a separated at birth section on this thread re: the candidates.

    We have Willie Frazer in N/A, however I am refusing to go there. But William Irwin (DUP) has an uncanny resemblance to Jim Allister. I hope no-one gets confused.

    Maybe Conor and Buzz?”

    Actually I was referring to our own Conor Murphy!

  • Ash Cloud

    Er no…. Expenses go to SF, instead of MP’s pocket. The party prides itself on working to help communities with advice, campaigning, etc. Is that too unreasonable for you. Stick the whole lot into Rodders pocket – that sounds reasonable. Won’t he even give a back hander to the Orange Order IF he wins?
    I’m never quite happy under any British Government to tell you the truth.

  • Keithbelfast

    So Shinners are going around the Holylands today waking students up and sticking them on buses back to FST.

  • Jean Meslier

    Local Cllr pulled for distributing leaflets in doorway of Newry Sports Centre polling station.

    Maybe desperation setting in?

  • slug

    Would anyone seriosuly travel that far to vote?

  • Greenflag

    Not a bats chance in hell for the next several decades . Thereafter possibly but by then there probably won’t be a Constitutional question .

    The local parties have little capacity re job creation . They are entirely dependent on Westminster economic and fiscal policies. .

    ‘Could we as the NI electorate ever vote out of the box for our own good?’

    Eh ? No ! You can’t vote when you’re dead 🙂 although exceptions to that rule have been known to occur in tight constituencies in NI

  • Greenflag

    ‘Surely they should have registered a UCUNF hybrid logo with the electoral office?’

    Oh dear not another clanger . Is there any end to them ?

  • Keithbelfast

    its cheaper than getting the goldline home for the weekend…

  • Greenflag

    Mostly and vice versa -Can’t be helped -nature of state and all that . Not to worry . The NI result probably won’t matter for the UK . They can then just return to the dreary steeples as per abnormal /normal delete as appropriate .

  • unionistvoter

    UCUNF logo issue due to flaw in legislation introduced by Labour, any Labour candidates who stand under the Labour and co-operative party banner also have no logo including a number of cabinet ministers. Just another thing that needs fixed when Brown is dumped later.

  • Cynic

    Ash Cloud

    That’s strange. If they go to the party with the Stormont expenses, not all of them seem to appear in the Party Accounts – any idea what they are filed under? And of course under the rules the Westminster expenses must be spent ‘wholly and necessarily’ in the duties of each MP not in some central pool for the party as a whole.So where has Michelle’s £600k gone in Fermanagh?

    And I am delighted to see that British Munificence is such that people on the ‘average industrial wage’ (as the Leadership claim) can afford all those beautiful holiday homes in Donegal and pay off their mortgages in the occupied territories as well. Clearly the Party does have a lot of expenses. for example, providing ‘rest facilities’ in the west of Ireland for those suffering vile calumnies alleging rape, paedophilia and other crimes. Its great to see that SF leads the way as such an enlightened employer…. but hopefully not with recycled taxpayers money

    By the way, any idea where the £5m still missing from the Northern bank went to? Has it been dried out yet or is it still in the wash cycle?

  • Cynic

    “So Shinners are going around the Holylands today waking students up and sticking them on buses back to FST.”

    Oh good….let’s hope all the costs of that appear in Michelle’s expenses return after the election

    Not illegal but reminiscent of Germany in the 1930’s. And the Shinners zealots honestly believe that having been dragged all the way down they they will vote for them!

  • The only knock on my door (East Belfast) this time round came from the Alliance.
    The rest couldn’t be arsed.
    I’m hoping to bump into David Vance when voting later though. Was bitterly disappointed he didn’t canvas.

  • Ash Cloud

    My my…you really are quite the bitter person. Such a load of crap. I can just picture you frothing at the mouth hammering that poor keyboard. Yeah Rodney Connor a man for all the people… hah!

  • Cynic

    My what did poor old Rodders do to you? Close your library? Not give your Granny a bus pass?

    You haven’t answered my requestions on the money? Where did it go? Where is it recorded in the books?

    And why is it bitter to ask where millions of pounds have gone and to make sure that all candidates are complying with electoral law and making honest declarations?

  • Tullygarley Community Centre Polling Station in Ballymena had a steady stream of voters going in & out …….

    A Paisley car & loud speaker and thats about all there is to say…

  • Thanks for clarification.

  • Mr Crumlin

    Ash Cloud

    You should know that anyone who uses Nazi Germany to make a point has clearly lost the argument. My advice is to stop biting on Cynic’s hook!

  • Ash Cloud

    Oh sorry, I didn’t know it was your job to make sure that all candidates and parties are complying with electoral law. I thought that there were agencies already doing that.

    But hey maybe it should be handed over to you – an expert in property in Donegal, nazism and the Northern Bank robbery.

    And I can’t help in your impartial investigations because I’m not a SF member, just a SF voter who is pissed at the arrogance of the Rodney Connor camp.

  • Macanna

    CYNIC where can I find your information online that michelle claimed £600k. That would be worth a look.

  • Cynic

    “I thought that there were agencies already doing that.”

    …… yeah and like they are really going to do that and in any case you seem to have swallowed your party s line on all this nonsense so just a little reality check for you

  • socaire

    As the politicos say ‘Let’s be very clear about this ……’. Are you saying,Cynic, that Sinn Féin MPs obtained money wrongfully from HM Govt.? Never mind where it goes, let’s settle the entitlements first.

  • dukeofA

    did paisley need a loud speaker! maybe he isn’t the man his da is!

  • madraj55

    I’ll make a possibly rash prediction that tonight will be a repeat of 1992, except it will be Brown in the role of Major and Cameron in the Kinnock role. Both parties knew the term would be tough and preferred to lose that particular election. Conditions in the ecomony are similar or worse now, and i think the electorate will cling to the devil they know rather than the one with the silver spoon in mouth.
    More likely Brown will end up falling short of majority, but with most seats.

  • dukeofA

    that’s one of the things that is wrong with Norn Iron, too many people with an over-inflated sense of entitlement

  • I asked an official at a local polling station how many electors were on the register. She said 666. So then it was just a matter of deciding which ‘beast’ to make my mark beside. I felt spoilt for choice!!

  • socaire

    ssshh! you’ll waken joc

  • Paddy

    i had a quick word with Lord Morrow at a polling station in dungannon, he said FST would be extremely close but his demeanour was quite worried

  • Driftwood

    North Antrim, and their family political dynasty appears to be evidence of this:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8660940.stm