Let`s keep Northern Ireland moving forward

Despite the goings on in East Belfast the election results have seen the DUP claw back voters. The 2009 Euro elections saw the DUP achieve 88,346 first preference votes (18.2%) whilst the election to Westminster has seen the percentage go up to 25% of the vote (168,216). Now this is still down 8.7% on the previous Westminster election but in overall terms considering the recent DUP `annus horribilis` I would think the DUP should be pretty happy with the result. Even in East Belfast Peter Robinson scored a hefty 32.8% of the vote (Gregory Campbell was elected on 34.6% in East Londonderry, William McCrea was elected on 33.9%).

There are problems with the way the Institutions work and hopefully they will be looked at and reviewed long before the 2015 date set in St Andrews. But the one thing that seems clear from the results is that people have responded to the positive message and vision the DUP put forward for Northern Ireland. People want to see bread and butter issues dealt with, they want to live in peace, they want jobs, better hospitals, better schools for their kids.

The other thing that strikes me immediately is the conciliatory & muted tone amongst Unionists. There has not been much crowing or jeering on anyone`s part, be it DUP, UUP/Tory or TUV. The feeling on the ground seems to be that Unionist Unity talks are the way forward.

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  • Keithbelfast

    Sorry, but before we go on. You cannot compare the voting figures of two completely different elections which use different electoral systems.

    To say that 1st pref votes = votes in a first past the post system doesn’t work. To swing this has a massive gain for the DUP outside of EB is disingenuous.

    The fact remains. the DUP vote was down 8.7%, but then they didn’t run in ND or FST, so even that figure hides the truth.

    wheres sammy morse when you need him. can someone wake him up?

  • Garza

    Let`s keep Northern Ireland moving forward….towards a united Ireland.

    As long as cultural unionists reigns supreme, NI will sleepwalk into a United Ireland. Catholics can not/will not ever identify with cultural unionism.

  • Ste

    A ‘United’ irish EU Region ruled from Brussels.

    Rule the ‘North’….you dont even rule the South!….and dont even realise it LOL.

    What a PATHETIC little Region.

    http://img687.imageshack.us/img687/6044/ir7z.jpg

    http://img576.imageshack.us/img576/1741/euire.jpg

    http://img29.imageshack.us/img29/7627/irebarosso.jpg

  • I realise that Keith, that`s why I included the 8.7% figure from previous Westminster election. However it is clear from the figures that the DUP vote has gone up and TUV vote has gone down. Now there is the possibility the figures for TUV could go up again in the Assembly elections under PR and that people vote differently at Westminster because it is FPP but non the less the DUP has reason to be fairly happy with this result.

  • argosjohn

    Unionism is on retreat towards its bastions of Harryville and East Belfast. The big change is that Sinn Fein have mobilised RC voters who previously did not vote. The fact that Unionists hold no seat bordering the 26 cos shows up Unionism for the anti democratic gerrymander it continues to be.
    I hope the “British” of the 6 counties get to pay their full lot and are no longer subsidised by those in the “mainland”.

    With both the DUP and BNP votes down, the days of Unionists using strong arm terror tactics to claw their mandate back might be on hold, if not gone forever. Bad times for Unionists.

  • What is all this “moving forward” stuff mean? Rushing into a future where East Belfast sinks underwater, and the environment for our grandchildren is unliveable?

  • Comrade Stalin

    I think Kilsally is entirely entitled to mention the Euro elections in this context, because everyone predicted how it showed the insurgence of the TUV and how the DUP was in big trouble.

    argosjohn:

    The big change is that Sinn Fein have mobilised RC voters who previously did not vote.

    I wish you shinner stooges would stop talking shite.

    SF vote in 2005 : 174,530
    SF vote in 2010 : 171,942

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    This was an excellent election for the DUP and although the Robbo lost his seat the chances are he will have it back next time out. Not sure Unionist Unity will make much difference except to prevent SF becoming the largest party in the assembly and Marty becoming first minister – hardly a strategic reason to have a merger?

    What is a bit disappointing for the DUP is that they will probaby be cut out of any deal to form a government and with the rise in the number of Nationalists seats in Ulster and the increase in Scots and Welsh Nats seats the days of Unionists as power brokers may well be over.

    FST and SB will probably stay Nationalist now and in North Belfast where things look pretty ominous for the DUP it will probably follow close behind. Does anybody know what the detail of the demogrpahic changes are in both NB and SB where there were only very minor boundary changes?

  • TheHorse

    Garza. Hardly a credible assumption when has Nationalism ever been on an equal par with Unionism culturally to identify with them. Remind me is St Patricks day a national holiday in this part of Ireland.

  • I don’t think you can describe an election where you lose a quarter of your vote and your leader loses his seat as in any way “excellent”!

    A better description might be “not as bad as it might have been”.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Sammy thinks that without Maskey’s 2000 votes, McDonnell would not have had his 6000 vote majority. Numeracy is not his strong point.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Nicky,

    if you had offered that result to the DUP a couple of months ago they would have bitten your hand off, although admitddely Robbo might not have been too keen. Not only did they have to see off the TUV which they largely did but had to survive the Iris/Robinson scandal which they did in Strangford (but not in East Belfast) and they needed to do all this whilst portraying themselves as pro-agreement and dispatching the opportunistic anti-agreement UUP/UCUNF effectively to the history (and comic) books.

    Regarding a “quarter of your vote” the DUP % was down 8.7 against a 7.8 % drop in the overall turnout (and that does not allow for FST and ND) and does not also allow for the fact that the TUV have broken away since 2005 and the DUP have recovered from the severe shock of the Euro elections.

    By any objective standard this was an ‘excellent election’ for the DUP and a disastrous one for their Unionist opponents.

    Comrade Stalin,

    It would serve you better to actually read what I wrote and defend your silly statements regarding the voting behaviour of SF voters on the appropriate thread.

  • O’Merta

    How Reg must have hoped for PR!!

  • With both the DUP and BNP votes down

    Disappointing that the vote in their sister party SF was almost identical though.

    As regards this ‘positive message’ from the DUP. Frankly that’s ridiculous – what is the message exactly? For me it amounted to a defence of the NI block grant and some guff about attempting to lower corporation tax solely in NI.

    About as positive as a drug dealer coming out with a new supply to keep the kiddies dazed for another wee while

  • Argosjohn

    Stalin

    I was looking more long term than the last election. Sinn Fein are the nationalist force north of the border and will increasingly consolidate that as they get more RCs to register. They have tapped into huge pools that would not have voted in the past.
    I am not a SF stooge actually as I do not support partition.

    In fairness to East Belfast, they did vote against the obnoxious Robinson who got caught up in a scandal too far. In West Belfast, they elected the Teflon Don.

  • Sammy,

    My name is not Nicky.

    You’re quite right; the DUP did not lose a quarter of their vote – it was actually almost a third – from 241,856 to 168,216, percentage down from 33.7% to 25.0%.

    If that’s an “excellent” election by your standards, there isn’t really much point in talking to you further.

  • Crow

    Ian Paisley Jr’s performance in North Antrim was impressive. Apparently the DUP were understandably cock-a-hoop. After the count Paisley Sr. was asked if he had any message for the defeated Allister. He responded…

  • pinni

    Waken up argosjohn, Alliance won EB. Some bastion of Unionism!

  • lamhdearg

    north belfast joint nat vote 500 less than uni vote, uni have 2/3 of 1000 al votes to count on.

  • lamhdearg

    East Belfast vote out someone accused of lining his pockets. West Belfast returned someone who campaigned for a child rapist. Moral victory?

  • Gerry Lvs castro

    ‘The big change is that Sinn Fein have mobilised RC voters who previously did not vote.’

    Spot on John they have, while at the same time unionists are staying at home in droves. Problem for SF is that the poll that really matters — the border one, doesn’t seem likely to yield 50+1 anytime soon. But if you don’t agree, why not hold one?

    ‘I hope the “British” of the 6 counties get to pay their full lot and are no longer subsidised by those in the “mainland”.’

    Well said John — I bet you’ve never taken a penny from the British exchequer in your life. And if you ever see a UI, I’m sure you’ll refuse any EU subsidies as they’d be partially funded by Britain. Stick to those principles.

    ‘With both the DUP and BNP votes down, the days of Unionists using strong arm terror tactics to claw their mandate back might be on hold, if not gone forever.’

    I’ll tell you what the above parties DON’T have in common — neither ever had an armed wing responsible for the murders of hundreds of their own countrymen. Neither had to mount a huge personation and intimidation campaign to get votes. And neither are pretending to their electorate that a united Ireland is achievable in their lifetime.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    “there isn’t really much point in talking to you further.”

    Nicholas, do I detect a hint of pomposity?

  • Philip

    Just when you say that you can`t compare two different elections……Naomi Long`s people had a misleading campaign advertisement (it can be seen on You Tube) saying that in 2007 there were only 52 votes separating herself and Peter Robinson. That particular election was a Proportional Represenation election, which was completely different from a Westminster one. In the last Westminster election in East Belfast, there was a difference of around 11,000 votes between Peter Robinson and Naomi Long. So her team have given a very false impression, saying that only 52 votes separated them in 2007, actually 5,000 votes separated the DUP and Alliance, if you take all the candidates instead of singling out Peter Robinson. Therefore a lot of people thought that Naomi Long had a good chance of defeating Peter Robinson as only “52” votes “separated” !! them, and i believe her team has mislead the public.

  • sbelfastunionist

    I do think Nicholas and others have been a bit unfair here. You can’t just judge the DUP result against 2005 when they were on a high and ignore all the things which have happened since. This time the DUP were in government with SF and were being challenged by TUV and a Tory blitz after 6 months of negative headlines and scandals. Now, in the weeks after the Euro elections few people would have predicted that the DUP would hold 8 out of the 9 seats. I actually think it is remarkable and a sign of the maturity of the unionist electorate that the most of the damage from the scandals was isolated to East Belfast. It is also a clear message for the DUP that their future lies in a positive campaign standing up for the deals they have done which was not what they did during the euro election. To lose only one seat in the circumstances is excellent.

  • lamhdearg,
    That is unfair in the extreme. West Belfast returned someone who campaigned for an alleged child rapist from whom he had been estranged and had not seen for years apart from when campaigning, attending his wedding and the like. In addition that man of moral virtue has been implicated by former comrades in the kidnap and murder of a widowed mother of ten; told blatant lies to said mother’s children; has been suggested to be behind the La Mon and Bloody Friday bombings. I could go on.

    However, the same individual has explained on a programme on Jesus that he can forgive those who did him wrong: how kind of him. I suppose as a saint he has nothing significant to need to be forgiven for.

  • Wasted Ballot

    Turgon, I hear ya but sadly we all have to face the fact that WB is more than happy to elect Adams knowing full well what he has done in the past. SF won’t allow the constituency to move on and the voters are more than happy to give two fingers to the rest of the civilised world.

    That said, I feel the same for voters who put scum like William McCrae in a position of power.

  • TheHorse

    Some of the DUP politicians have equal skeletons in their closets even Gordon Brown and Peter Mandelson. Would Unionists even dare to say that Tony Blair is morally sacred – I dont think so. If Gerry Adams resigned Unionist really would need to Unite.

  • Munsterview

    Spin Philip, it is called spin…… and it was a bloody good one!

  • Big John

    This comment is so laughable, cultural unionists are the core force that is stopping a United Ireland. If you combine the unionist vote between all the main unionist parties (UUP, DUP, TUV) and not forgeting the small u unionist party the Alliance party, those wishing to stay within the United Kingdom is Approx. 70% and this is not taking into account the 25% of SDLP voters that wish to remain in the United Kingdom. I have to laugh also at Republicans telling us that there will be a United Ireland by 2016, even Margaret Richie has accepted this as narrow-minded ramblings of SF.

  • Michaelhenry

    yes peter robinson was spinned out of west minister.

  • Jaggers

    Can anyone answer a question about Sammy “three-jobs” Wilson. RTE reported on Friday that he might be resigning his Finance portfolio in the Assembly now that he has been re-elected MP. But as I understood it he had just given an undertaking that he would draw one salary and that his position as Finance minister in the Assembly would not change?

    Does anyone know any different?

  • Michaelhenry

    the majority have spoken, we all got the good friday agreement a week before the all IRELAND election, to read, to make up our own minds on what way to vote, i red the 32 pages of said agreement, and with the majority of the people of IRELAND i voted yes.

  • TheHorse

    70% of the Unionist electorate that voted and what was the turnout around 56% I hardly think that is a majority and then claiming you speak for 25% of the SDLP’s vote is laughable, can we say that the 44% of people who did not bother to vote could be classed as dont cares then. So those dont cares dont care who’s in power and what direction we are going. The future does not bode well for Unionism.

  • Munsterview

    A bit disengaged from all of this down here, so perhaps a little more detached overview.

    Re Peter not making up the required numbers; it was becoming increasingly clear from media reports pre election, that Peter on a personal level had problems with a significant number of D.U.P. core voters, these either abstained or went elsewhere. So far Peter and the D.U.P have been lumped together in all the analysis that I have seen and heard.

    This afternoon Ms Breen on R.T.E radio confirmed in broad terms that Peter’s difficulties had more to do with his person and lifestyle rather than his D.U.P. politics. My impression from the media is that if the personal ‘ Peter factor’ had not been present the D.U.P. may just have done the business in that constituency. If this is so then all this reading of entrails and future projections count for nought; if Peter is off the scene then just what damage, if any, is done to the D.U.P. core vote will only be seen after the next election.

    The full significance of Fermanagh/ South Tyrone is also not realized; now that Sinn Fein have shown that it can be done, some Nationalists that tactically voted S.D.L.P. perceiving this party as having the best chance of taking a seat will switch to Sinn Fein putting them well ahead and S.F. on the ground will be even more galvanized into action the next time around to show that it is a consolidated seat, not a marginal for contesting.

    I do not have an inside track in the back-rooms any more, just informed comment, but I would be very surprised if there is not a map on some wall of an S.F. control room ( and by now also copies in MI5 offices and Downing st.) with that constituency, like Pat Dohertys and Martin McG’s already colored green with a felt tip and crossed off the danger list with the next marginal seat targeted and plans for doing ‘A Michelle’ on it .

    As to what is happening across the water, interesting to see the ‘Mother Of Parliaments’ now mired in the Mother of all Political Cock Ups regarding representative democracy. 100,000 on votes on average to elect a Liberal and only 20,000 needed to elect a Tory !.

    My English friends are incensed at having ‘Scottish Rule’ and no real say in their own purely English affairs while the Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish have assemblies to deal with their own particular concerns while at the same time representatives from two of these regions and one foreign country….. part of Ireland, have full voting rights in England’s internal affairs.

    A proper representative for the Island of Britain would also mean that the Tories be in a permanent opposition while the majority of the Labor and Liberals would have enough common ground to constitute a permanent government.

    Tories voting for democracy are Turkeys voting for Christmas!

    Seems that Cameron needs some system that while window dressing as representative democracy cheats to give his party an unjust majority. In other words an Artificial attempt to make an unrepresentative Political System work.

    The Six British Occupied Counties of North Eastern Ireland may have a relevance for the Brits after all, a few last lessons to learn from the Irish experience before they ditch their last colony and finally depart as they have had to do elsewhere from most of their other Empire Grabbed Countries in the modern world!

  • Munsterview,
    Some of that may be jest but “the Brits” cannot “ditch their last colony and finally depart.”

    “The Brits” in question are the British people here in Northern Ireland. We have the right to be British: that is enshrined in the Belfast Agreement as well as elsewhere. We are going nowhere. It may be in fun but that sort of racist nonsense is exactly what fuelled the IRA campaign of murder and it failed. It also drives the dissidents. Until you get it into your head that we are British you cannot respect us even if you want to.

  • Michaelhenry

    you are not british turgon, your passport says GREAT britain and northern IRELAND, you are reduced to being an AND turgon by those nasty brits, me, i have an IRISH passport because i am IRISH, not an and like you.

  • Michaelhenry

    you are not british turgon, your passport says GREAT britain and northern IRELAND, you are reduced to being an AND turgon by those nasty brits, me, i have an IRISH passport because i am IRISH, not an and like you.

  • Comrade Stalin

    munster:

    The Six British Occupied Counties of North Eastern Ireland may have a relevance for the Brits after all, a few last lessons to learn from the Irish experience before they ditch their last colony and finally depart as they have had to do elsewhere from most of their other Empire Grabbed Countries in the modern world!

    That’s a bigoted and hateful analysis which the Irish people have consistently rejected. Who exactly do you profess to speak for ?

  • Granni Trixie

    MichaelHenry: so great you said it twice!

  • lamhdearg

    Passport says “British citizen” under nationality.

  • Michaelhenry

    it says GREAT britain and northern IRELAND, are you another AND lamhdearg, sorry for your troubles.

  • Michaelhenry

    what can i say.

  • jim

    hes picked this repeating himself up listening to big bobby doh head storey

  • lamhdearg

    Michaelhenry. i assume you have at least one person you know who has a Great Britain and Northern Ireland passport. If so ask them to show you the page with the picture on it, look at 3 nationality, you will find it says British citizen, Its a simple fact. why cant you let people who want to be british be so, I have no problem with you calling youself Irish.

  • Munsterview

    Turgon
    Yes, perhaps a bit tongue in cheek but some very positive results including the Unionist Right Wing getting an electoral boot in its intransigent goolies from it’s own claimed power base. Elsewhere I welcomed this and hoped that the D.U.P. could now get down to real social issues and community politics without having to look over their shoulder at the TUV or the UU (and whatever expediency they are tagging on to their name on Monday morning).

    Whatever we are probably seeing ‘Big House Unionism’ changing before our eyes from a political force to a cultural one as it did in the South from one hundred and thirty years ago on.

    Yes Turgon, I know all about your history and how you got there: at the start of what is known as the Desmond Rebellion in conventional history, my extended family and those of our clan collectively owned one eleventh part of a County, when the rebellion was over not one of the thousands of my family name owned two acres or upwards in the same area.

    We did not start that War, we were a central part of one of the most prosperous self governing Kingdoms in Europe with walled towns, deep water ports,European trading connections, monasteries to take care of the spiritual, educational, medical and other temporal needs. In short a Medieval Kingdom as self contained, civilized and complete as any of the French or other Continental small other Kingdoms our people traded with and had representatives in.

    That Kingdom of Desmond was taken apart and looted by Elizabethan Adventurers on a provoked war for the plunder and gain of some of your culture heros. Around Two hundred of my Clan, some of whom were my ancestors ended up on a few hundred acres of an inaccessible Kerry Bog. We were down but not out, that mountain hillside was reclaimed, one farm led to two and then four until all were farming and by the last quarter of the 19cen. they were producing teachers, doctors and other professionals. Since then that extended family have continued on the road to material success while also producing two M.P.’s and a decorated British General among others of distinction.

    When I became a Republican activist I did no more than my own great grandfather had done when he and his cousins of the same name rose out in 67, his father was a prominent Whiteboy leader and his son led some of the last active resistance to Crown Forces in the Land wars in the Early Twentieth Century. The great grandson of one of those Fenian Leaders have over one hundred million reasons to be included in the Last Sunday Times rich list.

    In short Turgon the urge to liberate my people came as natural to me as the urge to repress them came to you and yours.

    However as John from East Belfast might say we are where we are! I backed the Peace Process and despite everything I still do. While a shower of Builders, Bankers and Wa****s may have reduced the economy of this country to financial rubble, the Celtic Tiger also showed what our young Engineers, Planners, Architects etc could do when the opportunity presented as it will again in all Thirty Two Counties.

    Meanwhile I do not advocate ‘tufting you or others like you out’, even after the bitterness of the War of Independence and the Civil War, every one of the twenty six counties had scores of senior retired British Armed Forces personnel yet only one, Admiral Somerville was interfered with. He was killed and in this instance his killing was in very specific circumstances.

    Just remember Turgon that some of us in this island have a sense of history and long memories too, much longer than yours on this island, Yes we have made war when it was necessary just as we were prepared to make peace and more important to keep it and make it work when the opportunity presented. The Croppies will never again lay down, those days are gone. There is now a constructive place for anyone on this island willing to allow and assist, peace and prosperity to be build.

    I will readily admit that there is what I have referred to as a democratic deficit in the current administration in the Six Counties but if some of your lot had not disgraced yourselves when in absolute power, before Britain and Britain before the Civilized world we now would not now be using artificial means to make an artificial state work with some semblance of democracy. Be that as limited as it is, in the words of Churchill ‘Jaw, Jaw is better than War, War.’

    Those of us who argued for the Peace Process argued also that change could be continued by negotiation and political means; those forces on the Unionist Right with the old ‘not an inch’ mentality are saying to the Republican minority who still advocate the use of Armed Force that we are wrong in our analysis and that they are right in theirs. I have no answer to that….. you do!

  • Michaelhenry

    but i have a problem with that class who pretend to be british, an AND should know there place.

  • Gerry Lvs castro

    Funny my passport says British citizen too MH — maybe you need glasses.

    Still, nice to see this new spirit of equality that SF constantly bleat about — you can call yourself Irish but Unionists aren’t allowed to call themselves British. Yes I can see now why the Shankill electorate were supposedly queuing up to mark their x for Gerry.

  • lamhdearg

    Just how far back do Irelands people surly not even you munsterview think mankind started in Ireland or even that the gaels where its first inhabitants, so your crowd where blow ins once.

  • lamhdearg

    do Irelands people go surely,sorry i am very sleepy

  • Michaelhenry

    i just feel sorry for the little AND people, i mean they thougt they were right.

  • Munsterview

    Lamhdearg,

    Totally accepted. ( up late watching a film)

    Elsewhere in these exchanges I have pointed out the ironies of history
    and the fact that the Roman Catholic/ Nationalist culture have
    appropriated the revolutionaries of 98, the young Irelanders and even
    the Cultural Leaders of the Celtic revival who were in the main
    Protestant. I also accept in the words of Yeaths that these stock were
    ‘no petty people’. Two of my Great Grandparents were fourth cousins of
    Norman descent who had continued a tradition of marrying among their
    own, no closer than second cousin and no further out than fourth, a
    family tradition that is supposed to have gone back to before the
    invasion.

    One of my speaking engagement at a festival for later this year was to
    speak on a specific planter issue; instead I withdrew and recommended
    to the organizers that they get another person that I recommended to
    lecture on the Celtic Revival and specifically the part played by some
    of the Anglo Irish in this and in paving the way for Home Rule and the
    Independence movement. This particular person for whatever it’s worth
    is English, he is a friend and he is also the son of a former high
    ranking British Army Officer. As a Republican this was always my
    thinking, I was taught in National school by a Catholic school teacher
    to appreciate the Anglo Irish contribution to this Nation and it has
    always been part of my thinking. I am far from unique in my
    perspectives among Republicans and it is time too some of your
    tradition began to think outside the box too.

    Who knows, you may even get to like it out here, a free person among
    equals rather than a mere subject!
    – Show quoted text –

  • Oisin

    As an Irish person and someone who longs for a united Ireland, I don’t think your attitude is helping. We need to develop mutual respect and pass that onto the next generation. There is a section of society – soft unionists, normally middle-class Protestants or working-class Protestants who feel forgotten and abused by their parties and the British establishment who may support a united Ireland (if it is in their interests economically) once their identity is respected. Although we may feel that their identity has colonial and imperialistic connotations, they obviously don’t see their Britishness in the same way.

    Despite the past, we must respect the reality of the present day situation.