FST redux – the defeated

Thanks to Aldous Duke we have something most didn’t get hear on election day:

Rodney Connor’s ungracious defeat speech – taking time to round on Douglas Bain and threaten legal options -how many other candidates didn’t congratulate the victor, praise the count staff etc?

A humilated Fearghal McKinney attacking unionism for not offering ‘choice’.

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  • slug

    Excellent speech from Fearghal McKinney. He was a good candidate. His emphasis is on the jobs and real issues – a shared future.

    “If there was a clamour [among unionists for a pact] why did they not turn out” he said. Quite so.

  • Some would argue the SF campaign strategy of not going head to head with Connor meant som 10% unionists didn’t get fired up enough to come out.

  • “how many other candidates didn’t … praise the count staff etc?”

    Listen again – 02:00.

  • joeCanuck

    Yes, ungracious indeed. Big boo boo. Like winning a golf competition and not thanking the groundstaff for their hard preparation work and congratulating the runners up for their sportsmanship. Clueless perhaps.

  • dilettante

    If Rodney Connor, Arlene, Peter, the Orange Order and friends were so fixed on FST representation in Westminster then shouldn’t they have backed McKinney?

  • “FST redux – the defeated” or should that read “the cheated”.

    The allegation is that there were 36 more ballot papers counted than were issued. Would a party like Sinn Fein cheat?! They used to justify the murder of their Protestant neighbours. So cheating probably doesn’t register on their ‘sin scale’.

    And once again SDLP voters switched to the extreme – just as they did when they elected terrorist Bobby Sands before he committed suicide.

  • Glencoppagagh

    I’ve heard a rumour that boasts have appeared on Facebook about Unionist votes being made to disappear during the count. Is this at all plausible? Could a member of the counting staff conceal voting papers about his/her person without being noticed?

  • These are all rumours. As far as I know ‘disputed’ papers arose from the 2nd recount.
    At the 3rd recount 11 new papers were used. 4 went to Gildernew, 2 to Connor and the rest to the other candidates.

    Talk of ‘disappeared’ papers doesn’t take when you look at the count figures:
    Connor – 21,296 Gildernew – 21,288 (1st count) RC +8

    Connor – 21,295 Gildernew – 21,305 (1st recount) MG +10

    Connor – 21,298 Gildernew – 21,300 (2nd recount) MG +2

    Connor – 21,300 Gildernew – 21,304 (3rd recount) MG +4

    Connor’s vote only ever went down, by 1 on the 1st recount. 1 vote difference is feasbile in a count of over 47,000 papers. Added the fact his vote increased in the two remaining recounts hardly justifies conspiracy theories. Just pure sour grapes IMO.

  • Danny

    Ach aye sure it’s not like anyone of a Unionist persuasion ever harmed anyone. Everyone knows it was all just “performance art”.

  • AldousDuke, according to your figures Connor’s vote went up a total of four votes after all the recounts. Meanwhile Gildernew’s votes went up 16 after all the recounts. Four times Connor’s increase. Indeed Gildernew’s vote increased by 17 after the first count – putting her in the lead.

    There needs to be an investigation. Even the dogs in the street know about Provisional Sinn Fein/IRA’s involvement in electoral fraud in the past. They murdered people. They robbed banks. They carried out voter fraud.

    It’s time someone put a stop to their fraudulent ways.

  • daisy

    Frothing at the mouth won’t get you anywhere. Mobilising your voters will.

  • Dec

    I’m pretty certain the last member of a local party to be convicted of electoral fraud was a member of the…DUP. Sorry to confound perceptions.

    Back to topic, for more spectacular whinging from ‘cross-community candidate’ Rodney Connor, check out his interview in the News Letter from earlier in the week (available on Newshound).
    This quote provoked much mirth in my household:

    “The result very clearly showed that the majority of nationalists in this constituency would rather have an abstentionist candidate than have a unionist represent them – and that is very sad”.

    Unfortunately there’s no photo of him prancing round the count centre with a Union Jack alongside ‘Air Puncher’ Foster.

  • John Joe

    Ulster Times – surely the converse applies – if you want to go down this road – why were these votes only discovered after a number of recounts, were they being deliberately ignored by someone trying to get Connor elected???
    The great thing about conspiracy theories is that, like Catholicism, they can be whatever you want.
    You remind me of the day Joe Hendron stood on the stairs in Belfast City Hall flanked by two or three other doctors from the SDLP, accusing SF of vote fraud and waving a pile of blank medical cards shouting “You know how easy these are to get?” and not seeing the irony in it. Even the journos started cracking up laughing.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Rodney Connor is only following a pattern….not just of unionist lack of grace (which is of course not confined to unionism…..all can be bad losers) but in the context of Fermanagh South Tyrone itself.
    Ken Maginness has oft remarked that the decent Protestants of FST were shaken to their core by Bobby Sands election in 1981. His standard speech is that these were neighbours who oft helped each othr out ..feeding each others cattle so that one could go on holiday and all that.
    Connors speech is therefore in the same style. He is shocked that Nationalists vote…….Nationalist.
    Until unionism gets over that fact, its future does not exactly look encouraging.

    One of the rather sad things about spending Election Night in London was the pathetic coverage of Norn Iron counts. While I was channel surfing, the only occasion that Norn Iron was “live” was as part of a regional roundup at about 10.30pm (Mark Simpson) and later the East Belfast result.
    The BBCs Parliament Channel (504) featured Scotland.
    The pattern for me was that a result would be announced….and I would only have details on teletext about 15 minutes after the result.
    FST I discovered in an Internet Cafe about 3.30pm Friday

  • if that’s a nod to the vote count for Michael Stone, well at least it was consistent.

  • Glencoppagagh

    I referred to ‘boasts’, not whinges. I was just curious as to whether it was possible.
    Out of interest again, what are new papers and why were they used?

  • When the abstentionist declares herself undecided as to whether her cohorts may have to return to shooting their neighbours in future it’s difficult not to agree to be frank

  • Anonymous

    “The result very clearly showed that the majority of nationalists in this constituency would rather have an abstentionist candidate than have a unionist represent them”

    Well at least he seems to have finally clicked that Nationalists don’t want Unionist representation

  • John Joe

    fitzjameshorse – a bit late now, but, if it is any use in future – google “sky box frequencies BBC” and you should easily get the one for BBCNI – you can then tune it in on any sky box if it isn’t listed on the page guide you go to Add Channel (by pressing Services/System Set-Up on the remote). Its fairly straightforward (same applies to any local BBC broadcast).

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Thanks for this JohnJoe.

  • I agree about getting over the Shinner fact (and getting out there and highlighting those real bigots) – but it’s disingenuous to say they are shocked at purely nationalist voting nationalist. It’s the republican personalities (or lack thereof, seeing as they tend towards the emotionally blank psychopathic mould such as the quote I refer to above) that manage to scrounge votes out of them that shocks not anything else.

    I’m sure the Shinners like to attempt the impression of moral equivalence between themselves and the SDLP. Not beneath them to be pretend socialists either

  • Ash Cloud

    I seem to remember that a former electoral officer from F/ST was convicted of fraud. He certainly wasn’t from the nationalist community. You know the guy who announced the Bobby Sands election result in the famous news footage and who nearly snarled in the process. I wonder what became of him….

  • Argosjohn

    The Unionists are beginning to growl that they were robbed. These are people who set up a gerrymandered state and used ethnic cleansing to get their way. In the past, in 1920, for example, they used the bomb and the bullet to defy democracy. Now thye are at it again.
    You are a minority everywhere except in the environs around Belfast. There is nothing democratic or nice about you. Go back to Scotland. Your tactis of terror have had their day.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    st etienne,
    Indeed the “saved” within the Unionist community have an unfortunate tendency to think that decent Catholics vote SDLP and that children of a lesser God vote SF-IRA.
    You appear to be agreeing with them.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    It might be interesting to see how things pan out in 2011.
    This was an Election that McKinney was never going to win.

    His aspiration was merely to become embedded in the constituency, front runner for the SDLP quota next time around.
    His goose was cooked by the Unity candidate. Standing down in favour of Gildeernew was never realistic….as I have emphasised on many occasions I believe Partyys have a duty to make their pitch to the Electorate.
    There is no “shame” in what the SDLP did.
    The “shame” is with UUP and DUP.
    Of course many SF-IRA partisans will disagree with this……and slam the SDLP even after Gildernew was appealling for SDLP voters to back her. Id guess more than four went into the polling booths not totally convinced.
    Some …many indeed of these SDLP votes will return “home” next year so it will ill behove SF to be too triumphalist.
    Yet the SDLP position in FST is not good. McKinneys 3,500 votes is far short of a quota even allowing for the “loaned” votes.
    And McKinney himself is now an issue.
    He saw the SDLP vote drop by around a half.
    He will get the blame for nearly losing the seat.
    He does not even have the bonus of actually losing the seat.
    And he has made the SDLP look next to irrelevant in FST.

    The SDLP generally put up two candidates in FST, geography plays a part. The “Dungannon” person and the “Fermanagh” person managing to transfer so that one crosses the line.
    But not all votes will return and it looks at best that SDLP only has 6,000 votes in play, spread over two candidates. McKinney will have to get the “right” ballot boxes to ensure he comes ahead of his party colleague/rival.
    McKinney is now an officially designated “loser” and thats a hard label to shake.

  • drumlins rock

    FJH, almost all political careers start with failure, you have to work hard and earn your place. Also remember a small proportion of SDLP voters would also have leant their vote to Connor in order to unseat SF, it was a low poll for F&ST who knows what next year will bring.

  • John Joe

    This time out FST was always in danger of being a lose-lose for the SDLP – if SF held, then it was in spite of them standing, if SF lost the seat then it was because they stood.
    Oddly, I think the disconnect here is actually between the media and the electorate. On paper (and in the media generally) a high proportion of commentators present the SDLP as the logical/reasonable option that people (well, nationalists) should vote for in droves. This narrative has now tended to come to a shuddering halt at the election count (a la McKinney) where the expectation is not matched and what should have been a soft story (e.g. just underplay FST and recognise what was going to happen and accept that the political reality was that whatever the outcome an SDLP victory was never likely) becomes a bad result (celebrity candidate fails to even attract an Assembly quota). Broadly the SDLP have lost control of the story and don’t seem to know how to take it back again.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Catholics hating SF-IRA so much that they would vote for any kinda Unionist is the stuff of Fiction.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Well yes……I have dubbed the Journalist/ Blogging elite in our society as the Overclass. Various Lunchtimes and Glendas and wannabe Guido Fawkes who display their angst that the actual people dont share their angst about Sinn Féin-IRA or indeed the DUP.
    This Overclass believes it is too good for Politics…esp Norn Iron Politics………and are a mirror image of an Underclass of druggies/car thieves etc who believe they are not good enough for Politics.
    Journalists and the Bloggerati are in a cocoon detached from the Real World.
    In a fantasy world, everyone votes UUP, SDLP and AP and of course Green.
    Better still they want Labour Tory to organise here.

    Yes youre right ….even as the British Election campaign showed ..Gillian Duffy was a more authentic voice that the Journos, Bloggers and Spin Doctors

  • Greenflag

    ‘Go back to Scotland’

    To join the 1.5 million plus people of Irish Catholic origin and descent ? I mean there’s only 800,000 or so that fit that description in Northern Ireland ?

    ‘Now they are at it again.’

    At what ? Seems to me that the only people using terror tactics in Northern Ireland at this time are the brain dead idiots of the so called real IRA

    Perhaps you need to go somewhere yourself . Could I suggest you bend over backwards and stick your head up your arse so that you can have a look at what’s left of your brain and count any remaining cells . As long as there’s not more than three you should be able to manage -eejit 🙁

  • drumlins rock

    they exist, have met a few, prob not many, but have also met one or two Shinners who said if they were forced to choose between SDLP and UUP they would vote UUP, odd I know, but personal feelings can do wonderful things, I considered voting SF in front of a UUP candidate once because I couldnt stand him, thankfully he pull out in time.

  • Congal Claen

    Hi John,

    Whatabout if they “Go back to Scotland” and the Caledonians ask them to go back to where they came from ie Ireland? Where would they go then? Should they ask the Gaels to go back to Iberia so they can reclaim their homeland?

  • Ryan Fitzpatrick

    Last time I checked the majority of the population lived in the environs around Belfast. The protestant majority is built up in the area where the majority of people live in NI. The South and West may have nationalist majorities, but they majorities of the minority. Tool.