So, every Monday that ever comes along, I get up early and sing this little song

With éirígí having declared they will be engaging in electoralism at council level while rejecting it at Stormont (on grounds of ideology, not because they’d get totally tanked) and the IRSP expected to announce a similar return to council level electoralism in the north (also ignoring Stormont for ideological reasons, not fear of getting spanked) and expectations of an independent republican council candidate in Newry and the odd two in Fermanagh – I thought I’d run my eye over the electoral demography to see how many council areas dissenters or non-SF republicans could consider running in.

Where is the market deep enough that it could produce enough republican voters that aren’t SF and could even hope for a half quota? Dissenting republicanism is patchily organised, so even where a potential vote base may exist, structures mainly won’t be there to capitalise on it.

Surprisingly the list of wards that dissenters should be checking out is quite extensive and the fact they tested so few is a demonstration of how totally disorganised and split non-Agreement republicanism is.

Here’s my list of areas dissenters should have the balls to start running in or test at least once:


Armagh City


Lower Falls (eirigi)
Upper Falls (eirigi)
Oldpark (IRSP with RNU support)


Portadown (personality candidate – Breandan MacCionnaith for eirigi)


Northland (IRSP with RNU/32CSM support)
Shantallow(IRSP with RNU/32CSM support)
Cityside(IRSP with RNU/32CSM support)


Dunmurry Cross


Newry Town (Hyland Ind)
Slieve Gullion


West Tyrone
Mid Tyrone






Erne West (Swift – for eirigi)
Enniskillen (McHugh Ind)




The Glens

That’s 22 seats I reckon dissenters should be having a go at if they want to get serious. I doubt they’ll actually be able or willing to contest in more than five.

Did I miss any? Any of them so ridiculous that the dissenters shouldn’t even give them a pop?

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  • Fionn

    It would play havoc with the catchy DUP election slogan, it would have to become “Smash Sinn Fein, Eirigi, IRSP, RNU, 32 CSM and some Fenian Independents”

    Good grief they wouldn’t know which candidates not to shake hands with on the stage,

    Its all to much, I’m off for a glass of orange juice

    Thing is Mark, have you factored out the seats that could be gifted to others if they split the republican vote, or indeed where they wouldn’t get votes because it would split the republican vote.

  • redhugh78

    So if any of these candidates/potential candidates get elected to councils, does that mean then in their own words (some of them at least) that they will be ‘administering british rule’, an accusation they currently levy at SF?

  • Mark McGregor


    I think the days of vote-splitting scaremongering ended the day after SF demonstrated working stormont with the DUP and PSNI was a principle.

    Who cares if they lose a seat on a council? They will still be the junior partner in a reactionary, rightwing, unionist, ultra-protestant ‘government’.

    Unionists as bogeyman from SF? When you keep them in power?

  • Mark McGregor


    Indeed. Will they go into institutions and be ‘corrupted’ by them just like SF. RSF would say it’s inevitable.

    I suppose we have to wait for two things:

    1. Do they get elected.
    2. Do they become the SDLP as a result just like SF did.

  • Dixie Elliott

    Elections again?

    We see more elections than we actually see the elected….If you know what I mean?

  • Mark, you’ve missed out Ballymoney’s Bann Valley.

  • Dixie Elliott

    Am I the only one who has noticed this? On the run up to elections we see shinners on the TV and in the papers telling us the ‘dissidents’ attacked their homes, cars and what-not else. Then after the elections not a stone nor even a sod of turf is thrown in their direction, not until the next election anyway.

    Call me a cynical bastard if you want….

  • Mark McGregor


    Try living in South Antrim – Mitchel McLaughlin thought it was ok to get elected, shave his moustache off, leave it behind and then never come back to the place.

    I think SF are running the moustache next time.

  • Mark McGregor


    No chance. My rule was it has to have five from six, around 60%+ nationalist or a celebrity dissenter. No way Bann Valley gets close.

    I think what you are saying is, some of those ‘people’ in Bann Valley are dodgy in your very particular eyes.

  • I was looking at it differently, Mark. SF got 35% in Ballycastle and 34% in Bann Valley. McGuigan and McKay have each been confronted by dissenting voices in the past and on at least one occasion McGuinness has had to intervene. SF also seems to have some internal problems in The Glens which could also assist a dissident vote.

  • redhugh78


    So they will have to stand on an abstentionist council ticket as well as Stormont, or is ‘administering british rule’ just limited to Stormont?
    I’m confused 🙂

  • sdelaneys

    “I think SF are running the moustache next time”

    But, Mark, that was never a real mustache that Mitchell wore. It was a false one and he keeps the real one in a drawer at home waiting for 2016 when it will be unveiled to the faithfull.

  • pippakin

    I think the potential support for other republican partys is growing, what puts a lot of people off is any whisper of a connection to violence. SF has serious baggage and the SDLP hardly grab the imagination.

  • fordprefect

    I would also add areas of east Tyrone to your list as well, as, there seemed to be a lot of annoyance at SF’s stance on policing etc. there. I’m also fed up listening to and looking at the word “dissident”, when if truth be told SF are the real “dissidents” as they ditched any vestige of republicanism and/or socialism ages ago. I also remember IRSP members standing for and (in a few cases being elected to councils) in 1980 as Anti-H Block candidates, at a time when SF wouldn’t hear tell of it, and that was before you had to sign an “anti-violence” pledge! So I for one hope a few people from Eirigi, IRSP, and other Republican Independants get elected, if only so we don’t have to listen to the same drivel being spouted by the so-called “mainstream parties all the time!

  • Barry the Blender

    Try living in South Antrim – Mitchel McLaughlin thought it was ok to get elected, shave his moustache off, leave it behind and then never come back to the place.

    That doesn’t quite fit in with the Sinn Fein narrative of their representatives being the ones “on the ground, who get the work done”.

    Yet he did poll a rather healthy vote in the Westminster election, and in my view he should be safe enough.

    And just so you don’t get upset and think I’m trying to change the line of discussion: how abouts Benbradagh in South Limavady? It seems very similar to Sperrin just on the other side of Magherafelt.