UTV posed an interesting question on what all this apparent commitment to social media on the part of all the parties. Sam McBride of the News Letter noted we are likely to see a fall in turn out and therefore most of the parties will be resiling to core voters even as their publicity shouts out ‘we really do care about issues’.
It’s a point re-emphasised by his Irish News colleague Diana Rusk, who poses the question we’ve perennially heard raised, how many of you twitter followers actually get out and vote for you. In a time of scarcity (and voters are likely to be noted for their relative scarcity this time out), you cannot afford luxuries.
In last night’s UTV Tweet Up, we also picked up something of an edgy relationship between young people and politicians. Although all of those who turned up (about half who said they would) all intended to vote, but none were absolutely clear about what would float their vote, so to speak.
There’s a general sense that people want issues to be at the fore, but that breaking out of the political laager is not easy. As one person noted, there is a “social stigma still attached to being in favour of the ‘wrong’ party in some areas”. It’s a point alluded to in the last item of our vox pop with one guy on the Newtownards Road:
Tonight, we’re at the Braid Arts Centre in Ballymena (do come along and have your spake, if last night is anything to go by it should be good crack). Hoping to catch up with local people and a few politicians today… keep an eye on the audioboo stream…
And we’re now open for bookings at the Cafe del Mondo in Derry city next Tuesday…
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty