#LG11 Open Thread: The Council contest…

If you want a more detailed piece on some of the issues at play, have look at John’s post from Monday. But this is an opportunity to flag council contests we should be keeping an especial eye on for Monday and Tuesday following the Assembly and AV counts.

As an additional thought, if you are going to be at any of the counts (ie, Council, Assembly or AV referendum) and are willing to share thoughts, insights and information, drop me a line at editor@sluggerotoole.com.


  • Barry the Blender

    Will the full stv results be readily available throughout this contest? They are very difficult to find from 2005.

  • Cahir O’Doherty

    Just a quick question..is it possible for a Joe Public (ie, me) to just drop into a count for a bit and have a look at what’s going on or do you need to be press/party political member?

  • Drumlins Rock

    Cahir, I used to just drop in, presume it is ok so long as you stay behind the barrier. STV cetrtainly makes things more fun!

  • Mick Fealty

    Check with the Electoral Office Cahir? Despite working for RTE at the tim, I had some difficulty getting into Cavan, but other bloggers were pretty much welcome in the RDS count.

  • Glensman

    An interesting contest will be Colum Thompson -v- the SF candidates in the Glens.

    Former SF member basically running as an Independant Republican; it has to hurt Margaret McKillop, the other Cushendall based candidate.

  • Not so much places as trends.
    Id like to see how the young’uns do. Ive met a few fand Im impressed. I will also be looking out for any breakthru by candidates who are very welcome additions to these shores.
    Two types of new blood I suppose.
    Its six years since the last council elections. Some things are not so much about “politics” as “generations” and maybe every 20 years there is a kinda weeding out process.
    In many ways that means hard working councillors with decades of service get cast aside for new faces.
    I have a sneaking feeling 2011 is one such year.
    Newspaper photographs on the day after the Count might show some very youthful councillors.

  • As to…….being at Counts etc.
    Counting in Belfast Kings Hall begins at 8am and as far as I know its not open to the public.
    As far as I know Parties supply a list of “their people” and the list had to be submitted on Tuesday (?) of this week. So as I understand it, its too late to get on a list.
    Perhaps if Cahir approached a local politician of any Party they might be able to get him in.
    For Belfast folks have to be there by 7.30am and need Photo ID.

  • Cahir O’Doherty

    DR: I’d planned to just drop in and have a nosey, but followed Mick’s advice! Just off the phone with the Electoral Commission, everything you need to get observer status is here: http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/elections/electoral_observers

    The deadline for applications for polling day is today, but if you only want to attend the counts it’s next Tuesday. You need to read the code of practice, fill out a short form (contact details etc) and either show up at the electoral office with the forms and photo ID, or scan it all in and email it to them.

    I just have to say that the people at the office were incredibly friendly and seem to want as many observers there as possible and will do a lot to help you get access!

  • Glensman (profile) says: 28 April 2011 at 1:55 pm

    “An interesting contest will be Colum Thompson -v- the SF candidates in the Glens.

    Former SF member basically running as an Independant Republican; it has to hurt Margaret McKillop, the other Cushendall based candidate.”

    I wasn’t aware Colum Thompson was a former SF member. From what I hear he was rejected from joining the party, no idea why though.

  • Valenciano

    @barry the blender, full STV results for elections from 1973 onwards are on the Electoral office site.


  • Drumlins Rock

    Cahir, didn’t know things were tighter, I enjoyed the buzz the last time as just an observer, but little bit different this time!

  • Big Boss

    Dungannon Town will be a fascinating watch…. so many battles going on

    Will SF be able to hold off the challenge from the very popular Barry Moneith? or will both knock out the SDLP?

    If the SDLP gain a seat will it be Currie or Quinn who gets it?

    Will the DUP be able to wipe out the UUP on the council, will TUV have enough votes to take a unionist seat or indeed how will the alliance fair?

  • chewnicked

    Rowallane Ward, Down Council. Terry Andrews Ex SDLP v his former Party. No love lost.

  • junkyarddog

    I think the election in the glens will be very interesting, the Sinn Fein candidates leave a lot to be desired, according to reports Colum Thompson has a great chance.

  • mourneman68

    You will not be able to just turn up and go into a count. Candidates or election agents had the opportunity to nominate a linited number of counting agents but the deadline was last tuesday.

    There is no Local Government counts taking place in the kings hall. The BBC and UTV will probably have uptodate results. I believe Belfast City Council will have real-time updates on their website and I would assume they will use their twitter as well.

  • Hold the Bus!!!!
    The Tuesday Deadline was for Counting Agents??? Not for moochin about????
    That doesnt seem like my kinda carry on at all.
    Ive been hoodwinked.

  • Cahir O’Doherty

    You can still mooch about if you can get to the electoral commission in Belfast with driver’s license, CD with your photo on it and a form filled in by Tuesday 3rd. It might be touch and go, but it’d be worth a try! Or if you scan it all and email it to them!

    Got all mine (hopefully) sorted, so hopefully I’ll be nerding out at a few counts!

  • Drumlins Rock

    “Dungannon Town will be a fascinating watch…. so many battles going on”
    Your possibly right, although almost certainly it will be “no change” however it all depends on is it no change from the 2005 election with 2SF, 1 SDLP, 1 UUP & 2 DUP, or no change from current 1 Ind, 1 SF, 1 SDLP, 2 UUP, & 1 DUP.

    Lots of mini battles, with 11 names for 6 seats. We can probably safely say 1 seat each for the big 4, you’re so of the mark with the “wipe the UUP out” remark.

    Walter Cuddy will probably top the poll, even pulling in a cross community vote, question is will he pull in his running mate to retain the seat gained by a defection from the DUP, considering the DUP candidates I think there is a very good chance.

    Lord Morrows triple jobbing and the appearance the council seat is just a wee extra to his other two jobs won’t help him. Plus the second candidate is completely unknown with no obvious connection with the town.

    The TUV is a bit of an unknown element, but the old story of gaining enough transfers to get over the line will require a lot of luck with eliminations, their transfers could swing the last seat to either DUP or UUP. Remember hitting a full quota in a Nationalist majority area will be a virtually impossible ask for the TUV.

    Alliance have a good local candidate for once, or at least well know, although apart from that there isn’t much sign of a campaign going on.

    On Nat side, Barry faces the same prob as the TUV, anything less than a quota prob won’t win it, which means he needs to win the majority of republican votes, who knows, be interesting one. The SDLP finally have a young candidate, long overdue, will he unseat the incumbent? just because he has always been there could still win it for Vinny, but he should have called it a day.

    So my guess, 2 SF, 2 UUP, 1SDLP, 1 DUP.

    PS. 10% of the register in this DEA are non-nationals, ie. they can vote in these election but not in Westminister because they aren’t British/Irish/Commonwealth citizens. The number who vote shall be intersting!

  • On the 10% non-nationals: Dungannon seria mais interesante se houve um candidato d’Os Verdes.

  • The vote of non nationals will be interesting.
    Not easy to quantify the number actually standing for Election.
    Alliance of course can point to Anna Lo, Ms Kambel (sp) Ms Su.
    SDLP can point to Madalena Wolska in East Belfast plus Marzena Czarnecka in Lisburn. Theres also Portuguese candidate in Portadown, Polish in Craiavon and I think Lithuanian in Coleraine.
    Presumably other people from other ethnic origins in other Parties not readily recognisable from name alone. Apologies to any candidate from any Party I have omitted.

    It has to be said that this is a very welcome development in itself. And good that people can integrate to the extent they can be diverse in a choice of Party. It is a trend which will continue and one which Parties cant ignore. The trend of course is amplified by the fact that many folks who came here as single people are now married with children and with a stake in Health, Education, Housing, Jobs, Environment that others have.
    In fact they have the blessing of choice of Party unburdened by our own baggage.
    But it sends a signal beyond Dungannon (Ms Su) or Moira (Ms Czarnecka). Thru social ties and indeed language ties, it sends a message to fellow nationals and the broader newcomer communities in (say) Armagh or Larne.
    And if someone is motivated to vote for a fellow national they might well transfer to the fellow nationals Party or proxy vote for their fellow national.
    One might go further and say the same in respect of other “minority” groups other than ethnicity.
    As I have said this Election will be won and lost in marginals but also ON THE MARGINS.

  • To be clear I dont think Ms Kambel (AP) is involved this time.

  • separatesix

    If the Polish and other non-nationals are going to vote in the 2011 council elections they shoulden’t be taking sides with the nationalist SDLP. Surely Alliance would be more their natural home.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Canvasing many of the various communities the issues remain the usual stuff, fuel costs, rates, schools, etc. Usually most of the Eastern Europeans are “right of centre” in their views, having rejected socialism, and therefore the Unionist parties might be more to their liking. Its not all black and white, which is good for making existing parties open up. In some ways I hope those who do vote do so for all parties equally!

  • “Its not all black and white”
    Drumlins Rock…not the best way of putting it 🙂
    But youre right.
    Its a mistake to think that the newcomers are the same. They have different experiences and are all unique.

  • Armagh Council:

    SDLP 6, Sinn Féin 5, UUP 5, DUP 5, Independent 1.

    A well balanced Council with eleven nationalists and eleven unionists. And a balance within nationalism and unionism. DUP is likely to take a UUP seat in The Orchard DEA. And it will be interesting to see whether Paul Berry (now Independent but formerly DUP) holds his seat in Cusher DEA.

    Co-Option Watch. Three. One DUP. Two Sinn Féin (including Cathal Boylan)
    (Co-Option Watch carries a Health Warning…..back of an envelope stuff)

  • Now is the final chance for making council predictions.

    Here is my prediction for Pottinger in Belfast.

    3 DUP, 1 PUP, 1 Alliance. Remaining seat between Sinn Fein and UUP.