Agnew’s achievement in North Down

Steven Agnew’s achievement in North Down is a much more significant breakthrough for the Greens than even Brian Wilson’s election in 2007. For the first time the Greens have mustered a vote in a regional election entirely under their own steam, whereas Wilson was able to draw on a significant personal vote garnered as an independent candidate. There’s also a sense that Agnew will bring a strong and coherent Green Party voice to the Assembly, buoyed by likely victories in the North Down council elections. Former leader,John Barry, has polled strongly in Holywood.
The Green Party in North Down have offered the Greens across Ireland one piece of good news in what has turned out to be a disappointing year for their colleagues in the Republic, where the party is going through an existential crisis after their expulsion from Government and Dail Eireann.

  • jeep55

    My sincere congratulations to Stephen – and please note he has made it without help from Alliance candidates, as both of them were involved in the fight for votes until the bitter end! No, it was the transfers of other soft unionist independents that kept him ahead. Does anyone know how many votes separated him and Anne Wilson? It looked like being down to a mere handful of votes by the end of the final count.

  • I’m looking forward to the council results next week: and not just in North Down.

  • Pete Baker

    Congratulations to Steven.

    But is there any news on that recent letter to the Guardian from the former leader?

  • Framer

    Transfer vote details are not news to the BBC and will not be revealed.

  • DC

    The Only Way is North Down

  • Rory Carr

    The Green Party may be “going through an existential crisis after their expulsion from Government and Dail Eireann” but this is entirely because the Southern electorate had the scales drop from their eyes and were able to clearly see the Greens for what they were – a bunch of unprincipled, careerist charlatans.

    Fortunately the political structures in Northern Ireland preclude any opportunity for the Greens to emulate their Southern confreres and trade their spines for chauffered limousines.

  • Alan Warren

    A well deserved result and a considerable achievement despite factors that must have made this success much more difficult, but therefore all the more significant. I would imagine the result was due to hard work by many over a considerable period.

    I wish Steven every success, and hope he enjoys his role as a public representative. Perhaps he will be able to make a difference.

    A really good result. Hopefully a portent of things to come.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Sad that Ann Wilson was pipped to the post at the last hurdle, but Agnew worked hard for this result and he will make a fine MLA.

  • Alan Warren


    I would not for one minute try to defend the role of Comhaontas Glas in the the last government. However I prefer to judge people on the actions that they themselves take and not on those that they may know and met a few times. Let us at least give him a year and see how he himself performs.

    As for career politicians and charlatans well where does one start, but then I am a cynical old sod.

  • granni trixie

    Yes, Ann Wilson and ‘Green’ Stephen each were grand candidates woth much to offer to the Assembley – but many congratulations to Stephen and the Greens on the win.

  • prolefodder

    A brilliant result for the Greens, unlike former Green MLA, Brian Wilson’s victory in 2007, this is a genuine Green vote and represents the beginning for the Party to grow in NI, especially if they pick up a couple of council seats tomorrow (N Down, Dundonald and maybe S Belfast and S. Down most likely). Rory, what you call unprincipled careerism is for others the reality of being junior coalition partners, and the brute reality of being in politics and getting a policy agenda through and not judging being in politics and political power from a lazy position of eternal opposition, and the luxury of unpragmatic idealism. Politics after all should not be judged by the ‘good’ or even ‘good enough’, not the ‘perfect’.

  • Rory Carr

    I take it, Prolefodder, that the first “not” in your final sentence is unintended and superfluous and, in that case, I am more than happy to follow your lead and judge the Green Party’s contribution to date towards a better life in Ireland as “simply not good enough”.

    Enough said?

  • prolefodder

    Thanks for spotting the typo Rory, but I’ll pass on your clever but cheap shot. Do I take it you disagree that politics is the art of the possible not the ideal?

  • Rory Carr

    Of course I would accept that participation in social democracy requires exercising the “art of the possible”, Prolefodder. I do get a wee bit exercised when I see the response to the question put by a governing party in trouble to a minority party, “Would you possibly give us a hand out here in screwing the people at large ? You will have to sell out all your principles but in return we give you a few ministerial positions so that it looks like you have some authority?”, as a resounding, “Oh, yes, please!”

  • prolefodder

    Oh dear…now we’re in ‘angels on pin-heads’ territory. Bourgeois politics is massively constrained in what is possible, anyone who thinks otherwise doesn’t get it. The Greens got a weak deal in 2007 with the FFers, and a better one when the FFers were weaker in 2009, they didn’t ‘sell all their principles’ and got some ok policies through (what could you expect with them having only 2 ministers around the table?). Only the PDs (because they were seeking to intensify the dominant economic system and were more ‘in synch’ with the FFers) can be held up as a small party in a coalition government which held disproportionate power (as many within FF complained). FF/Greens versus FG/Labour – is there much difference in terms of them now representing slightly different versions of ‘austerity politics’? It’ll be interesting to see how it all works out for the Lib Dems at the next election – will they go the way of the Irish Greens?