West Belfast still (NOT) in play for a Unionist seat…

Here’s Nelson McCausland’s musings on Facebook just now:

“In West Belfast Brian Kingston (DUP) poiled 2587 votes and Manwaring (UUP) polled 1471. This makes a total of 4058 unionist votes. The quota is 4,950 but a number of candidates are well under quota so Brian is still in there with a chance of a unionist seat.”

UPdate: Martina Purdy has just come on Radio Ulster saying Sheehan is so close to home this scenario has little other than a theoretical chance of winning…

  • Don’t think the anti-cuts parties on the left are likely to donate too many votes to unionists? From the BW scores last night, it’s numerically possible, but I doubt it.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Helluva lot of votes from the catholic/ nationalist gene pool still to be distributed in West Belfast, as Alan notes above.

    Still, it looks like being a close enough call.

  • Mick Fealty

    I didn’t have it on my radar… Radio Ulster saying that it may be as much a getting the vote out enough to repeat the impressive 07 trick…

  • Chris Donnelly

    Bill Manwaring apparently conceding no unionist seat in West Belfast…Sinn Fein Fra Ma Can-Can looking likely again.

  • Mick Fealty

    Martina Purdy saying Sheehan’s too close to home…

  • Chris Donnelly

    Very impressive performance for a Sinn Fein team minus Adams plus facing challenge from dissident/ dissenting candidates within republicanism/ the left.

  • Valenciano

    Chris, yes Sinn Fein will be very pleased to hold all 5 seats. I have to ask though, what was the thinking in North Belfast? Surprisingly lousy balancing there: looks like you either didn’t balance at all or gave Carol the New Lodge and Waterworks, with Gerry taking Ardoyne and Castle and the third guy taking Newtownabbey. If Sinn Fein’s vote there had fallen a wee bit then the second seat could have been at risk. Either way, without balancing, taking the SDLP seat (which was surely the point of fielding a third candidate) was never even remotely an option. I’m confused as Sinn Fein are normally much better at those things but here I just don’t see the logic at all.

  • Mr Crumlin

    Chris – the vote management for SF wasnt as tight as usual – Im thinking NA, Mid Ulster and North Belfast.

    Have to agree with Valenciano.

  • Chris Donnelly

    North Belfast suffered from poor candidate selection. A third candidate for the Castle/ Glengormley end needed to be a credible, local candidate capable of being identified with by the more affluent middle class and socially mobile nationalist electorate of that area.

    Typically, Sinn Fein failed to deliver such a candidate and therefore the third seat campaign never got off the ground. That’s not to demean the party candidate chosen, it’s just to point out that horses for courses has a real place in electoral politics, and Sinn Fein still don’t get that (though O’Muilleor in Balmoral is at least a sign that it’s beginning to pick up that message.)

    Newry/ Armagh perplexed me as well, and I’ve no doubt there’ll be an inquiry into that one….

    Mid Ulster looks to me like the party knew a fourth seat wasn’t on and, therefore, the spread was about ensuring the priority three candidates all got in, with the fourth a mop up just in case the swing away from SDLP was greater than really believed.

  • Mr Crumlin

    Cheers Chris – agree with much of that.

    I think its time for SF to bring in candidates from outside the ‘old school’. Sometimes it appears you have to have a ‘good history’ in many ways to become a SF candidate.

  • I called this one wrong last night. Impossible for DUP to take this one I think.