And the winner was …

Haiti was the real winner at last night’s Great Big Politics Pub Quiz where just over £1000 pounds was raised to support the rebuilding of homes on Haiti through Haven Partnership.

Over a hundred political anoraks (and friends) gathered in Belfast’s Black Box to tough their way through seven rounds of questions. Which team would have a combined knowledge that could span across international politics, political history, the politics of UK and Ireland, popular culture and the brilliance to decipher Moochin’s fabulous photo round? Looking at the scores, the answer was none. No team dominated all the categories. The questions were (a bit) easier and the scores were (a lot) higher.

Guest quiz masters from across the political spectrum and local media ad-libbed their way through the question rounds and proved to be good sports: Carál Ní Chuilín, Naomi Long, Mark Devenport, Steven Agnew, Jim Wells, Basil McCrea. Tim McGarry kept the crowd laughing, and Patrick Corrigan kept everything to time as he sat in the Speakers’ chair on stage.

A stewards enquiry will be held to understand how Alliance squeezed 8 or 10 around their table, how Jim Wells’ table came up with the same name as the UUP table behind, and why so few people have learnt the years in which the political parties on this island were formed! Full quiz results below.

The quiz turned into quite a battle, with last year’s winners Stoops to Conquer (SDLP) creeping up the ranks to snap at the tails of St Simon’s Total Intransigence (mostly UUP youth) who led from the start.

Perhaps it was a sign of the current political times? Perhaps it was a victory for Platform for Change (though the picture round proved poor recognition for PfC’s Robin Wilson!)? Perhaps it was a sign that the SDLP and UUP could win quizzes easier than they can win votes?

The result was a tie – a coalition – with two teams on 80 points, well ahead of the rest of the room! So St Simon’s Total Intransigence and Stoops to Conquer got to share the spoils that had been donated by Stratagem. You can hear their reaction in the clip above. Update – you can also hear Eunan McConville’s report from the quiz on Good Morning Ulster (auto-starts at 1h22m13s).

A big thank you to Patrick for organising the event, Stratagem for two cardboard boxes of political books and DVDs, Mark for enforcing the entrance tax, those who set questions, the markers for an evening squinting at the answer sheets, Black Box for the venue and being so helpful, and everyone who attended.

Great fun … and a great result for Haiti.