BelTel Poll: Women for Alliance and SDLP. Men for Sinn Fein. Unionists achieve balance.

There’s other more fascinating material still coming out of the BelTel poll. Liam has some very interesting material on gender balance amongst the support for parties. Despite having the nearest to a balanced ticket and impressively promoted women to near the top, women are less likely to vote for Sinn Fein:

Sinn Fein, eight of whose 29 MLAs are female, has a particular imbalance between male and female voters — 32% of those who intend to vote are men but only 23% of women.

Interestingly, both the SDLP and Alliance attract the support of 14% of women while Alliance has 8% of men and the SDLP 11% of men.

In the case of Alliance, it has to be said that three of out four of their most high profile public representatives in Belfast are women. And the East Belfast MP Naomi Long is certainly as much a part of the party’s general appeal as the leader David Ford.

In the last Assembly election for the first time perhaps their capacity to dip into the middle class nationalist vote when Conall McDevitt was made to whilst his nationalist transfers went first to Anna Lo and then back to him to bring him over the line.

The interesting question is why nationalist women are giving the pro women SF a proportionately wider berth and disproportionately favouring the SDLP (no cynics please!!)?

Although the truth is that nearly half of all women are turned off by politics full stop… Although as Liam also notes, “this is broadly in line with last year’s Assembly election when 44.4% of people didn’t vote”.

Any project looking at re-energising Northern Irish politics might do well to consider what kind of politics they would need to espouse in order to switch women voters back on.

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  • Evolve

    The lack of comments is telling. Has there ever been a woman on the slugger forum?

  • Mick Fealty

    Yep. Several. There are still some but they often use non gender specific names. But it does surprise me that there’s been no comments at all on this.

    I’ve been looking for some figures on the gender split in the south and it seems that the male female split is repeated between Labour and Sinn Fein along the same lines as above.

  • Evolve

    I was only joking around.

    The article said that 59% of women did not intend to vote for any of the main seven parties. It seems a bit high but I couldn’t find a breakdown of the last election for comparison.

  • Mick Fealty

    Thats because the research did not exist before this… You have to go south for independent pre-existing data.

    To be fair to SF they have done more than any other party to promote women. Im pretty sure they’ve been given and taken advice on this, but it’s not showing in approval rates from women.

    Yet parties that have made next to no effort end up scoring better?

    I suspect there’s either something wrong with the initial premise, the way it’s been executed, or perhaps the origins of the project just switch women off?

  • salgado

    Looking at the much criticised NILT 2010 question on party support, it finds very little difference between men and women for any party – SF has 1% more men, the DUP and Alliance have 1% more women.

    Although, looking further back at 2005, 2006 you do see SF, DUP and UUP being more male, while SDLP and Alliance are more female.

    Conclusion – possibly best to ignore the NILT here!

  • ayeYerMa

    “To be fair to SF they have done more than any other party to promote women”.

    As I have said before, this is absolute bollocks. It is blatant that Provo Sinn Fein merely place female members to the front in the Assembly etc. as a part of a game of optics to fool the naive (or giving some the excuse to pretend) that [Text removed – Mods]

  • Mick Fealty

    Well, we will have to see whether it repeats this finding in November when they plan to run again. Or indeed until we have three or four to confirm any trend.

    NILT may be generally less accurate on how people voted since it has a much broader focus than elections. My interest in is te things it demonstrates consistently over time.

  • lover not a fighter

    Where is Slugger on the Ken Mcginnis ultra homophobic out burst.

    Mcginnis is a member of the second most powerful legislative authority in Britain.

    There is no democrative process to challenge the views that this “Lord” espouse’s

    Slugger speak damn you !

  • Evolve

    Perhaps this was used as a consequence free protest vote.

  • salgado

    “There is no democrative process to challenge the views that this “Lord” espouse’s

    Slugger speak damn you !”

    Speak on the awful homophobia? Or on the undemocratic, unelected house of lords?

  • Mick Fealty

    I heard it live. What do you want to say about an eighty year old man who is clearly out of touch both with his party and society?

  • lover not a fighter

    First on the awful homophopia

    And that Mcginnis with his bigoted views cannot have his position democratically challenged.

    Mcginnis even with his abhorent views on a minority is able to vote on laws that effect us all.

    Mcginnis and his views have to be put to the electorate if he wishs to vote on laws that effect us all.

  • lover not a fighter

    Reply to:;Mick Fealty

    Ken Mcginnis is in a position (without an electoral mandate) to vote to pass laws that can effect minorities .

    This is not the same as any old bigot .

  • Bangordub

    Mick,
    In fairness on the Ken thing, It isn’t really about his views as such, it’s more about the UUP/Nesbitt reaction and handling of it as well as the motives behind invitingt him onto that show in the first place.
    Sorry for straying off topic

  • Lionel Hutz

    I do seem to recall that in the Presidential Election, there was a significant gender split in the support for Martin McGuinness so maybe this is accurate. And Maybe Sinn Fein promotion of women is working and without it the gender imbalance would be worse.

    Although, surely there is more to attracting women than promoting women?

  • Mick Fealty

    Look, if I get time I will see if there is a useful angle to be had on it… but beating up pensioners is not why I set up Slugger…

    Now, women and their relationship to politics anyone…

  • Lionel Hutz

    I did try. I’m not sure what women see in politics that men don’t. I can see that my fiancee votes Sinn Fein, seeing the Sdlp as annoying and hard to listen to. I vote Sdlp.

    Interestingly maybe is that I reckon both her parents would have been Sdlp supporters but her father might support Sinn Fein now. I reckon my own Dad whilst still an sdlp supporter could be more sympathetic to Sinn Fein now. My own observation is that I find that men find it easier to reconcile Sinn Fein with their violent past and are quicker to cross that Rubicon by voting for them. Women are less likely to be so forgiving and are generally slower to switch party allegience

  • PaulT

    “beating up pensioners is not why I set up Slugger”

    so when Gerry Adams gets his bus pass next year………

  • Mick Fealty

    Don’t tempt me Paul!!! 😉

    That was aimed at DB Lionel!

  • Evolve

    Perhaps it is just that women’s stated intention to vote correlates less well with their subsequent voting behaviour, or to put it another way, they lie more. Yet again, perhaps they are using the poll in a more sophisticated way, to register a protest vote.

  • Bangordub

    Mick, Is DB me?

  • weidm7

    SDLP 11% men 14% women. What’s the margin of error? Around 2-3% maybe? Either way, I would put the SDLP in the ‘balanced’ category.

    On the SF gender imbalance, perhaps the association with violence, which, perhaps, women are more averse to? If it’s consistent, is it reducing, if so, perhaps due to their promotion of women.

  • On behalf of LucidTalk – the polling company for this project, this is to inform you all that all the detailed results from this poll project are now on the LucidTalk website. As part of the detail of these results, they show the spread of opinion throughout the 6 geographic areas that the poll covered – which were collated via postcode area i.e. the poll is not, as one contributor said, only carried out in Donaghadee!