So, here’s today’s poll in the BelTel:
Alliance, without doing very much for it, are pounding the UUP east of Bann. As one leading commentator told Slugger this morning, this would cost the UUP key seats in Belfast and North Down. In fact, what’s happening underneath the figures are that the UUP are quickly becoming a border area party, with the DUP now holding majority shares in the broader pro Union alliance.
On the nationalist side, the SDLP moves back to its previous support. Sinn Fein drops back a little. But both are within the margin of error, so no real change there. The SDLP’s resilience is worth noting.
There may be several factors in play. The SDLP have no serious rivals for their Catholic middle class base. Sinn Fein’s brand and pitch, not least on reconciling wider society to the legitimacy of the IRA’s war, hold little appeal for SDLP voters. And, outside some significant transfer ‘diversions’ in south Belfast, the Alliance have as yet little serious appeal to Catholic voters.
Note: I don’t have the poll figures for the Greens…
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty