#LE14 The story so far

This is an election with few dramatic changes. The major parties have pretty much stayed as they were, as far as we can tell given the changed boundaries. The DUP, SF and Alliance have perhaps slipped back a little, and the UUP moved forward a bit, but that impression based on yesterday’s counts is slight enough to be reversible today. (My first take from Mid Ulster early yesterday afternoon was that the SDLP and UUP were in trouble; this was not really borne out by later data.)

The smaller parties have had a good poll. TUV have done best, with at least half a dozen seats in the bag, and UKIP and the PUP have also made gains in places where they had not previously had representation. The People Before Profit Alliance took a seat in West Belfast and the Greens are likely to double their representation in North Down. But NI21 are nowhere to be seen (I hear rumours that they may get some small comfort from Lisburn today).

The list below is of those DEAs where all seats have been filled; my comments on the notional change from the 2011 local elections must be taken with a huge pinch of salt. I am particularly uneasy about the Lisburn/Castlereagh projections, but include them here for completeness.

Completed DEAs

Antrim and Newtownabbey
Airport (5): 2 UUP, 1 SF, 1 SDLP, 1 DUP – notional UUP gain from Alliance.
Antrim (6): 2 DUP, 2 UUP, 1 SDLP, 1 Alliance – notional SDLP gain from SF.
Macedon (6): 3 DUP, 1 Alliance, 1 TUV, 1 UUP – notional TUV gain from DUP
Three Mile Water (6): 3 DUP, 2 UUP, 1 Alliance – no notional change.

Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon
Craigavon (5): 2 DUP, 1 UUP, 1 SF, 1 SDLP – notional DUP gain from SF
Cusher (5): 2 UUP, 1 Ind, 1 DUP, 1 SDLP – no notional change
Lagan River (5): 3 DUP, 2 UUP – no notional change
Portadown (6): 2 DUP, 2 UUP, 1 SF, 1 UKIP – notional UUP and UKIP gains from DUP

Balmoral (5): 1 SF, 1 SDLP, 1 DUP, 1 UUP, 1 Alliance – no notional change
Black Mountain (7): 5 SF, 1 People Before Profit, 1 SDLP – notional PBP gain from SF
Castle (6): 2 DUP, 1 SF, 1 SDLP, 1 UUP, 1 Alliance – notional Alliance gain from SF
Lisnasharragh (6): 2 DUP, 2 Alliance, 1 SDLP, 1 UUP – no notional change

Causeway Coast and Glens
Ballymoney (7): 3 DUP, 2 UUP, 1 SF, 1 TUV – no notional change
Causeway (7): 2 DUP, 2 UUP, 1 Alliance, 1 SDLP, 1 TUV – notional DUP gain from independent
Coleraine (6): 2 DUP, 2 UUP, 1 PUP, 1 SDLP – notional PUP and UUP gain from DUP and Ind

Derry and Strabane
Ballyarnett (6): 3 SF, 2 SDLP, 1 Ind – notional Ind gain from SDLP
Waterside (7): 3 DUP, 2 SDLP, 1 SF, 1 UUP – no notional change

Fermanagh and Omagh
Erne North (5): 2 UUP, 1 SF, 1 SDLP, 1 DUP – no notional change
Erne West (5): 2 SF, 1 Ind, 1 UUP, 1 SDLP – no notional change
Mid Tyrone (6): 4 SF, 1 UUP, 1 SDLP – no notional change
West Tyrone (6): 3 SF, 1 UUP, 1 DUP, 1 SDLP – no notional change

Lisburn and Castlereagh
Castlereagh East (6): 3 DUP, 1 TUV, 1 UUP, 1 Alliance – notional UUP and TUV gains from DUP and Alliance
Downshire East (5): 3 DUP, 1 UUP, 1 Alliance – no notional change
Downshire West (5): 2 DUP, 2 UUP, 1 Alliance – notional UUP gain from DUP
Killultagh (5): 3 DUP, 1 UUP, 1 SDLP – notional DUP gain from SF

Mid and East Antrim
Bannside (6): 2 TUV, 2 DUP, 1 SF, 1 UUP – notional TUV gain from DUP
Carrick Castle (5): 2 DUP, 1 UUP, 1 Ind, 1 UKIP – notional UKIP gain from Alliance

Mid Ulster (complete)
Carntoghter (5): 3 SF, 1 SDLP, 1 DUP – no notional change
Clogher Valley (6): 2 SF, 2 DUP, 1 UUP, 1 SDLP – no notional change
Cookstown (7): 3 SF, 2 UUP, 1 DUP, 1 SDLP – notional UUP gain from DUP
Dungannon (6): 2 DUP, 1 Ind, 1 UUP, 1 SF, 1 SDLP – notional SDLP gain from SF
Magherafelt (5): 2 SF, 1 DUP, 1 UUP, 1 SDLP – no notional change
Moyola (5): 3 SF, 1 DUP, 1 UUP – notional UUP gain from SDLP
Torrent (6): 4 SF, 1 UUP, 1 SDLP – notional SF gain from Ind

Newry Mourne and Down
Downpatrick (5): 3 SDLP, 1 SF, 1 Ind – notional Ind gain from SF
Rowallane (5): 2 DUP, 1 SDLP, 1 UUP, 1 Alliance – notional Alliance gain from UUP
The Mournes (7): 2 SDLP, 2 SF, 1 UKIP, 1 UUP, 1 DUP – no notional change

North Down and Ards
Ards Peninsula (6): 3 DUP, 1 UUP, 1 SDLP, 1 Alliance – no notional change
Comber (5): 2 DUP, 1 UUP, 1 TUV, 1 Alliance – notional TUV gain from DUP
Holywood and Clandeboye (5): 2 DUP, 1 Green, 1 Alliance, 1 UUP – notional DUP gain from Alliance

Husband, father of three, Irish, European, UK, Belgian citizen, liberal, political analyst, science fiction fan, psephologist, lapsed medievalist, aspiring polyglot.

  • Charles_Gould

    Very interesting.

    Scotches once for all the claim that SDLP are having a bad election.

    SF seem to be losing seats left right and centre.

  • keano10

    An exit poll in the elections shows a surge in support for Independents revealing they received the highest support.
    The exit poll for RTÉ shows Independents have won 27% of the votes in the local elections and 28% in the European elections.
    Support for Labour has dropped to 7% in the locals and 6% in the Europeans.
    Fine Gael support is down to 24%, Fianna Fáil on 22% and Sinn Fein on 17% in the local elections.
    European elections:
    Independents and Others 27%
    Fine Gael 22%
    Fianna Fáil 22%
    Sinn Féin 17%
    Labour 6%
    Greens 6%
    Local elections:

  • keano10


    I would’nt speak too soon. The SDLP’s overall percentage vote looks set to drop yet again. Derry has been a disaster for them and Mark Durkan launched a thinly-veiled attack on his Party Leader last night.

  • I’m being particularly cautious about the SDLP/SF balance because a lot of the crucial areas haven’t come in yet. My suspicion is that where SF were in spitting distance of a majority (Fermanagh & Omagh, Mid Ulster) they won’t get it; but also where the SDLP were within spitting distance of SF (Derry & Strabane, Newry Mourne & Down) the gap may if anything widen.

    By contrast, the story on the other side is clearer. The DUP won’t get a majority where they might have in a good year (Lisburn & Castlereagh, North Down & Ards, Mid & East Antrim) and the UUP have a good chance of overtaking them in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon.

  • Tsoram

    In Coleraine DEA of Causeway Coast and Glens the notional UUP gain from Ind is slightly misleading as this was David McClarty in last elections, and Claire Sugden, David’s successor, withdrew to focus on Assembly work.

  • mjh


    We really need to wait until we see the full picture. The first preference vote shares will be directly comparable between 2011 and 2014.

    With the best will in the world, while two people calculating the notional seats for 2011 will probably get very similar results when they are aggregated on an NI basis, they are likely to have a number of differences when looked at on a full council basis. But as Nicholas says, at a DEA level lots of salt is required.

    For example I reckon Mid Ulster represent a notional net gain of 1 for UUP, 1 for SF and 2 SDLP losses. The difference, as Nicholas noted at the time, is because I have a higher notional figure for the SDLP – based on a different judgement on how to treat Independents.

    But this is a good point to note that you spotted the TUV improvement which most of the rest of us missed.

  • Charles_Gould


    Thanks – I also spotted some signs of revival of the UUP’s fortunes.

    Unlike most on Slugger, I thought their strategy of trying to go for the middle ground unionist- rather than the middle ground – made sense.

    Nicholas Whyte

    You’ve previously written about the unionist electorate’s willingness to switch parties. Tory in 1992, UKUP 1995, UUP 1997, DUP 2003, TUV in the 2009 Euros. Today we again see clear signs that there are a good number of floating unionist voters.

  • Charles_Gould

    The arrival of UKIP: do we think they could pick up an MLA next time?

    TUV: a couple of MLAs next time and the North Antrim Westminster seat?

    UUP: to do well in Upper Bann Westminster, with the strong showing last night of their shining new Portadown recruit, Doug Beattie?

  • keano10

    If anything illustrates the extent to which the SDLP has lost touch with working class Nationalist areas, then it’s this mornings result for The Titanic Ward in Belfast (which covers Short Strand and some Unionist areas).

    Niall O’Donnghaile of Sinn Fein polled 1,156 votes (2nd place).
    P Devlin of SDLP polled an unbelievably low 99 votes.

    There was a time when the SDLP would have comfortably polled 700 votes in Short Strand, but they have long since abandoned areas like this and to receive less than 100 votes is truly embarrassing. They were only 30 votes ahead of The Workers Party candidate who had a grand total of 70.

  • RegisterForThisSite

    Louise Cullen ‏@LouiseMCullen 3m

    UKIP transfers in Erne East got Richie McPhillips SDLP over the 1122 quota line by 1 vote #le14 #VoteNI2014

    Just parking this wee Tweet here for a while, I’m expecting two of Sluggers SDLP political officers to be along later to preach EU and labour values : )

  • Mick Fealty


    Up to a point. But the truth is that to get a seat at all SS voters have to plump for one party over the other. It’s a credit to Niall that he’s pulled so much of it his way.

  • mac tire

    “Scotches once for all the claim that SDLP are having a bad election.

    SF seem to be losing seats left right and centre.”

    Charles, not sure you are watching the same election as the rest of us.

  • Can someone outline the reasons behind the different relationship between % votes received and seats won for the DUP and UUP vs SF and the SDLP?

    Is it because nationalist party voters are more concentrated in certain areas or are more diffused and miss out on quotas?

    As it currently stands SF have the highest vote %, but waaaay behind the DUP seat wise.

  • Mick Fealty

    I don’t think there’s any particular screaming headlines. Some sloppiness in vote management lost them an excellent councillor in Tierna Cunningham (she’ll be back), but you cannot really say that SF is having a bad one when it has poured such mad levels of resource in the Republic campaign.

    I’d pretty pleased with just losing a few on the margins. The renewed competition in Unionism is pulling their turnout rate up marginally, and the UUP recovering. SDLP’s problem is the proliferation of rivals for the soft nationalist vote.

  • keano10

    Niall is a terrific hard-working councillor, Mick, but it can’t be denied that the SDLP have completely capitulated in areas like this. This latest guy was again parachuted into the area, without the slightest idea of whom or what he was meant to be representing. Indeed, this SDLP policy of parachuting in candidates from outside the area has only served to alienate voters even more.

    Let’s put it this way. The SDLP candidate today in Titanic pulled 9 votes less than even The Socialist Party candidate who only actually got 109 votes himself!

    What galls me most about all this is the SDLP’s endless drivel about representing the lower classes and social equality etc… They are now do far removed from Nationalist Working Class areas, that they may never come back…

  • Lionel Hutz

    Are the vote share percentages final now
    Great election for UUP. If it is

  • Reader

    smcgiff: Is it because nationalist party voters are more concentrated in certain areas or are more diffused and miss out on quotas?
    Probably neither – maybe there are a larger number of nationalist votes in places with higher electorates (e.g. Belfast) or higher turnouts (e.g. don’t know) or slower counts (i.e. you have the first preferences already, but not the councillors yet)

  • Lionel Hutz

    Reader, do we have the final figures for first preference votes. Because the combined Sinn Feint Sdlp share is down 2.7%

  • Jagdip

    Some thoughts:

    Non-nationalists came out in greater numbers in the NI elections.

    DUP down 10%
    SF down 10%
    SDLP down >5%
    Alliance flat
    TUV,UKIP/PUP surge but from very low bases

    Looks like SF is now the biggest single party in NI (by ref to 1st preference votes). Have there been shenanigans with the new council boundaries because that strength is not translating into seats.

    SF to be biggest party on Belfast and Dublin councils.

    SF to be biggest party in Ireland (by reference to MEPs, SF on track for four, FG on track for 3/4, FF 1/2, Independents 3/4, DUP 1, UUP/TUV 1)

    Non-nationalist politicians to dominate local authorities.

  • keano10

    Looks the poor performance SDLP performance in Derry has resulted in fighting between it’s own party members. (From UTV News).

    “Jim Hume, the brother of former SDLP leader John Hume, was escorted from the Londonderry count centre after a row with party colleague Patsy Kelly.
    The incident happened at Templemore Sports Complex on Saturday morning.

    It is understood both men were led from the building after a heated exchange took place. They were then spoken to by police.

    Derry City Council said: “An individual who was involved in an alleged exchange of words agreed to leave the count centre. The priority for the DRO is to ensure there is no disruption to the count.”

    Colm Eastwood MLA of the SDLP described the incident as a “storm in a teacup”.

    He added: “I think at this time of year there is always tension and sometimes tension within political parties but it’s a bit of a storm in a teacup and I don’t think we will be too worried.”

    A statement from police said they are investigating what happened.

    It went on: “Police received a report of an incident inside the Templemore Sports Complex in Londonderry this morning. Police inquiries into the incident are ongoing.”

  • Valenciano

    “Have there been shenanigans with the new council boundaries because that strength is not translating into seats.”

    No shenanigans. You can be sure that Sinn Fein would have kicked up a fuss had there been. This happens every election, where their vote share doesn’t deliver as many seats as it should. The reason is that they receive comparatively less transfers than other parties. The DUP get transfers from UUP, TUV, PUP etc, whereas Sinn Fein’s only source of transfers is the SDLP and their voters generally transfer to Alliance more than Sinn Fein.

  • Jagdip

    @Valeniciano, sounds reasonable, but when you look at the headline 1st preferences and the resulting seats, it looks odd.

    Above “thoughts” should be

    SF down 10%

  • Jagdip

    Should be

    SF down <5%
    SDLP down 10%

  • Comrade Stalin

    SF have lost at least one and possibly two seats to bad vote management.

    I agree with Mick, I think SF have miscalculated and it must be because they are being distracted by the clear focus of the party leadership on winning elections in the South.

  • keano10


    I think your evaluation is wrong. The DUP miscalculated in Mid Ulster as did the SDLP in both North Antrim and Derry. Alliance also had poor vote management in two areas that I can think of. The poor vote management affects all parties and is due to boundary shifts essentially.

  • Jagdip

    SF surging in the South in local elections, but from a very low base

    Predicted to treble its local election seats (54, last time out). But still just 150 out of 950 seats.

    A big surprise is SF strongly in running for Dublin-West by-election (for seat in Dail). They were at 7/1 in the betting. A win will give them 15 TDs out of 166. FF have 19.

    In summary, looks like mildly disappointing NI result and strong (as expected) South result. DUP have lost out to UUP. TUV,PUP and UKIP managed to get new voters out on the day.

  • Valenciano

    @Jagdip, it does, but you have to remember that the election isn’t decided on the basis of first preferences but all preferences, i.e. including transfers and Sinn Fein have traditionally struggled there.

    Speaking of Sinn Fein, squeaky bum time for ex-Belfast mayor Niall Ó Donnghaile. He’s sitting 200 votes short of quota with SDLP and Socialist party candidates already eliminated and only the Greens remaining as a source of transfers. Will have to hope that Unionists fail to transfer to each other.

  • Jagdip

    @Valenciano, last time out, SF won 138 seats out of 582 with 24.8% of the first preference votes. That is, they won 23.7% of the seats with 24.8% of the votes.

    Today, right now, with 77 out of 362 seats, they have 21.2% of the seats with 23.5% of the 1st preference votes. Difficult to conclude anything really until the last 100 seats are won, but on the face of it, it has done badly from either the boundary changes or transfers (maybe, both).

  • Valenciano

    I think you can put part of that down to new boundaries and the occasional miscalculation arising from that in terms of candidates and vote management. I think they’ve had a decent enough election, given that their focus was more on the south.

  • Jagdip

    At this stage, with 78 out of 367 seats declared (out of total of 462), the same as the UUP, I wonder will SF be the 2nd biggest party, or, if UUP will pip them to the post. That’s a massive psychological defeat, and all the more so, given SF appears set to be No 1 party with 1st preference votes.

    But there are still 95 seats to declare, so maybe premature to be so dramatic.

  • SK

    SF just pipped Pottinger in the Dublin-West by election too, which is a bit of an upset. That’s another TD.

  • RegisterForThisSite

    Gerry Adams video on BBC, on top form, destroys Alban at the end, regarding his earlier ‘no confidence in SDLP’


  • Tochais Síoraí

    No it’s not, SK, you’re looking at 1st prefs in Dublin West. SF won’t win – they’ll be a good bit off in the end but a v good performance.

  • Charles_Gould

    Really delighted to see Johnny McCarthy take a seat for NI21-he is a very nice guy and from hearing his speech at the NI21 candidate launch he has a really great sense of humour. I hope it all goes well for him.

  • Jagdip

    @TS, right now SF has 6120 votes in Dublin West cf 6112 for Socialist Ruth Coppinger. FF is on 5156 but there will be around 9,000 transfers, mostly from right of center candidates, so outcome is still uncertain, but SF is in pole, and appears to have overtaken Ruth Coppinger who was the strong favorite.

    In the North, SF now have 82 seats out of 387 (21.2% with 24.1% of the 1st preference votes). It will struggle to achieve #2 party status by reference to number of seats. How did they manage to allow that to happen. There’s still 75 seats to be declared, though.

  • SK

    My mistake, the fat lady hasn’t sung yet…8 votes between Coppinger and Donnelly

  • Valenciano

    Latest result in Dublin West is

    Sinn Féin: Paul Donnelly – 6,120
    Socialist Party: Ruth Coppinger – 6,112
    Fianna Fáil: David McGuinness – 5,156
    Independent: David Hall – independent – 4,133
    Fine Gael: Eamonn Coghlan – 3,788

    I don’t think Sinn Féin will win based on that, but it’s a very good result, in a seat where they got 6% at the last general election and 9% at a subsequent by-election.

    Just looked at Belfast again. Despite the Green vote not transferring to him, Ó Donnghaile should be safe as the Unionist candidates are too fragmented to overtake him.

  • Comrade Stalin


    You’re right, on reflection, most of the parties have tripped on the new boundaries – the Greens and the UUP seem to have capitalized in particular.

  • Jagdip

    Have all 1st preference votes now been counted in NI. So, was the turnout just 627,777 compared to 660,631 in 2011? That’s very disappointing for democracy.

  • Dixie Elliott

    Gary Donnelly tops the poll in Moor ward…Adamsites spitting out the old line used by the British/Unionists against them….

    Mary Nelis makes absurd claims of an unholy alliance between Independents and the SDLP.

    The Adamsites concede to Paul Gallagher in Strabane making it 4 Independents in that council…

  • Charles_Gould

    A discrepancy between first preference and seats can arise because of differential transfer friendliness.

  • Charles_Gould

    Adamsite politician, Martin McGuinness has been disparaging the independents all day – calling them “people of violence” and such,

  • keano10

    Southern Update :

    Sinn Fein set to become the largest party on Ireland’s two major councils – Cork City and Dublin City. RTE reporting “unprecedented” gains for Sinn Fein in areas such as Offaly, Kilkenny and Limerick City. Gerry Adams states that SF will consider fielding 2 candidates in the Louth constituency in the next general election, such was the scale of their vote in the county today.

  • Dixie Elliott

    The Adamsite McGuinness seems to forget that he claimed that votes alone wouldn’t remove the Brits. Thats when he sending people out to kill and die while talking to the Brits behind their backs….

  • RegisterForThisSite

    Dixie, Charles; breathe

  • RegisterForThisSite

    bloody hell this place use to be hopping during elections,

  • Zeno

    bloody hell this place use to be hopping during elections,

    Maybe something to do with the dead slow difficult to navigate website that is frequently offline?

  • Politico68

    I think that regardless of what party we support we should be big enuff to admit when they have messed up. I have away in California since September so am pretty much out of the loop. If it is true that SF have been discouraging people from transferring to SDLP, i would not be a bit happy about that to be honest. The only reason I can see why it might of happened is possibly due to the issues there have been in FST and North belfast where the SDLP have refused to enter a pact with SF to ensure a Nationalist win in those areas. I think both parties need to talk to each other about maybe entering into an agreement for the next years westie elections. I know many people do not like this approach as they feel it compounds the ‘them and us’ divisions, but we have to be realistic here. Unionists transfer well and have no scruples on this issue so I think nationalists should start doing the same.

  • keano10

    Current state of the parties in The South with Sinn Fein well ahead in terms of elected councillors:

    RTÉ News ✔ @rtenews
    100 local seats have been filled out of 949: Sinn Féin (37), Independents and others (29), Fianna Fáil (19) Fine Gael (12), Labour (3)
    8:42 PM – 24 May

  • cynic2

    “FST and North belfast where the SDLP have refused to enter a pact with SF to ensure a Nationalist win in those areas.”

    Funny whenever unionists contemplate that, SF scream that its a sectarian stitch up to keep Catholics out

  • cynic2

    The big story in de Nurth seems to be that SF’s activist vote has stalled. They are stable but no more than that

  • keano10

    The big story is ACTUALLY that the DUP have shredded 4.1% of their vote in this election.

  • Politico68

    Cynic, Unionists don’t contemplate that, they do it. And have done so in practically every election since the artificial statelet was born. SF/SDLP have only contemplated it recently. My point is that its all very well for both nationalist parties to take the moral high ground and refuse to enter pacts on the basis of traditional Unionist sectarian exclusion tactics, but there has to come a time where the old adage ‘if you cant beat them, join them’ should come into play. That time is now.

    The combined Nationalist vote is down about two points, but I am hoping this is a reflection of the presence of so many independents in Nationalist areas. Combined Unionist vote at 49%. I thought the Unionist Dip below the magic 50% mark in the last elections was only a blip, it seems now that it might be permanent.

    Overall I am happy that the media and politcal onslaught against SF has failed to do any damage. Any other party would have crumbled under that sort of pressure. It is a testament to the strength and Discipline of republicans particularly in the 26 counties. What has me smiling most is the fact that SF have won a seat in my own DEA of Rathfarnham in South Dublin for the first time ever; thats a minor miracle in itself as Rathfarnham is a bastion of FF/FG support and an uber Middle/Upper class area. SF got 13% of the vote !!!! Incredible stuff.

    The euro results will be interesting. Alex has no hope of getting the third seat with the increased Unionist Turnout. But it will be interesting to see how party support on first preferences compare between the two elections.

  • gendjinn

    Unionist gerrymander, just look at the required 1st pref votes to seat ratio in the last column:

    Party Seats 1st Pref seats/%
    The Democratic Unionist Party 128 23.10% 0.18%
    Sinn Féin 102 24.10% 0.24%
    Ulster Unionist Party 87 16.10% 0.19%
    Social Democratic & Labour Party 66 13.60% 0.21%
    Others 39 16.50% 0.42%
    Alliance 32 6.70% 0.21%

  • Politico68


    Can u explain that to me ??

  • Reader

    gendjinn: Unionist gerrymander, just look at the required 1st pref votes to seat ratio in the last column:
    Actually, it’s Proportional Representation, not first preferences. You have to think about transfers as well. The DUP got a lot of seats when candidates from other parties passed on a vote surplus or got knocked out. Sinn Fein have to manage ‘Ourselves Alone’. Maybe if SF were better at making friends?

  • Charles_Gould


    I would say SF are not stable, they certainly declined and lost vote share relative to the last locals a few years ago. as they did in the last couple of by elections. Will be interesting to see if the vote further falls in the Euro election. What is interesting is that they’re losing out to the left in many cases in the locals.

  • Reader,

    Quite a few people don’t seem to understand fully how the STV system of voting works. Perhaps the Electoral Commission, or whatever it is called, need to do some educating at each election.

  • Politico68

    Charles, SF are down half a percent on the last council elections, even the biggest stretch of the wildest imagination couldn’t call that Instability, in fairness now. They would need to suffer a drop of 3 or 4 points in order to justify any sort of concern. A bigger concern for both the SDLP and SF is the lack of growth in the nationalist vote which seems to me is a result of poor turnout. I think both parties need to look at this carefully in the coming months. The over 50 age group is 60% Unionist in make up and that age cohort have a 65-70% turnout rate. The further down the age scale where nationalists are a majority, turnout drops to only 30% and never gets much higher than 40%. Both parties have work to do in getting these people out to vote, if they want their respective shares of the overall vote to increase.

  • latcheeco

    A calmer less peevish analysis of the Sinners might suggest that they were fighting campaigns on two fronts simultaneously and did very well to hold one and make big gains in the other.

  • Reader

    latcheeco: A calmer less peevish analysis of the Sinners might suggest that they were fighting campaigns on two fronts simultaneously and did very well to hold one and make big gains in the other.
    So they could use northern resources for the Northern elections and Southern resources for the southern elections and so compete on equal terms with everyone else.
    Maybe they transferred resources south in this case. But is there really any evidence for that other than the outcome?

  • gendjinn


    prove me wrong, you have the data.

  • gendjinn


    it’s a copy & paste from utv – divide 1st prefs by number of seats. Assuming unionists continue to transfer to unionists and nationalists to nationalists then compare DUP & UUP ratio of required 1st pref to actual seats to SF & SDLP.

  • gendjinn


    Maybe if SF were better at making friends?

    And the SDLP?

  • gendjinn


    a while back I took the 2011 NI census figures of community by age group, combined them with the differential turnout of age groups and tried to project 10, 20, 30 years out for what an Dail would look like in a UI.

    My numbers were rather frightening for a viable polity. Well at least under the current disposition of southern parties. Be good to see what your numbers come out in case there’s an error in my methodology.

  • gendjinn,

    You don’t seem to understand that the !st preferences are not what counts, unless a candidate gets more than a quota on the 1st count. It’s the totals after the various transfers from votes exceeding the quota and from eliminated candidates that determines who succeeds.
    Gerrymandering isn’t needed and I have not seen anyone seriously suggesting that the new boundaries have been gerrymandered, apart from yourself, of course.

  • “…unless a candidate gets a quota or more on the 1st count.”

  • gendjinn


    please don’t patronise me. If you want your hypothesis to hold weight do the legwork with the data and prove it. Otherwise.

  • gendjinn

    A great election for unionism:
    U N O
    311,973 240,786 75,102
    49.69% 38.35% 11.96%

    But the DUP, SDLP, SF & All have all lost votes compared to the 2011 LG elections, and that’s on an increased turnout (raw numbers, not percentages).

    TUV more than doubled their turnout to 28k.
    DUP down 34.5k
    SDLP down 14k
    SF down 12k
    UUP up 700 votes

  • Tadhg Curran

    Woo hoo! Sinn Féin results are even more spectacular than I thought they’d be! So far we’ve won more seats than anyone (as of last count)!

    Gerry Adams is a strategist par excellence!

    Look at these results! Maybe we should change our slogan from “our day will come” to “our day has come”.

    As I have always been, I’m proud to be Irish! I’m also proud to be a worker, someone who creates wealth by my own labour! Now we have a political party in there which stands by those ideals as well.

    A new day is dawning in Ireland. Our day has come!

  • gendjinn

    and that’s on an increased turnout (raw numbers, not percentages).

    Made an error reading my spreadsheet – turnout is down from 660,631 in 2011 to 627,861 in 2014.

    Looks like Nationalist vote decreased by 26k whereas the Unionist vote decreased only by 2k. TUV, UUP, PUP had great elections.

  • gendjinn


    I think Mary Lou was making that statement yesterday.

    It’s far too early to start crowing but the LG bump for SF in the south sets their bench of candidates up nicely for next GE.

    However, for SF to really progress the public will have to fall away from their infatuation with Independents and not revert to FF/FG/Lab.

    Ideal outcome is that FF & FG form the next government.

  • Nothing patronizing about it and it’s not a hypothesis. It’s the facts and you can do your own research, thank you.

  • Politico68


    the Nationalist numbers have dropped but, from looking at the spread of independents, a great majority of them were in Nationalist majority areas. I think the Euro results will give ua a better picture of the real drop off in numbers. As i said earlier, something needs to be done to mobilise nationalist voters, SF and the SDLP need to get organised.

  • Politico68

    Gendjinn, i calculated that just over two thirds of independents standing were are Nat/Rep leaning candidates. Whic is about 16,000 votes that should come back to us during the Euro count. Fingers crossed.

  • Simples:

    0.30 + 0.21 > 0.49.

  • Jagdip

    This appears to have been a poor election for SF.

    In the North,their share of the vote is down 0.7%; they should have won 110 seats if they kept their share at the same level as 2011, but they only won 105. That’s not good.

    Nationalist parties were down a significant 2% in the vote. Overall turnout was particularly down, 628k compared to 660k last time around, but it seems the Nationalists were disproportionately affected.

    Down South, SF isn’t doing great. In opinion polls, they are getting 17-23% which if you apply that to 949 local council seats would equate to 160-220. Mary Lou McDonald and Pearse Doherty were yesterday predicting a doubling of their 2009 results of 54. Now, they might be deliberately underestimating and at time of writing they’ve won 97 seats with less than half the results in, but if they are right with a 108 prediction, then that is pretty poor compared with opinion polling.

    In the European elections, SF look certain to win one seat, but it’s not a slam dunk in either of the other two, and they’re not doing well with transfers. One MEP out of 11 down South equates to 9% which is again less than the poll showing, though I would tend to bet they will get two which is closer to their poll showings, but you never know.

    SF did better than expected in Dublin West and will no doubt win a seat in GE2016, but they were nowhere in Longford.

    If this is then nadir of this government with scandal, taxes and cuts, then SF will be facing an uphill battle to move on from these results.

    In Northern Ireland, SF is in modest decline as indicated by the LE results. Might it have achieved “as good as it gets” down South?

  • Jagdip

    Actually, the Longford-Westmeath performance by SF is better than suggested above, with 15% of 1st preference votes, and they came third overall in the constituency and are on course to win one seat in GE2016.

    So, not bad at all in either Dublin West or Longford.

    Wait to see LE results, but if it really is just 108, it will not have been good.

  • Reader

    gendjinn: Reader, prove me wrong, you have the data.
    You’re the one who accused people of criminal wrongdoing (a gerrymander). And on the basis of a woefully superficial analysis.
    So it’s really up to you to do the work. Don’t forget to include transfers. A shortcut would be to look at the total preferences held by DUP and SF successful candidates at the point where they were elected, not just the first preferences. I’m afraid that this needs to be done on a council by council basis, as different councils have different voter/councillor ratios. However, there is layer upon layer of more detailed analysis to do; e.g. looking at votes resting with eliminated candidates too (except those that were eventually transferred to other candidates of the same party, of course).
    While the full transfer data will eventually be published, it will be a job and a half to extract the first metric from it. Even the most determined party wonk may balk at gathering the second metric.

  • Reader

    Oh, and don’t forget to only count votes up to the quota. Votes over the quota are wasted, unless they are transferred to another candidate who also gets in, in which case you will be counting the votes with that second candidate anyway.

  • Reader

    gendjinn: And the SDLP?
    The SDLP will have more friends than SF, that’s for sure. But with SF so set against transfers, SDLP will only get significant transfers from Alliance.
    In some cases (e.g. Oldpark, Craigavon, Crotlieve, Dungannon, maybe Banbridge) it even looks like SF may have run an extra no-hoper to stop SF transfers reaching SDLP

  • PaddyReilly

    You’re the one who accused people of criminal wrongdoing (a gerrymander).

    There is no criminal law against gerrymandering, which is why it can take place.

  • Reader

    PaddyReilly: There is no criminal law against gerrymandering, which is why it can take place.
    If only there was a criminal law against murder, then. It would be nice to eliminate murder.
    So what technical form of naughtiness was gendjinn accusing people of committing?

  • Jagdip

    Down South,

    SF polling 15.7% of 1st preferences with half the seats declared, that’s slightly below its opinion polling range of 17-23%; also, remains to be seen how transfer repellent SF is. They used to have a Marmite reputation which doesn’t help transfers, has reality moved beyond that reputation?

    This looks like a solid advance from 2009 results, but is under the lower end of opinion polling. I think they’ll be satisfied, but not elated.

    The reality is that SF has lost 33 local councillors in NI (138 down to 105) and if they just pick up another 54 in the South, it’s pretty poor really.

  • PaddyReilly

    It can only be an ethical naughtiness, not a criminal one.

    Gerrymandering is an art, but it is also a form of betting: stretch it too far, and it will have the opposite effect to the one intended. Northern Ireland’s borders are a good example: obviously created to maximise the Unionist controlled area, a hundred years later they will have the opposite effect.

    For a much shorter period of change-over, one should look to the boundaries of North Belfast. It is not long since this area was believed to be a perpetual Unionist safe seat.

  • Reader

    PaddyReilly: Northern Ireland’s borders are a good example: obviously created to maximise the Unionist controlled area, a hundred years later they will have the opposite effect.
    If the borders had been created to maximise the Unionist controlled area, Northern Ireland would have included 9 counties, not 6.
    Your argument needs more hand waving. Or a new definition of the word ‘maximise’.

  • Tochais Síoraí

    Reader, they knew they hadn’t a hope in hell of controlling 9 counties, that’s why they cut loose C D & M and betraying their fellow unionists in the process.

  • Tochais Síoraí

    Anyway, back to LE14, it’ s a very mediocre nationalist performance. The SDLP are looking more jaded by the day & SF are so busy creating their little empires they lost sight of the big picture long ago.

    There is of course the fact that nationalists are younger & young people are less inclined to vote but there’s more to it than that. There’s an apathy about the place.

  • PaddyReilly

    If the borders had been created to maximise the Unionist controlled area, Northern Ireland would have included 9 counties, not 6.

    Not at all. There is little reliable evidence that a 9 county Ulster ever had a Unionist majority. Perhaps under the restricted suffrage of earlier years, I don’t know. But by the time Universal suffrage was brought in (at the end of the twenties, I think), it would have been voted out of existence.

    Nevertheless “We should never have let them have Donegal” was a common refrain (among Unionists) when I was young.

  • Politico68

    Jagdip, that’s a real ‘glass half empty’ analysis if u don’t mind me saying. The Nat vote in the north is down alright but there was a bit of a surge in unionist areas too cos of the fleg. Lots of independents too so we will see how it looks when the euro votes are counted. SF in the South have increased there vote from 7% five years ago to 16% now, how that’s a bad thing is beyond me.

  • Politico68

    Incredible result in the south, I am really shocked that SF did as well due to the media onslaught. In the week leading up to the election Independent news and media launched a blistering campaign on the Shinners. Every single day for a week there were at least two maybe three very aggressive anti Sinn Fein articles covering pages trying to influence the election. Moreover, this morning in the Sunday Independent there was a call by the paper asking RTE and the government to assist the media corporation in its aim of stopping Sinn Fein saying they could no longer single handedly continue to try roll a bolder up a hill. This is incredible stuff, Taoseach Enda Kenny has also reportedly refused to rule out coalition with Sinn Fein after the next general election. It would appear that he now realises the Shinners are on the up and simply cannot be dismissed as insignificant anymore. A great day for Sinn Fein, the largest party in Ireland and the largest party in the five biggest cities on the Island. Whats was the title of that song years ago, I think labour used it at a conference….´things can only get better´ Happy Days 😉

  • politico68[10.26]The level of consternation there must be in DUP strategy offices after the UUP brought them down to earth, can be seen in Campbell’s sore loser taunt at Nesbitt. They know the high water mark of DUPs days in the sun are behind them. Thanks to the newly registered loyalist voters [whom the DUP tried to whip up], the flags stunt has spectacularly backfired on Robinson and I’m suree questions are being asked behind his back about PR’s time as leader.

  • Reader

    danielsmoran: Thanks to the newly registered loyalist voters [whom the DUP tried to whip up], the flags stunt has spectacularly backfired on Robinson and I’m suree questions are being asked behind his back about PR’s time as leader.
    Accurate so far as it goes, but not complete. I think that the DUP lost out because they helped to lead a load of numpties to ridicule and defeat, and their supporters expected either (1) better results, or (2) more sense.
    No-one expected sense or success from the PUP, least of all their natural supporters, so the PUP were spared the price of failure.
    I wonder why the UUP were spared too. I thought they had become irrelevant hangers-on to the DUP. However, it looks like their failure to hang-on sufficiently tightly to DUP failure saved the UUP (until next time). I wish I could be sure that the UUP had learned a lesson.

  • Morpheus

    To me the slight bounce that the UUP made is worrying because it appears to be on the back of the UUP trying to out-DUP the DUP. The electorate seems to have rewarded them for taking a more hardline position. That, with the emergence of the TUV and PUP seem to indicate a race to the far right where deeper, more entrenched positions will be taken.

    What that means for progress towards a shared and equal future is anyone’s guess.

    Very shortsighted if you ask me with demographics going the way they are – Catholics will not vote DUP/UUP/TUV/PUP so where does that leave them in 10, 20 or 50 years time?

  • Tochais Síoraí

    Slightly off thread but I’m hearing the Greens might come very close to pulling off the shock of the election in Ireland taking an Euro seat in Irl South (Eamon Ryan looking good in Dublin too).

    SF mightn’t get their 4/4 seats either. Matt Carthy not certain in Midlands NW. Ming has cut into his vote big time.

  • Reader[88.48]Peter Robinson must be ruefully recalling the words of McCausland’s phone warning to DUP Cllr Palin over the Red Sky affair, ‘The Party comes First’ The post mortem at DUP HQ will surely involve a question mark over PR’s ‘safe pair of hands’ reputation as he seems to have come away from the council elections with the worst of all worlds, since the whipping up of the mob was aimed at damaging Naomi Long for the Westminster elections to get her seat back for the DUP, and she and alliance have come out unscathed. Also the whipped up loyalists have given the DUP a black eye were it hurts, at the ballots.That wasn’t any part of PR’s plan,and those new voters can rob Robbo of the FM post at the Stormont election by giving SF votes sufficient to get marty into robbo’s FM seat with the aim of closing Stormont down. Nice work if you can get it.

  • Dixie Elliott

    Hello anyone there?


  • Dixie Elliott

    Feck! I feel like the Omega Man…