Sinn Fein, Ireland’s most popular political party

As of this weekend, Sinn Fein can proclaim themselves to be the most popular political party in Ireland. Discuss.

All-Ireland European Election Results May 2014
Sinn Fein 483,113 – (21.2%)
Fianna Fail 369,545 – (16.2%)
Fine Gael 369,120 – (16.2%)
Independents 328,766 – (14.4%)
DUP 131,163 – (5.7%)
Green Party 92,056 – (4.0%)
Labour 88,229 – (3.9%)
Ulster Unionists 83,438 (3.7%)
SDLP 81,594 (3.6%)
TUV 75,806 (3.3%)
Alliance Party NI 44,432 (1.9%)
Socialist Party 29,953 (1.3%)
UKIP 24,584 (1.1%)
DDI 24,093 (1.1%)
PBP 23,875 (1.0%)
Catholic Dems 13,569 (0.6%)
NI21 10,553 (0.5%)
Fis Nua 4,610 (0.2%)
Conservatives 4,144 (0.2%)

  • Barry the Blender

    I could post an all British isles tally which would show you guys stuffed by UKIP and Cons.

    It would mean sweet f*** all, but no less than the list above.

  • DC

    Mick will love this.

  • keano10

    Just wondering how Slugger is going to pen it’s next anti-Gerry Adams thread in light of Sinn Fein’s most succesful All-Irelansd performance since partition in 1921…

  • sean treacy

    Like the Argentinian football commentator ,all I have to say is: Maggie Thatcher ,CC O’Brien,Eoghan Harris,Tony OReilly,Garret Fitzgerald, Sir Alastair McDonnell,Dixie Eliott, Mick Fealty – GoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooaL

  • Morpheus

    They’ve got it – now, what are they going to do with it?

  • tacapall

    Sean have you forgotten 1918 already – Like perfidious albion will give two fks.

  • Politico68

    Psychologically this is an amazing result for Sinn Fein. It has been a goal of theirs for so long to become the Islands most favoured party and even it it means SFA to others there is no doubting that people like myself and so many others are beyond chuffed to see the Green Giant slowly rolling towards fulfillment of its ambitions.

    I have been speaking with two fellow Shinners this morning, one studying at Oxford and another studying in Boston, the only downside of all of this is the fact that we cant enjoy the atmosphere at home, but we will all have returned by this time next year working like demons in the run up to the Westie elections.

    The other downside of course is the percentage drop in the nationalist vote in the north against the tide of an increased Unionist turnout. I am reliably informed that this has been well ‘clocked’ by both SF and the SDLP and am assured it will be dealt with accordingly.

    Not to seem begrudging, I have to hand it to political Unionism for managing their vote so well and getting so many more people to the polls; credit where credit is due. The nationalist side now need to work harder and try to match that accomplishment. The only problem is we don’t have a fleg issue or cultural paranoia to mobilise around so a lot of work will have to be done. The problem with socio -economic and cultural confidence in a community, it can often lead to apathy when it comes to elections.

    On the figures above it seems that Unionists have about 15% of the popular vote nationally, meaning they would stand to have a strong presence in Dail Eireann and would be well placed to be significant players in negotiations to form coalition partners in a future government.

  • belfastboyo

    Their goal of being in government, north and south has just got a big step closer.

  • ForkHandles

    Nice stats. but in reality its a protest vote. SF are shown to be incompetent in NI governance. They are supported by the lower class and criminal class in ROI. That’s the reality. Its not a vote on performance or faith in their ability. Its a vote against the people who would be a reasonable government. Whenever the economy recovers then people will be looking to competent economic management.
    No sane person thinks that competent governance is based in a policy of being in a permanent rage about the potato famine and a general hatred of Irish Protestants. Even in the ROI this is a bit backward these days….

  • belfastboyo

    @Politicio69 “The other downside of course is the percentage drop in the nationalist vote in the north against the tide of an increased Unionist turnout

    The irony is that the best way to rectify this from a nationalist perspective, is for unionism to engage in unionist unity. This will motivate more nationalists to come out next May. (as seen in FST last Westminster)
    If FF entered the fray also, this, while impacting SF and SDLP would increase the overall nationalist turnout.
    More choice = increased turnout! as can been seen from the unionist turnout this time round.

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    Well done to the shinner/provo cult, next the general elections in Northern Ireland and the south, and then real power.

    Then the real politic begins and the hard decisions, no obfuscating and with all this comes real accountable responsibility.

  • Politico68

    Forkhandles,

    SF competence in the North or lack thereof is on a par with that of the rest the parties involved in the makey uppey government. Whatever their efforts or ability, it certainly doesnt stop then garnering enuff votes to be the biggest paty in the statelet.

    As for ‘protest votes’; this typical lazy argument often eminates from those that cant handle a tide change. Votes are votes and whatever lies behind them, the recpients have to prove their worth in order to keep them. Your assesment of the Southern Electorate is well in line with the standard Unionist cry of priest invested savages so I will let that slide. Although Sinn Feins huge surge in the wealthiest constituency in Ireland (Dublin South) must mean that the local middle class bougeoise have failed to notice an influx of poor svages moving into their areas; maybe you could give them a shout.

    Potato famine ..hatred of Irish Protestants..? Really? Lol, I hope there is someone close by to help you get your toys back in your pram. Good Grief !

  • Politico68

    Belfast Boyo, i agree but for me at least I would prefer to see Unionists Politically United simply because fractured Unionism might cause instability in that part of the country after a UI comes about. Far better to have a solid Unionist group in government than a ructious mob snivelling in the north east corner.

    Ardoyne – I agree with you too, the percieved Republican and Unionist Cult mentality needs to be able to prove it can effectively govern. only time will answer that one.

  • megatron

    For the first time EVER every single person on the Island has a SF representative.

  • Zig70

    My prediction is that SF will plateau at around 20-25% due to their left politics. They’ll never get the middle class. If they want the unity project to succeed then they’ll need a Lexus style brand or create alliances.

  • megatron

    25% would be a nice plateau zig.

  • Morpheus

    Zig

    “Sinn Féin councillors claimed an emphatic triumph in South Dublin with all nine representatives elected in what’s been described as an historic weekend for the party in the capital.”

    Dublin 4, need I say more?

  • sean treacy

    South Dublin yes but Tallaght,Clondalkin,Lucan etc ,definitely not Dublin4

  • Politico68

    Sean, look at the post above u

  • mark7694

    Zig70: I think the problem with Sinn Fein and their all-Ireland agenda is not with their association with the left, but with how explicitly left-wing they are (or at least how they promote themselves anyway).

    The constitutional position is obviously significant in Northern Ireland, and so their Irish nationalism is the major component of their support, but in the Republic their economic positions gain much greater prominence.

    That’s why I argue if Sinn Fein’s ever to have at least a chance of being a leading party in an Irish government coalition, they need to move to a centre-left economic position to broaden their appeal. I’d point to the SNP’s left-of-centre nationalism as a good example of this in action.

  • Harry Flashman

    And in the UK UKIP is the most popular, in France it is the National Front, in Greece it is the Communists with the Nazis coming in a respectable third.

    Contumacious nationalism seems to have had a good week in Europe.

    However the difference I will grant is that Sinn Fein, unlike the above parties, have an air of sticking power about them and can expect to still be around after the next general elections.

    You know what’s holding back SF from doing even better? The one thing that frightens the middle class horses and justifiably so? The smell of dank unmarked graves in Louth bogs. Sinn Fein can’t simply ignore the reeking corpses left lying in the corner (if I may mix my metaphors) they need a clean break once and for all.

    Ditch the grim super-annuated leader, without whom Sinn Fein would have been in office ten years ago and who has no earthly hope of getting them any further, and it’s a Sinn Fein-led government before the end of the decade.

  • Politico68

    Harry, ten yrs ago we were told GA couldn’t get us any further, five yrs ago we were told the same thing. Whatever, SF has made great strides with GA at the helm. He will step down at some point. But it will only happen when SF decide. It won’t come about under any other circumstance, and that my friend is the diff between SF and the other parties.

  • abucs

    The incredible rise of Sinn Fein has been under the stewardship of GA. It seems unthinkable that they would jettison him when they are so close to being a part of the Government in the south.

    Historical legacies have strong long lasting appeal and I’m sure the SF party will change leaders at a time which will safely protect that legacy.

    I’d guess that change will come after SF becomes part of the official Irish government and just before people have had a chance to see the backwardness of their socialist policies in action.

  • Politico68

    “I’d guess that change will come after SF becomes part of the official Irish government and just before people have had a chance to see the backwardness of their socialist policies in action.”

    Guessing is probably all any of us can do right now. Backward Socialist policies might surprise you when they are implemented by forward thinking people.

  • abucs

    Everyone describes themselves as forward thinking people but backward socialist policies remain the same and produce the same result.

    If you forgive the business analogy borrowed from Mr Buffet – when a manager with a wonderful reputation meets a business with a woeful reputation it is the reputation of the business that stays in tact.

  • Politico68

    …unless the manager is skillfull enough to rename, rebrand and recast the business… I know a manager by the name of Mr Adams who is great at that stuff 😉

  • Reader

    Politico68: …unless the manager is skillfull enough to rename, rebrand and recast the business… I know a manager by the name of Mr Adams who is great at that stuff
    How long is a manager usually given to turn around a business? And is the job normally given to the manager who ran the woeful plan A for 25 years?

  • Outforawalk

    Great, thousands who don’t mind voting for a pack of murderers and criminals. SF can grow as large as they wish but the will always be puppets to Britain.
    Total shamble that These IRA people are even allowed in power. Wonder how well an Al Qaeda political group would power in the USA.
    Yet for us in N.Ireland we are expected to just lump it due to a farce of a ” peace process”.

  • Kensei

    SF’s vote share was 15.2% in the Republic according to RTE. They have been polling between 16-25% in opinion polls, so it seems that they are again at the low end of expectations.

    Is there some factor I’m missing in terms of number of candidates etc that accounts for this?

  • Outforawalk

    @ ABUCS

    Are you sure the rise and positioning of SF and the defeat of the PIRA was not really steered by MI5 and the British cabinet?
    GA and Marty are nothing but puppets. Thousands dead due to those men and never taken off the streets. Make’ you think hard about who really pulls the strings.

  • Kensei

    Actually it was ~20% in the Euros, 15% in the councils. More impressive – may have broken their glass ceiling.

  • grandimarkey

    @Kensei

    SF’s vote share was 15.2% in the Republic according to RTE. They have been polling between 16-25% in opinion polls, so it seems that they are again at the low end of expectations.

    Is there some factor I’m missing in terms of number of candidates etc that accounts for this?

    Gerry Adams was on Primetime on Sunday saying that the party could never have hit the higher end of the opinion polls as they didn’t have enough candidates running nor did they have the structure yet in the South to match those estimates.

  • Mick Fealty

    Kensei,

    Lack infrastructure is one, the other parties may have put the brakes on them with the council elections.

    I’d add to Barry’s comment above and say that if SF is Ireland’s most popular party, then UKIP is the UK’s. (Discuss!!)

    As a sanity check, FF (on their second worst ever election showing) still have more council seats in 26 than SF have in 32 counties.

  • IanR

    Megatron:

    “For the first time EVER every single person on the Island has a SF representative.”

    I think it goes further than that: this is the first time ever that everybody on the island of Ireland can be said to be represented by any single political party (whether they like it or not!)

    Without having gone in detail into the historic election results pre-partition, I doubt that such an outcome was ever possible on the basis of UK Parliamentary constituencies.

    Only since the establishment of large regional consituencies for the European elections could the notion even be entertained.

  • Kensei

    Two things I’ve never believed:

    One, FF were in irreversible decline. The last election was always going to be the low ebb, and the new government had a hell of a task. If there were going to get finished, they’d have been finished then. They’ll still need to walk a long road back, but you just don’t kill a party with a depth of history like that. I think they’ll have to finally fulfil their talk of heading North too – otherwise they are seceding a permanent beach head to SF and what’s more SF are probably vulnerable and bit complacent in the six counties at this point.

    Two, SF were just going to go on some happy progression into government. The most likely success story for them in the medium term is to displace Labour as the centre Left / Other party. They’ve certainly given them a chance for that, but there path is still fraught with danger – the South has eat up and spat out a number of smaller parties before them, and there may be huge temptation to go into government prematurely. All those new councillors are really significant, though – it creates a talent pool to tap, and humanise them in a way that’ll make it much harder to make them into scary wildlings from beyond the Wall.

    SF probably have more stick than UKIP – deeper history, less of a single issue party (yes, really) and a set of representatives that look a bit more like the future than the past. It should also be noted that SF are pretty unique in European terms – they are left rather than right and have avoided many of the nastier avenues they could have went for – find me a SF representative demonising a Romanian. Even Fintan O’Toole grudgingly gave them some praise in the Irish Times, while obviously lamenting all that terrible, unreconstructed nationalist stuff.

  • Harry Flashman

    I love the Sinners’ belief that Gerry Adams has been a fantastic asset for Sinn Fein.

    Now I do understand that for an influential section of the Northern membership, for whom just staying out of jail from one end of the decade to the next was regarded as quite a coup, where SF are now seems a massive achievement but in real political terms SF’s rise under the present leadership has been as meteoric as building Stonehenge.

    Sinn Fein had their first TD (in their current guise) elected a quarter of a century ago. In that time the PD’s rose from nowhere sat in two governments and then faded away, the same goes for the Greens.

    UKIP in the UK didn’t exist ten years ago now they’re outpolling Labour and the Tories in Europe’s most traditionalist, hide-bound parliamentary system. The Scottish Nationalists from nowhere twenty years ago are within an ace of independence for Scotland.

    After quite simply the greatest calamity to strike the Irish Republic in 2009, a calamity for which SF uniquely as an Irish political party had no blame whatsoever and at a time when the febrile state of politics in Europe is throwing up nationalists, fascists, communists, separatists like snuff at a wake SF can manage about 17% of the vote in the Republic, beaten by Fianna Fail the people who carry primary blame for the economic disaster.

    And Sinn Fein members like good little Moonies believe their leadership is doing a wonderful job?

    Jesus, what will it take for them to understand why they weren’t leading government coalitions in the South ten or more years ago?

    It’s blindingly obvious to everyone else and they know it when they go to vote.

    But hey Gerry’s the greatest asset ever, for Fianna Fail that is.

  • mac tire

    @ Mick “FF (on their second worst ever election showing) still have more council seats in 26 than SF have in 32 counties.”

    Let’s be mischievous here – I think FF have 4 more councillors than SF across all 32 counties as it is.

  • Greenflag

    zig 70,

    ‘My prediction is that SF will plateau at around 20-25% due to their left politics. They’ll never get the middle class.’

    Assuming there is of course a middle class of sufficient numbers still in existence to make a significant difference . The world economy has still not recovered from the 2008/2009 implosion and all the so called reforms have been a con job .The banksters are bigger than ever and their power to wreak international financial havoc has barely been curtailed . Another 2008/2009 and FG/FF/Labour will have to fight it out over the remaining ‘middle class vote ‘ in Ireland while SF mop up the 80% disaffected and alienated from financial sector led capitalism . FG will hold on to the 1% vote .

    We forget that the 50 % approx who haven’t bothered to vote in the local and European elections will reduce to 40 or 30% when the next Dail election takes place . SF are now capable of getting 30% plus in a national election in the Republic just as they are /will be in Northern Ireland.

  • This is a bit like those hypothetical Premier League tables if only goals scored by English players counted. Unfortunately, however, for Southampton’s prospects of Champions League football, goals scored by players from other countries actually do count, so whiled they can give themselves a metaphorical pat on the back, nobody else cares.

    Similarly with tables produced by Sinn Féin activists showing their team being the leading party across Ireland. They’ll give the party faithful a kind of nice glow but this isn’t the metric that determines the distribution of political power and, even among the most faithful fans, it’s only really of interest to the true Stattos.

    It could be quite self-deceiving for SF as well, if it helps them ignore the gathering evidence since 2010 that the Sinn Féin wave that emerged post-ceasefire in Northern Ireland has now peaked, and is breaking. SF’s vote was down very marginally in both sets of elections last week. The SDLP’s was down quite dramatically. As the potential pool of Nationalist voters is quite a bit younger than the NI average, and SF’s voter base even more so, simple demographics should be impelling SF’s vote forward by a percentage point every few years, so the lack of headway comes against a favourable tide.

    Northern Ireland elections tend to see tiny shifts being brutally overanalysed, but all the evidence points to Nationalist voters being increasingly turned off politics altogether, younger ones in Greater Belfast flirting with the Greens and Alliance, and perhaps some older and more religious ones helped in a decision to stay at home by that bellow from the pulpit about the fallen women and the gays last week?

    Remember this supposed Sinn Féin all Ireland master strategy is the brainchild of a man who claimed it was realistic to expect a United Ireland within 31 months of the current date.

  • Morpheus

    The lack of headway is obvious Gerry. There is no incentive for the nationalist voters to come out in their droves – the councils which were expected to be unionist dominated are unionist dominated, those which were nationalist dominated are nationalist dominated and Belfast is more or less, as-you-were. There was no nationalist ’cause’ to get behind in these elections unlike the unionists who had the whole mountain-out-of-a-molehill flag debacle and The Twaddell Massive to rally behind.

    I find myself wondering what impact it would have had if the DUP/UUP had the sense to treat the changing of the flag flying policy as a positive for unionism instead of unleashing the beast they did. By attacking The Alliance in the disgusting cowardly manner in which they did the DUP/UUP made themselves look like the 2 playground bullies ganging up on the littlest kid in the playground.

    The most worrying aspect of these elections for me is that the UUP were rewarded, if you could call it that, by the electorate by trying to out-DUP the DUP at the extremes. If the next election campaign is just a mad loyalist rush to the far right then it doesn’t bode well for a shared society and a shared future.

  • Kensei

    I haven’t heard 2016 in about ten years, but maybe someone will correct me. Would anyone have said a Scottish independence referendum was possible ten years ago?

    I can’t help feel you are projecting a little, Gerry. The wave has peaked, but breaking? SF had the luxury of directing the vast majority of their resources Southwards and still topped the poll. The chance of two Nationalist seats wasn’t really there and Unionism appears more motivated for a variety of factors. Younger voters also tend to have lower turnout – we are probably reverting to mean – and SF can’t control how bad the SDLP are. Nationalism has no active internal battle at the moment, and most of the low hanging fruit to gain from Unionism is long gone. What drives turnout?

    That’s not to say there isn’t truth in what you say, and Unionism can put the stoppers on Nationalism in a way that’s pretty corrosive to it. But I think it’ll take a while to see how things will pan out.

  • Unionism can put the stoppers on Nationalism in a way that’s pretty corrosive to it.

    Sinn Féín have, for seven years, been fighting the battle a day at Stormont that Peter Robinson promised and wanted. The Executive is completely paralysed as a result. It hasn’t achieved a single concrete step in that time. Sinn Féin’s economic and social agenda is going nowhere.

    Who does this suit? Does it actually suit Sinn Féin to prove Northern Ireland is an unworkable, ungovernable, entity? And if so, does it suit the communities they represent.

    Would anyone have said a Scottish independence referendum was possible ten years ago?

    Yep, sure, by 2004 Scottish Labour were entering their first serious period of unpopularity and it was entirely credible that the SNP and Greens could form at least a workable minority government and move to a border poll (as it turned out, the SNP gobbled up the Scottish Greens entirely).

    The Scottish comparison is interesting though. Scottish Nationalists can’t adopt the Sinn Féin “master strategy” where a combination of “us outbreeding the jaffas” and being Fianna Fáil’s bitches junior coalition partners will magically bring about a United Ireland. So they actually have to try and persuade people of the merits of Scottish independence.

    What is Sinn Féin doing to persuade Unionists of the merits of Irish unity? What about those Alliance voting, proud to be British Prods who nonetheless transferred to Alex Attwood? Frankly, what about the 30-35% of SDLP Sinn Féin voters who keep telling posters they’ll vote to stay in the Union?

    At that point Sinn Féin activists start screaming that people lie to pollsters because they think the Brits are tapping their phone or something (ignoring the fact that they’ll quite happily tell the same pollsters they’re voting for the Party That Used To Be The IRA’s Political Wing).

    I’m not seeing it any capacity to deal with reality, let alone a realistic strategy for delivering a United Ireland (I’m not sure that there is one, actually, beyond sitting back and letting Unionists continue to be stupid and alienating for a few generations).

    A strategy to gain political office on both sides of the border? Sure, I see that. What would Sinn Féin do next? I don’t have a clue, I don’t think they know, and I think in the rough and tumble of coalition politics in a real democracy where flegs don’t win elections and people can vote you out of office, the Fáilers will have youse for breakfast.

  • faillandia

    zig 70,

    ‘My prediction is that SF will plateau at around 20-25% due to their left politics. They’ll never get the middle class.’

    There are huge areas where Sinn Fein is not yet established. In a lot of places they have had their first Councillors elected this week. I remember when they had only won in Cork. This week they ran eight and go eight elected. They left seats behind them by not running two in more wards.

    When Sinn Fein in 1918 eclipsed the IPP it was because the IPP was perceived as putting Britain’s interests before our own. This year I think Labour was punished for putting the interests of the EU before our own. FF and FG do too and they too could end up paying a heavy electoral price.

  • PaddyReilly

    One interesting thing that Chris’s chart shows: in 2011 Unionists were 11% of the voters of Ireland: now they are 13.8%. That’s quite an achievement when you consider that their traditional voter base is contracting. So what we have here is really the first round of a turnout war. Nationalists, hindered by Sinn Féin’s absence in the Republic, have been slow to respond to it. We cannot cry foul, because trying harder is part of the game. However, we will not be fooled: previous turnout wars, most notably that of Mid-Ulster, have always been won by the Nationalist side.

  • Greenflag

    Gerry Lynch ,

    ‘The Executive is completely paralysed as a result.’

    The Executive has been paralysed / in suspension / abolished several times since 1972 -the longest period being during Molyneux’s futile full integration a la Finchley effort which sent NI politics back a generation .

    Every time the Assembly/Executive / Stormont has been restored -nationalists and republicans come back stronger than ever .

    Assembly paralysis is toxic to political unionism .It matters much less to Irish republicanism and nationalism for obvious reasons . For the Northern Ireland polity as a whole paralysis is just a precursor to non viability and political extinction .

  • Gap between Unionists and Nationalists on the last count was almost 43,000 – compare 24,000 in 2009, 31,000 in 2004, 44,000 in 1999. One in the eye for the demographic determinists.

  • Politico68

    “Great, thousands who don’t mind voting for a pack of murderers and criminals. SF can grow as large as they wish but the will always be puppets to Britain.
    Total shamble that These IRA people are even allowed in power. Wonder how well an Al Qaeda political group would power in the USA.
    Yet for us in N.Ireland we are expected to just lump it due to a farce of a ” peace process”.”

    ***YAWN***

  • PaddyReilly

    People lie to pollsters
    Pollsters make up results
    Polls lie: they find for the organisation that commissions them.

    Most recently: opinion polls stated that the UUP’s support base is falling, and has been overtaken by Alliance. We thought Anna Lo might take the 3rd seat. What happened to that, I wonder?

    Moral: do not listen to opinion polls. Extrapolate from the election results.

  • Politico68

    Kensie,

    DF got 19.5% of the national vote in the Euros, well in line with poll predictions

  • PaddyReilly

    One in the eye for the demographic determinists.

    Given the increase in votes cast from 488k to 636k, putting the Unionist advantage up by 20,000 is not such an overturn. Clearly we are entering an era of high turnouts: Unionism realises it’s up against the wall.

  • latcheeco

    Gerry,
    Try to hide your annoyance. It wasn’t that long ago that people were telling the Sinners in the North that experienced pols in the SDLP would eat them for breakfast. Didn’t work out that way did it?
    Having ministers from the same party on both sides of the border is a bigger deal than you suggest. It renders the border even more ludicrous for one. Look how the SF vote is already provoking a numbers conversation in 32 county terms. Fianna Fail are being forced to organize in the North. They are historically the party of govt. in the South despite the recent mess. One way or another in a little while a perceived foreign govt. will have ministers in another country. Think about the ramifications of that for unionism and the border. Good to see from stoop transfers the UVF turned unionism’s only hope,Alliance, green though.
    Nicholas,
    No need for concern. Demographic determinists will be fine. Northern nats are primarily an emotive lot when push comes to shove and unionists can always be relied on to push and shove.

  • Zeno

    Paddy
    ” We thought Anna Lo might take the 3rd seat. What happened to that, I wonder?”

    Was there seriously a Poll that predicted that? If there was I would mark them down as clueless. Any Poll I saw predicted the 1-2-3 we got in the Euros.
    “People lie to pollsters
    Pollsters make up results
    Polls lie: they find for the organisation that commissions them.”
    How come they are incredibly accurate?

  • belfastboyo

    The nationalist vote was complacent this time while the unionist turnout was boosted by the flag issue.
    Still, unionists didn’t regain control of Belfast or knock SF of the top spot. This must be disheartening for the loyalist registration push.
    This is election one of three and I wouldn’t be surprised if the turnout figures changed next time as nationalists become less complacent due to sectarian unionist pacts.

    The bottom line is that the average SF voter is a lot younger than the average DUP voter and thus they have more scope for future growth. They are now permanently ahead.

    http://www.thedetail.tv/columns/steven-mccaffery/northern-ireland-politics-and-the-rule-of-7

  • PaddyReilly

    How come they are incredibly accurate?

    They are not. The bulk of polls predicted the referendum on voting reform would go the other way. It was a landslide for the nos.

    I suppose people just have a selective memory of what they have seen.

  • PaddyReilly
  • PaddyReilly

    UUP 10.8. Alliance 10.2. How true was that?

  • Valenciano

    “The bulk of polls predicted the referendum on voting reform would go the other way. It was a landslide for the nos.”

    No they didn’t. All the polls in the final month showed a “no” victory. The polls in the last two weeks showed “no” winning by 55-68%.

    The Belfast Telegraph story doesn’t say anything about Alliance winning the Euro seat, in fact it says the opposite: that the UUP’s vote “has not collapsed and the figures suggest it can hold its European seat.”

  • Politico68

    Zeno,

    as I said before, the premise of your argument that non-voters are neither Unionists or Nationalist is flawed.

    In the 2009 euro elections 489k people turned out to vote out of an electorate of 1,142,000, meaning that approx 650,000 people did not vote. Now, according to you the fact that they didnt vote proves they don’t ascribe to the Unionist or Nationalist tags.

    However five years later (last Thursday to be exact) 626,000 valid votes were cast. Thats an increase of 137,000 votes on 2009.

    Can you please explain to me why the majority of these 137,000 people decided to become either Nationalist or Unionist last thursday?

  • Kensei

    Gerry

    “Youse”? I barely made the effort to vote never mind be a member of a political party. Unlike you, I’ve no party to sell.

    Power both sides of the border creates potential to do some interestimg things, no idea if SF are capable of doing something with it. Progress to date would say no and there might be a touch of underpants gnomes in it. But it’s fine, things will eventually get shaken up. Being a Republican you get reconciled to a long game.

    I simply don’t believe you’d have predicted the referendum ten years ago. The majority was basically unthinkable. No idea what’s eating you.

  • Zeno

    Zeno,
    as I said before, the premise of your argument that non-voters are neither Unionists or Nationalist is flawed.”

    Yeah yeah yeah.
    23% Say they are Nationalist. NILT Survey
    23% Vote Nationalist Parties. Elections.
    25% Say they are Irish. Census 2011
    And well under that figure say the would vote for UI in the polls.

    “Can you please explain to me why the majority of these 137,000 people decided to become either Nationalist or Unionist last thursday?”

    The Electorate increased by 147,000 to 1.226,771
    606,326 either didn’t vote or spoilt they vote. (48%)
    SF/SDLP got 19% of the available votes.
    Unionists 24%
    The rest, Alliance +Independents, spolit etc account for the rest.

  • PaddyReilly

    The Belfast telegraph says UUP 10.8%, Alliance 10.2%. The real result was nothing like that.
    As I say, people remember selectively.

  • Zeno

    The Belfast telegraph says UUP 10.8%, Alliance 10.2%

    Paddy
    That link you posted was from a Poll on voting intentions over 8 months ago.
    The Telegraphs Lucid Talk predicted the results with incredible accuracy considering it was an STV election. Not one poll predicted Alliance would get a seat in the Euros.
    Polls are incredibly accurate. Google it.

  • Zeno

    “There is no incentive for the nationalist voters to come out in their droves”

    Morph, maybe there are no droves.
    Nationalists got around 250,000 votes, That’s about 20% of the electorate. That’s pretty close to the NILT Survey figure of 23% and falling, allowing a point or two for the Nationalists who vote for other parties.
    Well unless the 77% who say they are not Nationalists are telling fibs.

  • PaddyReilly

    I did not say any poll predicted Alliance would win a seat. I said “we thought Alliance might get a seat”. With Alliance on 10.2 and UUP on 10.8 that is a possibility one has to consider.

    But you are right in that polls get remarkably more accurate the closer one gets to Election Day, (with exit polls almost spot on). But that is not how you want to use them. None of the opinion polls I see quoted here are being quoted in advance of an election.

  • Zeno

    There is no sense taking one poll 8 months ahead of an election. Specially one that asked how you might vote in an Assembly Election and then applying that to a Euro Election.
    One Poll in isolation may not mean much, but when you get a consensus between a large number of different reputable Polling companies you can safely assume they will get it right within the margin of error they quote.

  • PaddyReilly

    But you are taking information from a census in 2011 which asks what your nationality is, marrying it to an opinion poll and then claiming that this is a predictive for voting behaviour for all time. Wait till there is a referendum or election and ask people the question as to how they intend to vote.

  • Politico68

    Zeno, so are u saying that the majority of the 147k increased electorate are nationalist or unionist?

  • Maybe N.I. is different but I know from my 33 years in Canada is that pollsters are infrequently quite wrong. There have been quite a few Provincial Premiers who have called early elections based on favourable poll results and found themselves out of power 6 weeks or so later. Happened to the Quebec Premier a few short months ago, for example.

  • frequently of course, not infrequently.

  • Zeno

    Zeno, so are u saying that the majority of the 147k increased electorate are nationalist or unionist?
    ————

    I meant the 147k was an increase in turnout in the European Elections. That was achieved by holding the Local Council Elections on the same day.
    20% of the Electorate voted for SF/SDLP.
    SF increased their vote by 33k over 2009.
    33k is 22.4% of the 147,000 so with the small increase for SDLP you are back to the fact that less than 23% of the Electorate are Nationalists.
    26% voted for Unionist Candidates.
    20% voted for Nationalist Candidates
    48% didn’t vote.
    6% voted for other candidates or spoilt their vote.

  • Zeno

    But you are taking information from a census in 2011 which asks what your nationality is, marrying it to an opinion poll and then claiming that this is a predictive for voting behaviour for all time. Wait till there is a referendum or election and ask people the question as to how they intend to vote.-
    —-
    Paddy
    Not exactly. I’ve also looked at the voting patterns in elections and a lot more than one opinion poll and the NILT Surveys on Identity and attitudes to a UI.
    For example 14% said they would find it impossible to live in a UI. 30% said they wouldn’t like it. NILT Survey. I think it is fair to say they would vote no. That alone is 539,000 No votes. With an 85% Turnout the winning line would be just over 520,000 but the hard No voters already exceed that.
    That doesn’t even take into account the rest of the people who would be voting No for other reasons such as fear of losing their Jobs.
    If everyone who votes for UI Parties, and all those who said they were Nationalist or Irish voted Yes (and there is no evidence that they would) that is around 25% or around 306,000. It’s not even close.

  • Zeno

    Maybe N.I. is different but I know from my 33 years in Canada is that pollsters are frequently quite wrong.

    Joe
    We don’t have that problem in the UK. The Polls are extremely accurate when they are in harmony. One poll can be wrong if it is not properly conducted or is worded to achieve a certain result. One Poll by the Scotsman (I think) has the Yes Vote ahead in the Scottish referendum. But the other dozens of of polls don’t.

  • Morpheus

    Hahahaha, do you have a single stat where you don’t assign a position to someone?

  • Morpheus

    Do you think none of us are capable of looking at the NILT? It says that 30% would not like it, but could live with it if they had to. They had the choice to say that they couldn’t live with it so you have absolutely no right to assign a position to them which they didn’t choose.

    How many times do you need pulled upon it?

  • Zeno

    Do you think none of us are capable of looking at the NILT? It says that 30% would not like it, but could live with it if they had to. They had the choice to say that they couldn’t live with it so you have absolutely no right to assign a position to them which they didn’t choose.

    Morph

    No right to assume that people who say they wouldn’t like a United Ireland would vote against it? That’s a good one.
    So a person who has said that he wouldn’t like a United Ireland is likely to vote……….what?
    If a poll comes along are they going to say to themselves, I don’t want a United Ireland. I know I won’t like it. I’m going to vote YES!!!
    LOL

  • Morpheus

    Typical. 🙂

    What is to stop the next guy saying “Oh look, the NILT says that only 14% of the population couldn’t live with a UI so bring on the border poll”?

    I would’ve thought that this would’ve been taken as read but newsflash, for every stat when you assign a position to definitively ‘prove’ your point someone else is assigning a position to them which ‘proves’ something completely different.

    You are absolutely no different to those who believe a UI is just around the corner or those who think the Union is completely safe – neither is true.

  • Zeno

    Morph.
    With enough information voting patterns are highly predictable. You know that, so the problem is not the methodology for you . It is the results you don’t like.

    That’s why you make statements like this.
    “What is to stop the next guy saying “Oh look, the NILT says that only 14% of the population couldn’t live with a UI so bring on the border poll”?

    The reason the “next guy” or no one else is saying that is because it is a complete nonsense case for having a Poll.

  • Morpheus

    It is no more nonsensical that what you do when you assign a position to others. If people have a choice of A, B and C then you can’t just add B onto C when you feel like it because it suits you and then lambast others for doing exactly the same.

    As I have always said you started with a conclusion and are working your way backwards finding stats that suit, assigning positions and ignoring everything else as ‘nonsense’. As I said you are absolutely no different to those who believe a UI is just around the corner or those who think the Union is completely safe – neither is true.

    If someone says A then accept that they said A. If someone says B then accept that they said B. If someone says C then accept that they said C. You can’t add B to C because it suits your pre-determined conclusion but if you do, accept that others will add A to C if it suits them.

  • Zeno

    If someone says B then accept that they said B. If someone says C then accept that they said C. You can’t add B to C

    Morph
    In this case B is the 14% who said they couldn’t live with UI.
    C is the 30% who said they wouldn’t like it.

    There is only one logical conclusion that can be reached and that is, that it is fair to say THAT those people would vote NO.
    Any other conclusion really is nonsense. I can’t predict that every single one would vote NO because there is the remote possibility that a few nutters who don’t want a UI and wouldn’t like it might inexplicably vote Yes.

    Did all the Polling Companies also have a predetermined conclusion? Did the NILT have one? Did the Census have one?

  • Morpheus

    *sigh*

    Again, how many times do you need pulling up for this rubbish???

    I did not say that there is any problem with the census – the people said what they said – but there is a problem with your interpretation of the data. You always waffle that about 25% say they are Irish therefore everyone else would vote against a UI when in reality you have absolutely no idea how those who chose to say they were not British – ie. the majority – would vote in a UI referendum.

    This is exactly what I was talking about earlier- people said they were A, B and C yet you have taken it upon yourself to add B to C because it suits you and your pre-determined conclusion. Another person could easily add A to C to come up with a completely different conclusion and, guess what, it is equally valid but your weird, misplaced sense of arrogance will write their conclusion off as nonsense.

    You are absolutely no different to them.

  • Zeno

    Morph
    The only reason you are complaining and making illogical arguments is because you don’t like the results.
    I don’t have any predetermined conclusion. Do you think someone can just examine the data and reach any conclusion they want?

    “Another person could easily add A to C to come up with a completely different conclusion and, guess what, it is equally valid”

    Em you can’t just pick conflicting bits of data and add them together and reach a valid conclusion.
    People who couldn’t live with UI and people who don’t like UI are basically the same group and their voting intentions are highly predictable. That is the only reason you can add them together.
    Your application of logic is really bizarre. If we used your logic we would never be able to predict anything.
    14% Hate Cheese
    30% Don’t like Cheese
    I’d conclude from that that 44% of people are not going to be buying Cheese. You obviously have a very different interpretation.

  • Morpheus

    Even for you, that’s poor.

    Firstly I didn’t put forward any conclusions whatsoever. I don’t care if a UI happens or not but I am not arrogant enough to say that it will never happen and write off anyone who believes it will as delusional

    Secondly, let’s use your example for a second. If we are to use the NILT as the basis then 14% hate cheese and 30% don’t like it but could live with it. I am saying that 14% hate cheese and 30% don’t like it but could live with it but you are saying 44% hate cheese and none of them will eat it for the rest of their lives. Which is more accurate?

  • Zeno

    NILT as the basis then 14% hate cheese and 30% don’t like it but could live with it

    The only possible valid conclusion is that 44% won’t be buying Cheese.
    You appear to want to go down the road that they might start to like Cheese in the future? But you are offering no reasons why that might happen. Maybe you are thinking their tastes might change or Cheese maybe found to be beneficial to your health. But Cheese has a very distinctive flavour and the people who don’t like it really don’t like it, so any change in the numbers would be minimal. Beside, even more people may go off Cheese if it’s found to be bad for you. So my advice is don’t open a Cheese Shop in that Street.

  • Zeno

    The big problem with that analogy is you can nibble Cheese.
    So if the Cheese people were told that once you taste this Cheese which you really don’t like or in some cases hate, you will have to eat it 24/7 for the rest of your life.
    Would anyone bite?