PEB Report: Alliance on money, DUP on NI, and the SDLP’s fresh faces

I don’t propose doing a single and comprehensive rundown of all the party PEBs this election, but I will pick up on bunches of them as they go [flying] past.

Alliance have had one out before the official campaign began, and it is just as slick in presentation as we have come to expect from them.

Necessarily it focuses on their one seat they have to defend. Openness and transparency, and ending double jobbing and pushing out the work of Stephen Farry and David Ford.

Very strong on the waste of money and going back to wasting money. The final line “Step forward, join Alliance” is clearly as much about continuing to build the party’s base as voting for Naomi.

The DUP have always been good a messaging in politics. Though in recent times, that’s gone missing as they’ve been forced back into the trenches over the flag issue, and parading.

But this one spends most of the front end as a text based presentation before deputy leader and leader of the DUP group at Westminster, Nigel Dodds.

Very crisp, and it should be said that it focuses in the final lines the importance of representing NI. But, lest we forget, it is very red white and blue:

The SDLP’s is also tribally inflected, starting with non incumbent Newry and Armagh candidate Justin McNulty on a local GAA pitch. But the message he uses is relatively* non sectarian.

Pitching a non incumbent into the front, is bold and uncharacteristically aggressive for the SDLP. The ‘new faces’ team theme runs from McNulty to Roisin Lynch with her ‘we shape our own futures, no one else does it for us’ line.

It also contains a much stronger anti abstentionist message Mark Durkan telling the camera that “the SDLP takes seats to support families and firms here“.

*Relative to almost every other mainstream party in Northern Ireland, with the obvious exception of Alliance, and independents like the MP for North Down.

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  • banana man

    knew before I even watched it Justin McNulty would be the first thing it showed. considering SB, Foyle and South Down are virtually safe seats I think theyll put all their focus on Newry and South Armagh, and from a republican perspective I am a bit worried about losing that seat.

  • Dan

    Those sdlp voices are like listening to nails scraping down a blackboard.
    I’d like to see again the BBC clip of the three sdlp MPs walking along the beach the other day. The heck of Richie wobbling in her heels in the sand had me in stitches.

  • NMS

    It is terrible, the SDLP are cheating. Imagine standing a candidate who is educated, never been convicted of a criminal offence and has a wide range of work experiences. No one ever accused him of appointing a person because “he was not from a Protestant background and because he was known to the minister and his ministerial colleagues” and of course Declan Gormley never sued the SDLP or received £80,000 from them http://www.belfastdaily.co.uk/2012/12/14/sinn-fein-ordered-to-pay-80000-to-ex-ni-water-director-in-libel-action/. And of course there is Paul Quinn…….. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJATctEBGAI

  • mickfealty

    Doubt it somehow. This is more a case of defence as attack. I suspect Justin will affect numbers in the constituency and a strong single Unionist candidate will probably help him close the gap with Sinn Fein, at least enough for them to have to throw some thought, resource and effort behind Mickey.

    Good too for party morale to be talking about growing rather than just fighting against the shrinking of the party vote. It’s a better story, and a better motivator for other candidates. Good also to be launching fresh and credible candidates in areas like south Antrim where the party will want to scrum against Alliance and Sinn Fein for the seat they lost in 2007.

    There is politics here too (for the first time in a long time) over abstentionism. SF have effectively ‘trained’ wider nationalism to believe there’s nothing to be achieved at Westminster. If ever there was an election to challenge that common wisdom it was this one.

    At the very least it’s an interesting departure from signalling a variation of Sinn Fein’s policy positions on, well, almost anything you can think of.

    As for the voices and accents, well most people vote in constituencies outside the Belfast bubble. It’s been a weakness amongst some SDLP politicians to believe that nothing exists beyond Glengormley. I’d say there was some effort to temper that by getting the candidate for West Tyrone to introduce the social benefits of the Cathedral Quarter.

  • mickfealty

    What do we think of Alliance and the DUP?

  • Dan

    DUP…3 minutes of guff!
    Alliance….couldn’t bear to watch them.

  • mickfealty

    Wipe your feet on the way out there Dan?

  • Dan

    Ok, I thought it only right to watch Alliance there…..and sure enough, as expected, Naomi Long was there with a shouty lecture about how wonderful they are and what they are going to do.
    The only thing I’ve noticed them doing was Farry’s decision on St Mary’s and Stranmillis…but when that was slapped down, they accepted it, remained within the Executive, like meek little sheep and things carried on as usual. So, what’s the point of them?

  • Gopher

    Thought the DUP was quite clever (surprisingly) in not mentioning the past. The ” look you may hate our guts but we will get you the best deal day one starts now”. Alliance presentation was very good and if your a 17 year old girl Im sure you will contemplate voting for them when your 18, but Im sorry they did not do everything except cure cancer. Absolutely nothing positive of note has happened since the last assembly or general elections! The SDLP, the SDLP, the SDLP one was big on explanation and alternate reality and using *your community* in descriptive terms is a prehistoric turnoff. The oddest thing about it was getting Alasdair out of his bunker to stand in front of the big yellow cranes (subliminal plea) . The ex Mayor it seems has got him very afraid.

  • Pasty2012

    The TV Debates in the UK tell the true story of what the people in GB think about the issue of the North of Ireland and whether they want them about the place – clearly they don’t.

  • mac tire

    “Imagine standing a candidate who is educated, never been convicted of a
    criminal offence and has a wide range of work experiences. No one ever
    accused him of appointing a person because “he was not from a Protestant
    background…”
    So you are trying to suggest that Mickey Brady is not educated, has a conviction, hasn’t got a wide range of work experience and was sectarian?
    Or maybe you have no clue who is running in Newry & Armagh?

  • mickfealty

    Mac, he’s clearly referencing the retiring MP, not his (would be) successor. Mickey hasn’t been held responsible for discriminating against Protestants, but Conor has.

  • Gingray

    Wow Mick
    The SDLP appear to have won you over with their anti abstention message, you are even hinting they might be non sectarian now 🙂

    The DUP broadcast was dull as dishwater, never likely to appeal to me I suppose but it reinforced the idea that they love the flag and are a bunch of slightly odd old white men.

    Alliance was gimmicky as usual, will appeal to the previously converted and youth, but missed a trick with an incredibly bland message. They will not pick up any soft nationalist votes outside of east Belfast.

    Sdlp started brilliantly, if they had these new candidates ten years ago replacing the amazing leaders they had before, then I don’t see sinn fein being as strong. Al ruins it tho by making an appearance.

    Do you get to vote Mick?

    I’m in glorious east, and will vote for alliance. I don’t usually, and I don’t care if the dup win or that there is a unionist pact (as a nationalist I quite like unionist pacts actually), but the horrible leaflet campaign and nasty attacks on alliance buildings has been brushed aside by the media, when Peter Robinson should have been held to account.

  • mac tire

    Well Mick, he did start the sentence with “Imagine standing a candidate who is…”
    I believe SF are also standing a candidate who does not fall into the categories he suggests. Why compare a (new) candidate who is standing with one who is not? Why not compare the (new) candidates who ARE running?
    But that would only undermine the point scoring he is trying to make.

  • Jane Doe

    I think they (sdlp) could get a surprise in South Down & I wouldn’t be overly confident in South Belfast either.
    Chris Hazzard is a strong candidate for SF and has been putting the hours in right across the constituency. He is local, involved with GAA in Drumaness (Ritchies backyard) & has established links with business community, voluntary sector and the hospital campaigns in Downpatrick and Newry.
    Downpatrick and Unionist tactical voting have usually kept the seat safe for the sdlp but I believe the unionist vote last time round was as much anti Catriona Ruane as anti Sinn Fein. I think Chris has made huge progress in Downpatrick and the surrounding rural areas, and if you add in the power change due to Council merger with Down & Newry & Mourne he presents a real threat.
    Honestly believe he’s the real reason sdlp refused a Sinn Fein pact in the other seats. They couldn’t upset Unionists when they need them in South Down. Not so sure it will work this time as Chris Hazzard has been working proactively with all sections of community. If he doesn’t get her this time, he will come very close.

  • banana man

    yeah actually thats fair enough and I appreciate you probably know the area alot better than I do, another thing in Hazzard’s favour is the stoops antics around McCreesh park which is of course only a few miles down the road

  • Jane Doe

    McCreesh park will do him no harm and maybe a bit of a boost between Castlewellan &Newry but if anything it would/could damage him at the top of the county and it also gave Ritchie a reach out to Unionism AGAIN. I do think Unionists are copping on to the hidden sectarianism within some in the sdlp. An added factor for both moderate unionists and nationalists is the new Alliance candidate Martyn Todd who was a former director on Down Council, Community Activist in Rowallane, & NITB member. He is a bit of a surprise candidate but well known and respected among NGO,s and town partnerships. I think he offers a credible choice for a lot of moderates and former non voters, and he’s clearly paving the way for an Assembly run next year.

  • Gopher

    Yup those Westminister dont count birds are coming home to roost ever since Gerry decided to take a punt that Labour will win the election breaking the agreement on welfare reform. The problem being SF have absolutely nothing to offer Labour. Everyone knows it, The DUP have 9 votes you have none Gerry. That is why the DUP ad is the most pragmatic they dont care if you dont like them, they are even saying it does not matter if you dont In a hung parliament the vote that will make you better off is one for the DUP. I hate to say it because I’m pro dinosaur but it is tempting.Had they promised that passenger duty getting scrapped was one of their clauses they would have got me onboard right now. Infact the only chink I can see so far in the DUP campaign is they are running scared in North Down.. Lets face it Syvia cant do to much on her own like Naomi, why not give the people there the chance to put the deal they are offering to the test, or are they scared of Andrew Muir?

  • John Gorman

    The bookies have the SDLP to win comfortably in South Down with odds of 1/10 and even some offering 1/33 ie no chance for SF. In South Belfast SDLP are 4/6 stretching to 4/9 with DUP around 3/1. What is surprising is SF have shorter odds here than the UUP and Alliance are a very very distant 5th which just shows how costly Lo not standing will be.

  • Jane Doe

    What price is Hazzard? I’ve lost many a bet when the odds on shot let me down. Like I said, maybe not this time but think the seats just waiting for Hazzard. Assembly next year will be the last six seater and that could be very interesting. I’m willing to put a bet on Hazzard & the bookies will reduce the odds in the next few weeks.

  • Jane Doe

    What price was Naomi Long in the last election? What price now?

  • Jane Doe

    Would it be possible to give the majority a review also, namely non voters spokespersons. Around 48% didn’t vote in LGE in 2014.

  • John Gorman

    Hazzard shortest odds are 8/1 but your right will shorten nearer the election as the bookies become more tight

  • John Gorman

    Naomi is 9/2 whilst DUP is 1/5. Cant remember what Long was in 2010 but she would have been a long shot

  • Jane Doe

    Well worth a £5 double. Would love to see both win for similar reasons. There are obvious differences in policy but both have the ingredients that matter – Energy, Enthusiasm, Social Conscience,Belief and the ability to balance the academic requirements of legislating with the social requirements in their constituency. Ohh nearly forgot, both are also up against a Unionist Pact.

  • mickfealty

    I would not say that. But given the party has been anti absentionist since partition, their lack of vocal defence cannot be construed as anything other than a political weakness. Surely?

  • mickfealty

    But, Conor has. #OverTheBar

  • Gingray

    Since partition? We still talking SDLP here?

    I don’t think abstentionism is something that sways voters on the nationalist side, could be wrong but there is a massive disconnect with the Gb parties and Westminster.

  • RWP

    Will there be a TV debate for NI? And, if so, which parties will be represented, by who? Would it be Adams or McGuinness for SF, as neither is standing as a candidate? Ditto Robinson, Nesbitt and Ford for their respective parties. Would the Greens, PUP, Jim Allsiter, Ukip or even Basil get an invite?

  • RWP

    or the Tories for that matter?