Why have NI’s political parties failed to answer policy questions for #VoteMatch?

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 17.52.34Ahem, so there’s an election on. And everywhere in the United Kingdom there is a choice based on policy. You can play VoteMatch, a project run by Unlock Democracy to help you decide.

I tested it on the North Poole and Mid Dorset constituency, and there the running result is a lead for the Greens, with UKIP coming a close second in a place where the Lib Dems held the seat in 2010 and according to the Ashcroft polls the Tories look set to pick it up easily. [Well, it is powered by social media – Ed]

When I tried the Northern Ireland section this is what got… It seems our political parties (or some of them) are reluctant to be judged by their policy positions. [Do they even have any? – Ed] We shall be keeping a watching brief to see if any of them get a sudden cure of their post ideological stasis.

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  • Ernekid

    The only policy NI Parties need is ‘Vote for us to keep Themuns out’

    It’s worked exceedingly well for over 90 years.

  • Korhomme

    The beeb has something similar for manifestos etc of the politics, here:


    But you don’t find much information from our local parties; how can you vote for a party if you have no idea of their policies?

  • Tweeted this a couple of weeks ago. Clearly still not caught up.

  • notimetoshine

    No need to have an idea of policies here. Let’s be honest the vast majority of the electorate will vote on sectarian lines, policy isn’t exactly important.

  • Sir Rantsalot

    It would be good if the media and web concentrated on embarrassing the local parties about their lack of policies on current important subjects. There is too much respect given to them while they just carry on bickering . They don’t debate their ideas, they only bicker and snap each other. This is why you can’t have an NI party on a national debate.

  • Nevin

    “Why have NI’s political parties failed to answer policy questions for #VoteMatch?”

    Is it because Vote Match is partnered with Democratic Dashboard?

    *Note: Unfortunately, Northern Ireland is not currently part of the Dashboard, due to restrictions of time and resources. We hope and intend to integrate Northern Ireland’s party system in the future.*

  • John Gorman

    So many polling and prediction sites have spent so much time on each constituency in Britain and then when it comes to Northern Ireland there is nothing but a blank (UK polling report being one of numerous examples). This seems crazy considering we are heading for a hung parliament and every seat becomes extremely important. The bookies were guilty as well with most only recently adding the Northen Ireland constituencies despite having odds for English, Welsh and Scottish constituencies for months.


  • Nevin

    Here is what Democratic Audit UK has to say about its dashboard:

    The new Democratic Dashboard provides you with everything you need to know about your local area for General Election 2015. In bringing together such a wide range of information, including candidate names, previous election results, demographics, party funding information, election forecasts, and information about constituency history, the Dashboard is the most comprehensive data source for citizens seeking to find out more about their local area.

    This and other bodies rely on Ordnance Survey for their mapping but OS only maps GB. Perhaps they could do a deal with OSNI – or switch to Google maps.

  • Korhomme

    “My party, right or wrong.”

  • Zeno

    Sinn Fein policy remains the same and they are calling for a referendum again……

    Gerry Adams

    “Many people now realise that it makes no sense to have two economies, two education systems, two health systems, two tax codes, two currencies on one small island,”

    Dear Gerry the people also realise that the amalgamation of services will cost thousands of jobs.

    Gerry Kelly

    “The Tories have already cut £1.5bn out of the public service budget and tried to impose additional cuts on the most vulnerable.

    Dear Gerry, did your party not just sign up to borrowing £700 million from the Tories to cut 20,000 jobs in Northern Ireland? Are you not campaigning to cut Corporation Tax reducing the tax of already rich businesses and funding it by taking money from the public purse?
    At least the Tories are wise enough to be a bit more subtle.

  • hugh mccloy

    why call for a referendum the rep of ireland when SF signed the deal that any future for the state of Northern Ireland that they created will be decided by the people who reside in that state.

    Gerry Adams comments were just playing to the easter sunday crowd to try and convince them he is still a republican

  • Nice post. Thanks!

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  • aor26

    There is only one issue in every election – the border.

  • Vote Match Team


    We still haven’t had any response from the parties, but we’ve been able to put together a quiz for Northern Ireland using public statements and the party manifestos. We might not have got everything right, so if you have a comment, please get in touch. The Northern Ireland quiz is available at election2015.votematch.org

    Vote Match Team