#AE17 Gossip: Gerry Mullan to stand as an independent in East Londonderry…

Unconfirmed as yet, but Slugger understands that Gerry Mullan, the retiring MLA is planning to launch his candidacy in East Londonderry after being deselected in favour of the previous incumbent John Dallat…

Less certainly, it might be an idea to keep an eye on the party in South Belfast for how the second candidate Naomh Gallagher does (edited).

  • Oisín Hassan

    They’ve already announced Naomh Gallagher in SB.

  • mickfealty

    Ah…

  • yerman

    John Dallat not John Dallas

  • Nordie Northsider

    I’ve always rather liked John Dallat but I’m wondering is there any clarity yet on what he intends to do with the payment he received when he announced he wouldn’t be standing again for the Assembly. I’m not having a go – it’s just that I’ve heard various versions of this story.

  • mickfealty

    Argh. I thought I’d fixed that before publishing. Sunday head on.

  • Gopher

    There are only 5 seats on face value are marginal ie the result is somewhat in doubt and South Belfast and East Londonderry top the list as the two most interesting constituencies.

    In South Belfast it is a fight between the Ex Mayor and Bailey with a chance a DUP and Bradshaw could find themselves involved in it. The ex Mayor really needs to hit a high score of 1st preferences or he is toast. . Hanna and to a lesser extent Alliance got Bailey home last time. This time she can expect few from Bradshaw, and if she still gets 43% of Hanna’s Surplus on 2016’s figures it aint enough to beat the ex Mayor if the rest is distributed on sectarian lines. The one ray of hope for Bailey is PBP will mortally damage the Ex Mayors first preference tally. Too close to call.

    In East Londonderry before Mullen decided to stand the only question is how much of the .33 dead quota will SF transfer to the SDLP. If you believe they will then the SDLP will get home if you dont then you still have a Justice Minister.Again too close to call.

  • mickfealty

    Quota projected from last year’s valid poll is 6121. That gives Mairtin 0.85. Really depends how the constituency is split (Claire would need to take the lion’s share of territory), but the SDLP have 1.2.

    Alliance have a smidgen just under a quota (which confirms your view that she’s got nothing to give Bailey). UUP might struggle under a scorched earth DUP offensive here. Word is that McGimpsey may come back for a re-run.

  • Ryan A

    Going to put my neck out on this one and call South Belfast 1 DUP, 1 Green, 1 Alliance, 1 SDLP and 1 SF. Bailey polled respectably in working class unionist areas (more so than Alliance I’m led to believe) and have been told they’re fighting those areas much harder than last time.

  • Ryan A

    If Gerry Mullan runs I’d back SF to take 2 on the basis of ticket splitting and the sheer greed of taking a golden handshake only to return.

  • Gopher

    If Bailey polls well Alliance are going to be sucked into it. Bradshaw lost 196 votes to Hanna and 235 to Bailey when her running mate went out last time. When the quota is 6121 your party can’t leak 421 votes and not be involved in the dogfight for elimination.

  • Gopher

    Marirtin struggled for transfers in the last election. Just over a thousand of Hanna’s votes did not transfer, if he gets he gets the same number of 1st preference votes as last time and 50% of Hanna’s suplus he is home. (usual caveat last election figures)

  • Ryan A

    Naturally transfers leak but there will likely be equal SDLP leakage which could go to Alliance. I don’t think Gallagher has the profile to outpoll Bradshaw or McDonagh Brown and will poll less than Ferghal but still keep the SDLP over a quota once her transfers elect Hanna. That will help Alliance more than O’Muoiller who I think could miss out due to SF not being popular beyond their own base; even if he does better than the average SF candidate.

  • mickfealty

    Aside from Hanna and Bradshaw I don’t think anyone else is going to make quota, are they? In which case he probably won’t need the transfers to get a seat.

  • Gopher

    I think thats why Alliance changed the menu to Porridge and Rice Crispies in South Belfast to make SDLP transfers more probable. I’m not sure that the party faithful understand the dispassionate strategic nature of elections so it was best not to explain it to them.

    I dont think the ex Mayor is safe and if your right about Brown Mairtin looks toast. That is why SF puts old fogeys up for election in West Belfast so as if any of their stars get beat they can move someone aside up there. I have no doubt if the ex Mayor is beaten they will find him a new home.

  • mickfealty

    I suspect they put Gallagher in to try starve him of transfers. After the stroke his supporters tried to pull on Big Al in 2015, there’s no love lost for him amongst SB Stoops.

  • mjh

    I can’t see how running two SDLP candidates in SB starves SF of transfers in 2017 when it did not do so in 2016. For that tactic to work both SDLP candidates would have to outpoll SF, or do so once the transfers from the smaller parties or Independents have been distributed. It would take a swing from SF to SDLP of historic proportions to achieve that.

    Probably the best explanation for SDLP running two (apart from a chronic tendency to over-nominate) is that they need to be seen to be fighting to gain ground in this election – but there is probably no other constituency with an SDLP MLA where they can safely run one more than the number they already hold.

  • McGimpsey knew it was a loss last time. Nothing’s changed enough to think otherwise. Organisation in SB just not there

  • There’ll be a token stand to up the overall percentage

  • Gopher

    Hanna will make quota, and based on 2016 two unionists will make quota. I think Brown’s transfers will leak to Bailey and Hanna (who might alreadty be elected and therefore be dead) Wth all the minor candidates out Bradshaw was sitting on 5729 which looks quite safe until the last of the big house unionists goes out (3479 votes to transfer) and creates the snowball that brings the other two home,

  • Ryan A

    True; but I imagine some in the Balmoral branch still have little love for Big Al either.

  • Brendan Heading

    I’m no big fan of M O’M but it would take a fairly spectacular turn of events to see him lose his seat, having been returned first only seven months ago.

    SF are evidently cognisant of the threat, though, which is probably a big part of the reason why they decided to do a u-turn on holding a public inquiry, and allowed him to announce it.

  • Brendan Heading

    The same question has been asked concerning Dolores Kelly.

    AFAIK there’s nothing in the rulebook that says that winding-up money or any similar payoffs has to be returned. I think this is a genuine omission; an election 7 months after the last is an unprecedented situation. The Assembly Commission would have to look at it.

  • T.E.Lawrence

    2 Birds with one stone ! also profiles Gallagher for Council Elections in 2018 !

  • T.E.Lawrence

    DUP scorched earth offensive could be in trouble with Unionist Turnout. Vibes not good in the sticks at the moment ! I have 1 DUP on the Big Risk Register ?

  • mickfealty

    That would be Stalford?

  • T.E.Lawrence

    Yip ! from my neck of the sticks turn-out is looking dire !

  • Granni Trixie

    Is there a reason UUP have not got someone already active in the ground,say a councillor? Or were they just
    caught more on the hop than other parties?

  • Gopher

    There are only two surplus’s in this election one is Hanna’s the other is when the first unionist makes quota. 43% of Hanna’s Hanna’s surplus went to Bailley and about 5% scattered around which only leaves 800 votes (which is only .13 of a quota). As Ryan A says there will be a more SDLP friendly Alliance candidate this time. Will M’O’M get them? Will Mairtin poll 5,200 again? The thing about STV elections in South Belfast standing for the “left”, is 4 has to go into 3.85 quotas which leaves unionists a cushion of .34. We know Hanna will eventually make quota, we know Bradshaw will be near quota and we know on last elections figures Bailey will be around 5600 (using new quota) unless she polls better initially. What we have not seen is whether Mairtin can avail himself of the transfers to beat Bailey.

  • mickfealty

    Big dollop of UU transfers moved her right up in fourth place. She needs to convert them to 1st preferences. Not the easiest group to find or message.

  • Nordie Northsider

    Good grief. I’m wondering now what would happen if Dallat or Kelly were elected only to resign again. Would they receive a second retirement payment?

  • Ryan A

    It’s a remote possibility but I think any small drop and he’s in the danger zone. I honestly think the constituency is fatigued as every time there’s an election and he’s running the thing comes with same level of hype as if he were running for POTUS. For context; this is his fifth election in less than seven years.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Or keep them as 2nd preferences.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Well also remember Hanna is 7 months pregnant this time, I feel certainly Naomh is going to do a lot of canvassing to help her.

  • Kevin Breslin

    How’s about ELP needing the help!

  • Ryan A

    Not quite. UU’s were last in the race last time and lost out to Stalford. Noteable this time they haven’t even picked a candidate yet; and as this seat is effectively dead for them it wouldn’t serve them well to mop up for Pengelly and Stalford.

  • Ryan A

    Indeed although for where. That said Declan Boyle is somewhat a strange pick for the SDLP given his interests. Not good when a major constituent concern is Students of which he’s a major beneficiary.

  • Gopher

    Side question no pathos answers required just cynical political opinion please. A lot of Woman candidates in South Belfast, will the pro choice and Pro life position of the revelant candidates affect transfers? Or is it a minor consideration when going down the card?

  • T.E.Lawrence

    I don’t think Claire has to do much canvassing around SB ? anyway pass my regards onto her regarding the pregnancy and all goes well !

  • T.E.Lawrence

    Yeah agree, always thought Declan was an unusual candidate selection for a councillor for the SDLP !

  • T.E.Lawrence

    Interesting question Goph ! I Don’t think it will effect the hard core Unionist / Nationalist vote but my best guess is that SB would be pretty Pro Choice so it may have an affect on the Middle Ground Parties ? One for Bailey to possibly play on ?

  • Definitely Maybe

    Question for the number crunchers. Would Mullan standing as an independent put the second Nat seat at risk?

  • Nevin
  • mjh

    Thanks for putting up that link, Nevin.

    Interesting that Dallat was selected by a “panel …….including Brid Rodgers”.

    Does this mean that it was a central party decision, not one taken by the local members?

  • mjh

    Don’t think number-crunching can help with this one, DM.

    It could damage the SDLP’s chances on the grounds that Mullan will take first preference votes from the SDLP, and when either Dallet or Mullan is eliminated some of those votes will be “lost” through transfers to other candidates or being non-transferable.

    On the other hand competition between two candidates for the same voters could produce a greater effort to motivate those voters to turnout – thus improving the chances for the stronger of the two.

    Or the two trends could cancel themselves out.

    Maybe of greater significance may be the effect it has on the moral of party workers. Does it make them more, or less, inclined to canvass? A question of psychology rather than psephology.

  • Definitely Maybe

    It’ll be intresting no doubt, certainly a seat to watch.

  • banana man

    Second nationalist seat was already at risk, this all but confirms it is gone now, not that people in the constituency will notice.

  • Kevin Breslin

    A DUP person could make the quota if their running mate is eliminated.

  • Definitely Maybe

    Not really if considering the combined SF & SDLP qouta is 1.89 using last years figures…

  • banana man

    1.89 quotas split between 4 candidates doesnt qualify as a risk to you?

  • Kevin Breslin

    Three unionists got in the last time, last time I checked Bradshaw’s a unionist albeit not a designated Unionist.

  • Kevin Breslin

    This isn’t confined to the SDLP though.

  • Nordie Northsider

    It’s not a dig at the SDLP, Kevin, but a genuine question. I’d imagine it’s something the SDLP had better get some clarity on quick.