#SluggerReport: No SF money harmed over Brexit and #AE17 Upper Bann/Newry Armagh

Here’s last Thursday’s SluggerReport. It kicks off with comment on that SF did not register as a ‘registered campaigner’ story.

It has been pointed out that individuals in SF did campaign against Brexit, and some appeared on GUE/NGL posters. They may even have spent up to £10k. But as a named party they were nowhere to be seen.

And for Upper Bann:

  • In May, Carla Lockhart got 7,993, several hundred above 7615, putting the DUP on 1.86 quotas. By contrast, the two UUP MLAs have 1.3 quotas.  Even with .38 Unionist quotas the second seat is in question.
  • Sinn Fein has 1.5 quotas, whilst the SDLP has just 0.57 quotas. That could make for an interesting fight for the second nationalist seat. But Kelly needs access to Alliance preferences sooner than she did last year.
  • Despite the fact her stock is not high with unionist voters, Kelly might provide them (who are likely to maintain a higher turnout than nationalists) with a means of punishing Sinn Fein for its role in the crisis.

And for Newry and Armagh:

  • The UUP have .85 quotas here, the DUP just over a quota, and the extra .2 of a quota sat with Paul Berry. I make that a solid 2 Unionist quotas which will inter-transfer taking two of the five seats out of contention.
  • That’s four nationalists chasing just three seats. One of them is almost certain to lose. Unsurprisingly early reports suggest that SF is throwing the kitchen sink at this one. But McNulty has more than a quota.
  • Elsewhere 2.5 quotas might get three. The very polarised nature of this constituency means there’s going to be little to spare. Boylan in the north should come home, possibly with Fearon and Murphy in the balance.

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  • Lionel Hutz

    If assembly 16 was run under 5 seats, I’d say that Kelly would likely have got in in Upper Bann. But what effect does 9 months in the wilderness have?

    Still this is worth a shot. If there is a likelihood of a gain for the SDLP, it’s probably in Upper Bann. Elsewhere they can only hope for a save or two.

  • aperfectstorm1

    The election is shaping up to be as boring as the above video report, if maybe a little better organised. No matter how organised the election is we will see a serious shift in attention as the date closes in with the UUP pushing the cash for Ash scandal to the fore.
    Two Nationalist seats are safe in Upper Bann. In Newry Armagh there shold be two Unionists seats but the non Unionist vote sits at 70% as per 2016. The smallest lift in Nationalist turnout will deprive Unionism of that second seat.

  • mjh

    Agree. Don’t look for excitement in Newry & Armagh. 1 DUP, 1 UUP, 1 SDLP and 2 SF. There is no other outcome from last year’s figures and SF would need a swing of 1.6% or more since then to threaten McNulty. The only poll we have had so far (Lucid Talk) shows a swing of under 0.4%.

  • mjh

    Can’t agree that this is shaping to be a boring election, APS. I reckon there are currently at least seven constituencies where the outcome is certainly not a foregone conclusion. Plus there is the very real chance that the DUP will fall below the 30 seats necessary to move a Petition of Concern on their own – which could change the political climate significantly.

    At this stage I reckon this has the potential to be the most interesting Assembly election since 2003.

  • Lionel Hutz

    I agree. The balance transferred to 5 seaters is very hard to call in severAl constituencies

  • aperfectstorm1

    The DUP will certainly be the biggest losers but that has more to do with the fact that the reduction in seats will proportionately affect them negatively due to their size. My Dream election result – no Unionist returned in Foyle, now wouldn’t that be spectacular !

  • nilehenri

    these are the referendum counts which the bbc published https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/52769af569c5a71df5f3491e36943b3041b59a8ef4a2c52edb2ee27d0fa1d455.png
    what is most striking is the definite divide among voters along the old line. this could make for a massive swing in voting patterns come march.

  • aperfectstorm1

    there are seven seats that the DUP will certaily lose in NA, SA,EA,FST,EB,ND and Strangford. We need to work to ensure two more.

  • North Down

    They will not lose one in Strangford

  • aperfectstorm1

    Johnnie Bell is gone, its a mathematical certainty that the DUP will lose a seat in Strangford.

  • North Down

    Peter weir is in his place, and have another 2000 more votes from there 4th candidate, uup will lose out same with north antrim

  • aperfectstorm1

    I think u might need to recharge you wishful thinking calculator

  • file

    Have I got this right? From the sdlp website, I can only count 11 candidates that they are standing in this election. If that is the true number, that is pathetic, and a sign that they do not see themselves as a major party.

  • Lionel Hutz

    I believe it is 21

  • file

    So why only 11 on their own website?
    http://www.sdlp.ie/people/party-spokespersons/

  • mickfealty

    You have Morrow gone in FST? That’s brave. Paradoxically only a massive uptick in turnout can do kind of damage to the DUP you’re clearly hoping for.

    I see two problems.

    One, it’s not clear yet that RHI is going to be that sort of issue. Two, I don’t think the UUP have enough realistic candidates to take the DUP below 30 (though I’m still a way from finishing).

    It’s worth noting too that, weirdly (given the general mythology around the matter) that the DUP have never triggered a POC without support from a second or third party.

    So in some respects 30 seats is a false line in the sand (even if I agree it would be a bottom of the range result).

  • mickfealty

    Those are the retiring MLAs that are still party members after Gerry Mullen stepped down. But, I agree, bad communications.

  • North Down

    Mick I watched highlights of your slogger report on upper bann very good, how can I watch the one you did on north down and the live feeds you do on Tuesdays and Thursdays

  • mickfealty

    Check out the SluggerPolitics Facebook page?

  • North Down

    Cheers

  • Msiegnaro

    What sort of an eegit are you?

  • Lionel Hutz

    Pretty poor there right enough

  • file

    It is on a link that say Assembly Candidates.

  • Kevin Breslin

    It happened in the NI Forum Election … 3 SDLP, 2 SF … really depends on turnout.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Would be interesting to see if there are DUP losses and UUP gains in votes in the likes of North Down, the 4 Belfast seats, Fermanagh South Tyrone, Foyle, Mid Ulster etc.

  • mjh

    When you have finished your calculations, Mick, you’ll see that a DUP below 30 is a real possibility if there is a swing against them. (And their desperate attempts to avoid this election, and their campaign to date both demonstrate that they certainly see the danger of that happening.)

    The reduction in the number of seats means they start with 32. That’s what last year’s votes and transfers would give them – and represents no real loss or decline relative to the other parties in the Executive or Opposition.

    If they have a bad election – where the size of the swing is well within the range of normality – seat losses will inevitably follow. And it would not require UUP candidates of unusual attractiveness to bring that about. Indeed the UUP would not always be the gainer.

    To see what such a swing could look like just take the Lucid Talk poll and apply it to each constituency. It showed a swing against the DUP to UUP of 2.3%. That’s marginally above the average size of swing between the two parties of 2.0% at Assembly elections since the ’96 Forum.

    On the Lucid Talk party swings (and taking no account of the reduction in transfering to the DUP which it suggests) the DUP could lose a seat each in:

    North Belfast – where the beneficiary would be Alliance or SF.

    Belfast South – to Greens

    Lagan Valley – to the UUP’s Jenny Palmer

    South Down – where McKee would be sufficiently close behind Wells on the first count for his greater transfer friendliness shown last year – when he even took more from the TUV – would put him ahead.

    And, yes, even FST – although as ever that one would still be on a knife edge.

    In Strangford the UUP would probably just have the numbers theoretically required – but not the perfect balance which is beyond reasonable expectations. But a swing to UUP above the average (more likely with a party leader standing) could bring the second UUP candidate (who is not a novice) over the line.

    In Foyle the “national” swing together with last year’s pattern of UUP transferring would see the DUP lose the seat. However, the limited number of unionist candidates would probably (although not certainly) mean that lost first preferences would transfer back to the DUP again.

  • Ryan A

    Throw Lagan Valley in there as a 50:50 but I think the DUP won’t have the first preferences to get 3 home; and the UUP will clean up a reasonable amount of transfers from the TUV, Orr and Greens if Alliance can get in early.

  • Nordie Northsider

    I don’t think that the DUP losing their automatic Petition of Concern is such a big deal – they will always find other Unionists willing to join them against them’uns. I agree that it’s not an insignificant election though. It could prove very significant for the SDLP, for example.

  • mickfealty

    The turnout figures are instructive, particularly if you map them on Unionist (largely up) and Nationalist (largely down) areas.

  • T.E.Lawrence

    I think we shall see a reverse of that trend in this election in a few weeks time !

  • mickfealty

    I don’t mean it cannot or will not happen MJ, just that it’s a false line in the limited sense the party has never used at POC on its own, and is unlikely to do so in the future.

  • mickfealty

    What had you in mind NN?

  • the keep

    NA I assume you mean North Antrim if so I suspect you are wrong it will be close but they will shade it.
    SA Strangford and EB yes I think you are right.
    EA I suspect SF will lose their seat.
    FST the dup will retain their two seats.

  • the keep

    Completely correct.

  • Granni Trixie

    But now that the cat is amongst the pidgeons in Strangford with Jonathan Bell entering the race as Independent …who do you think is likely to benefit or not given this splits the DUP vote?

  • Granni Trixie

    But he’s back!

  • Nordie Northsider

    Simply that it could go very badly for them in terms of seats won.

  • mjh

    Ah, Granni, I had not picked that up.

    In the sense that it crystallises (and personalises) the RHI factor that’s bad news for the DUP. There’ll be no possibility of the party removing the issue from the electoral equation in Strangford, irrespective at how successful their campaign to do so might be elsewhere.

    If Bell gets in the DUP drop a seat and the UUP stays stuck on the one it would have won in a five seater last year. If Bell gets a substantial vote, but insufficient to win, he could tie up enough votes to prevent the DUP getting the transfers they need for 3, to the benefit of the UUP.

    Either way, the betting has to be on a DUP loss now.

  • the keep

    In North Antrim he is correct.

  • mjh

    I take your point about the history of the POC.

    Might be wrong, but I see the ability to have a drawer-full of POC’s you can fire at will as a bit like a country having a nuclear weapon.

    Even if you never press the button, it can’t avoid impacting everyone’s perception of what is politically possible. And it certainly effects how you deal with everyone else.

  • Granni Trixie

    I am ofcourse interested also in your take on how it might affect Kellie Armstrongs chances?

  • mjh

    Can’t see what effect it would have either way. That’s because there would not be much interaction between Alliance voters and Bell voters, who has declared today that he remains DUP at heart.

    In a five seat election, on last year’s vote, Armstrong would have been elected on the final stage around 1400 or so votes ahead of the SDLP runner up.

    It would take a swing of at least 2.2% from Alliance to the SDLP to dislodge her. And there is no sign yet of that happening. Indeed the Lucid Talk figures would see her comfortably home as the first or second elected – topping the poll if the UUP make any serious attempt at balancing.

  • nilehenri

    nothing to do with the old green/orange line that the dup are so desperately trying to introduce into this particular race, albeit so far without much success, arlene was pwned most beautifully by jarry yesterday.
    i was rather struck with this line which comes from a survey of northern irish clergy of all places: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ed520ce18f0b618cb28fabbce54ded241cc53b34135ada4dc19e5a59e531d0d8.png
    for anyone that is interested, here is the page in full:
    https://politicalreform.ie/2017/02/06/northern-irish-clergy-and-support-for-irish-unification/

  • nilehenri

    i think alliance could come out and upset the cart, as well as the other smaller parties, we’re going to see a lot of protest vote.
    the ‘nationalist’ community feels incredibly insulted and flabbergasted by what has been going on lately. some of my friends who are not in the least bit interested in politics have sworn blind that this time they will vote, and i can give you a wee heads-up: they won’t be putting their ‘x’ beside the dup.

  • Fear Éireannach

    While many people in Newry and Armagh may now feel more energised about Brexit, the election itself does not give much cause to turnout as you can’t take a seat off the DUP and SDLP 1 and SF 2 is almost guaranteed.

  • Ryan A

    LucidTalk I believe highlighted an urban/rural divide for RHI in terms of how much of an issue it was. Problem is saving Morrow’s arse in FST by playing the orange and ‘we don’t take orders from SF’ card isn’t worth much if Stalford, Humphrey, Hale and the boiler man himself from East Antrim get thrown under the bus in the east in what are DUP seats to lose, even on 5 seater constituencies.

  • Granni Trixie

    That’s encouraging,thanks. Was just thinking myself that at very least it will shake up Unionist parties. On one hand potentially he could garner votes from solid DUP voters who do not accept AK version and are looking for an alternative home but others are too moderate for them.
    Then listening to him he seems to be equally positioning himself more broadly than DUP – anecdote about “mixed marriage family who came out of their house to beg him to stand” blah,blah,blah. But then thAt cross community stuff puts off DUP voters so he may fall between two stools.

    All that said he adds to the action. Who said this was a boring election?

  • I’ll be shocked if the third seat comes through for them in east Londonderry. Sugden has the benefit of being from, and well known around the Coleraine area, where the bulk of the unionist vote is located in the constituency. Can’t see her first preferences going down, and there will be plenty of transfers from other unionists and alliance.

  • Fear Éireannach

    Hopefully they will know enough not to put an x but to put their 1-8 against all the anti Brexit parties and their 9 for the UU.

  • Gaygael

    The five PofCs on marriage were exclusively by the DUP