Aiken believes that the UUP could win more seats than Sinn Fein

It was a bumpy ride for Steve Aiken on Nolan yesterday.

In politics it is a good thing to go into a contest with high ambitions but they also need to be credible.

For information the UUP are running 24 candidates, Sinn Fein are running 34 candidates. UUP are at roughly 13 seats in a 90 seat Assembly, Sinn Fein are at around 24 seats.

As for the DUP they are running 38 candidates and are at 31 seats in a 90 seat Assembly.


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  • Nordie Northsider

    “Wish fulfillment is the satisfaction of a desire through an involuntary thought process. Wish fulfillment can occur in dreams or in daydreams, in the symptoms of neurosis, or in the hallucinations of psychosis. This satisfaction is often indirect and requires interpretation to recognize.”

  • T.E.Lawrence

    Glentoran want to sign up Steve as their new manager ! Reminds me of Marty O’Muilleoir comment about winning the South Belfast Westminster Election ! Who writes these guys script ?

  • the keep

    If you don’t have a dream….

  • Nevin

    You never know! Ash Wednesday will be followed by Ash for Cash Thursday.

  • Lucian Fletcher

    You don’t go into an election aiming to lose. But it’s almost certainly far too big an ask.

    Having said that, if there was the type of mood-shift against the RHI Exec car crash that would bring the UUP beyond 20 seats, you would expect a corresponding shift towards the SDLP that could deliver a reduction for Sinn Fein.

    Do I expect it to happen? Hell no. Would I do cartwheels in the street? Hell yes.

  • T.E.Lawrence
  • Dan

    Listening to Aiken yesterday made up my mind. UUP won’t receive any endorsement from me, anywhere on the list. I couldn’t have that on my conscience.
    The man was arrogant, but without anything in his locker to warrant such.
    Dreadful interview.

    As were those of Atwood today, Farren last week and that ludicrous little Agnew character.
    I’ve no interest in even listening to SF and DUP.

    My choice is limited in this election.

  • Jollyraj

    Unlikely, sadly, in this election.

    For UUP to get more seats than SF in this one would require that not only enough DUP voters switch to UUP – but also that enough current SF voters suddenly get smart enough to realize that Sinn Fein is basically a carrion crow. SF know that there electoral success depends on sectarian division and chaos – for SF to prosper, the rest of the country must be kept in a state of perpetual decline. My hunch is that nationalist voters are starting to realize that, but whether it will happen in significant numbers before Thursday I have my doubts. Of course, there is always the possibility I’m underestimating the intelligence of the nationalist vote there. Time will tell.

  • Granni Trixie

    And did you see the latest …you now can get your ash on your forehead WITHOUT LEAVING YOUR CAR!

  • Granni Trixie

    Before the interview yesterday I thought of Aiken as one of the better UUP candidates but agree with you that he did himself and the UUP no favours by the interview. Inflated claims of UUP upswing, his response to detailed questions on their manifesto and claims of policy closeness with SDLP which could not be substantiated. I wouldn’t write him off because of one interview however – potentially he could come good for the UUP should he still be in the UUP after Thursday.

  • Charlie Farlie

    Unfortunate that you assume anyone who votes Sinn Fein has a low IQ. A tad derogatory if not downright self-righteous!

    Just as a point of note, I attended a social gathering at the weekend whereby all strands of political opinion was represented. The feeling amongst most Nationalists was that even though they would like a shift toward more generalised bread and butter politics, they do realise that the climate is not yet there as Unionism has still an innate need for superiority. Whilst that is the case, Nationalism still fears trusting a type of political system that hands power to one side of the community. The SDLP seem to be trying to ignore that this is happening and are putting it down to a coalition problem, instead of a historic want to control from one section of the community, that just will not go away. That discussion proved to me why the supposed ‘middle ground’ will not do well electorally yet, as maybe that IQ is not as low as you think!

  • Karl

    Please clarify who or what the carrion is

  • Ciaran74

    JR Hartley is baiting again. Crocodilians, carrion crows, fools, apes, it’s all the same lingo jingo.

  • Charlie Farlie

    Absolutely awful interview. It became apparent at an early stage that Mr Aiken was out of his depth. And not because he’s incapable, but because his policy manifesto is predicated on the basis of being anti DUP/SF. The same mistake as the SDLP’s, but the actual policies that we all have to live by Health, Education etc… has no practical place in either the SDLP or UUP manifesto beyond a few lines of words.

    The problem is these two parties accepted a position of voluntary opposition, thinking that all they had to do was criticise from the sidelines and that would be enough to get them into Govt if they convinced the people how bad the Govt was. But people are not stupid! When questioned about actual policies on economics or education etc… not one representative from either party has a viable answer other than ‘green/orange, SF/DUP mess’. Its not a good enough platform to instill confidence and I actually ended up feeling sorry for Mr Aiken. It seems he was hung out to dry defending an empty manifesto and a proposed coalition that is bordering on humerous!

  • Nevin
  • Granni Trixie

    Thanks for link. Nany church or what? Seriously though, is this a gimmick or a serious attempt to adapt to expectations of modern world?

  • Granni Trixie

    Surely as well as the public weighting up candidates in terms of competence they are also looking for signs of willingness to be accountable and transparent? And that they are prepared to reach agreement on use of resources to benefit the whole community not just each ‘side’.

  • Jollyraj

    Broadly speaking, the carrion in this imperfect analogy is the general public, which SF must maintain in a sickly state in order to feed off it.

  • Jollyraj

    I don’t assume anyone who votes Sinn Fein has a low IQ at all.

    As with any party, their voters are on a spectrum. The hard core vote, yes in my view these would be iredeemable, thick sectarian bigots. A large slice of their voters are no doubt ordinary, decent people whom have unfortunately been taken in by the ubiquitous SF propaganda machine. I’ve no doubt a fair portion of those are simply looking for a better future and, sooner or later, will come face to face with the fact that Sinn Fein just don’t offer any good future at all.

    These days, SF in my opinion seems merely to be a money-making machine for a tiny Republican elite with their holiday homes in Ireland, no doubt many millions salted away from various unsavoury activities, and expensive vanity surgical procedures. How very socialist. Heck, even the fabled average industrial wage thing seems to be in reality a revenue slush fund to swell the groaning party coffers. For ‘biggest’ party read ‘greediest party in Ireland’.

    Long term, smart people just aren’t going to vote for that.

  • BonaparteOCoonassa

    “SF in my opinion seems merely to be a money-making machine”

    But they have a long way to go before they can match Ashes Arlene and her crew in that respect.

  • Jollyraj

    Any evidence to support that?

  • BonaparteOCoonassa

    It’s an expression of opinion, just like the majority of your posts, but based on current news reports.

  • rg

    NA 0
    SA 1
    EA 1
    NB 0
    WB 0
    SB 0
    EB 1
    LV 1
    ND 1
    ST 1
    SD 1
    N&A 1
    UB 1
    FST 0
    MU 1
    Wt 1
    F 0
    EL 0

    Total 11

  • johnny lately

    Red Sky, NAMA, RHI.

  • Jollyraj

    Has Arlene Foster personally enriched herself with those?

  • Jollyraj

    Sure, and you can do that.

    But we can see good republicans, and millionaire smugglers. We can see the luxury holiday homes. And we can see Gerry’s lovely teeth.

    Can you indicate where you feel Ms Foster has got rich off the backs of the rest of us.

  • Ciaran O’Neill


  • Jollyraj


  • Lucian Fletcher

    How am I delusional when I said I don’t expect it to happen?

  • Charlie Farlie

    I agree, the problem for alot of people seems to be a general distrust that the DUP, regardless of what is offered in the form of peace making to them, just are not willing to pass legislation that will benefit the whole community and not just their ‘side’. Answer honestly. If the SDLP was pushing the same legislative changes that SF have, do you think the DUP wouldn’t have used their petition of concern? Hypothetically speaking, what makes you think the DUP would be any more cross community in their actions towards the SDLP if they were the biggest Nationalist party? I think it would be very naive to suggest there would be one hair of difference.

  • Charlie Farlie

    “I don’t assume anyone who votes for SF has a low IQ”

    Followed by…

    “Smart people just aren’t going to vote for that!”

    By the looks of it your own intelligence quota is through the roof coming out with that amount of logic!

  • file

    It depends how you look at it. If it gets more people to participate in what is my favourite Feast, i will say it was a successful gimmick. Maybe next time they will park their cars. I have heard of drive-through confession too, but that in the U S of A.

  • file

    Their/there Jollyraj, there/their. Carrion crow?

  • file

    … all strands … were represented.

  • file

    The public do no such detailed analysis when they are voting. Most people do not pay as much attention to politics as most posters on slugger do … and nothing is as important as you think it is while you are thinking about it.

  • Charlie Farlie

    You are correct of course! However my mind starts to wonder, who spends a day with an innate need to grammatically correct posters on an online forum? I have not yet convinced myself that I wouldn’t like that life. Still working on it though I have time yet!

  • Granni Trixie

    Agree. Looks like it will take a long time to eradicate sectarian worldview. But for now the public will settle for politicians who are af least honest.

  • file

    I have other hobbies too … and education is never wasted. Also I am giving up slugger for Lent (giving up posting, but I will still be reading, so mind your Ps and Qs) so this is my last chance for a while.

  • Granni Trixie

    You don’t need detailed analysis to smell a rat.

  • The Irishman

    Can you back any of this up with evidence or is it you talking the usual nonsense?

  • Martyn

    The only way that the SDLP and UUP could seriously challenge DUP/SF this time is if they genuinely cooperated with each other and the Alliance Party and Greens to offer hope with realism. This means not promising to agree on everything – the electorate would not believe this. But if the cooperation promised a coalition with the primary objective of reforming Stormont, this would be a realistic hope. And without reform of Stormont it is unlikely that all the other crucial issues and problems will be addressed

  • John Collins

    Are you say ing there was never a Protestant Smuggler?

  • rg

    Sorry, I wasn’t referring to you but agreeing with you, and I probably should have made that clear. I was referring to Aiken being delusional.

  • Karl

    Presumably your analysis would contend that all left wing parties need to keep their electorate poor and that all sectarian parties need to ensure sectarianism is maintained.

  • Charlie Farlie

    Ah Lent! That explains everything then so. See you in 6 weeks.

  • file

    But you do know that Catholic Lent actually lasts 6 days too long, so you are allowed back on the fegs every Sunday and on St Patrick’s Day?

  • Devil Éire

    who spends a day with an innate need to grammatically correct posters on an online forum?

    I find that one can squeeze a modicum of entertainment from hoisting pedants on their own petard.

  • Charlie Farlie

    So long as the said pedant is worthy of even bothering to hoist. Thats the important part!

  • Charlie Farlie

    Well, you have dabbed the sweated brow. Thank God for small mercies…

    …And the fact Jesus was obviously Irish when seeking absolution in the desert.

  • Robert ian Wiliams

    Totally shredded by Mr Nolan….

  • Devil Éire

    The more pompous and disagreeable the better. Slugger provides a continuous supply.

  • Samuel Martin

    This man is living on a planet of his own. Come Friday night he is going to waken up when his bubble is burst.