So, the second of our election round ups (if we miss anything important, just stick it in the comment zone, or email me or David on the side)…
- Slugger’s team has been active today. On Nolan I argued (17.04 in) that voters upset about the Secretary of State’s decision to put the decision about Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry to the local party’s at the Stormont talks can take matters into their own hands and SHIFT YOUR VOTE next week. Send our local parties a message. That is what elections are for after all!
- Our deputy editor David McCann and occasional contributor Sarah Creighton were on Good Morning Ulster this morning, profiling the prospects for who will fill that third seat, Danny Kennedy, Naomi Long and Colum Eastwood. Best line from David “Stormont is Dormant” as the justification for party leaders like Colum and Naomi running for a Euro seat that would demand they vacate their jobs as MLAs.
- DUP take their second delivery of posters today. Like everyone else the local elections mean they are struggle to get the place they would normally get to in week 2 or 3 of a four to six week campaign. Candidate wise Mrs Dodds is at Balmoral Agricultural Show (as will Liam Fox we hear) again today and will stay there for the next few days to let rural Ulster come to her.
And that's a wrap on day one of Balmoral Show and what a wonderful and jam packed day it has been!
500 cups of tea and coffee made by our amazing team on the stand, looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow! ☕🐄🐑 pic.twitter.com/Vrwfn8S6gE
— Diane Dodds (@DianeDoddsMLA) May 15, 2019
- Sinn Féin’s EP candidate Martina Anderson has been out campaigning steadily through the local council elections, and is still focusing very much on the sort of ground war campaign only her party could mount. Look out for her on the road videos on Instagram.
- Third place in that LucidTalk poll seems clarified the opportunity ahead for the SDLP. According to John Manley in the Irish News today, fences are being mended between the SDLP leader Colum Eastwood and Claire Hanna who resigned the whip over the policy partnership with Fianna Fáil “after the pair went canvassing together yesterday”.
- The smaller parties are getting their posters out. And Danny Kennedy is putting his underworked MLAs to good use. Here’s the irrepressible Doug Beattie in the front line of getting up the posters in Upper Bann [Participative leadership skills indeed! – Ed]. :
My dad always said… ‘don’t ask others to do what you wouldn’t do yourself’
— Doug Beattie (@BeattieDoug) May 15, 2019
- At Naomi’s manifesto launch, she hammers home her message that she has forward momentum (though I think we’re about to see whether her suggestion (that Colum is drifting backwards tested soon enough). As Pat Leahy said last week “the behaviour of remain-minded unionist voters, in particular, will be decisive”:
— Alliance Party (@allianceparty) May 15, 2019
- Jim Allister said “Brexit delayed is Brexit denied” in his PEB last night and condemned the present “shameful position”. He calls for two Brexiteers and unionists to be elected and pushes for a No Deal as the way to “get the EU to the table”. Not sure those amalgams stand stand up Jim, but we’ll know next week if it is enough to get people off the sofa and into the polling station.
- One big overwash effect upon the outcome might be how the social media campaign is developing in Britain. However they are doing it, the Brexit Party is nailing Facebook in a way that looks suspiciously like digital steroids. Hard not to think they are also silently hitting up Northern Ireland’s pro Brexiteers. Notice how the DUP is outstripping SF on Facebook:
- And don’t forget that tonight is probably the biggest TV event (courtesy of the master of the Twitter emojis Darren Marshall) of this whole campaign is on The View tonight.
— Darran Marshall (@DarranMarshall) May 15, 2019
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty