#EP19 Daily Crack: Phony war ends and a battle of the graphs begins, and the DUP goes pan Unionist…

So, the fourth 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)…

And it looks like the phoney war is over and out comes the graph wars, Alliance councillor Danny Donnelly tweets…

The Green Party has come out in favour of a new referendum…

The DUP are switching to a message which focuses on pan unionist position on the Backstop, its cast of ‘villains’ comes with an iconography that invokes that old Unionist favourite “Ulster’s not for sale…”

But this one is getting them big numbers and is a more direct attempt to energise the wider unionist base…

It’s even getting a helping hand from the SDLP who clearly think getting picked on by the DUP will help them.

One place you wouldn’t have found the DUP today was the protest for Equal marriage. The UUP were there though:

Sinn Féin were out marching too both in Dublin (for the Raise the Roof housing protest) and Belfast. Of the Belfast videos (Spot the long haired Gerry) this one is doing best business…

The Press continues to all but ignore the election, but the Irish News yesterday did at least carry the line from Danny that he was against a no deal…

In one of the few analysis pieces in any of the papers, Sam McBride thinks Naomi has less ground to make up this time round than when she fought Peter Robinson…

Alliance starts far behind in this contest. In 2014, it had just over half the first preference votes of the UUP. To win, she will need to massively increase that first preference vote to come within touching distance of the SDLP and then hope to secure transfers from across the board – one of Alliance’s greatest electoral strengths.

The SDLP will point to the fact that in 2014 it was within touching distance of the UUP, far ahead of Alliance. But that is no guarantee of what will happen on Thursday. In 2010, Mrs Long stunned the political world by defeating DUP leader Peter Robinson in East Belfast.

In that contest she made up far more ground than would be necessary to take the third MEP seat.

Very true. The sheer social contagion which Naomi was able to inflect into that 2010 election was a marvel to behold up close and key to that success. And even after she lost the seat in 2015 the local ground there has drifted to Alliance ever since.

The key difference here is that the Northern Ireland constituency is vast compared to NI, and that the DUP (the shortness of the campaign period giving them no real alternative) are using social media on a scale they never have before.

Also the Unionist vote in the Westminster election of 2017 was downward, but only just. A strong performance by the DUP and Jim Allister will hold out a lifeline for Danny.

Naomi needs both Unionism to repeat the general downtrend of the councils, and for the SDLP to continue backwards in order to get into that magic slot and get home.

The more unknown quantity is what effect the SDLP’s most energetic campaign we have seen in a generation has on waking up it’s own base.

And looking at the LucidTalk data shared on Twitter by our own Niall Kelly, he’s going to need every ounce of it. Colum has the largest single support amongst non voters.

Even after the exhaustive investigations by Bangor Dub, he cannot decide in the two horse race whether it’s Alliance or the SDLP who takes that last slot.