#EP19 Daily Crack: When’s a campaign a campaign and when isn’t it, plus two tight southern battles for SF

So, the fifth 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)…

It’s Sunday today, and quiet so this will be a very short one. I’ll start with this spot (h/t Gary) from Adam Turkington who raises an interesting question about when a political party is campaigning and when it isn’t.

On the face of it, this is a pretty blunt claim from the SDLP. There were campaigns from Alliance and Sinn Féin in 2016, but neither of them actually registered as official campaigns with the Electoral Commission. In legal terms this means three things (PDF):

  • a spending limit of £10,000
  • access to the electoral register to help your campaign
  • the right for representatives to attend postal vote opening sessions, polling stations and the counting of the votes.

When it came to the sharp end of the referendum the SDLP was only local party doing the actual lifting (heavy or otherwise) on the Remain side, so the statement has more than a single foot in fact (though perhaps not quite both).

It’s worth reminding ourselves that politics is also about the doing and the action, not just about what you say. [What in Northern Ireland? Who changed the rules?? And when??? I think we should be told!! – Ed]

Looking south, the last SBP/Red C polling is out today. The sample for the whole country was 2000, larger than normal to accommodate decent sub samples for the three constituencies: Dublin n=407; Midlands NW n=458; South n=575.

Now given the size of the regional samples it should be taken with a pinch of salt, but in broad terms it gives us a small number of certainties (for Fine Gael) and a much larger number of profound uncertainties for everyone else.

➡️ Top line in Midlands North West, Fine Gael’s Mairead McGuinness (almost everyone’s favourite Irish MEP) is Queen in the North. She should come in at the top of the poll and may even be able to bring her running mate home. However, her transfers won’t all go in one direction.

It looks like almost everyone else will be scrambling for transfers, although I suspect the Fianna Fáil pairing will have just about enough to get Brendan Smith over the line.

➡️ In Dublin, no one makes quota, including Frances Fizgerald, who may have to rely on Mark Durkan’s transfers to get her over the line.  Just four points separate four candidates for three seats: Lynn Boylan (SF), Barry Andrews (FF), Ciaran Cuffe (Green) and Claire Daly (Ind).

Again, another transfer scramble.

➡️ In South, again no one over quota but Sean Kelly for Fine Gael leads the field, but leaves his two running mates at the back of the field. That suggests one of the two Fine Gael seats may be in trouble, and there’s a possibility of a Green or even a second Fiana Fáil seat there.

This ought to be Sinn Féin’s safest seat.

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