Author Archive | Chris Donnelly

South Belfast by Numbers

SDLP DUP ALL SF UUP   Comb Nat Comb Un 2017 A 19.4% 20.8% 17.8% 17.7% 9.0% 37.1% 31.9% 2016 A 20.0% 22.0% 16.4% 14.2% 6.7% 34.2% 34.1% 2015 W 24.5% 22.2% 17.2% 13.9% 9.1% 38.4% 37.7% 2010 W 41.0% 23.7% 15.0% – 17.3% 41.0% 41.0% 2005 W 32.3% 28.4% 7.2% 9.0% 22.7% 41.3% 51.1% more…

On Celebrity Endorsements & Battleground Constituencies

Celebrity endorsements are a feature of political life across the western world. We are well used to prominent figures in the entertainment industry lining up to endorse or criticise political candidates- in the United States, Britain and Ireland. Figures within the sporting world are also known for raising their voices to offer opinions on political more…

Did you hear the one about the blonde crocodile?

Arlene Foster has been slammed for comments she made about Sinn Fein’s northern leader, Michelle O’Neill, in a Sunday Independent article published today. When asked what word she would associate with Mrs O’Neill, Arlene Foster answered, “Blonde!” Here is the excerpt in full from the paper, beginning with the journalist (Niamh Horan) asking what Arlene more…

North Belfast by Numbers: Finucane & Dodds set for battle

There are good reasons to believe that, even with a solitary Unionist candidate in North Belfast, there is a possibility of John Finucane pulling off a shock and taking the seat from the DUP’s Nigel Dodds in next month’s Westminster election. The DUP MP’s vote lead in 2015 over Sinn Fein’s Gerry Kelly was substantial. more…

A Nationalist/Remain ‘Understanding’ is still possible

Sinn Fein’s surprise move to bring in John Finucane in North Belfast will have succeeded in adding to the pressure on the leaderships of both nationalist parties to secure some form of understanding that will allow the nationalist and pro-Remain constituencies to feel they can maximise representation at the forthcoming Westminster election in the face more…

Sinn Fein running John Finucane in North Belfast

The Westminster contest in North Belfast just got serious. Sinn Fein have announced their intention to run Belfast-based solicitor John Finucane in the constituency at next month’s Westminster election. After nationalists succeeded in taking a majority of seats in the constituency at the Assembly election in March, Sinn Fein are clearly seeking to capitalise on more…

A Brexit Pact is a No-Brainer for Sinn Fein (&, whisper it, not bad for the SDLP & Alliance too)

Both Unionist parties have already signalled their willingness to enter talks to agree the terms for an expected electoral pact, but expect speculation to develop about the prospect of a Brexit pact for the non-unionist parties. Already, Sinn Fein’s Declan Kearney and John O’Dowd have signalled support for such a position, and intriguingly the SDLP more…

A Fistful of Early Thoughts Ahead of Brexit’s GE17

There’s nothing like the scent of a fresh election in this mid-Spring air to get the pulses racing. A few early thoughts for Slugger readers as we embark on yet another election odyssey: This one is all about Brexit, and that suits both of our main parties. For Sinn Fein, it taps into and feeds more…

Irish Govt to hold referendum to give northerners- & citizens abroad- the vote in Presidential elections

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has confirmed that the Irish government will move to hold a referendum to allow Irish citizens living in the north of Ireland and abroad the right to vote in Irish Presidential elections. In a speech delivered at the Famine Memorial in Philadelphia, the Fine Gael leader finally confirmed that the government would more…

Five Thoughts on AE17: The Nationalist Surge & why we’ve all good reason to rejoice at the dawning of the Age of the Minorities

The Nationalist Surge has dramatically altered the composition of the Northern Ireland Assembly, whilst also prompting many questions and challenges to both Nationalists and Unionists. Below I have listed five things which can be taken from the election results. 1.  The surging nationalist turnout, and within that the unprecedented support for Sinn Fein from within more…

Nationalism Bites Back

All has changed. Utterly. Ten months ago, Sinn Fein and the SDLP mustered a meagre 36% of the vote between them in the May 2016 Assembly election, returning just 40 seats, the lowest number for the nationalist parties since the Good Friday Agreement of 1998. In contrast, the newly-elected DUP leader, Arlene Foster, emerged the more…

Arlene keeps mum as she bangs the drum

The DUP launched its manifesto today in a breathtaking example of the cynical manner with which the party has treated the electorate since the RHI scandal unfolded before our eyes. The party leader, Arlene Foster, declared that she would not answer any questions at the launch due to suffering from a case of “man flu” more…

AE17: A High-Stakes Election for Mike Nesbitt & the UUP

Whilst much of the focus has rightly been on Arlene Foster as the unionist leader feeling the heat in this election campaign on account of the RHI context and her leading role in delivering that catastrophic initiative, Mike Nesbitt could actually be the unionist political leader under the more severe pressure to step aside if more…

Assessing the Nationalist Battle in AE17

Prior to last year’s Assembly election, I wrote this article on Slugger about the impending battle for nationalist votes. I predicted that it was unlikely the nationalist parties would hold the 43 seats they held between them on account of the developing trend of a declining nationalist turnout over many years, which I have written more…

dupwb.jpg_large

DUP accuses TUV of having a ‘personal vendetta’ against……..loyalist paramilitaries

Yes, you read that right. The West Belfast DUP Facebook page has caused quite the stir today after accusing a TUV councillor of having a personal vendetta against loyalist paramilitaries. The TUV councillor in question, Andrew Girvin, had commented on Facebook that he wondered “how many SFIRA election transfers will be given to DUPUDA.” That more…

doran

Sinn Fein’s Unlikely Candidate

When Sinn Féin’s Assembly Election ’17 candidates were formally introduced at the Waterfront Hall on Monday morning, Dr Peter Doran, the candidate for Lagan Valley, quietly stepped into the limelight of Republican politics for the first time. The Donegal native, who currently teaches environmental justice at the School of Law in Queens University, raised eyebrows more…

The Hatching of the Great Misogyny Distraction Plan

Deep in the bowels of Party HQ, the Inner Circle have gathered for a think-in to plot the party’s way out of the abbreviation crisis Whose Name Must Not Be Spoken. Paul’s just off the phone. Can’t make it but he sends his regards. Someone organise for a tray of Ashers’ finest buns to be more…

DUP figure calls for boycott of News Letter over RHI revelations

As more RHI revelations make their way into the public domain, there are signs that the political temperature in the Executive is heading northwards. Today, the Sinn Fein Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, reiterated his party’s call for Arlene Foster to step aside as First Minister over the issue. Whilst a non-attributed DUP statement appeared more…