Fermanagh and South Tyrone Constituency Profile – Assembly Elections 2022…

The snow-capped Cuilcagh Mountains seen from Belle Isle Estate in County Fermanagh after a late winter/early spring storm.

After the complexities of East Londonderry, and before embarking on the equally problematic Foyle, it is a relief to address the relative simplicities of FST. On the face of it, we have the re-establishment of a significant nationalist lead over unionist parties after a brief moment of parity in 2016, with an almost imperceptibly slow, but now undeniable, growth in the other’s share. It takes a moment to reconcile this tranquil picture with the performance of the main parties in …

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Foyle Constituency Profile – Assembly Elections 2022…

Looking across the River Foyle to the cityside from the waterside, with The Peace Bridge framed by The Guild Hall (left) and St. Eugene's Cathedral (right) (May, 2021).

I’ve just finished reading the entrails in Foyle, and my brain hurts. Quite frankly I wouldn’t blame you if you stopped reading right now and just left it to the Almighty in his ineffable wisdom to reveal the final results sometime on May 7th. To those of you who refuse to heed the warnings, I salute your courage. We start with the designation shares bearing the, by now familiar, marks of tactical voting in Westminster. And as usual, these marks …

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East Londonderry Constituency Profile – Assembly Elections 2022…

This chart clearly shows a shift from unionists to others over the last two elections in East Londonderry. But the shifts at the party level have been even more dramatic: The DUP benefit substantially from tactical votes in Westminster elections, even though there is no doubt that they will win. SF has been on a sharp downward slope since 2017, to the obvious benefit of the SDLP which even finished a whisker above them. The long-term slow decline of the …

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East Antrim Constituency Profile – Assembly Elections 2022…

Carrickfergus Castle in County Antrim at sunset (Jan., 2021).

If you have not read yesterday’s article you might find it helpful to read the note on the method I used in making the projections in these articles. You will find it at the bottom, in italics. A glance at the record for designation shares in East Antrim shows the size of the changes that have been taking place recently in electoral fortunes. A slow decline in unionists has accelerated, while nationalist parties, which had been maintaining a steady share, …

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South Belfast Constituency Profile – Assembly Elections 2022…

The greenhouse, adorned with a floral display, at the Botanic Gardens in the Queen's Quarter of Belfast, County Antrim (Sep., 2021).

If you have not read yesterday’s article you might find it helpful to read the note on the method I used in making the projections in these articles. You will find it at the bottom, in italics. The contest in South Belfast really repays looking back at recent history. Note the persistent pattern of tactical voting at each Westminster election, and the just as persistent return to non-Westminster voting patterns afterwards. The picture is even more vivid when you examine …

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West Belfast Constituency Profile – Assembly Elections 2022…

If you have not read yesterday’s article you might find it helpful to read the note on the method I used in making the projections in these articles. You will find it at the bottom, in italics. The marked relative decline in the nationalist vote share in West Belfast is a direct reflection of the growth in the People Before Profit vote at the 2016 Assembly election, after which the party designated as Other. The main point to note here, …

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Data background to the Assembly contests in East and North Belfast…

democrats, america, vote

With the Assembly election fast approaching I have compiled an overview of some of the constituencies and hope to complete more in the time available. It is many years since there was so much uncertainty about the outcome of the election. Usually, it is possible to be confident of the results for at least four seats out of the five in each constituency. This time it is more often three. Each profile outlines the historical voting patterns in the constituency …

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Good News and Bad News for Sinn Féin in latest poll…

pixel, pixel cells, reportage

My old English teacher had one short rule “When writing always start with something interesting”. But for once I feel I must ignore him. The dullest part of any opinion poll story is the list of caveats. But when considering the latest Liverpool University poll in today’s Irish News its very important to bear them in mind. First, size of sample and margin for error. The Irish News poll has a sample about 1.000 people – half the size of …

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Still all to play for. Latest LucidTalk poll…

question, question mark, opinion poll

The most unpredictable Assembly election in many years just became more unpredictable, thanks to the latest poll from Lucid Talk. First the published results: SF 26% (-2 compared to Assembly ’17) DUP 19% (-9) Alliance 16% (+5) UUP 13% (n/c) SDLP 11% (-1) TUV 9% (+6) Green 2% (n/c) PBP 2% (n/c) Aontú / Other parties / Independents share 2% (-2) Given that seats won will be roughly proportional to first preference votes cast this would mean that the largest …

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As You Were! Party support static in latest Lucid Talk poll…

feedback, survey, nps

That must be the least exciting headline you will read today. But with the poll showing Sinn Féin still sitting on a very healthy lead; the TUV retaining the lumps it carved out of the DUP in a three horse race to be biggest unionist party; and Alliance still poised for significant gains, the pattern is very much the same as it has been throughout most of last year. The full results in today’s Belfast Telegraph are: Sinn Féin 25% …

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Skating on Thin Ice. The lurking cracks that could open beneath the DUP…

winter, skating, ice

A close examination of the wealth of data in the recent Ashford poll reveals how the DUP could be facing the very real threat of political oblivion. Please suspend for a few minutes your instant reaction that this is either hysterical scaremongering or fanciful wishful thinking – depending on your political point of view. Before we look at the evidence it’s important to consider the Rule of Two. With only 5 seats available in each constituency, two highly adversarial voting …

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Thoughts on the latest Lucid Talk poll…

Michael Hehir is a retired sales and marketing manager. He studied in Northern Ireland but now lives between England and Italy. Northern Ireland is still probably heading for an SF FM; there will be no vote to scrap the NI Protocol in the next Assembly; both unionist and nationalist designations will lose seats to Others; and Alliance is still on track to become the third party. These are the main outcomes that would follow if yesterdays Lucid Talk poll for …

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More lessons in the Belfast Telegraph poll…

The detailed results of the Belfast Telegraph poll into current Assembly voting intentions were published at the weekend www.lucidtalk.co.uk We can be sure that the parties will be poring over them. They will translate the changes in percentage support into votes, and then project that into individual Assembly constituencies, and also look for lessons for their next Westminster and European campaigns. Here’s what they will find: • The UUP appears to have lost over 14,700 voters since the last Assembly …

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