Post election analysis

The seats The ballots have been cast, the votes have been counted, the results are in and the spinning has begun. Despite thoughts before the election that both the DUP and Sinn Féin would consolidate their support and increase their seats, the DUP managed to lose 8 seats and Sinn Féin saw no change to their total. The failure of the two big parties to make gains did not, however, translate into victories for the UUP and SDLP, with both …

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Centre ground parties advance and the DUP consolidate the unionist vote at the 2019 local elections

The centre ground parties, and the Alliance Party in particular, have made significant gains at the May 2019 local elections. With all of the first preference votes now counted, the Alliance Party made the largest gain of the share of the first-preference vote, up by 4.9% from the 6.6% received in 2014 to 11.5% in this year’s poll. The Green Party more than doubled their share of the vote from 0.9% in 2014 to 2.1%, whilst People Before Profit received …

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Ticket Splitters

The 2014 European and Local Government elections were held on the same day, unlike this time around when the Council election will be held three weeks before the European election. Some might think that the local government election results will be a sure-fire way to predict the results of the European election but there are a number of reasons why this might not be the case. As I have mentioned before, no party is standing in every DEA in the …

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Slugger Verdict: ranking the PEBs of #LE19

Our crack panel sat down and reviewed the party election broadcasts hitting your screens for #LE19. Listen to our musings – frivolous and more serious – about messaging, target audiences, music and aesthetics as well as politics in our podcast with Allison Morris, Chris Brown, Alan Meban and David McCann.

Council elections 2019- all you need to know Part II

Following on from my previous post looking at the runners and riders for the local government election, I’ll now drill down in a bit more detail to look at each council and some of the key races. In a previous post I spoke about how all the parties will be telling us how they want our votes, but in reality no party in the 2014 election stood in every single DEA, meaning that not everyone who wanted to vote for …

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Poster Wars

Before the local government election notice of election was published on Tuesday 26th March we started to see the familiar sight of election posters appearing on lampposts across Northern Ireland. Love them or loathe them, posters are a mainstay of elections in Northern Ireland and in the Republic in a way that they are not in GB. Parties compete to be the first to get their posters up to ensure they get the best positions; at busy junctions and outside …

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Council elections 2019 – all you need to know Part I

The nominations for the 2019 local government election are in and a total of 819 candidates are running for 462 council seats across eleven different council areas – a decrease from the 893 candidates who sought election in 2014. The DUP was the largest party in 2014 and this remains but the total number of candidates they are running has decreased, from 189 to 172. There has been a slight increase in the number of candidates that Sinn Féin are …

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The Casually Vacant Council Seats

When the DUP’s Peter Johnston became a member of Mid and East Antrim Council, representing the Carrick Castle DEA, on 19th October 2018 he did so by winning a by-election[1], the first time since May 2010 that a by-election for a council seat had been fought. Figures provided by the Electoral Office show that since the last local government election in May 2014 there have been 86 co-options to councils (including five to the old legacy councils), meaning that 19% …

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Party Leaders reflect on two years without Stormont

Two years ago today, Martin McGuinness announced his resignation as Deputy First Minister and the rest is history as they say. Fast forward and the various party leaders have been reflecting on the collapse of Stormont. Had the Assembly continued it would have been in the third year of its mandate. Michelle O’Neill from Sinn Fein; Through all the political breakdown and rancour of the past two years, it can be tempting to believe that the prospects of restoring the …

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Four Pro-Remain parties issue joint statement on the backstop

The following statement was issued by the leaders of Sinn Fein, SDLP, Alliance and the Green Party.   The four Remain parties, Sinn Féin, SDLP, Alliance and Green Party continue to believe that there is no such thing as a good Brexit and our preference is for no Brexit at all. We recognise that the majority of people, businesses and civic society do not want Brexit either. “We have a shared responsibility to protect jobs, economic stability, the environment and …

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15 years on from the 2003 Assembly Election

Today marks 15 years since the DUP and Sinn Fein emerged as the largest parties, overtaking the SDLP and UUP at an Assembly level. For your viewing pleasure I have taken some clips from the five main party manifestos. DUP- It’s Time for a Fair Deal Key points; Reduce MLAs from 108 to 72 Abolish Civic Forum Cut back North/South bodies Reduce govt departments Redefine equality agenda Sinn Fein-Agenda For Government Key Points Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement Creation …

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Watch back the Leaders Debate from Feile and Phobail. 

Some thoughts In a 90 minute debate there was a very interesting dialogue between the representatives of the parties. It was on the whole, a respectful exchange of views. Simon Hamilton and Robin Swann deserve credit for how they approached this debate. They handled an audience that was far from being on their side well and I think it beneficial having that Unionist voice on the panel to remind all of us that not everyone thinks the same way on …

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Joint statement by party leaders on rights after Brexit

The following is a joint statement from the leaders of Sinn Fein, SDLP, Alliance and Green parties. We are at a crucial point in the Brexit negotiations. Guarantees were given in the Joint Report between the British government and the EU in December that there would be no diminution of rights as a result of Brexit, on the rights of people resident here and that the Good Friday Agreement would be protected. “These guarantees have yet to be fully translated …

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Political leaders unite to appeal for calm and condemn violence

The following has been issued by the leaders of Sinn Fein, DUP, UUP, SDLP, Alliance and Green parties. “Attacks on the police have been on-going for a number of days alongside other violence including sectarian attacks on houses, petrol bombs thrown at the police, intimidation of contractors, vehicles hi-jacked and attacks on sheltered accommodation. “The shots fired last night were a clear and obvious attempt to murder police officers. There must be a strong, clear and united voice against those …

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SluggerTV looks at the smaller parties, West Tyrone & the SDLP special conference

This month we debate the West Tyrone by-election, the SDLP special conference and the other smaller parties with Brendan Mulgrew from MWA Advocate, Andree Murphy who is an Andersonstown News Columnist and the Irish News reporter, Brendan Hughes. David McCannDavid McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs

Four parties issue a joint statement on Brexit.

Four party leaders representing 49 MLAs have penned a joint statement on Brexit. On 23rd June 2016 citizens voted to remain within the European Union. Despite this, the British Government intend to exit the EU in March 2019. Sinn Féin, Green Party, Alliance and the Social Democratic and Labour Party all share the common position that we should stay within both the single market and customs union and that there should be no hard border on the island of Ireland …

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For me and my mum, Belfast was a sanctuary. And we have the Good Friday Agreement to thank for that

Last night, as I sat with my fellow council colleagues listening to President Clinton and Senator Mitchell being awarded the Freedom of the City for their part in bringing peace to Northern Ireland, I thought of my mum. Seventeen years ago in Zimbabwe, we were down to just two (my brother, sister and father all living in different countries) and I was at boarding school. My mum had heard rumours that after weeks of shortages there was petrol arriving in …

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Why cutting MLAs pay may not be a route to salvation

From the BBC; The secretary of state has said she “is minded” to reduce MLA pay, in the wake of the collapse of the Stormont talks. Speaking in the House of Commons, Karen Bradley said the “time is right” to address “concern about MLA pay in the absence of a functioning assembly”. Last December, former assembly Chief Executive Trevor Reaney recommended a cut of 27.5%. Mrs Bradley said she wants to hear from Northern Ireland’s political parties before making a …

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Leaders issue a joint statement on Cantrell Close

The following is a joint statement on behalf of the leaders of the DUP, Sinn Fein, SDLP, UUP, Alliance Party and the Green Party; We as political leaders condemn all forms of sectarianism, intolerance and threats of violence. Four families have been forced to leave their homes in South Belfast. This is wrong.  Any threat to these families should be lifted immediately. There is also an onus on the PSNI and the statutory agencies to provide immediate and appropriate support …

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Slugger TV debuts on NVTV looking at key constituencies of #GE2017

Slugger O’Toole: Episode 1 from Northern Visions NvTv on Vimeo. Slugger TV debuted on NVTV  last night with a panel of the Irish News Security Correspondent, Allison Morris and our own Alan Meban. We looked at the key constituencies of the campaign and some of the moments of the election campaign.   David McCannDavid McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs