Alliance conference in party mood despite leader’s absence #APNI2020

Alliance delegates gathered again in the Stormont Hotel for their annual conference, marking the 50th anniversary of the party’s formation and celebrating a year of growing success at three successive elections (local, European and Westminster). The mood was upbeat, attendance was strong, yellow clothing was prevalent, and while there are no elections just around the corner to fire up the crowd, there was a sense of achievement and satisfaction at the party’s fortunes.

Three figures were notably absent including party leader Naomi Long who had been diagnosed with a severe respiratory infection and was on bed rest and fluids under doctor’s orders. Deputy leader Stephen Farry delivered the conference main speech which also held from PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne, former Secretary of State Julian Smith, and young councillors.

Slugger TV looks at #GE19

Slugger TV: Episode 33 from Northern Visions NvTv on Vimeo. This month, Chris Donnelly and Alan Meban look at the recent general election. Photo by mounsey is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA David McCannDavid McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs

What to look out for next week

Image result for northern ireland election count

It’s nearly all over as Northern Ireland faces its third general election in just four years. As we get ready to head back to the polls, I thought it would be useful to pull together some things for you to look out for For the UK wide picture as soon as it hits 10pm the main networks BBC, ITV and SKY News will publish the results of their exit poll, be cautious about other polls out there! The main exit …

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The cost of running: candidate spending in the 2019 local government election

Spending by candidates in the 2019 local government election is now available and when we delve into it, comparing candidate and party spend with the number of votes secured, a number of very interesting narratives emerge. The headline figure is that 819 candidates, representing 17 parties (plus 71 independents) spent a total of £650,140 in order to win 462 council seats. (It should be noted that there are only returns for 815 candidates as 4 candidates either did not make …

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Low key Alliance conference warns “fear and mistrust … limit us to living smaller lives” #AP2018

THE ALLIANCE PARTY CONFERENCE was a low key event compared with last year when the party was buoyant after good results in the 2017 NI Assembly election and members were still unaware of the surprise General Election that was just weeks away from being announced. Without an election campaign and without a functioning Assembly with plenary sessions and committee hearings to create stories, Alliance’s impact in political discussions is muted, and their ability to build political capital constrained. Challenges to improve the accountability of local councils are worthwhile, but don’t excite their support-base or keep the party in the headlines.

What to look out for tonight

It’s nearly all over as one of the quietest campaigns comes to an end but turnout is reported to be doing well in many places across Northern Ireland at 5pm. What should you look out for; For the UK wide picture as soon as it hits 10pm the main networks BBC, ITV and SKY News will publish the results of their exit poll, be cautious about other polls out there! Some folks got other polls mixed up in 2015 and …

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#AE17 draws to a close; what’s your punt for count day?

Tonight we have Slugger’s Big Election Punt (in partnership with MW Advocate) where our panel will have to make some key predictions about the upcoming election. In that spirit we thought we would ask you about what you think will happen tomorrow in terms of the parties. For what it’s worth here is my punt (Some variation as a few seats such as South Belfast & Upper Bann are just too close to call). DUP; 30-31 Sinn Fein; 23-24 UUP; …

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Interview with David Ford: “don’t bother summoning the men in grey suits, just tell me”

TELL ME when it’s time to go says Alliance leader David Ford. In this interview with Slugger he talks about Alliance’s electoral appeal, new parties in NI, switching to use council areas for Assembly constituencies, taking Executive meetings out on the road, the balance of funding between prison and community/probation services, joined up working across the Executive, Alliance’s approach to the Justice Ministry after May’s election, public and political support for refugees and asylum seekers in NI, and his thoughts on the Irish election and the impact of the EU referendum on the Assembly campaign.

David Ford: we are more committed to transforming Northern Ireland than you, Mr Robinson #ap2015

This year’s Alliance Party conference was focussed on party members and supporters rather than reaching out to the public at large. Delegates were reminded about the core party values and principles. There were no visiting clerics or representatives of loyalist band forums. No one from the Syriza Greek government. Instead, Alliance heard from friends in the victims, integrated education, science, arts and environment sectors. While Peter Robinson was criticised for making DUP victory in East Belfast his number one priority, …

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Rebooting Stormont … however Alliance walking away from Justice would trigger a faster restart?

Reacting to the most recent political shenanigans and particularly the DUP and UUP walkout from all-party talks [Ed – seemingly with a two page press release agreed and up their sleeves] David Ford says “Stormont needs a reboot”. For too long now public services and the entire community have been held back as a result of the almost complete failure of leadership over crucial issues and the breakdown of functioning relationships between the two main political parties. It is clear …

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McCann meets…David Ford MLA #AP2014

In my second interview from the Alliance party conference, I was able to chat to the party leader, Justice Minister, David Ford. In the interview we chatted about the conference, his predictions for the future growth of the party and the On the Runs issue. I asked him about the comments made by Anna Lo in the Irish News; If any leading member of the party had said that I have a long term vision that Northern Ireland remains within …

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Alliance Party urges society to step forward … while it deals with past week’s comments by Anna Lo #AP2014

Today’s Alliance Party conference came just days after Anna Lo’s perfectly valid – though politically thoughtless – comments about her personal views on Irish unification were reported as part of her interview with John Manley in the Irish News. It was hard to avoid the annual party member get-together being seen through an Anna Lo lens. It was the topic of conversation amongst delegates. I talked to no one who was upset by Anna’s aspiration. No matter whether accused of …

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Everything is not awesome for Alliance as they go to conference and prepare for May’s elections; though @keithbelfast puts up a spirited defence …

Alliance’s party conference takes place in La Mon Hotel on Saturday. Expect to hear speeches from their Euro candidate Anna Lo, the Minister for Employment & Learning Stephen Farry (whose department failed to go away you know), as well as deputy leader and East Belfast MP Naomi Long. With the party conference so close to the May elections – though still outside the broadcasting “closed season” – expect to hear from budding council candidates wanting to make their mark on …

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“nobody has the right to use lamp posts & telegraph poles like a dog marking out territory” #apc13

Compared with last year, numbers were up at the Alliance party conference. Lots of new faces, including the Parades Commission stand at which staff and commissioners were doing a bit of outreach. [Will the DUP take their money at their conference?] Missing were any flag protests. The PSNI and hotel security were ready – perhaps even expectant – but there were no marches up the Gransha Road to La Mon hotel. Now that Alliance have two Executive ministers and are …

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Alliance Party Conference preview #apc13

The Alliance Party returns to La Mon Hotel on Saturday for its annual conference. Back at the beginning of December, Alliance’s role in the Belfast City Hall flag decision – and the subsequent intimidation of elected representatives and damage to property – perversely looked like overall it might boost the party’s support. However as the protests dragged on over Christmas and into January and February, Alliance are less and less associated with the story; instead unionist fora, unionist unity and …

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Animated Alliance #apni12

Still from Alliance Party's April 2012 Party Political Broadcast - Naomi Long avatar

Alliance party political and party election broadcasts have a style all of their own. The yellow brand and the Naomi Long avatar are perfect for animation. This week’s party political broadcast being shown on BBC and UTV in the run up to their conference on Saturday continues the theme. Alan Meban (Alan in Belfast)Alan Meban. Tweets as @alaninbelfast. Blogs about cinema and theatre over at Alan in Belfast. A freelancer who writes about and reports from civic, academic and political …

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Alliance Party conference preview #apni12

Alliance leading change banner

The Alliance Party conference on Saturday finishes the 2011/12 season of party conferences. [Sinn Fein’s Ard Fheis (which was postponed from last spring to the autumn) will take place at the end of May in Killarney.] This year Alliance’s venue switches from the mobile not-spot of the Dunadry Hotel to the DUP-favourite mobile not-spot of La Mon Hotel. Moving on from the party’s recent strapline of “Leading Change”, the 2012 conference theme is ‘Delivering Change” and the morning agenda includes …

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Addie Morrow RIP

A real gentleman with a hearty laugh and a giant in the Alliance party, Addie Morrow served as Alliance’s Deputy Leader, was a Castlereagh councillor between 1973 and 1989, and was also elected in 1982 to represent East Belfast in the Assembly. Addie had a strong vision for peace-building and reconciliation, lived out both through his politics and his long time involvement in the Corrymeela Community. Living up in the East Belfast hills, he was a church elder in his …

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