#SluggerReport: McCabe and the southern meltdown, plus #AE17 East Antrim and Foyle profiles

This morning’s #SluggerReport touched on a potential meltdown in the south over the disclosure by RTE’s PrimeTime that Garda Sergeant Maurice McCabe had been the victim of what looks distinctly like a vilification campaign. It’s the sheer length and sustained nature of the campaign that impresses/depresses. The government’s response has been partial, self contradictory and shambolic, leading SF to call for Motion of No Confidence (in hopes of triggering a second Irish election). So far, Fianna Fail seems determined to …

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#SluggerReport: … and #AE17 South Antrim and North Belfast

Two items this morning, before the profiles. One was largely a reprise of yesterday’s story on the odd position the SF Health Minister now finds herself in, and then the odd news that the Attorney General is considering suing the Dept of the Economy for not (in the first place) bringing the RHI to the Executive table back in 2012, making it, he argues, unlawful. We really are moving through the looking glass here. So, South Antrim: If the DUP is …

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#SluggerReport: What’s #AE17 about again? Plus, Lagan Valley and South Down.

So what’s this election about again? According to the media, it’s all about Sinn Fein vs the DUP. Trouble is that this delusion is so widespread no one questions it anymore. Indeed, the political apotheosis of this flawed thinking was the SDLP’s Stop the DUP lollipop signs in that bitterly cold campaign of 2003 (another case of timing being set to inconvenience all but one party). By the end of the first day’s count it was obvious there were to …

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#SluggerReport: No SF money harmed over Brexit and #AE17 Upper Bann/Newry Armagh

Here’s last Thursday’s SluggerReport. It kicks off with comment on that SF did not register as a ‘registered campaigner’ story. It has been pointed out that individuals in SF did campaign against Brexit, and some appeared on GUE/NGL posters. They may even have spent up to £10k. But as a named party they were nowhere to be seen. And for Upper Bann: In May, Carla Lockhart got 7,993, several hundred above 7615, putting the DUP on 1.86 quotas. By contrast, the two UUP …

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#SluggerReport: Trump and grown up politics, and #AE17 in South Belfast and North Down

So yesterday’s #SluggerReport featured commentary on the Trump issue (and should Kenny and/or May protest, in the former’s case not go to the Whitehouse for March 17th).  Kevin Meagher on Labour Uncut nails it for me: We need to properly accept that Brexit means we are living in an age of realpolitik. Idealists who want to wag their fingers at Donald Trump are free to do so; but they should not pretend this is anything other than idle posturing. Britain is …

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#AE17 #SluggerReport: SF’s “snap election” to get DUP off the RHI hook, and a Mid Ulster profile

So in today’s #SluggerReport, three main points: Will the DUP pay for the RHI scandal? There’s always events dear boy, but SF’s snap election eight months after the last one, helps bury it. No opposition party is ready to either exploit this story yet, or fight an election.  So too does Hamilton’s rescue plan (passed by the Assembly this week). O’Muilleoir’s belated calling of a Public Inquiry (which now take six months, not the many years he previously predicted) too. The DUP’s …

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#AE17 #SluggerReport: FST confirms the Opposition will be forced to walk through treacle in this election

So here’s the first SluggerReport in a while (complete with comedy tie incident in the first few seconds). Subjects include: The judgement of the UK Supreme Court in the matter of the sovereignty of the Westminster Parliament over whether it has to be consulted before Article 50 or afterwards, which was a Government loss. And more positively for Mrs May, confirmation that sovereignty is not ceded to the devolved nations in the matter of whether the UK as a whole …

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#AE16 #South Belfast: Most competitive and probably the hardest to call…

Candidates: [SDLP] Claire Hanna, Fearghal McKinney; [DUP] Emma Little Pengelly, Christopher Stalford; [Alliance] Paula Bradshaw, Duncan Morrow; [] [Sinn Fein] Máirtín Ó Muilleoir; [UUP] Rodney McCune; [Greens] Clare Bailey; [UKIP] Bob Stoker; [TUV] John Andrew Hiddleston; [PUP] Ian Shanks; [Independent] Ruth Patterson; [NI Conservatives] Ben Manton; [Workers Party] Lily Kerr; [South Belfast Unionists] Billy Dickson [NIRC] Brigitte ‘Gitty’ Anton; [Cross-Community Labour Alternative] Sean Burns. NI’s third largest constituency South Belfast sprawls from M1 right out to Carryduff. 44.0% of its …

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#AE16 North Antrim: DUP to comfortably retain the whip hand…

NORTH ANTRIM: The DUP’s strong showing in last year’s Westminster election showed something of a return to dominance. With Allister taking the second non DUP, a fourth is not likely. Ministerial profile for Storey and Frew’s high profile on the Agriculture committee should bring them home top.

#AE16 #Foyle: Eamonn McCann’s strong chance likely to slip to a reviving SDLP vote

Foyle is really ‘greater Derry’. West bank wise, it grabs everything not in the Republic. On the east, it balloons through rural areas out to the airport, running down through Lettershandoney then hitting the river at Magheramason. SF’s public optimism rests on the Assembly vote in 2011 when, proportionately, Sinn Fein only trailed the SDLP by a few hundred 1st preferences.

#AE16 East Belfast: DUP to come home with three courtesy of a splitting PUP base…

Candidates: [DUP] Joanne Bunting, Sammy Douglas, Robin Newton; [Alliance] Naomi Long, Chris Lyttle, Tim Morrow; [UUP] Andy Allen, Chris McGimpsey; [PUP] John Kyle; [TUV] Andrew Girvin; [UKIP] Jonny Lavery; [Greens] Ross Brown; [Sinn Fein] Niall Ó Donnghaile; [SDLP] Amy Doherty; [NI Conservatives] Neil Wilson; [Cross-Community Labour Alternative] Courtney Robinson; [NILRC] Erskine Holmes; [Independent] Maggie Hutton. East Belfast has the fifth-lowest population of any constituency in Northern Ireland, and the most Protestant. It also has the lowest proportion of school leavers …

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#AE16 North Down: UUP’s co-option of Chambers could be the deciding factor

Candidates: [DUP] Alex Easton, Gordon Dunne, Peter Weir. [UUP] Alan Chambers, Chris Eisenstadt, Carl McClean. [Alliance] Stephen Farry, Andrew Muir. [Greens] Steven Agnew. [SDLP] Conal Browne. [UKIP] Bill Piper. [TUV] John Brennan. [NI Conservatives] Frank Shivers; [Sinn Fein] Therese McCartney. [Independent] Brian Wilson.  This largely middle class, and largely Protestant constituency hugs the southern shoreline of the Belfast Lough and around Orlock Point to Donaghadee. At 11.83%, it has the highest number designating as no religion. Male life expectancy is 78.5, rising to 82.2 in women. In …

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#GE16 ROUNDING UP THE REST – DUBLIN

Dublin Fingal This 5 seat constituency replaced the old Dublin North. It is augmented by the addition of over 17,000 people from Swords who were formerly in Dublin West. Clare Daly who is closely associated with Wexford TD Mick Wallace and running under his ‘Independents for Change’ banner is a safe bet to be the first elected here. The first shoots of the rebirth of Fianna Fáil in Dublin will see Darragh O’Brien re-elected following a five year sojourn in …

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#GE16 ROUNDING UP THE REST – CONNACHT AND ULSTER

Cavan Monaghan The constituency redraw removed over 13,000 people from west Cavan and reduced this constituency from five to four seats.  This also had the effect of leaving the population evenly divided between Cavan and Monaghan. It is likely that each county will elect two TDs. In Monaghan, Fine Gael Minister Heather Humphries will benefit from her ministerial position and also the defection of her former party colleague Sean Conlon to the independent ranks to hold onto her seat. She …

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#GE16 S&W’s final round ups: 1 The Rest of Leinster

The Rest of Leinster In golfing parlance, the penultimate day of a major championship is known as “moving day”.  At this stage, many of the contestants have been discarded and the big players are jostling for position to decide the final rankings. Over the next couple of days, the public will make up their minds about Election 2016 and will undoubtedly make fools of all the pundits and muppets attempting to apply logic to a popularity contest. As we are …

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#GE16 Dublin Bay North: Survival of the fittest in a twenty candidate scramble

Dublin Bay North Current TDs Dublin North Central Minister for State, Aodhán Ó Riordán (Labour), Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton (Fine Gael), Finian McGrath (Independent) Dublin North East Seán Kenny (Labour), Terence Flanagan (Elected as Fine Gael but now Renua Ireland), Tommy Broughan (Elected as Labour but now Independent for Change) The constituency review amalgamated the old Dublin North East and Dublin North Central three seat constituencies to create a new 5 seat constituency. About 9,500 people …

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