Councillor wins seat after his withdrawal

Beano over at Everything Ulster draws our attention that one UUP councillor got elected in Lisburn, even though he stood down in the last weeks of the election campaign. Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

European Parliament to vote on McCartney tonight

Richard Delevan has been tracking some of the turns around a motion debated yesterday in the European Parliament. The parliament votes on the resolution tonight. Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

Sinn Fein surge slowing down?

DUP Steamroller Daily Ireland leads today with the headline: DUP, SF surge on. There has been a certain amount of misreading of the Pottinger result as a poke in the eye for Sinn Fein (they actually picked up 75% of the Short Strand vote), yet the overall pattern of voting has much more subtle message for the party. Whilst the Protestant middle classes are clearly being wooed by the new DUP’s advances to them, Sinn Fein appear to be approaching …

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Tall order facing Peter Hain

There were moans of disguntlement when Slugger told several political back office workers last Friday that Peter Hain was going to split his Northern Irish post with his ‘other job’ as Secretary of State for Wales. At his post-resignation press conference, David Trimble was far from sanguine about the possibilities of success.But the truth is that compared to the complexity of the tasks facing his predecessors, Hain has, constitutionally at least, a comparatively straightforward job to undertake. The primary one …

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Slugger blogger tops poll in Omagh

Yep, after nearly three years of trying to prosleytise the art of blogging amongst the political classes north and south of the border, we finally have an elected politician blogger. He’s the DUP’s poll topping councillor in Omagh District Council Clive McFarland and one of Slugger’s panel of politico bloggers. We’ve no idea whether Clive’s blogging alacrity had some bearing on his election, but we wish him well in his future political career! Adds: it seems that Clive was beaten …

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NIO ministers announced. Ho hum…

THREE new ministers have been appointed to the Northern Ireland Office by Prime Minister Blair. The BBC got the scoop.The Ministers are: David Hanson and Lord Rooker have been made ministers, taking over from Barry Gardiner and Ian Pearson. Shaun Woodward, a millionaire who defected from the Conservative Party to Labour, was made a junior NIO minister. Angela Smith remains at the NIO but there is no confirmation of John Spellar’s fate. David Hanson is the MP for Delyn in …

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DUP spot ‘guerrilla’ in the midst…

JUST homing in on Ballymena for a second, and things should be interesting in the Ardeevin council chambers when the new council meets. The DUP has regained control in Paisley’s adopted hometown – but for the first time ever, the Democratic Unionists will have to deal with a Sinn Fein member in their midst.But with loudmouth bigot Robin Stirling of the DUP back in, expect little of value to be properly discussed in the town for four years. How he …

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Decide the next leader of the UUP?

The UUP executive meets on Saturday, to decide whether to call a meeting of the UUC, to decide who Trimble’s successor is. Thanks to reader Tim, you can beat them to it by virtually voting for the next leader of the UUP. Even more impressively, you can do so using proportional representation! Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest …

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Was Slugger right?

It doesn’t do to trumpet an accurate forecast too loudly, but this one on Slugger from last February is worth re-visiting briefly. In light of the Westminster results it highlights the success of Sinn Fein in limiting the damage to its election campaign – from the McCartney murder and the Northern Bank raid. Although it also seems the ‘yellow vote’ (of the as yet uncaptured middle classes) was indeed shaken rather than stirred by events earlier this year. Mick FealtyMick …

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David Trimble’s successes and failures

Alex Kane’s now famous/notorious column from Saturday’s Newsletter, which he wrote and sent in on the morning of the election – ie when he was blind to the end result. It looks like he got what he wanted. David Trimble didn’t resign first thing on Saturday, but he was gone in time to make the 5pm news.By Alex Kane I usually write this column on a Friday morning and send it to the paper before lunchtime. But this week I’m …

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Godson’s take on Trimble…

WRITING in the Times today, Trimble biographer Dean Godson notes a number of issues that led to the UUP leader’s downfall. He believes Trimble was taken for granted, by both the British and Irish Governments, and by nationalists. But perhaps Godson needs to ask why so many nationalists who shored up Trimble’s vote (and others) in the past felt they couldn’t do so again this week.Hat tip to slug9987, who linked to this on the New Gig for Trimble? thread. …

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Trimble resignation statement due today

According to the BBC, David Trimble isn’t going to wait for the council election results.. or to take the weekend to think about it.. a statement, announcing his resignation as UUP leader, is expected to be released “at about teatime” today.. ermm.. help me out here.. that’s about 5pm, right? Update Oops. Missed this bit – “It is thought he could remain as leader until the end of the summer.”.. sounds like it might read the same as Michael Howard’s …

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Don’t Mention The War

Martyn Turner’s cartoon in today’s Irish Times (subs. req.)superbly sums up the relative election fortunes of Tony Blair and Sinn Féin. The sidebar reads: In Britain if you were pro-war you lost out – here it seems to be a necessity. Naoise Nunn

DUP supporters…

…who wish to gloat, may do so here. In this thread alone, pleeeeeeeaaaaaeasssssssssseeeeee? Cheer me up with some council election predictions(!) Who’s ahead in the Nick Whyte/ARK contest?!…and will the last Indo reporter to leave NI, please turn the lights off. Thanks. Belfast Gonzosluggerotoole.com

Well that’s that then: instant reaction *yawn*…

SO there we go. Well done to the SDLP. who confounded the critics in some ways – but with two pro-voluntary coalition MPs (inc. one dep. leader), has still has some pretty searching questions to face. Ditto the UUP. As predicted: UUP meltdown – your guess is as good as mine as to what happens next (not even a ‘Burnside’ potential ‘unifier’). No matter what perspective you have on politics here, the night undoubtedly goes to the DUP. Back to …

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More complicated results than expected

Following on from the chaotic display that saw, as I understand it, ballot boxes going missing until the turn-out figures were compared with the actual votes counted.. Mid Ulster stayed in Sinn Féin hands. Turn-out was down 8.8% from 2001 (still 72.5%) but, along with the 10.7% that suddenly appeared for the UUP (they haven’t contested the constituency since 1993), the SDLP’s Patsy McGlone held his party vote solid and, indeed, saw a slight increase of 0.6% while SF Martin …

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Liam Kennedy’s speech…

Slugger was with Liam Kennedy the other night when one of his team asked if he was going to the count for the verification process of the votes in West Belfast that looking for his votes would be like ‘looking for a needle in a haystack’. In the end he improved his 1997 performance slightly, but it was miniscule in terms of the numbers in West Belfast. He has sent us his acceptance speech from City Hall today.From Liam Kennedy: …

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I voted for you because!

On a day when many people voted (or didn’t vote) for parties for a range of different reasons, you can let your new MP know why you voted for them on the on this website! Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

Late results…

Mid Ulster is going to be the centre of a some controversy. There are missing ballots in the Mid Ulster count. One account on Radio Ulster talked about a box was stuck in a van up the Letterkenny Road. However, a McGuinness shoe is expected. More details on that tomorrow no doubt. Catriona Ruane is also haggling over ballots, but it looks like she’s competing for second place with Jim Wells. Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has …

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One Unionist punter’s gross smugness

This is worth reprinting, from reader Ulster Watchman:On the subject of gross smugness ….. “South Belfast was always going to be a potential problem for unionism after Martin Smyth stood down. I don’t think anyone else could have held it for the party in 2001. If the UUP selects the Undertaker, the seat is lost because as pinko liberal he is anathema to the traditional unionist vote without which he cannot be elected. I think this could be Fermanagh South …

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