#AE11 Open Thread: North Down (#ndo11)

Every year, North Down is a lottery. It has in the deep past been a bit of a no go for the DUP. That broke with the defection of Peter Weir from the UUP. The party now have two MLAs going into this election with a third candidate who has a chance of picking up a third. But this IS North Down, so nothing is certain. Brian Wilson’s Green seat looks hard for Stephen Agnew to hang on to, despite …

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Dump d’Hondt: The UUP’s suggestion for improved Executive

There are still some folk in the SDLP who see their role (as Mark Durkan undoubtedly did) as the guardians of the institutions set up by the Belfast Agreement. But as we’ve seen with the shift in the rules for the election of First and deputy First Minister’s roles, that’s not a position held anywhere else. The UUP’s Mark Neale looks at the impasse over education and reprises Tom Eliott’s idea that the winning parties ought to be forced to …

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McNarry apologises for Nolan outburst…

Interesting. Ken Reid reports that even though technically speaking David McNarry was right in suggesting Basil McCrea and John McCallister were unforgiveably breaking ranks on a party line (in suggesting the matter of Martin McGuinness becoming First Minister was not important to them), he has apologised for his outburst on Stephen Nolan’s show last week… Mr McNarry apologised for his contribution to last week’s First Minister’s row and said the party was now united. It might have helped if Basil …

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Preparing for another Groundhog Day Election?

Nice piece from Alex Kane again this week, in which he points to the current stasis in which Northern Irish administration suffers: 13 years since the 1998 referendum and weeks away from the fourth assembly, there is still no evidence that the parties have any interest in agreeing a radical, era-changing agenda for what is supposedly the ‘new’ Northern Ireland. They still plan for the future with the signposts from the past and prefer to settle scores rather than govern …

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#GE11 Profile: Sinn Fein achieves national currency…

It’s tempting to overwrite any profile of Sinn Fein’s spectacular move out of its stronghold areas. There were obvious highlights: Gerry Adams topped the poll in good style in Louth and likewise his two Donegal colleagues, Pearse Doherty and Padraig MacLochlainn. The party also performed particularly well in Dublin where there had been concerns about the defections of a number of councillors over the last few years. It’s out in the rest of the country where I think the party …

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Count day open thread

Mick is on the road again and will be feeding in content when he can. In the meantime he has asked that I open the liveblog. It is only following a few twitter feeds so your comments don’t get buried. If you spot any hot twitter feed we should include let me know. Election 2011 Updated with some links: Independent live blog RTE page Irish Times live blog The Journal Wikipedia page linking to each constituency Politics.ie Blank

Ok, put your cards on the table

A few weeks ago Paul opened up a blog on election predictions. Now, a bit older and wiser, its time for everyone to put their cards on the table and, rather than risk money, to stake their invaluable credibility as pundits on predicting the outcomes of the election. I’m going to qualify mine by pointing to a few things: The last polls tend to over emphasise support for the lead party, in this case Fine Gael, but their lead is over the second …

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GE11 preview from the south-east: Waterford

After Wicklow, Wexford and Carlow-Kilkenny, the last ‘south-east’ constituency that I’m going to preview is Waterford. Unlike the others it is a mere four-seater, although it has been an effective three seater since Martin Cullen’s resignation last year. Fifteen candidates are standing in the election in Waterford this time out. Since the quota in a four seater is just over 20% making two seats a difficult ask. In 2007 FF took two seats from three candidates getting 46%, FG took one …

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GE11 preview from the south-east: Carlow-Kilkenny

There are a total of 19 candidates standing in the Carlow-Kilkenny constituency. Last time out 3 FF TDs were returned, one of whom (MJ Nolan) is the only one of the five sitting TDs not to stand again. In 2007, a certain amount of conservatism was evident as FF received nearly 48% of the first preference vote, while FG got nearly 29% (both above average). That was slightly balanced by the election of Mary White, the only Green TD returned by a largely rural …

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GE11 preview from the south-east: Wicklow

I’m going to try and fit in previews of the unfashionable constituencies in the south-east for the general election (you will barely spot them, or the candidates, in the headline debates). Nineteen of the one hundred and sixty-five Dáil seats are located in four constituencies covering five counties. One constituency where the strengths and weaknesses of the various political groupings are going to be writ large is Wicklow, which I’ll deal with first. A five-seater, it returned 2 FF, 2 FG and 1 Labour in …

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Irish General Election called for 25th February

So, that’s a contraction from the end of March, then back to the 11th now we have one in February. Interesting times ahead. 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

vote early, check how it was counted often

Continuing on from a post on 1 November about “faith-based” e-voting. Some interesting ideas from David Bismark at TEDGlobal 2010 about e-voting that tries to simultaneously increases transparency and reduces fraud. One of the main objections to e-voting is that it’s difficult for each voter to know that her vote was recorded accurately and counted correctly, while she remains anonymous. In the system designed by David Bismark and his colleagues, each voter gets a takeaway slip that serves as a …

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SF win at a canter: Senator Pearse Doherty now Pearse Doherty TD

The Liveblog is still running but Sinn Fein’s Pearse Doherty has now been declared TD for Donegal South West. In a stunning performance he was elected slightly under quota as the two remaining candidates were unable to catch him. Perhaps the most encouraging factor for SF is Doherty was collecting transfers at high levels throughout all counts? Interestingly his final tally of 16,897, on a reduced turnout, isn’t far off the 20K that would have seen two TDs elected in …

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Gerry Adams: Able to run but not vote?

Gerry Adams declaration he will seek to run as a candidate for Dáil Éireann resulted in a pointless debate on how he will leave his postion as MP for West Belfast. Another technical point is that while he is legally entitled to run as a TD, he may not be entitled to vote in any future election. As the Dundalk Democrat notes and we all know, Adams doesn’t live in Louth or the south: GERRY Adams will reside in County …

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shhh…you didn’t hear it here first

Image by Brian mór - original on the Pensive Quill

You heard it here. With Arthur Morgan leaving behind socialism for business (a first for SF?) the field is open for a new SF face in Louth. Will Gerry Adams be declaring his hand at Edentubber? The good people of Louth would of course want this handy loyal supporter’s guide to Adams as a representative if he did step up to the plate. Blank

May 2011 election count timetable – some ideas but still lacking clarity

Three different polls are expected to be scheduled for 5 May 2011 and it might well lead to a record number of posters adorning local lampposts next spring. Northern Ireland Assembly elections Local government (council) elections National referendum on changes to the method of voting at General Elections The date of the council elections will be formally confirmed when the NIO lay a General Amendment Order before Parliament in November. (This order is also expected to make some changes to …

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Car crash TV – Ivan Yates style…

Former Fine Gael hotshot Ivan Yates had a bit of a car crash on Brendan O’Connor’s show on Saturday night. In brief – most people know him now as a bookie and a well-paid broadcaster on Newstalk where he is a vocal opponent of the current government (aren’t we all). He was a TD for 21 years and also Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries for a few years in the 1990s. In the course of the interview Yates repeated most of the general criticisms of …

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At least 45 Labour MP/MEPs don’t seem to understand electoral systems

Pete has an entry covering the outcome of the British Labour party leadership election result but I’m fascinated by senior members of that party who voted but decided to limit the full potential of their ballot. 45 Labour MP/MEPs declined to use their transferable vote option, many others didn’t use it in full. That may indicate absolute commitment to their preferred candidate, it also seems to indicate an element of political naivety. Those of us with an interest in Irish …

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Will you know who you’re voting for in May 2011?

Looks like there could be an(other) opportunity for parties to play candidate/co-option games in the Assembly and local government elections in May 2011. With at least two elections being held on the same day (never mind the strong chance of a voting reform referendum) some politicians may be fighting to retain several different jobs. Now double-jobbing has really only been addressed at an MP/MLA and MP/Council level, but a surprising number of MLAs have so far seemed happy to retain …

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