Recall elections: everything you (n)ever wanted to know

Recall petitions have been in the news recently, following the decision of voters in Brecon & Radnorshire to recall their (now former) MP, Chris Davies, after he pled guilty to two counts of fraud concerning Parliamentary expenses. .; Recall elections are relatively new in the UK and were introduced in 2015 partly in response to the MPs’ expenses scandal which occurred in the run up to the 2010 general election. MPs can be recalled only under certain circumstances: • If …

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Sinn Fein failed to register for the EU referendum (ie, it took no part in preventing Brexit)

This is just weird. The new leader of Sinn Fein in the Assembly Michelle O’Neill had this to say: Brexit is not just an issue for the north.  It will be a disaster for our economy north and south. Jobs are at risk, investment is under threat and our agricultural community faces new tariffs and an end to crucial subsidies. As it happens, I agree with her. What’s odd is that when the chips were down in the Referendum, Ms O’Neill and her …

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Carál Ní Chuilín: “Electoral commission vetoed using last election figures…” – Update

David may not want to go there, although ‘idealistic’ wasn’t the first word that sprang to mind.  [Was it another word beginning with ‘i’? – Ed]  You might very well think that…  ANYhoo… Gerry Kelly’s Sinn Féin colleague in north Belfast, and the Northern Ireland Culture Minister, Carál Ní Chuilín, MLA, should, perhaps, have other things on her mind.  But, on Thursday, the Minister was on Twitter defending Sinn Féin’s use of the 2011 census’ breakdown of the constituency by religion in support of the party’s …

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General Election dates and deadlines #ge2015

If you’re not already on the Electoral Register, the deadline to register to vote in the UK Parliamentary General Election is Monday 20 April. The deadline for run-of-the-mill postal and proxy vote applications has already passed – 5pm on Thursday 16 April. However, it you will be unable to vote at your polling station on 7 May because of circumstances relating to your health and you could not have reasonably foreseen these circumstances before 5pm on 16 April you can …

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Electoral Office rejects Commission’s direction against moving Moygashel voters 5 miles

So what’s the crack with the election in Northern Ireland? Well, as I mentioned in our first Slugger Daily Report on Periscope the real action is the ground war. With few seats expected to change hands every advantage is fiercely fought over. In what may turn out to be the only seriously competitive seat of the election in Fermanagh and South Tyrone the removal of a polling place from a state school to a local Catholic school and Dungannon Leisure Centre could affect the overall outcome. Why …

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Party funding: NI Parties still making it up as they go along?

Party donations, eh? We have an exception to the general rule in Northern Ireland. The logic of a recent debate in the Commons was to bring NI into line with the rest of the UK such that donors of more than £7,500 are made publicly available. It failed, much to the apparent puzzlement of some English MPs. The SDLP insisted that it should go ahead, just so long as the anonymity of southern Irish (and by extension, international) donors were left …

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Local party finances revealed as Electoral Commission publish statement of accounts

The Electoral Commission have now published details about the 2012 accounts for all local political parties. Smaller parties with income and expenditure less than £250k were released in May and the larger parties today. This is a quick post to highlight the numbers with a variety of charts. I’ll leave it to others to start to tell the stories behind the figures … perhaps starting with the size of Sinn Féin’s legal fees and the continued lack of transparency around …

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Unionist voters exercising performance-based accountability while nationalists vote along ethno-national indicators

QUB’s Dr John Garry spoke at this morning’s Putting Voters First: Transparency and openness in the electoral and democratic process in Northern Ireland event organised by the Electoral Commission. listen to ‘Dr John Garry on unionist and nationalist voting reasons #votersfirst’ on Audioboo Afterwards he explained to me how the current political structures challenges some voters: It’s a challenge for voters to figure out which particular party in [the coalition] government is responsible for what. After all, in most “normal” …

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The cost of getting elected to the NI Assembly

Two reports came out yesterday morning from the Electoral Commission pertaining to the May elections in Northern Ireland. The first report gives a breakdown of Assembly candidate expenses. (Overall party expenditure was reported at the beginning of September.) [Click on the graphs to enlarge them.] The six winning candidates spent more than twice as much in South Down, Fermanagh and South Tyrone and West Tyrone as they did in Belfast West or Belfast North. South Down and East Londonderry were …

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The election in numbers

sorting Belfast West assembly votes - May 2011

The Electoral Commission held their post-election seminar on Thursday morning in Belfast along with the Electoral Office (EONI) and Royal Mail. Representatives from local parties along with election staff and electoral observers were in attendance. 26 suspected absent ballot forgeries have been referred to the PSNI as a result of signature issues being “checked by a forensic expert at the NI Forensic Science Laboratory”. 78 postal ballots were found in a final sweep of NI Mail Centre on the evening …

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