#GE16 Cork SC: Still a hard core engine of the political mainstream…

Cork South Central Current TDs Jerry Buttimer TD (Fine Gael), Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney TD (Fine Gael), Micheál Martin TD (Fianna Fáil), Michael McGrath TD (Fianna Fáil), Ciaran Lynch TD (Labour) Total seats in 2016 General Election: 4 The population of this constituency has been reduced by just over 17,000 with parts of Bishopstown, Glasheen, the Mardyde and the city centre being moved into the neighbouring North Central constituency. The major impact of this has been the reduction in seats …

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What the latest poll really says about the polarised nature of Irish politics?

As some of you will have noticed I have more or less given up reporting the polls in the south. Apart from a few blips, it’s pretty much been the same for much of the last 2/3 years. This morning’s Irish Times poll is no exception. Bear in mind that the error margin is -/+ 2.8% and there is no change here. These are the parameters of the election. When you factor in the randomising nature of PR STV multi …

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Who is Topping the Social Media Poll

Peter Purcell works in Marketing and writes a platform for us on politicians who used social media particularly well during the recent election campaign. As campaigning is now over lets leave politics to one side and take a look at who is winning on social media and leading the way for their party colleagues to follow. I have picked out three candidates that have caught my attention, but would be keen to hear who has impressed you. Naomi Long In …

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Republicanism cannot have any no go areas.

There has been a small Twitter row over a recent election leaflet put out by Sinn Fein’s North Belfast candidate, Gerry Kelly displaying the number of Catholics and Protestants in the constituency. The debates about the rights and wrongs of the leaflet have been argued out on Mick’s thread on the topic and I don’t propose to cover that here, but it did get me thinking about the future direction of republicanism/nationalism. I write (or ramble) about republicanism and in …

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Post-damage-limitation, challenge for DUP is not whether they choose to change, but how they choose to change

The boil has been lanced. To borrow from Oscar Wilde: “To become the news story once during an election campaign may be regarded as a misfortune; to do it twice in a week over the same issue looks like carelessness.” NI Executive ministers rarely resign. If it hadn’t been in the middle of an election campaign, I doubt that Jim Wells would have had to inform the First Minister of his intention to stand down from his post as Minister …

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What Politicians Could Learn from Brand Communication

Peter Purcell works in Marketing and writes a platform for us on how politicians can use online media better for the General Election. As we build up to another election I look through the various social platforms hoping to find a politician that gets it, someone that understands what they are doing, someone with a clear plan. I am disappointed with what I find. Yes there are those doing a decent job, but 49% of adults in NI use a …

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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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One all male constituency; 24.6% candidates are female; 2 unionist parties running all male candidates #GE2015 (updated)

Following on from Belfast Barman’s earlier post, some statistics about the 138 candidates nominated for Northern Ireland’s 18 Westminster constituencies. One constituency has all male candidates: Belfast West. Only one constituency has more women than men standing: Fermanagh and South Tyrone. No party has more than 40% female candidates. Overall 24.6% of candidates are female; 75.4% are male. Of the parties running more than 5 candidates, 2 unionist parties have ended up not running any female candidates: DUP (16 male …

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#GE2015 List of General Election 2015 hustings in Northern Ireland (updated)

We’ll keep this page up to date with details of hustings being held in the run up to May 2015’s General Election. Email editor at sluggerotoole dot com if you want yours added to the Slugger’s calendar. Topic-based 14 April at 6pm – MAC Question Time #MACQT – Is there a future for the Arts in Northern Ireland? (free tickets required) East Belfast 13 April at 7.30pm – Willowfield Parish Church facilitated by Evangelical Alliance and CARE 14 April at …

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Paisley: hundreds of millions…that would ease burdens in Northern Ireland (updated with Donaldson’s comments on Daily Politics)

This morning’s Independent [not printed in NI, but article available online] carries an interview by David McKittrick with Ian Paisley Jnr on its front page. The DUP’s shopping list has got longer … On the fifth day of electioneering the DUP said to me: stronger controls on immigration and border security, no more bedroom tax, an EU referendum, two percent of GDP spent on defence, and hundreds of millions to ease the burdens in Northern Ireland. The North Antrim MP …

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LIVE from 9.15: #SluggerTalks to Shane O’Donnell of “Cannabis Is Safer Than Alcohol”

This video will go live at 9.15. For those of you who will have already watched Shane’s introductory video you will know he’s no professional politician, and his pitch is far from conventional. Indeed, he only recently joined CISTA. The reaction on Slugger (which I should say is not necessarily representative of wider opinion) has been pretty positive. But what would really help us in the conversation is for you to give us some hard and challenging questions for Shane …

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#SluggerTalks: Would you vote for a “Cannabis Is Safer Than Alcohol” Party?

So this is a story with a strong Northern Irish connection. Shane O’Donnell is from Omagh in Co Tyrone, but yesterday he became the first Westminster candidate for a new, single issue party called CISTA (see Guardian here), or Cannabis Is Safer Than Alcohol. Tomorrow morning (about 9.15 or so) I’m planning to interview him live from near his base in London to talk about his candidacy in Holborn and St Pancras, about his motivations, and what sort platform he’s …

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BBC Statement after meeting with the DUP over proposed televised debates…

The DUP requested a meeting with the Director-General of the BBC to raise its concerns about not being included in the leaders’ TV debates to be broadcast across the UK and about wider coverage ahead of the General Election. The DUP has also raised its concerns with the BBC Trust and, separately, instructed lawyers to prepare to take legal action against the BBC. The BBC, alongside ITV, Channel 4 and Sky News, has announced plans to host a series of …

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SDLP: No to a head to head but would consider a more inclusive debate

This whole issue started two weeks ago when the Sinn Fein candidate for South Belfast, Máirtín Ó Muilleoir asked for a debate with the sitting MP Alasdair McDonnell. It is my understanding that the DUP Candidate, Jonathan Bell is also game for a debate. However the key question is what about the sitting MP? Speaking to Slugger an SDLP spokesperson tonight said; The SDLP has received no formal invitation to participate in any debate in South Belfast. While we would …

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Did C4 do UKIP a massive favour last night? #100DaysOfUKIP

It was all over social media last night. The fictional drama produced by Channel 4 speculating about what a possible UKIP government would be like within its first 100 days. There was always going to be some risk this close to an election doing a drama on a party which is rising in the polls and typically uses things like this to its advantage. Before the show even aired Ofcom had received 20 complaints about the show and whilst the …

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McNulty: “I love being the underdog and I think winning this seat is achievable.”

Interesting interview with SDLP Newry and Armagh candidate, Justin McNulty with political correspondent John Manley in today’s Irish News. When Manley asked him about how his sporting profile would help his chances he said; The GAA profile is a starting point only…Obviously it’s good to have a little recognition around the constituency but I’m going to do the work on the ground and on the floor in Westminster to help people have the quality of life they aspire to. When …

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Does the Bell toll for Unionist unity in Belfast?

A bit of a surprise announcement tonight from the DUP [email protected] will be our candidate in S Belfast. With your help he can win. Every seat will count in the next HoC. pic.twitter.com/AAwlOLDxpV — Peter Robinson (@DUPleader) February 10, 2015 Bell who represents the Strangford constituency has been nominated to either focus the UUPs mind that time is really running out or have they possibly made the calculation that they might be able to unseat McDonnell without a unity candidate? …

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Launching your election campaign with a bang.

Well we have just three months to go until Election Day. Candidates and parties will be launching their campaigns for the Westminster election and will be attempting to set the tone for the campaign to come. Yet, despite this being a golden opportunity for you to set out your stall amongst the party faithful many parties either don’t invest in these types of events or just do them badly. Being the public service that we are here on Slugger I …

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Mike Nesbitt should sit down with Peter Robinson and extract a win-win deal for political unionism

Many will be aware of the Belfast Telegraph’s interesting take on East Belfast this week alongside the excellent work of Bill White and Lucid Talk.  The results of this poll are not unexpected. Naomi won in 2010 by 1533 and according to today’s poll there is approximately 1500 votes between the two, meaning this seat is still a marginal. Turning to the key battlegrounds, Gilnahirk/Cherryvalley/Tullycarnet/Knock is 3 to 1 in support of Alliance over the DUP, with Ballyhackamore/Belmont/Stormont 2 to …

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Former GAA star to run for the SDLP in Newry and Armagh…

So the SDLP throw a ringer into the Newry and Armagh Westminster fight. He’s Mullaghbawn man Justin McNulty, whose major claim to fame is not politics but GAA. The man he’s contesting, Mickey Brady was himself relatively new to the game in 2007 when Sinn Fein took back the Newry seat they’d lost when Davy Hyland left the party. I spoke earlier at length with Kevin McCallister on Q Radio in Newry: listen to ‘On the SDLP's choice of Justin …

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