Slugger TV: Episode 3

Slugger TV Episode Three aired tonight on NVTV Our panelists this week were Irish News Security Correspondent, Allison Morris and Slugger Contributor, Jeffrey Peel. We discussed the Tory/DUP Deal and the future of Theresa May as Prime Minister.   David McCannDavid McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs

‘DUP Facts’: An opportunity for education

Meghan Rice holds an MA in Early Modern History with a specialism in Irish and British History from King’s College London. She is passionate about both Gaelige and Ulster Scots and has worked with various groups and individuals from both communities in Northern Ireland to help foster a better understanding of the peace process among the diaspora. Tweets at @MeghanJRice With the understandable furore surrounding a potential DUP- Tory coalition, now being dubbed a ‘confidence and supply agreement’, many people … Read more

Sinn Fein co-opt two new faces to replace McElduff and McCallion

Sinn Féin have selected Karen Mullan for co-option to replace newly elected MP Elisha McCallion as a Foyle MLA &  Catherine Kelly for co-option to replace newly elected MP Barry McElduff as MLA for West Tyrone. Catherine Kelly has been a member of Sinn Féin since 2009, stood as a candidate in Omagh Town in the 2014 local elections, has worked as Political Advisor to Barry McElduff and is currently secretary of Omagh Sinn Féin Comhairle Ceantair. Karen Mullan is a community worker … Read more

DUP: You’re Playing Senior Hurling Now Lads

You’re playing senior hurling now lads Those were the words uttered by Fianna Fail Minister, Seamus Brennan to the Green Party in 2007 as they formed a coalition with Fianna Fail. The DUP are currently in talks with the Conservative Party about forming a minority government. So far, things have gone well for the party with the confusion from Number 10 about whether a deal had been reached and then the DUP’s statement that talks were ongoing but that no … Read more

The End of (Westminster) Nationalism

The Tory Chief Whip was in Belfast this weekend to meet the DUP leadership. It is believed that they were discussing all options for co-operation at Westminster, from coalition to confidence and supply . The outcome is the outline of a Confidence and Supply arrangement. “Who are the DUP?” is being googled on laptops across Britain. The former Chancellor George Osbourne’s Evening Standard newspaper published a cartoon of a large dour Orangeman with Theresa May tucked into his breast pocket.If … Read more

What to look out for tonight

It’s nearly all over as one of the quietest campaigns comes to an end but turnout is reported to be doing well in many places across Northern Ireland at 5pm. What should you look out for; For the UK wide picture as soon as it hits 10pm the main networks BBC, ITV and SKY News will publish the results of their exit poll, be cautious about other polls out there! Some folks got other polls mixed up in 2015 and … Read more

A Tory landslide may prove bitter-sweet for Unionists

On the eve of what has been a disastrous Westminster election campaign for the Tories it seems that the Conservatives are set to be returned as the main political party in Britain once again. The election here in the north has been somewhat dull, certainly in comparison to the Assembly poll in March  so hopefully we will have some dramatic results in the wee small hours of Friday morning to make up for that. By the weekend the DUP should emerge … Read more

Some professional PR wouldn’t go amiss

So the #GE17 campaign continues and I’ve a note in my diary to vote on 8 June. I’ve got a dose of electionitis – it’s all a bit dull to be honest. However, I have noticed some Parties and people having a some communications issues. There has been more than one amateurish error made. Political PR is one of those seemingly dark areas. It’s easy to label Party comms people as spin doctors, with the implication that it’s all misinformation … Read more

Could South Down provide the shock of the night?

Chris has taken a look at South Belfast, but one seat that needs to be examined is South Down. At the start of the race, I would have punted that this seat would have been more likely than not to remain in SDLP hands, but as the campaign has progressed it has become much more difficult to call. We have had a campaign were some of the issues have benefited Hazzard, from the Jim Wells tweet fiasco which would help … Read more

Slugger TV debuts on NVTV looking at key constituencies of #GE2017

Slugger O’Toole: Episode 1 from Northern Visions NvTv on Vimeo. Slugger TV debuted on NVTV  last night with a panel of the Irish News Security Correspondent, Allison Morris and our own Alan Meban. We looked at the key constituencies of the campaign and some of the moments of the election campaign.   David McCannDavid McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs

Brexit tremors

The sportswear manufacturer O’Neills has told Radio Foyle this morning that planned investment at its Strabane site has been put on hold until it gets Brexit clarity. It comes the week after the local Derry and Strabane district council passed a motion calling for the North to be granted Special Status. Meanwhile in Lisburn Coca Cola HBC has said its “mapping out” the potential impact of Brexit on its business. It currently distributes 95% of Coca Cola products sold throughout Ireland. This … Read more

A century since Markievicz MP – are we much further on?

In the lead-up to the Assembly election I looked at the potential gender representation of the cohort returning to the Hill. A record 27 out of 90 Assembly members (30%) were returned. From looking at the 18 constituencies there are 12 seats that will be not be filled by female candidates. This is due, in most cases, to the almost certain re-election of incumbents or that the nearest challenger is another man. Countess Markievicz was of course the first woman … Read more

Does the Tory manifesto contain bits of hope for the DUP?

As the current polls are pointing to the Conservatives being returned to office with an enhanced majority and the DUP’s influence is likely to evaporate. However, reading the Conservative Manifesto I wondered whether some of this might be premature as I focused on the Northern Ireland section. Here is where I must put the health warning that proof will be in the eating. But I have highlighted some key passages from the manifesto. Let’s start off with Devolution as the … Read more

Where is her cunning?

In the last few months Arlene Foster has developed a habit of surprising us when we least expect it. And now that ‘blonde-gate’, or whatever you want to call ‘that’ interview on the greens of Hillsborough, is fading from the corporate media memory its worth a little further analysis. In response the DUP deployed the usual suspects to shout down the reaction to the former First Minster’s interview with Niamh Horan. Sammy Wilson said that  “Michelle O’Neill is blonde, unless … Read more

London View of #GE2017: Quick thoughts on the latest polls and manifestos…

The poll trends remain good for May and Labour. The Tory strategy to liquidise UKIP and neutralise the Lib Dems could hardly have gone better. They have an average 17 point lead over Labour in all the polls in May. The perception which has concreted is that they will not just win but do so by a landslide. That still seems the most likely outcome. However their colossal leads have precipitated two unexpected events; a bolder than expected Tory manifesto … Read more

The inevitable conclusion to the abstention debate.

In 2015 there were numerous news stories and debates about the possibility of Sinn Féin ending its abstentionist policy partly fuelled by a belief that the election might produce a hung parliament. This time around the airing of those arguments have lessened significantly. The polls predict a Tory majority. However the SDLP believe its still a republican weak spot to target every time a Westminster election is called. An area that puts clear blue water between the two parties. In … Read more

After #IndyRef in 2014, seismic shifts appear to be everyday stuff in Scotland…

Interesting piece in the Economist on the changing state of Scottish politics, which notes that “in the aftermath of the referendum on independence in 2014, seismic shifts are everyday stuff.” It contains a pretty good historical briefing of the development of Scottish politics, not least how a small stream from the old Tory Unionist Party broke away to form the Scottish Party (which advocated Dominion states for Scotland inside the Commonwealth). But the core observation for me is how the … Read more

UUP standing aside in North Down in favour of Lady Hermon

Sylvia Hermon is one of the most successful independent candidates in our local history at a Westminster Level. She won the North Down seat in 2001, held the seat against a DUP surge in 2005, crushed her UCUNF opponent by double digits in 2010 and was safely re-elected in 2015. In 2017, she will continue her record as the MP for North Down. Now the UUP are realising that it’s not worth the battle and are pulling out in favour … Read more

Elections becoming a big business for Facebook

Social media is increasingly becoming more important in the fighting of elections. Political parties can post videos or short picture messages with slogans and then, for a price, insert that on the newsfeed of groups according to location, age, gender, etc. If candidates hit the right nerve with the public they can crowd source enough money to run their campaign within a day. It’s less intrusive than phone canvassing (which never really took off here) and besides more and more … Read more

Candidates for #GE2017

Alliance Party (18 candidates) East Antrim – Stewart Dickson East Belfast – Naomi Long East Londonderry – Chris McCaw Fermanagh and South Tyrone – Noreen Campbell Foyle – John Doherty Lagan Valley – Aaron McIntyre Mid Ulster – Fay Watson Newry and Armagh – Jackie Coade North Antrim – Patricia O’Lynn North Belfast – Sam Nelson North Down – Andrew Muir South Antrim – Neil Kelly South Belfast – Paula Bradshaw South Down – Andrew McMurray Strangford – Kellie Armstrong … Read more