The Centre is Broad, Not Narrow

Stephen Donnan Dalzell is an LGBT activist and writer The local elections in Northern Ireland just a few weeks ago were not like those previously. If you have been following the results and are familiar with how elections in Northern Ireland usually pan out then you may have noticed something different. In a part of the United Kingdom that has been a sticking point during the Brexit negotiations and who’s border with the Republic of Ireland has been a stumbling …

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Political leaders unite to appeal for calm and condemn violence

The following has been issued by the leaders of Sinn Fein, DUP, UUP, SDLP, Alliance and Green parties. “Attacks on the police have been on-going for a number of days alongside other violence including sectarian attacks on houses, petrol bombs thrown at the police, intimidation of contractors, vehicles hi-jacked and attacks on sheltered accommodation. “The shots fired last night were a clear and obvious attempt to murder police officers. There must be a strong, clear and united voice against those …

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Age Profile of the New Assembly

The votes are in and the new MLAs have all signed the register. Some of you will remember back in late 2013, I totaled up the ages of the parties in the last Assembly. I managed this time to get the ages of 107 of the 108 MLAs which means that this should be a more accurate reading of the current age profile of the Assembly. Parties The youngest Assembly group is the Green Party with an average age of …

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Slugger Verdict: Ranking the PEBs of #ae16

It is now an annual election tradition on Slugger that we get a panel together to rank the party election broadcasts of all the political parties. Our panel of broadcaster, Jim Fitzpatrick and MCE Public Relations Director, Chris Brown got together to rate each broadcast out of ten. And the winner is….. SDLP we thought was incredibly well put together, with great shots of the party leader and profiles of the candidates. There was also a consistent theme throughout and …

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Final words from John Bowman on #ge16

A tradition in Irish election broadcasts is the final thoughts of broadcaster, John Bowman. Since there will be a lot of speculation over the coming days, here is his final analysis of Election 2016; To say this election is unique goes without saying. It’s historic, it’s seismic, it’s awesome in its consequences and as the deluge subsides what does one see? Is the integrity of the quarrel between Fianna Fail and Fine Gael intact or will it melt? Is the …

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Slugger Verdict: Ranking the PEBs of #GE2015

Well, it’s back for the 2015 General Election, the party election broadcast awards. This seemed to go down well last year. So, in that spirit I thought I would bring together another panel of judges to rank each of the party election broadcasts. The other judges were MCE Public Relations Director, Chris Brown and the host of the Profit Margin, Jim Fitzpatrick. Each of us ranked the PEBs out of 10, we then combined the scores to get an overall …

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Latest SBP/REDC poll in the South-Sinn Fein still second

The first opinion poll taken in the South since the BBC Spotlight programme was conducted on Monday-Wednesday of the past week. Here are the results Fine Gael-26% (-2) Sinn Fein-20% (-3%) Fianna Fail-18% (nc) Labour-8% (nc) Inds/Oths-28% (+5) Overall, Sinn Fein will be happy with this poll as in other bad times for the party such as the Northern Bank robbery and the McCartney murder, the party’s support halved in just 9 weeks. This 3% drop is more stable and …

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Euro TV Debates: What each candidate needs to do #EP14

This evening and Tuesday night will be the last real opportunity for the European candidates to address voters and make their case for election to the European parliament. The debates are scheduled to take place on Monday 10:35pm, UTV with all ten candidates, followed by another on Tuesday evening on BBC One also at 10:35pm. I am not sure whether all the candidates have been invited to the Spotlight debate or whether it is just the five main parties. I …

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What makes a good local Councillor?

Over the coming weeks hundreds of people will be seeking a job with an interview panel of thousands asking questions about their ability to deal with local problems, create jobs and run local services. But, this year will be a little bit different as local councils take on a lot more powers. Speaking about the changes to local councils the Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Local Government Association, Derek McCallan, made the point that as a community we need …

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Who has the youngest assembly group in NI?

I had to do a bit of research during the week on the assembly and the people who work in it. On the side I thought it would be interesting to find out just how old the average MLA is and what party has the youngest assembly group. Let’s begin with the overall picture-I surveyed the ages of 106 of the 108 MLAs-I couldn’t find the date of birth for two of them but this will still give me a good sample. …

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Railroad governance: scalded to death by the steam

For once the trainwreck metaphor isn’t overworked when you cast your eye across the piled-up carnage of the current Fianna Fáil-led coalition. It applies equally well to their reduction to the status of front of house staff for the ECB with little fiscal freedom of manoeuvre, or any number of unedifying episodes involving bankers and developers and the two premier league exponents of the parish pump, Lowry and Healy-Rae, the coalition’s guarantors, and, in some respects, the public face of it’s moral compass. …

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Move along, nothing to see here.

This morning, Mick blogged on the latest Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll (while blagging all the most  interesting links into the bargain). While there may be some methodological differences, the broader thrust is similar to that of the recent Red C poll where Lab + SF + GP = FF + FG – 2% although this has now drifted out to Lab + SF + GP = FF + FG – 5%, suggesting that this is not simply movement from Labour to Sinn Féin. Last weekend, there …

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Lab + SF + GP = FF + FG – 2%

There had been rumours that tomorrows Red C opinion poll for the Sun would produce a surprise (partly because it is a party poll rather than leader poll). It will be tomorrow before we get the details (date of polling, methodology etc). But Matt Cooper (TodayFM) leaked the figures earlier on his radio show – FG 32%, Lab 24%, SF 16%, FF 13%, Greens 3%, others 11%. Many will spin that, post-Donegal SW, SF are merely getting a positive bounce, while ignoring the potential …

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What a difference 5 months make

Sinn Féin were very annoyed when Killian Forde left the party and took his Dublin Council seat to Labour: “the seat he won as a party candidate, on a party policy platform, with the support of the party locally and nationally” He was one of a long line of Councillors leaving during their current term, circa 20 making up 10% of the party’s elected representatives at that level. Five months later, for SF poaching a former Green councillor is a …

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