The cost of running: candidate spending in the 2019 local government election

Spending by candidates in the 2019 local government election is now available and when we delve into it, comparing candidate and party spend with the number of votes secured, a number of very interesting narratives emerge. The headline figure is that 819 candidates, representing 17 parties (plus 71 independents) spent a total of £650,140 in order to win 462 council seats. (It should be noted that there are only returns for 815 candidates as 4 candidates either did not make …

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Absent voting in the 2019 local government election

Figures published by the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland, as a result of a freedom of information request, show that the number of people who voted in the 2019 local government election by postal votes, proxy postal or proxy (herein referred to as absent voting), varied significantly across the north. If you are unable to vote in person on polling day, arrangements can be made for someone else to vote on your behalf (a proxy vote – either in person …

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Sinn Féin are the Greatest Advocates for a United Ireland but are they the Biggest Barrier to it?

In the wake of the local and European elections, North & South of Ireland, a number of things have become clear for both Unionism and Nationalism in Northern Ireland, and significantly, questions will be asked of Sinn Féin after a hammering at the ballot box. Sinn Féin have been the most vocal and vociferous advocates for a United Ireland, since their inception. It is their raison d’être and has dictated everything for them from policy to electoral strategy to fundraising …

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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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#LE19 1st pref votes and share summary

Just a quick post to archive the 1st preference vote totals and the vote share percentages for each party in the 2019 Northern Ireland local government elúctions for posterity – as the vote totals are hard to find elsewhere at the moment. With a higher turnout, the DUP grew their vote and share, while SF grew vote but shrank share. UUP and SDLP lost votes and lost share. Greens, Alliance, and PBP grew votes and share. Tories, UKIP, TUV, PUP …

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Post election analysis

The seats The ballots have been cast, the votes have been counted, the results are in and the spinning has begun. Despite thoughts before the election that both the DUP and Sinn Féin would consolidate their support and increase their seats, the DUP managed to lose 8 seats and Sinn Féin saw no change to their total. The failure of the two big parties to make gains did not, however, translate into victories for the UUP and SDLP, with both …

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Centre parties have captured a significant number of seats from both nationalists and unionists at the local elections

With the counting now concluded in the 2019 Northern Ireland council elections, it is apparent that centrist parties have captured a significant number of seats from both nationalist and unionist parties. However, nationalist parties have captured enough seats from unionists to keep their total number of seats across the councils roughly the same, whilst the number of unionist councillors has dropped substantially. The number of seats won by each party/group in 2014 and 2019 is broken down in the table …

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Centre ground parties advance and the DUP consolidate the unionist vote at the 2019 local elections

The centre ground parties, and the Alliance Party in particular, have made significant gains at the May 2019 local elections. With all of the first preference votes now counted, the Alliance Party made the largest gain of the share of the first-preference vote, up by 4.9% from the 6.6% received in 2014 to 11.5% in this year’s poll. The Green Party more than doubled their share of the vote from 0.9% in 2014 to 2.1%, whilst People Before Profit received …

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Alliance Party gains point to a problem within unionism

Same old, same old. That was the prediction for Northern Ireland’s 2019 local elections. We’ve still gone one more day of results to come but it’s been anything but boring so far. From Aine Grogan’s stunning victory in Botanic to Paul McCusker’s vote tally in Oldpark, there have been some notable headlines in this election. Progressive unionist Julie-Anne Corr-Johnston lost her seat but People Before Profit’s Fiona Ferguson triumphed. The DUP went up and it elected its first openly gay …

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#LE19 Battlegrounds: Erne West

As well as sharing a border with the other wards in the Fermanagh Omagh District Council, Erne West shares a border with the Republic of Ireland. A border that has been much discussed in recent months as Brexit has unfolded. Indeed, some of the major villages within this ward have been frequently visited by politicians during the Brexit negotiations includin leading Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg who visited Belcoo in June 2018. The ward is heavily associated with agriculture and according to NISRA …

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How to solve a problem like election posters

five posters, four parties, one lamppost

A discussion has broken out in the South about the erection of election posters in Dalkey, after Dalkey Tidy Towns had declared a no go area for them and warned that any such posters put up in the area would be “removed and destroyed.” This seems to be part of the wider Poster Free campaign which claims to have signed up over 160 “towns/areas” to having no plastic election posters through campaigns run by a number of TidyTowns organisations, but …

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Slugger Verdict: ranking the PEBs of #LE19

Our crack panel sat down and reviewed the party election broadcasts hitting your screens for #LE19. Listen to our musings – frivolous and more serious – about messaging, target audiences, music and aesthetics as well as politics in our podcast with Allison Morris, Chris Brown, Alan Meban and David McCann.

Council elections 2019- all you need to know Part II

Following on from my previous post looking at the runners and riders for the local government election, I’ll now drill down in a bit more detail to look at each council and some of the key races. In a previous post I spoke about how all the parties will be telling us how they want our votes, but in reality no party in the 2014 election stood in every single DEA, meaning that not everyone who wanted to vote for …

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Poster Wars

Before the local government election notice of election was published on Tuesday 26th March we started to see the familiar sight of election posters appearing on lampposts across Northern Ireland. Love them or loathe them, posters are a mainstay of elections in Northern Ireland and in the Republic in a way that they are not in GB. Parties compete to be the first to get their posters up to ensure they get the best positions; at busy junctions and outside …

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Council elections 2019 – all you need to know Part I

The nominations for the 2019 local government election are in and a total of 819 candidates are running for 462 council seats across eleven different council areas – a decrease from the 893 candidates who sought election in 2014. The DUP was the largest party in 2014 and this remains but the total number of candidates they are running has decreased, from 189 to 172. There has been a slight increase in the number of candidates that Sinn Féin are …

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Looking back at the 2014 Local Government election

With the list of candidates for the 2019 local government election scheduled to be released after 6pm on Monday 8th April, now is a good time to look back at the runners and riders from the last council elections back in 2014. The 2014 election was the first to be fought on the new eleven ‘super council’ basis and saw a total of 974 candidates running for 462 seats, a reduction from the 582 seats prior to 2014. The results …

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The Casually Vacant Council Seats

When the DUP’s Peter Johnston became a member of Mid and East Antrim Council, representing the Carrick Castle DEA, on 19th October 2018 he did so by winning a by-election[1], the first time since May 2010 that a by-election for a council seat had been fought. Figures provided by the Electoral Office show that since the last local government election in May 2014 there have been 86 co-options to councils (including five to the old legacy councils), meaning that 19% …

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Alliance demands better from parties, politicians and the Secretary of State #apni19

READ AND LISTEN BACK to the main speeches at today’s Alliance Party Conference on the second anniversary of the last NI Assembly election and exactly two months before the next local government poll. Naomi Long pulled no punches in her criticism of Secretary of State’s “appalling dereliction of duty” to restore the Stormont institutions.

Putting the super into ‘Super Councils’

With the council elections imminent and the return of devolution as far off as ever there has been a renewed focus on the role of local government and the potential to widen its remit in the absence of Stormont. Newton Emerson in the Sunday Times highlighted the work of the umbrella group for councils, the Northern Ireland Local Government Association (NILGA), who have set up a forum with representatives from the five main parties to push for more powers to be devolved from Stormont to …

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