More truth and honesty needed in government, and in dealing with legacy, says Colum Eastwood

Truth and honesty must be at the heart of how we deal with the legacy of the past and in how politicians in Northern Ireland govern today, says Colum Eastwood, leader of the SDLP and MP for the Foyle constituency. He was speaking in the latest Holywell Trust Forward Together podcast and is the third political leader to be interviewed in the series, discussing how to make progress in Northern Ireland.  Victims have been badly treated, stresses Colum, and they …

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Well, well, well-#AE2022 and that Lucid Talk poll

It’s early days, minds could change later, but the Belfast Telegraph’s latest poll will send shivers down the DUP’s spine. According to Lucid Talk, support for the DUP has dropped to 16%, the same as Alliance. Sinn Fein sits at 25%. Doug Beattie will take comfort from the figure for the UUP, up two points to 14%. A Sinn Fein First Minister has been a possibility since the 2017 Assembly election. Based on these figures,  Sinn Fein will clinch the …

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Where can the Unionist parties gain seats at the next election?

The DUP has started messaging ahead of next years assembly election that the combined Unionist parties need just five seats to remove the protocol. Now this claim has been fact checked that they can only remove certain parts, rather than all of it. But I thought it would be interesting to look at where Unionism could potentially find those gains. To start with, this is a very tall order for the combined Unionist parties. If the results of elections from …

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Moderate Irish Nationalism is talking at Unionists, not with Unionists, and that will set us all back.

Philip Wilson is a Belfast-based writer who is involved in Northern Irish politics. He has a Master’s in Politics from King’s College London When Irish Nationalists like Simon Coveney and Matthew O’Toole suggest that Brexit, and not the protocol, is the problem, they deny Unionists their full place in the United Kingdom and implicitly dilute the vote of Unionists as full citizens of the UK. In no sense can this be interpreted as in the spirit of the Belfast/Good Friday …

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AE22: Targets for the main parties next year

It is 15 months away, but lockdown boredom and messing around with numbers, he is the lay of the land going into the next Assembly Election. Alliance The happiest people looking at this are the Alliance Party, gains to be seen across Northern Ireland and on numbers, none of their 8 seats are under threat. Around 10 target seats are there for them, with varying degrees of effort required. The low hanging fruit are places like North Belfast and South …

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Steve Aiken reverses “Vote Mike, get Colum”

The UUP Leader, Steve Aiken sat down with Brendan Hughes from Belfast Live recently to discuss a range of political issues. If you are interested in the full exchange, you can watch it here. One thing that caught my eye was this part of the interview where Aiken signals a shift away from the approach of his predecessor, Mike Nesbitt, whom readers will remember said he would give his second preference to the SDLP. However, the current leader, Steve Aiken …

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“Build Back Better” – how do we turn soundbites into a successful reset and recovery?

Sinead McLaughlin is the SDLP’s economy spokesperson, deputy chair of the Assembly’s economy committee and a Foyle MLA. Covid-19 will continue to damage our collective health and our economy for a long time to come. Many businesses will fail and, even more sadly, many more people will die from coronavirus.  Yet it should not be too early to consider recovery. The SDLP has put together four principles for that recovery – a new deal for young people; a new localism; new connectivity; …

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Slugger TV – Remembering John Hume

I was joined by SDLP Councillor and former Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, John Boyle, as well as Irish News journalist Allison Morris and former BBC NI political editor Stephen Grimason to discuss the life, politics and legacy of John Hume. Recorded and edited by Alan Meban @alaninbelfast. David McCannDavid McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs Poots “Ultimately it was my intention had we not …

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John Hume: A Story Not Yet Fully Told

John Hume chose to live with purpose. He was steadfast in his determination to see peace and a better life, not only for those from his own community, but for all people across the island of Ireland. Elected a Member of the European Parliament in 1979, he would go on to serve as MP for Foyle from 1983 to 2005, and member of the Legislative Assembly for the same constituency between 1998 and 2000. He defined future generations opportunities when …

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John Dallat MLA RIP

The SDLP Leader, Colum Eastwood has announced the death of the East Derry MLA, John Dallat. His statement John Dallat lived and breathed to serve others. “For over 45 years he was the most loyal servant to the people of East Derry and a fierce friend to everyone in the SDLP. I know I speak for everyone in the party when I say his good humour and wise advice will be sorely missed. “John entered public life at a time …

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SDLP suggestion for saving the press welcome, but publishers must dig deep too

Earlier this month I uploaded two articles here asking how our local press might emerge from lockdown and sharing my concerns about the ability of some of them to do so. Since then the future of regional and local newspapers all over the UK has become a pretty hot topic, with staff being furloughed at most papers and others even indefinitely suspending publication. Local journalists – including quite a few very good ones of my acquaintance – have been tweeting …

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Now the counting is over, what does the Irish political landscape look like

Change. Such a simple word, yet if we could sum up this election, it really was about change, not just for its own sake but ambitious change. A sense that the country was heading in the wrong direction and despite record growth rates, a large section of the electorate opted to take a punt. Fed up of paying high rents, having their children living with them and the cost of everything rising, they looked at who embodied that ambitious change …

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Seamus Mallon RIP

The Former Deputy First Minister and Deputy Leader of the SDLP, Seamus Mallon has died at the age of 83. He was elected as the MP for Newry & Armagh from 1986 to 2005, and served as deputy First Minister of the NI Executive from July 1998 until November 2001. Speaking about his passing the SDLP Leader, Colum Eastwood said: “Seamus Mallon was a force of nature. “In the darkest days of conflict, when hope was in short supply, Seamus represented …

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Slugger TV looks at #GE19

Slugger TV: Episode 33 from Northern Visions NvTv on Vimeo. This month, Chris Donnelly and Alan Meban look at the recent general election. Photo by mounsey is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA David McCannDavid McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs Poots “Ultimately it was my intention had we not got success on the Protocol… then I would have been prepared to pull Paul Givan out of that job”Jeffrey Donaldson …

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The landslide on the Foyle

Colum Eastwood’s victory in Foyle was a momentous occasion in the history of our politics here. In surpassing even Hume, the founder of the SDLP, Colum now has the weight of a City and history itself on his shoulders. If his victory is to mean anything then it shouldn’t be used solely as a launch pad to building a revitalised SDLP across NI. This is of course within the remit of every party leader, but in changing hands in 2017, …

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What could the surge of centre ground parties mean for a possible 2020 Assembly election?

The results of the 2019 general election have confirmed that the electoral map of Northern Ireland has been redrawn. The Alliance Party broke out of its traditional electoral stronghold in and around Belfast to make strong gains across Northern Ireland, polling 16.8% to come third in the popular vote behind the DUP (30.6%) and Sinn Féin (22.8%). With possible fresh Assembly elections coming in 2020, the rise of centre ground in Northern Ireland politics is likely to lead to potentially …

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Northern Ireland #GE2019 results roundup

With the results of the 2019 general election in, it is clear that the results of the local and European elections earlier this year were no fluke and the surge of the centre ground in Northern Ireland politics looks here to stay. The chart above shows how the parties performed in terms of vote share at this election, compared with all Northern Ireland elections over the course of the decade. The total unionist vote being at 43% is the “new …

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What to look out for next week

Image result for northern ireland election count

It’s nearly all over as Northern Ireland faces its third general election in just four years. As we get ready to head back to the polls, I thought it would be useful to pull together some things for you to 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! The main exit …

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Northern Ireland looks set for the most unpredictable general election in its history

With the names of the candidates for this year’s general election finalized, Northern Ireland looks set to have an uncharacteristically unpredictable election, with seemingly competitive races in 10 of its 18 constituencies. The chart above shows the results of this week’s new LucidTalk poll, compared with the poll from August this year and previous election results. It suggests that support for Sinn Féin and the DUP has fallen back from levels at previous elections, and that Alliance have built on …

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Women, Northern Ireland and the 2019 General Election

Clare Rice is Research Assistant on the ‘Performing Identities: Post-Brexit Northern Ireland and the reshaping of 21st Century Governance’ project at Newcastle University, a PhD Candidate and TA at QUB, and an occasional commentator. Twitter: @Clare_Rice_ We are less than a week into the 2019 Westminster election campaign and already we have seen a concerning pattern begin to emerge. It isn’t unusual for sizeable numbers of MPs to decide to step down from elected politics (see this useful overview), but …

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