Some thoughts on leadership within Unionism…

When talking about Unionism in Northern Ireland, one of the most frequent issues brought up is leadership. Looking at Sinn Fein, the SDLP, and Alliance, there is an abundance of effective leadership on display with more in reserve if the need arises. Unionism, by contrast, is not experiencing similar fortunes, and this has become an issue. Never before has leadership within Unionism been so problematic, especially during a time that could eventually define Northern Ireland. With a massive appetite for …

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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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Unionism needs a Reformation of its own, one that turns it into a movement that is fit for the modern era…

I woke up early on the 9th of June 2017 to tune into the election coverage and see how the new UK government was shaping up. All of the Northern Ireland seats had been decided before I had retired the night before and it had been a reasonably good night for Unionism taking 11 of 18 seats, with the DUP capturing 10 of them. However, when I tuned into the election coverage, I was alarmed to see the DUP included within …

Read more…Unionism needs a Reformation of its own, one that turns it into a movement that is fit for the modern era…

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

As Unionism across Northern Ireland licks its collective wounds, what next?

As Unionism across Northern Ireland licks its collective wounds after a devastating Westminster election, I wanted to focus on two crucial battlegrounds where political Unionism acted in an unacceptable manner, namely North Belfast and Fermanagh and South Tyrone (FST). Both battles were on paper, good old-fashioned knockdown and drag-out fights involving a single Unionist candidate against the might of the old foe – Sinn Fein. Unionism approached both campaigns in a very different manner but the outcome was the same …

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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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Reimagining Unionism

Mike Nesbitt’s contributions to a Reimagining Unionism event I filmed at this summer’s Féile an Phobail – along with remarks by fellow panellists Dawn Purvis, Senator Ian Marshall and Sophie Long – are worth considering in light of the decisions around UUP strategy that need to be taken in the changing political battlefield.

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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Tom Elliott and the battle for Fermanagh and South Tyrone…

Tom Elliot is very much the reluctant candidate in the Fermanagh and South Tyrone Westminster contest. I wanted to focus on this election battle and give outsiders a little context on the contest from a Unionist perspective. Within FST, Unionists are the minority community. If you ask any Unionist within the constituency what they expect from the election, the answer is a Sinn Fein victory. Having said that, there is a strong desire for representation at Westminster, a strong desire …

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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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Slugger TV looks at the UUP and the DUP

Slugger TV: Episode 31 from Northern Visions NvTv on Vimeo. This month’s Slugger TV assesses the incoming UUP Leader and looks back at the recent DUP conference. David McCann was joined in the NVTV studio by former DUP SPAD Tim Cairns and the commentator Sarah Creighton. If you require subtitles please watch the YouTube version below and turn on the captions. David McCannDavid McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter …

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“Next Generation Unionism?”

As anger over Boris Johnson’s Withdrawal Agreement grows, one group of unionists has put out an “anti-betrayal act” poster. It sums up the current state of unionism. The poster portrays a baying mob with pitchforks. Apparently all unionist men dress like junior members of The Bar Library and work in an office. The language used is macho and patriarchal. There are no women on the poster, presumably because they’re all at home rolling their eyes. The poster comes at a …

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SluggerTV looks at the UUP, Westminster and a potential election

This months Slugger TV looks at the UUP Leadership contest and of course the ongoing developments with Brext. Going through these issues we have Brendan Hughes from the Irish News, Brendan Mulgrew from MWA Advocate and the Commentator, Sarah Creighton. David McCannDavid McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs

Robin Swann to stand down as UUP Leader

Statement just in; Over the last number of months I have been reflecting on my position as leader of the Ulster Unionist Party and the impact it has on my role as a husband and a father. I have concluded that one is taking up the lion`s share of my time to the detriment of the other. It is unfair to my young family to allow this to continue. “It has been an honour and a privilege to lead the …

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“This is our last chance to deal with the Troubles legacy”

Academics who produced a critique of the Stormont House Agreement (Legacy) Bill have mounted a powerful defence of the Bill itself and their 100 pages of “tweaks” of it before the Commons NI Committee. The essence of their strong rebuttal of Ulster Unionist attacks is that their holistic approach acknowledges where the balance of responsibility properly lies for Troubles deaths. The Bill would replace a piecemeal approach to Troubles cases carried out by a reluctant PSNI which for some has …

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#GE19 or #GE20: what to expect

  With speculation mounting that we may see a general election either by the end of the year, or early in 2020 now feels like an appropriate time to look at the results of the 2017 Westminster election to remind us of the current state of play. Following a walking holiday in Wales at Easter 2017 Theresa May called a snap general election in order to give herself an increased, working majority in the Commons so that she could deliver …

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Slugger TV looks at a future Westminster Election

Slugger TV: Episode 29 from Northern Visions NvTv on Vimeo. This month we looked at some local marginal seats with Chris Donnelly and Niall Kelly David McCannDavid McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs

Party Leaders reactions to Prorogation of Parliament

The SDLP Leader, Colum Eastwood; Proroguing your parliament to enforce the will of a government that has no democratic legitimacy for an act that has no majority support is the behaviour of a tin-pot dictator. Boris Johnson has stepped far outside the acceptable norms for a functioning democracy and he must be reined in. “This is a moment for political courage. Every MP should take a stand in this moment, to defend the interests of people across these islands but …

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