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The ‘centre’ in the North November 14, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Having started to discuss the left let’s look briefly at the ‘centre’ and in particular the new ‘partnership’ between the UUP and SDLP.

Mr Nesbitt put forward himself and Mr Eastwood as an alternative to the DUP and Sinn Féin led by First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.
“Vote me, you get Colum. Vote Colum, you get me,” he told the conference. “Vote Colum and me, and you get a whole new middle ground politics, dedicated to making Northern Ireland work, whatever our different motivations.”

It’s a fascinating development, but what does it mean? Well most immediately it points to the dominance of the DUP and SF in the polity. But beyond that it suggests that some creative efforts, however cosmetic, are now being made to get around that dominance. And furthermore it suggest that cross-community (not sure I like that term, any better gratefully accepted) alliances are now the norm of Northern Irish politics. It suggests a shift, if not necessarily an evolution, away from the pan-party power sharing that was the first iteration of the GFA/BA and to competing alliances.

How this works out on the ground, in elections and so forth is a different matter, though isn’t it? Though, given that parties compete almost exclusively in their own communal pools of support who knows. Perhaps there might be some intriguing side effects.

Comments»

1. Joe - November 14, 2016

Competing alliances? Not so sure about that. This ‘alliance’ is one thing but what ‘alliance’ might it compete with? Can’t see an DUP/SF lash up anytime soon!🙂.
And what about the Alliance Party. You’d think they’d be a good fit with the UUP/SDLP alliance – to make it a three-cornered thing.

It’s definitely an interesting development though. Very early yet and we’ll see how it pans out. The idea of a cross-community (I see nowt wrong with that term) alliance offering itself to the electorate at an election as an alternative to the current government. Imagine if they persuaded their voters to vote 1SDLP and 2UUP and vice versa – now that would be interesting but probably not very likely. Will they ever even ask that e.g. on campaign literature?

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Joe - November 14, 2016

Just to add, I see he said “Vote me, you get Colum. Vote Colum, you get me”. He didn’t say “Vote unionist, you get nationalist. Vote nationalist, you get unionist.”

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EWI - November 14, 2016

Imagine if they persuaded their voters to vote 1SDLP and 2UUP and vice versa – now that would be interesting but probably not very likely. Will they ever even ask that e.g. on campaign literature?

Unlikely. I can remember David Trimble’s ungrateful response to a similar suggestion some years ago – he certainly wanted the pro-GFA SDLP etc. to vote UUP, but he told them that he’d still be looking for no.2s to go to the anti-GFA DUP. How can you deal with such people?

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2. sonofstan - November 14, 2016

Don’t you mean ‘the garden centre’ in the north?

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3. roddy - November 14, 2016

As someone who has been at election counts for decades,unionist vote transfers stay within uup,dup,pup,tuv and ukip.All these groups also adopt a joint candidate in first past the post westminster elections where unionism could lose out.They all unite when the chips are down and this uup are moderates line is total bollocks.

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sonofstan - November 14, 2016

where do SDLP transfers go?

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4. roddy - November 14, 2016

Alliance and maybe 25% to SF.

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