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The Assembly Elections February 23, 2017

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.

Just a week away and whatever happens there will be 18 seats lost, due to the reduction of MLAs from 108 to 90, with each constituency now returning 5 rather than 6 MLAs.
For the Left Gerry Carroll of PBP looks safe in West Belfast and even has a running mate, although it would be a shock if they were to win a second seat here. Eamonn McCann in Foyle is their other sitting MLA and on paper should be in severe danger as he only scraped in the last time. However talking to a few people I know in Derry they reckon he will be safe especially as Martin McGuinness is not standing.
Elsewhere it’s hard to see PBP, The Workers’ Party or Cross Community Labour Alliance winning a seat although there may be some gains and an advance to winning Council seats in 2019.
With RHI it was assumed that the DUP may not fare too well, that was until UUP leader Mike Nesbitt called for transfers to the SDLP rather than the DUP! It later emerged that he hadn’t discussed it with his party or indeed The SDLP! It was music to the DUP who to relegate the RHI scandal have gone on their traditional sectarian campaign. The DUP will still lose seats but anything over 33 seats (they won 38 last year) can be described as a good day for them.
The UUP seem to have messed up by forgetting the Unionist part in their name. They could have capitalised on RHI but ended up not doing so. Nesbitt will be in trouble if they get less than 13 seats.
Sinn Fein will lose a few seats , at least 3. Again it will be interesting to see if the RHI scandal rubs off on them and of course how they do under new leader Michelle O’Neill.
The SDLP should hold most of their 12 seats , Big battles with Sinn Fein in Foyle and South Down and other tight ones like Fermanagh South Tyrone. Any more than 1 lost seat won’t be good news for them.
The Alliance should hold their 8 seats but holding the second in East Belfast may be a struggle.
Elsewhere the TUV will be hoping to make gains at the DUPs expense over RHI, although it’s hard to see exactly where they may be. The Greens will be hoping to hold on to their 2 seats. UKIP could be in with a shout of their first seat in East Antrim too.
Most parties will be hoping that apathy isn’t the winner and that turnout is decent.


1. Aonrud ⚘ - February 23, 2017

On the TUV, some more ‘drain the swamp’ material coming from them. Somebody got their hands on photoshop:


Aengus Millen - February 23, 2017

I would say that this would limit their appeal but then I realize that I just don’t understand the unionist constituency which would vote for only right wing parties year after year.


irishelectionliterature - February 23, 2017

It really is an awful leaflet!!


irishelectionliterature - February 24, 2017

Just thinking that in an Irish context it really should be “Drain The Bog”, we don’t really have Swamps…..


2. Aengus Millen - February 23, 2017

You hit the nail on the head with your comments on the TUV and UUP I think. Both parties should be poised to gain from the DUP’s scandals but both are too weak to really do so they just have no places where gains really make sense especially given the shrinking of the assembly. I think unfortunately we may have to be resigned to a largely similar assembly with DUP not even losing the petition of concern.


3. Aonrud ⚘ - February 23, 2017

It’s a shame in one sense that the seat reductions are happening at the same time as a snap election. Obviously the % of first preferences can be pointed to either way, but damage to the DUP from scandals like RHI in terms of the proportion of Assembly seats won would be more concealed than if they were competing for the same seats. Added to the fact that the reduced seat numbers will favour the larger parties. The equivalent proportion of seats for the DUP’s current 38 would be 31.6, for example, which is fairly low.


4. sonofstan - February 23, 2017

What was the rationale behind the seat reduction now?

Obviously the North is the most over- represented part of these islands – 131 MSPs for 5 and a half million scots, 60 in the Welsh Assembly for 3 and a bit million, 158 in the Dail for 4.7m, so an assembly of about 40 should be ample…


irishelectionliterature - February 23, 2017

I presume cost cutting but don’t know the exact details as to why now.


Aengus Millen - February 23, 2017

They’re getting rid of a westminster seat in the north as part of larger cost cutting measure which involves decreasing westminster from 650 to 600 seats I think since the assembly constituency seats are the same as westminster ones this might be a way to reduce the seats without getting into the tricky issue of which assembly constituency to cut and how to integrate the cut territory into new constituencies


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