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Assembly Election Thread March 3, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Reports, observations, thoughts, all here… Reading the constituency profiles what seemed most evident was how unpredictable the outcomes are. By the way, as always, anyone with election materials spare could consider donating them to IEL. He’s already featured a great selection on that site but more are always welcome…

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1. An Sionnach Fionn - March 3, 2017

Vote overall seems to be slightly up, the nationalist vote certainly so, but still early hours in the count. The bets are still on the DUP retaining the lead as the largest party. The question focuses on how far ahead it will be of SF. Outside chance of the latter squeaking into the lead in terms of MLAs.

SDLP seems to be holding its own, so either nationalist new voters or long-term no-show voters came out in several constituencies for SF. That might change during the day.

DUP is sounding nervous.

The upsurge in the nat-vote reflects what I heard from family and friends in Fermanagh and Derry. People were angry and fed up with Stormont.

Not sure a good SF showing should be interpreted as a mandate to go back into power-sharing with DUP though. The anger is not leaning that direction. Nat-voters want fundamental change. The SDLP talk of joint-authority certainly struck a chord with some I know, however unlikely.

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WorldbyStorm - March 3, 2017

Thanks ASF, that’s a great insight into this , was saying elsewhere its hugely unpredictable.

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WorldbyStorm - March 3, 2017

BTW on RTE just said apparently figures are v similar to Brexit referendum and that has fed in to the vote today. Indeed point was made that it has partly reenergised SF and DUP has found itself on wrong side of issue.

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An Sionnach Fionn - March 3, 2017

Irish Politics Forum has an analytical piece on the importance of vote transfers at assembly elections. Though today’s surge might shake up some of the conclusions.

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2. An Sionnach Fionn - March 3, 2017

Definitely something up

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3. GW - March 3, 2017
4. irishelectionliterature - March 3, 2017

McCann looks a goner, Carroll should just about make it. SF looking to be big winners from this.

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GW - March 3, 2017

Yep – West Belfast looks like 4xSF & 1xPBPA.

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5. RosencrantzisDead - March 3, 2017

Just heard someone on the radio say, “We could be seeing the end of the UUP”!

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6. An Sionnach Fionn - March 3, 2017

Current SF/SDLP vote just below the 40% mark. Will probably pass it when all the results are tallied. You can add the PBPA support and some other nationalist votes to that figure. Looking like the best turnout for years. Belfast v strong for SF. The SDLP having a mixed day.

DUP taking a few hits but doing ok. Mike Nesbitt, UUP leader, has taken a slap in the face, from poll-topper to scraping for transfers.

The higher turnout by the electorate is having all sorts of interesting effects on 1st, 2nd and 3rd preferences.

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7. An Sionnach Fionn - March 3, 2017

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8. Jemmyhope - March 3, 2017

2 Sinn Féin and 1 DUP + 1 SDLP now elected in Newry /Armagh

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9. irishelectionliterature - March 3, 2017

just 1,168 votes between Sinn Fein and The DUP!

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10. Aengus Millen - March 3, 2017

bbc ni keeps saying that this election is same old same old but the DUP are just a few losses (Mccausland in North Belfast, Pengelly in South Belfast, Lagan Valley, East Derry) from being level pegging with Sinn Fein

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11. ivorthorne - March 3, 2017

The DUP are going to want to re-run this one in a hurry.

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12. shea - March 3, 2017

in foyle were did mccartney’s surplus go? about 1200 votes.

seem to work the transfers different up north.

http://www.bbc.com/news/politics/northern-ireland-constituencies/N06000008

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Aengus Millen - March 3, 2017

Yeah in the south surplus transfers are chosen randomly in the north they’re awarded proportionally which is why some candidates end up with numbers with decimals

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shea - March 3, 2017

hmm sounds fairer.

any way the provo’s could fall into the liffy and come out with new suits. not many times you see a leader of a party that got the most votes in an election be expected to speak in humble tones.

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13. Aengus Millen - March 3, 2017

The defeat of Arlene’s running mate in FST is my nomination for best moment of the night especially given that he’s a peer

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14. roddy - March 3, 2017

Been off line forseveral weeks as I devoted all my time to the electoral ground war.Advice for all on here- the ground is where its still won- mid ulster we added 7k to the vote and my own polling station had 84 % turnout .

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WorldbyStorm - March 4, 2017

Very impressive evening for SF, fair dues roddy.

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GW - March 4, 2017

Thought you might be banging on doors, Roddy.

Quite an achievement by SF and I’m sure the result of a lot of hard work.

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15. sonofstan - March 4, 2017

I’ve been busy and out most of the day, and a bit lost; what’s the likely final seat tally?

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WorldbyStorm - March 4, 2017

Interestingly some DUP saying parity between DUP and SF, Nicholas whyte earlier had this prediction

#AE17 barring upset in Lagan Valley / South Belfast, DUP lose 9, UUP lose 7 gain 1, SDLP lose 3 gain 1, SF lose 2 gain 2, PBP lose 1.

Lagan Valley did indeed have an upset w seat going sdlp.
Sorry to see McCann lose his seat. But a very interesting election.

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16. CL - March 4, 2017

‘ for the first time there will not be a majority of unionist MLAs in the Assembly.’
http://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/assembly-election-sinn-féin-surge-raises-many-questions-1.2997330

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17. Tomboktu - March 4, 2017

Will the DUP and allies be enough to raise a petition of concern to block marriage equality?

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Aengus Millen - March 4, 2017

No the shock victory of Pat Catney in Lagan Valley means that the DUP have 28 even with Allister they wouldn’t have enough! Though of course the assembly would have to be re-formed to pass marriage equality and who knows how long that will take.

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18. sonofstan - March 4, 2017

Still shocking gender balance, despite 3 female party leaders. Much closer to the Dail than any of the other UK parliaments/ assemblies. If i’ve got it right, it’s 21 women out of 90 or c23%. Much better for SF though, who have 12/27 or fully 44%

Noticeably, it’s the unionist heartlands that remain male dominated: one woman out of 15 MLAs in Antrim, none in north Down or Lagan Valley. Whereas the west of the province does much better, mainly due to SF dominance: 10 out of 25 west of the Bann.

One other observation: the unionist vote is more diverse than the nationalist: i’m assuming most Alliance voters are small u unionist, and from personal knowledge in North Down, the Greens are also mostly from PUL backgrounds (maybe a bit unfair). But it may suggest that there is a growing dissaffection with the sectarian headcount on that side of the fence?

Finally, Harry McGee convinced Brexit did for McCann and damaged Carroll.

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RosencrantzisDead - March 4, 2017

The UUP suffered this election and many think it was because Mike Nesbitt suggested that UUP voters transfer across the divide instead of propping up the DUP. Combine this with Foster’s green-baiting and it was an election which was characterised by sectarianism.

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sonofstan - March 4, 2017

True, but 10 seats went to ‘non-aligned’ parties in largely unionist constituencies. So it’s probably two movements in opposite directions. And if UUP voters deserted the party because of Nesbitt’s suggestion, where did they go?

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WorldbyStorm - March 4, 2017

That’s interesting the question you ask, where did those up voters go if that is the dynamic?

In some ways though was it quite so characterised by sectarianism overall RiD, agreed Foster didn’t cover herself in glory but the proximate reason for the collapse of the Eecutive RHI wasn’t constitutional, and even if used as an excuse to collapse it by SF I can’t help thinking that’s progress of sorts. Moreover the UUP is not in and of itself a bastion of liberalism anymore than the SDLP, I think a lot of the focus on the centre ground by the media misunderstands and mischaracterises just what that centre ground is. Arguably alliance, the GPand some liberal unionists are closest to a “centre ground” but they’re largely centrist or a bit or quite right wing politically. Which is tricky.

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WorldbyStorm - March 4, 2017

I agree that it is likely many most (?) Alliance and GP voters probably tilt small u unionism but, I think they (their voters) get the need to compromise productively much better than the big battalions in unionism. It’s like Sylvia Hermon MP now an independent who is still unionist and clearly thoughtful and engaged (and astonishingly only 61, for some reason I thought she was much older).

One thing that struck me with RTÉ particularly in their coverage was a somewhat more positive tone to SF. Perhaps that’s a residual effect of McGuinness?

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sonofstan - March 4, 2017

There’s been a subtle shift since Brexit – the likes of Kenny and Varadkar pulling on the light green jersey for example. And maybe a recognition that ‘our’ responsibility to the nationalist population in the north amounts to a little bit more than patting ourselves on the back for being the best little peace making country in the world.

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WorldbyStorm - March 4, 2017

Yes, that rings true. Perhaps too a growing sense of some responsibility to and for Irish in the U.K.?

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sonofstan - March 4, 2017

Re Sylvia Hermon; north Down is peculiar – almost no nationalist vote, so the ‘big battalions’ can’t scare their voters into conformity. Plus it’s very rich.

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WorldbyStorm - March 4, 2017

Absolutely, that class aspect hugely inflects politics there. I’ve got to admit a respect for her.

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Michael Carley - March 4, 2017

She is basically a decent social democrat, more or less.

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19. Tomboktu - March 4, 2017

So, is it a temporary situation because larger numbers of voters for SF and SDLP came out while DUP and UUP voters stayed at home?

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GW - March 4, 2017

I was asking myself that. It would be good to see a breakdown of where the extra votes came from.

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20. sonofstan - March 4, 2017

Btw, UKIP got 1500 votes. So not quite as Britsh as Finchley, where the kips got 1700 last time out.

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21. sonofstan - March 4, 2017

Reading up on the assembly to find out the exact conditions under which a party can launch a ‘petition of concern’ I found this instead – a list of things the assembly has no power over. I particularly like the last two:
Excepted matters

Excepted matters are outlined in Schedule 2 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998:[29]

The Crown
Parliament
International relations
Defence
Immigration and Nationality
Taxation
National insurance
Elections
Currency
National security
Nuclear energy
Outer space
Activities in Antarctica

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GW - March 4, 2017

So no motions to censure same-sex marriage between consenting polar scientists, astronauts or penguins thundering from the DUP in Stormont then? Shame.

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22. sonofstan - March 8, 2017

Foster snapped back, telling reporters: “Sinn Féin talk about respect and here we have a tricolour being waved about, a crocodile walking about. This is the type of intimidation that many unionists here have to face.”

Bit late but…. Intimidated by a tricolour and a crocodile suit? Compared to, say, an orange march passing the end of your road, singing ‘the Billy Boys’?

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