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Thread: NI Westminster Election 2017

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    First Team backstothewall's Avatar
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    NI Westminster Election 2017

    NI Westminster Election 2017

    The 4th vote in 13 months (and possibly 5th if there is an assembly election the same day).

    Belfast East: Alliance v DUP. If there is a unionist pact DUP will be favorites to hang on. If not it will go down to the wire

    Belfast North: SF v DUP. Gerry Kelly likely to fall just short for the 478th time

    Belfast South: DUP v SDLP. Tactical voting from SF/Greens/Alliance probably enough for SDLP to hang on once again (unless there is a unionist pact)

    Belfast West - Safe SF

    East Antrim - Safe DUP

    East Derry - Safe DUP

    Fermanagh & South Tyrone - UUP v SF. Probably a SF gain

    Foyle - Looking at the assembly election results this should be a potential gain for SF. Though Mark Durkan is very popular. Should stay SDLP, though could get very interesting if a member of the McGuinness family were on the ballot.

    Lagan Valley - Safe DUP

    Mid Ulster - Safe SF

    Newry & Armagh - Safe SF

    North Antrim - Safe DUP

    North Down - Safe Ind Unionist

    South Antrim - DUP v UUP. Probably remains UUP

    South Down - SDLP v SF. SF will get closer than last time but SDLP should hang on

    Strangford - Safe DUP

    Upper Bann - DUP v UUP v SF. DUP probably hang on even without a pact

    West Tyrone - Safe SF
    Bring Back Belfast Celtic F.C.

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    Capped Player DannyInvincible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by backstothewall View Post
    Foyle - Looking at the assembly election results this should be a potential gain for SF. Though Mark Durkan is very popular. Should stay SDLP, though could get very interesting if a member of the McGuinness family were on the ballot.
    Has this actually been mooted as a possibility? I know a Sinn Féin winner in Foyle wouldn't sit in Westminster anyway, but McGuinness' family have always stayed out of the limelight and none of them are involved in party politics, as far as I know.

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    First Team backstothewall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannyInvincible View Post
    Has this actually been mooted as a possibility? I know a Sinn Féin winner in Foyle wouldn't sit in Westminster anyway, but McGuinness' family have always stayed out of the limelight and none of them are involved in party politics, as far as I know.
    I haven't heard anything. Idle speculation by me but who knows. It would be a shot to nothing for SF, who already use the House of Commons like most parties use the House of Lords.
    Bring Back Belfast Celtic F.C.

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    Capped Player DannyInvincible's Avatar
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    For what it's worth, I feel Mark Durkan will have great difficulty keeping his seat in Foyle regardless.

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    Long has tweeted that she's prepared to stand again in East Belfast, if asked to do so by the party - already gets nationalist support, but will she pick up UUP votes?

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    Capped Player DannyInvincible's Avatar
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    Chris Donnelly on the prospect of the SDLP changing their attitude towards electoral pacts with Sinn Féin: https://sluggerotoole.com/2017/04/20...nion-of-pacts/

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Donnelly
    The Nationalist Surge indicated that the broader nationalist electorate wanted their political parties to be sharper and harder. Sinn Fein have taken this message on board, which is why we are unlikely to see a return to devolved government this side of the outstanding aspects of previous agreements being fully delivered upon.

    The SDLP’s changing attitude to the prospect of an election pact with Sinn Fein, albeit packaged in an anti-Brexit wrapping, suggests that Colum Eastwood is beginning to understand the message from nationalists too. The new arithmetic within nationalism post-March will doubtlessly have helped concentrate minds within the SDLP, and that has led to the earliest sign of public friction amongst senior party figures to date.

    ...

    The SDLP vote in South Belfast has been in freefall since 2010, when Alasdair McDonnell capitalised on Sinn Fein not standing to comfortably take the seat with 41% of the vote. When Sinn Fein decided to run in 2015, McDonnell barely clung on to the seat, claiming just 24.5% of the vote and winning with the lowest ever share of the overall vote at a Westminster constituency level. All of which means that, in the event of a unity Unionist candidate running, the SDLP will almost certainly lose this seat unless Sinn Fein stand aside.

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    First Team backstothewall's Avatar
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    I don't think the SDLP want a pact. It seems to me that this is an attempt to use the threat of one to prevent a unionist pact from being formed.
    Bring Back Belfast Celtic F.C.

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    Capped Player DannyInvincible's Avatar
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    It's being reported that Elisha McCallion will attempt to unseat Mark Durkan in Foyle for Sinn Féin: http://www.derryjournal.com/news/eli...ster-1-7931273

    Quote Originally Posted by Brendan McDaid
    Sinn Fein’s Elisha McCallion is expected to go for back-to-back election victories by standing for Foyle as her party’s Westminster candidate. Sources close to the party have told the ‘Journal’ that Mrs. McCallion is the only candidate to have been nominated so far. It is understood that party members will hold a selection meeting in the city this Thursday, during which Mrs. McCallion is expected to be formally endorsed as the Foyle candidate for Westminster.

    The popular Galliagh native topped the poll in the Foyle Assembly Election last month. She raced first past the post with 9,205 first preference votes, almost 2,000 more than the quota required to be deemed elected. Prior to this, Mrs. McCallion had been a councillor for 12 years and made history in March, 2015, when she became the first Mayor of the new Derry City & Strabane District Council. And she will be hoping to make history again on June 8 by unseating the SDLP in Foyle.

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    Capped Player DannyInvincible's Avatar
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    The SDLP and Sinn Féin are still trying to keep hopes of a "pro-Remain pact" alive, according to the Irish News, in spite of Steven Agnew pulling the plug on any participation by the Green Party in such a pact yesterday.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Manley
    Ms O'Neill urged those parties who had toyed with the idea of an anti-Brexit front to reconsider, while Mr Eastwood said the SDLP would "continue to explore how we can maximise the mandate delivered by the (EU) referendum". The Sinn Féin Stormont leader said the failure to forge what she termed a "progressive alliance" could "gift seats to pro-Brexit, pro-Tory and anti-equality hardliners". "I am disappointed that parties which are opposed to Brexit and Tory cuts and which are pro equality have not been able to agree a progressive alliance to contest the Westminster election," she said. Ms O'Neill urged her party's potential partners to reconsider, saying Sinn Féin was committed to maximising the anti-Brexit vote in June's poll.

    Mr Eastwood said the collapse of the exploratory talks was a "deep disappointment". He criticised Alliance for rejecting the pact proposal. "It is to their shame that they then attempted to sectarianise the proposal," the SDLP leader said. The Foyle MLA said the Greens' proposal that pro-Remainer Mr McDonnell stand aside was "simply a non-runner". However, Mr Eastwood said the SDLP was floating a compromise idea that would see unaligned pro-EU candidates stand in North Belfast, East Derry and Fermanagh-South Tyrone. "As an attempt at compromise, the SDLP has offered to support independent, non-party aligned, pro-Europe candidates in key battleground constituencies where the electorate voted to remain but the MP voted for Brexit," he said. "Our sole intention has been to maximise the mandate delivered by the electorate in the referendum last year – it is a democratic travesty that despite 56 per cent of people voting to remain, only 22 per cent of Northern Ireland’s MPs voted against Brexit."
    Eastwood wants to see an agreed non-aligned candidate put forward by pro-Remain parties in Fermanagh-South Tyrone, even though Sinn Féin are likely to win that seat regardless of any pact, but he mentions nothing of compromising on such a candidate in South Belfast and appears to be insisting that Alasdair McDonnell will be standing there for the SDLP, no matter what, in spite of the fact that McDonnell will almost certainly lose his seat to any sole unionist candidate unless some sort of pro-Remain pact is agreed. Is Eastwood really as prepared for compromise as he professes to be? Hmm...

    If the SDLP don't get their act together, I think the nationalist and pro-Remain electorate will punish them for sitting on the fence here and unforgivably allowing unionist Brexiteers to cake-walk what should otherwise be very winnable seats for agreed pro-Remain candidates. Is describing this election as the potential death-knell of the SDLP over-egging it a bit? (Or maybe that already happened a long time ago!)

    Also, in what way did Alliance "sectarianise" things? I don't quite get that accusation by Eastwood.

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    First Team backstothewall's Avatar
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    It all feels like a bit of a phony war. This anti brexit pact isn't going anywhere, but perhaps they want to be seen to give it a go so SF voters in South Belfast, SDLP voters in North Belfast, and Nationalists of all stripes in East Belfast get the message.

    Tactically voting Unionists in Foyle and South Down should get the SDLP over the line, and FST should go back to SF, pact or no pact.
    Bring Back Belfast Celtic F.C.

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    Capped Player DannyInvincible's Avatar
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    Alasdair McDonnell is in confident mood: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-39738629

    Quote Originally Posted by Alasdair McDonnell
    People said it was impossible in 2005; they still said it was difficult in 2010 and they said, it couldn't happen a third time. It happened three times and, I'm telling you, meeting people in the street and on the doorsteps in the last few days, my team are out there already. We keep an active canvass and the response has been better than ever. It's going to happen a fourth time, yes.
    Is he setting himself up for a grand fall?

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    Capped Player DannyInvincible's Avatar
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    I see PBP have performed a bit of a U-turn on Brexit, presumably as supporting it had proven so self-destructive in the assembly election, and are now contesting the upcoming election on an "anti-Tory Brexit" platform: https://sluggerotoole.com/2017/04/28...t-tory-brexit/

    Quote Originally Posted by John Manley
    [Gerry Carroll MLA] told The Irish News his party was as opposed to “Theresa May’s Tory Brexit” as it was to the prime minister’s Remain position in the referendum.

    “We remain opposed to the undemocratic nature of the EU and have not changed our position since the referendum but we will not support Theresa May’s vision of a Tory Brexit, nor her dismissal of concerns in devolved regions,” he said.
    In mocking fashion, Slugger mod Brian O'Neill highlights that, unfortunately for the socialist grouping, this could be interpreted as more of a nod to Groucho Marx than Karl Marx: "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others."

    Certainly not a good look!

    I have a lot of time for PBP and gave my first preference vote to Eamonn McCann in the recent assembly election as I'd be broadly supportive of his progressive approach to politics (in spite of my uneasiness with his then-inflexible and, in my opinion, misguided backing of what was only ever going to be a Tory Brexit) and, as a political subversive, I thought he'd be a big loss to any operational assembly, but I have to admit that this apparent volte-face by the alliance does have a whiff of "well, it's a bit late now to be changing your tune!" about it. It's more or less a distressed admission that the Brexit stance really took the wind out of PBP's sails. It remains to be seen whether people will dismiss it as a desperate and all-too-late attempt to claw back lost votes or whether they'll afford PBP credit for having faced up to the reality of Brexit eventually.

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    I don't see how anyone can support them with a straight face. Their brand of socialism is reactionary and devoid of real solutions to the so-called problems they espouse to want to fix. They constantly rail against the funding base for services and then at the same time complain about services not being adequate. I loathe them.
    DID YOU NOTICE A SIGN OUTSIDE MY HOUSE...?

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    First Team backstothewall's Avatar
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    Gerry Kelly not running. Pat Finucane's son John is the SF candidate in North Belfast. He should seriously widen the potential nationalist base to unseat Dodds.

    EDIT: 1st opinion poll results out

    poll.jpg
    Last edited by backstothewall; 02/05/2017 at 9:11 PM.
    Bring Back Belfast Celtic F.C.

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    Capped Player DannyInvincible's Avatar
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    In a very interesting development, Sinn Féin have chosen John Finucane, son of Pat Finucane, as their North Belfast candidate: https://sluggerotoole.com/2017/05/02...north-belfast/

    Gerry Kelly has contested this constituency without success since the late '90s, but Finucane's nomination, no doubt an attempt to capitalise on the resurgent nationalist vote in the constituency in the recent assembly election, where nationalists took a majority (three) of the five seats on offer, should make things very interesting in terms of potentially unseating Nigel Dodds.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Donnelly
    The Finucane name carries significance within northern nationalism- and across Ireland and abroad- on account of his family’s quest for justice following the brutal assassination of John’s father, Pat Finucane. But John Finucane’s own personal and professional reputation, as a solicitor and former Antrim county footballer, marks a significant departure for Sinn Fein, a party that has traditionally struggled to attract candidates from professional backgrounds.

    In the North Belfast constituency in particular, Sinn Fein has to date failed to put forward a candidate capable of galvanising support from across nationalism from the lower Antrim Road to the more affluent upper Antrim Road and Glengormley areas in a way that could credibly challenge a single unionist candidate in the form of Nigel Dodds. There is no question but that Finucane will be able to do that.

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    Seasoned Pro CraftyToePoke's Avatar
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    Agreed, very interesting development this one.

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    First Team backstothewall's Avatar
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    There is a possibility that unionism will be swept from Belfast at this election. On another day they take 3 seats, but it is quite possible that the second city returns 2 SF, 1 SDLP and 1 Alliance.

    That would be every bit as seismic as "the greening of the west" in 2001.
    Last edited by backstothewall; 03/05/2017 at 7:18 PM.
    Bring Back Belfast Celtic F.C.

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    First Team The Fly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by backstothewall View Post
    There is a possibility that unionism will be swept from Belfast at this election. On another day they take 3 seats, but it is quite possible that the second city returns 2 SF, 1 SDLP and 1 Alliance.

    That would be every bit as seismic as "the greening of the west" in 2001.
    The great pity about this election is that it's taking place before the boundary changes and reduction to 17 constituencies.

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    Apologies if something obvious? Would that further undermine unionism?

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    Capped Player DannyInvincible's Avatar
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    Gerry Adams is reportedly set to step down as leader of Sinn Féin later this year: http://www.irishnews.com/news/2017/0...claim-1019327/

    Quote Originally Posted by John Monaghan
    Gerry Adams is set to step down as Sinn Féin president in the autumn to be replaced by Mary Lou McDonald, it has been claimed [reportedly by party figures via the Sunday Times].

    The Sunday Times reported that the Louth TD will hand over the leadership to Ms McDonald at the next ard fheis, likely to take place in October or November.

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