I Think I See Whats Happening Here

Hmmmm………Slugger O’Toole publishes a post referencing Newton Emersons reaction to THAT opinion poll. It is a particuarly fanciful analysis by Emerson (for whom I have never cared) and the comparatively new Sluggerite “Better Together”.

Both “Better Together” and Emerson………Id call him the “peerless Newt” but I have never liked him……..envisage a three party state……DUP, Sinn Fein and you guessed it…the Allaince Party. Meanwhile over on his own Blog, Ian Parsley (I cant call him “peerless” either) is predicting great things for… er the Alliance Party. There is a certain momementum building up behind a poll that looks (to serious analysts) a bit “iffy”.

All Opinion Polls carry a health warning……and THAT poll is downright toxic. Of course we all know the default position with a bad poll rating “This is not what we are hearing on the doorstep” said the Liberal Democrats this week. And every other week. Certainly the SDLP would say the same. But frankly with more credibility.

Yet is more to follow? Think on this…….There is no date set (as far as I know) for the Mid Ulster Westminster Election……

But lets have a look at some past figures:

2010 Westminster….SF 52%……DUP 15%….SDLP 14%…..UUP 11%….TUV 7%….AP1%

2011 Assembly…….SF 49%…..DUP 17%….SDLP 15%……UUP 10%……TUV 5%…..AP1%.

There is a certain pattern here. Nationalists have 65% of the vote. Unionists have 33%…..roughly.

For most people, the by-election is a dead rubber. The difficult thing will be to get people to vote at all. The question mark is over whether UUP will actually field a candidate at all….. but troubles in the UUP, Sandra Overend being less than stellar and the likely outcome is that the UUP vote would collapse to maybe 5%. Where would it go? Id reckon 3:2 to DUP/Alliance……and DUP would pick up maybe another 2% from TUV. Of course if UUP did not stand at all that UUP vote might go say 6:4 to UUP/Alliance.

My take (and its early days) that DUP would take maybe 22%-25% of the votes.

Where does that leave nationalists……..well can any candidate match Martin McGuinness or will apathy cost nationalist some votes……and in percentage terms helping others.

In order to justify, their faith in THAT poll, those hyping it need Alliance to do well in Mid Ulster. And a lot depends on whether a UUP candidate atands and whether Alliance can run a “celebrity” like er Harry Hamilton, Paula Bradshaw or………Ian Parsley. Somebody should ask him if he would throw his hat in the ring or perhaps Mrs Parsleys hat into the ring………although by the time the election is held, he might have joined the Greens or UKIP.

But there IS a scenario……not a typical one……………where the Alliance could get 6% of the vote in a west of the Bann constituency. Would that bother SDLP? It shouldnt. It is part of a re-allignment in unionism and little or nothing to do with the “middle” ground.

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13 Responses to I Think I See Whats Happening Here

  1. bangordub says:

    Interesting Post, (I’ve calmed myself btw 🙂 )
    Alliance performance in mid Ulster is not a real reflection of their strength, particularly in a by election with a probable low turnout.
    I’m fascinated to see how the SDLP do v the Shinners.
    By elections are a perfect way for the electorate to land a blow on a governing party without a danger of losing the seat to Unionism.
    I’d be interested to hear Oakleaf’s take on this one

  2. Theres a slightly different scenario on the SF/SDLP side. Id assume Patsy McGlone will be SDLP candidate and I will be working on that campaign. It will be interesting. SDLP would need to be closer to SF (and that depends on SF candidate) to even attract a few unionist votes. There could well be a spoiler Independent which would more than likely make it a low turnout and unrepresentative.
    The near certainty is that whether or not UUP run a candidate, Alliance will benefit……..and the low percentage of 1% means that anything above 4% Alliance and their supporters on lets get alongerist weblogs will be hyping it like crazy.

  3. football cliches says:

    It’s been an interesting few days now hasnt it?

    Of late, Newton Emerson’s jokes and observations are somewhat hackneyed and stale if that embarrassment on ‘The View’ is anything to go buy.

    Back on topic, there is a very different difference between SF and SDLP policy, smething that I feel can be to its advantage amongst some voters ou there for he taking.

    Tbh, lumping the SDLP in with the uu is lazy journalism and analysis at its best, especially as they are not mirror images of each other in their respective communities.

    The fact that said poll had an incredibly small size was hardly touched on either, amazing!

    Further, and this is not meant as sour grapes but merely a confessional or stating fact, I’ve been going to SOT less and less nowadays. It’s just pretty boring now. I go to Eamonn Mallie’s page which is challenging or IJP’s page to challenge him, something he failed at miserably today but has been engaging previously.

    • Newton was kinda interesting as a “studenty” kinda satire thing with the Portadown News but cant really “hack” it (no pun intended) with real journalists.
      A letsgetalongerist journalist has to be SEEN to be balanced. The Alliance target in the short term at least is to target the UUP. The UUP is gravely damaged and in the short term thats where the votes are.
      To some extent I was surprised that SDLP had not gone nuclear with the Opinion Poll crap……but Ive been told that “we are used to that crap” and “we know better so theres no point in making the story any bigger”. Certainly SDLP are very relaxed about it. Hopefully its not complacency.
      Ive never bothered much with Eamonn Mallies site. Always found him a bit “superior” to ordinary folks. Takes himself far too seriously.
      The same can be said of Parsley.
      Slugger has shot itself in the foot too many times.
      The Politics.ie thread “Discussion Board or Ego Trip” is potentially endless and its not exactly thriving in the spotlight. The truth is that it is both.
      As all Bloggers know there is a big difference between “views” and “comments”. Sometimes a Post will engender a lot of Views but very few Comments.
      But a Discussion Board is not working as a Discussion Board when there are few comments.
      As of 11.30pm tonight, Thursday……there have been six threads started on Slugger.
      News Letter Editorship (AlaninBelfast)….6.20pm….2 comments
      What Newt Says (Better Together)……5.35pm……..16 comments.
      Obama And Guinness….(Mick F) …….4.29pm……..0 comments.
      Rochdale Pioneers ……..(Mick F)………3.21pm……0 comments.
      Irish Govt SMEs …………(.Mick F)……..1.05pm…..0 comments
      Equal Marriage…………….(Paddy Corrigan)……12.23pm …0 comments
      and for good measure
      Something about Space….(Baker)…..6.53pm yesterday……1 comment.

      My position is clear. I will comment (politely) on anything that takes my interest and as the Newt thread mentioned SDLP and that opinion poll, I had no hesitation in commenting.
      Yet the excessive moderation (more Graham Poll than Pierluigi Collini) that those not fully paid up to Slugger orthodoxy have to face means that the slightest infraction will mean a yellow card.
      But six threads today……..four without ANY comments and the best stas at 16. That is a comment in itself.

      • I’ve been following that Pie thread quite a bit, so very insightful and funny at times.

        It is very easy for a lot of people, some in particular, to criticise the level of debate on that board but let’s be honest, nobody is allowed to say any crap without getting a grilling from lots of others.

        So, for instance, if someone was to try and make a mountain out of a mole hill that was not considered controversial by any of the inhabitants in a certain village and try and tie this to an actually orchestrated, controversial event, well on Pie you will be called to task on it and insulted to boot.

        I’m glad the SDLP are keeping there heads on this one, there is no need to panic whatsoever and to do so would be so counter-productive now.

        As for SOT and the threads on it now, hmmm, well, it’s a unionist lite site, what would anyone expect? Chris Donnelly does seem to cause a hell of a lot of trouble on it and gets little but piece meal defense from the mods on it. TBH, I almost think he rather enjoys all the man playing as he can show up his opponents for the unreasonable lot they truly are

      • I think youre right. Chris Donnelly enjoys it. But to some extent he gives Slugger a degree of credibility by being the token Sinn Féin guy.

  4. bangordub says:

    FC,
    That poll is a joke in my opinion, you may have seen my comments on SOT.
    Eamonn’s site is always a good read but I have to say that, he follows me on twitter and I suspect he reads my ravings occassionally. IJP’s page I’ve been reading lately but I always feel he has a secondary agenda. Mind you, I also regularly check the TUV site for some laughs as well.
    I too have been visiting SOT less recently, I mean did you see

    “We stared at this patch of sky for about 22 days…”

    That was actually a post yesterday. Now far be it for me to criticise but really………

    • BD,

      The one person I really enjoy reading on SOT is Paddy Reilly; I love whatever he has to say as it is well insightful and winds so many people up so easily. I looked at his piece this evening regarding the inherent flaw with polling in the North and it made perfect sense to me whilst shooting down the poll and its ‘findings’ in a brief and succinct stanza. Have you guys tried pouching him onto your own blogs yet? (BTW, I am not Paddy Reilly or a sock puppet of his!) Likewise, Lionel Hutz is a fairly interesting read and I have an ‘idea’ who he might be in ‘real life’ (it’s not me!)

      Apologies BD, I haven’t seen your comments on SOT of late as I go on the site and see ‘threads’ which are frankly tedious. It is like any story put up on the Onion or Newsthump; I can tell immediately what will be the gist of the story from the title alone.

      TBH, I have been learning some languages or reading a lot of economics so that:

      i) I have a better idea of what the hell is happening;
      ii) I can prepare for the course next September. I can do the Macro stuff but it’s been 12 years since I did any pure maths or stats and I really don’t want to be that annoying mature student (not the oldest one in class, of course!) whose keeping all the younger sparks back who have been doing calculus for 10 years non-stop;
      iii) I can provide Sammy with more insightful responses 🙂

      Re Dr. Spaceman’s blogs, I refuse to go on them. He wants attention and I am unwilling to provide him with any.

      • Im guessing Lionel is a lawyer. Good poster. Same to be said for Paddy Reilly.
        The really interesting thing about Blogging is the people who never comment and who you know read it. And even more interesting is when someone comes up to you and says that “was a good piece you wrote” and quotes from something about a month before.
        Or even if they say “you were totally wide of the mark” or “youre that bas**** from Slugger”.
        And best of all is when youre standing talking politely to somebody at Alliance Conference in Dunadry (2011) who has no idea who you are.
        Discussion Board or Ego Trip?
        In my case its TOTAL EGO.

      • In my case, TBH, it’s because I’m off to Aus in 3/4 weeks and I’m a bit bored and wanting an argument whilst stuck in my Ma’s gaff in the arse end of nowhere (pretty as it is!).

    • See my comment to FC.
      Six threads on a Discussion Board today. And four dont attract any comments at all. One attracts two comments and another attracts just 16 comments.
      Of course thats just today and there have been some very good comments on other threads. and you know yourself that “Views” and “Comments” are always never in “line”.
      I must check out Eamonns site.
      Parsleys is almost as funny as his wikipedia page.
      As to that Space thread you mentioned. It did get one comment………from Pete Baker.

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