The Euro Campaign is over. I have not blogged much. Too busy on Slugger with the usual regiment of Sinn Féin bots and Alliance Party trolls.
I have been in Coalisland, Dungannon, Carrickfergus and spent a few hours in Derry yesterday (polling day). And I spent an afternoon last week on the Eastwood Express. And of course I was getting a few messages from SDLP friends.
I voted SDLP. I did not give a second preference to anyone.
I am not optimistic. We needed a good turnout. SDLP canvassers told me that supporters who can be guaranteed to be early voters or school-run voters or lunch-time voters had not been seen.
Maybe there was just no enthusiasm to vote for representatives who will only be in a parliament for a matter of months.
Obviously I can only vote SDLP. To be fair they had a good campaign. And could credibly campaign on the basis that they were the most committed Remainers.
No second preference?
No …not this time. I am a nationalist, a republican, a socialist. Naturally I express my preferences along those lines. In the locals, it was 1 SDLP 2 Aountu and 3 Sinn Féin.
In this election, I did not give a preference to Sinn Féin. They don’t need it. Martina Anderson will be near the quota or maybe over it. Likewise DUP.
The conventional wisdom is that UUP, SDLP and Alliance are in contention for the third (final) seat. So when DUP and SF are elected and the minor parties eliminated, it is likely that the transfers will be added to the first preference votes for the three parties left in.
The final seat will be determined without reaching the quota.
It boils down to……..3 Alliance… 4 SDLP… 5 UUP (and elimination of UUP electing Alliance) or 3 Alliance ….4 UUP….5 SDLP (and elimination of SDLP electing Alliance) or 3 SDLP…4 Alliance …5 UUP (and elimination of UUP electing Alliance) or 3 SDLP …4 UUP …5 Alliance(and elimination of Alliance electing SDLP) or 3 UUP …4 SDLP….5 Alliance (and elimination of Alliance electing SDLP) or 3 UUP ….4 Alliance….5 SDLP (and elimination of SDLP electing Alliance).
In other words, Alliance has more paths to the third seat than SDLP. Maybe SDLP will pick up transfers to add to their first preferences. But if the three parties are as close as expected, SDLP need Alliance to be the fifth party. I just cant see that.
To their credit, SDLP don’t play the “green card” and have urged transfers to pro-EU candidates.
Sinn Féin ARE the “green card” but their position on transfers is odd. You might think that they would like to see a good “nationalist” total but according to Lucid Talk poll, committed Shinners are transferring to Alliance. The SF bots on Slugger O’Toole are also seemingly transferring to Alliance.
My local SF canvasser…admittedly very young asked me to vote Sinn Féin but I said that I could not do so as I am a committed SDLP voter and his Party was advocating transfers to Alliance. Why should I give a second preference to Sinn Féin.
He said that transferring to Alliance was not SF policy…but admitted that he personally giving his #2 to Alliance as it is “progressive”. When I pointed out that Trevor Lunn, Stewart Dickson, Kieran McCarthy were not notably “progressive”, he quite credibly said his transfer was to Naomi Long. Fair enough.
We did have some repartee around his belief that the Irish National Flag is green, white and gold….accounting for the not-too- subtle “yellow” (Alliance colour) on his leaflet. Article 7 of the Irish constitution notes that the Flag is “green, white and orange” and when I pointed this out, the canvasser said “well it used to be green, white and gold”. Even a young Sinn Féin canvasser should know this stuff.
But…the lesson here is …don’t get angry and post about this on Slugger. Like I say, the guy was young.
An interesting anecdote from polling day outside a polling station. A Sinn Féin canvasser handing out a leaflet “you know its 1, 2, 3 etc…so 1 Martina Anderson and for example (sic) 2 Naomi Long”.
Hmmm now that seems like over-doing advice. In fact, the voter was so disgusted that he changed his vote to Colum Eastwood.
Overall the impression I have of Sinn Féin is that they play dirty.
Alliance of course portray themselves as the non-sectarian middle ground. They are in the parlance of Norn Iron elections “transfer friendly”. But if your pitch is “give me #2 so that the nationalist does not win” or “give me #2 so the unionist does not win”, then you forfeit the right to call yourself non sectarian.
This sort of tactic merely panders to the worst in people.
Alliance has pandered to DUP and Sinn Féin, getting ministerial salaries and perks beyond their electoral strength thru supplying “neutral” Ministers for Justice…as they would claim for the Greater Good of Norn Iron.
I have always been critical of LetsGetAlongerists. Of course getting along is great. But this is faux letsgetalongerism.
How exactly do Alliance get away with this con trick.
Well it helps to be bank-rolled. And it helps to be the Norn Iron Offices favourite political party.
So…if Alliance win that third seat, look out for the Media and Slugger O’Toole to rejoice at the break thru of “progressive politics”. It is of course…bollox.
So….SDLP? All is well?
No…..but that’s another story.