If you’re in the UUP, and looking for positives…

7 05 2010

If you’re in the UUP and feeling a bit sore, keep reading. A buddy of mine has pulled together some silver linings – I’m sure there’s more, but these are the one’s he spotted…

1) Ross Hussey doubled the vote from 05 – Assembly seat back in play.

2) Mike Nesbitt took a big swing our way – second Assembly seat territory.

3) In Lagan Valley, a second Assembly seat should be safe enough.

4) Danny Kennedy beat William Irwin by a margin.

5) John McCallister fell only slightly short of beating Jim Wells, and would have done if not for tactical voting – if there is only one Unionist MLA it should now be John.

6) South Antrim is an even stronger marginal than before, and a second MLA is in play.

7) And by no means least, Bill Mainwaring drew out an extra 300 to 500 votes for us in Belfast West, which doubles the 2007 total.

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5 responses

8 05 2010
over here

Sir Reg was not standing against Nigel Dodds, an articulate and intelligent politico, nor the street wise Gregory Campbell, he was standing against Reverend William, the DUP at its most vulnerable, with his flat earth ,folksy, burst into a sing song at the drop of a hat, manner! Would the vote have been better under a UUP banner than a UCUNF, it could hardly have been worse! Unionist unity and realignment is the only future. Good of Kenneth Clarke to put the boot in two days before the vote, claiming you can do a deal with an Ulster man, but you cant trust him politically. Ken doesnt want any more anti European Conservatives, to hinder his authority within the Tory party!

8 05 2010
deirdre

Bob, Ive got some of this over at Three Thousand Versts, but I reckon it’s worth repeating. When you take a closer look at the figures they’re actually quite interesting. If you remove FST and North Down from the equation (can’t be used as they don’t split between the parties) then the UUP vote actually went up by about 1%, whereas the DUP vote dropped by about 4-5% overall. Reg, I believe, could have carried South Antrim had he taken on the concerns of those living round Glenavy/Lough Neagh who are rightly concerned about the incinerator being sited there. Failure to capitalise on a very specific local issue may well have cost votes in SA. In terms of the wider pro-union community, we’ve seen a decrease of about 5% voting when all unionist patries/groupings are taken into account. I think this is because the voters are way ahead of politicians. Ordinary people are more worried about jobs, fuel prices, mortgage rates, healthcare than the security of the Union- mainly because they reckonn the Union is secure. Alliance picked up votes because they ran the positive campaign which I and others arqued we should have been running, and we should have been much quuicker out of the blocks. The method for choosing candidates was poor and Owen Paterson’s half-baked foray into Unionist Unity talks was ill-advised. Incidentally that was why I threw the head, not because of non-selection as some have suggested.
I still believe this project offers the best chance for bringing us back into mainstream UK politics, where we should and need to be, and moving us past a sectarian headcount. We should be picking up the votes that Alliance is benefitting from, but moderate, liberal unionism needs to be better organised and more prepared to stand up to the playground bullies of unionism. We probably have a year before the next general election (if that) and people need to calm down, look at where mistakes where made and fix them in order to give us a chance. We also need to work out where we’re going in terms of the Assembly as those elections are rapidly coming up.
This hasn’t been a total disaster for moderate, civic unionism, but it was never explained completely and clearly and those who should have been articulating this view weren’t allowed to do so for fear of scaring the horses.
I think this is still the way forward, but greater care and attention must be paid in order to benefit.

13 05 2010
DR

Deirdre, opposing the incinerator might have played well in SA, but here in Dungannon the vital poultry industry is at severe risk, the UUP would pay a very high price in this area if the party leader was too vocal.

8 05 2010
overhere

Weve been here before! June 1978 to be exact, when Margaret Thatcher visited Ulster, saying she wasnt neutral on the Union, sweet talking Jim Molyneaux and the UUP. Like today there was talk then of a hung Parliament, and everyone thought Jim Callaghan would hold an election in the autumn of 78.
He bottled it, it happened instead in the following May, she got a majority of 44, Unionists no longer required, fast forward to an Anglo Irish Agreement.
While at the same time treating Northern Ireland like the British equivelent of the Siberian power station, a place to send those too, who didnt agree with her, but still had too much clout in the party to get rid off ! Think Prior, Needham and Tom Cat King. Both UUP and DUP ,should have a meeting planned for Monday! I think the decrease in the DUP vote might have something to do with Peter and Iris? Peter should have followed his spouse and left Westminster before you can say Mont Blanc pen.

13 05 2010
DR

Bob, have been reading through the results and would agree that the possibility of increasing Stormont seats is good, and not just in the areas listed, also if we factor in that the DUP have removed alot of their big names from the assembly by then the field could be much more even, having candidates in place ASAP will be vital to building up their profiles, many of them were just getting of the starting block this time, and the one lesson from this time that has struck me is, you need to be a know POLITICIAN not reporter, performer, or sportsman, good candidates as they were they did not have a politcal profile yet and need to work on it, hopefully the candidates will stick with it and start fighting for Stormont now, would also love to see Ross getting a seat in West Tyrone!

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