Also: Government adopts mutually-exclusive positions on the Irish Protocol; Carlaw squares up to Johnson on immigration; and more.
Also: Plaid fined almost £30,000 for misreporting donations worth half a million pounds; Labour hopefuls sing from devolution’s tattered hymnal; and more.
We’re told it’s the most thorough survey of political attitudes in years (what, more than the NI Life and Times surveys?). It shows the graph has tilted over a just a little more in favour of united Ireland, confirming that those who Don’t Know or declined to answer – an odd description of the middle ground – hold the balance. I’m caught between concern about growing tension as the day … Read more
Grasping this nettle will involve appointing someone prepared to be considerably less popular with sections of the gallery than was their predecessor.
The quivering projection of Big Ben onto the facade of Downing St accompanied by its tinny recorded chimes while the Brexit deliverer skulked inside, said it all. Boris Johnson did not want to be visibly identified with the big moment in case it all goes pear shaped. In former times retreats on such a scale were the result of war. That’s about best thing that can be said about Brexit; the worst is that it’s heading for a bigger reverse, … Read more
In Jan Carson’s The Fire Starters, there is a quote: “There is never enough silence to contain all our talking…….we continue to believe that across the sea, Europe (and also the world) is holding its breath for the next chapter in our sad story. The world is not waiting.” More than anywhere else in the UK, Brexit shifted the ground beneath Northern Ireland. It threw us down on different sides, sides that were also the battle lines that came before. … Read more
Ulster’s major parties are failing to adapt to a changing electoral landscape, creating an opportunity for a new, more practical politics.
Also: Spotlight on the literal handful of MPs providing Stormont’s entire opposition; and Scottish Tories offer a budget deal to the SNP.
The Prime Minister pledged to defend those who defended us. I believe him.
Setting aside the Ulster-specific sections, the proposals for reviving Stormont pledges frictionless trade with the mainland and a commitment on legacy prosecutions.
Have we got a deal that the DUP and Sinn Fein sign up to or not? By Thursday midnight, it wasn’t clear. Will all parties turn up to the reconvened Assembly? By the time you read this we should know. In the meantime we have – a document .. But Arlene Foster’s verdict looks favourable.. “On balance we believe there is a basis upon which the Assembly and Executive can re-established in a fair and balanced way… This is not … Read more
How will the parties as they say “reflect” on their stance towards Assembly restoration during the Christmas lull? Will it be peace on earth, good will to all or only a Christmas truce? The finger of fate is pointed at the DUP. Will their resentment spill over into resistance? How dare the secretary of state break precedent and single them out for blame just because all the other parties seem to have supported a deal? Even that is the wrong … Read more
Slugger TV: Episode 33 from Northern Visions NvTv on Vimeo.
This month, Chris Donnelly and Alan Meban look at the recent general election.
Photo by mounsey is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA
The Newsletter editorial is full of alarm and self pity. Its vehemence is slightly surprising as the paper has been no critical supporter of the DUP. It has been highlighting their weaknesses throughout. So it cannot be greeted just by schadenfreude. It needs a considered answer. For three years, no Conservative and Unionist (as they sometimes style themselves) minister or prime minister has uttered a word of criticism of Sinn Fein. Think about that. The crisis in the NHS … Read more
Last Thursday’s general election was certainly a shock to the system for the DUP, and Unionists in general, with not a single Unionist party gaining any seats. The DUP lost the formerly safe seat of North Belfast to Sinn Fein’s John Finucane and Emma Little-Pengelly lost South Belfast to the SDLP’s Claire Hanna. It’s not hard to paint a picture that Unionism had a terrible night, even if the Ulster Unionists benefitted from a modest boost of nearly ten thousand … Read more
As Unionism across Northern Ireland licks its collective wounds after a devastating Westminster election, I wanted to focus on two crucial battlegrounds where political Unionism acted in an unacceptable manner, namely North Belfast and Fermanagh and South Tyrone (FST). Both battles were on paper, good old-fashioned knockdown and drag-out fights involving a single Unionist candidate against the might of the old foe – Sinn Fein. Unionism approached both campaigns in a very different manner but the outcome was the same … Read more
The DUP and UUP are struggling adapt to the Province’s changing political circumstances, and the Alliance are the main beneficiaries.
The results of the 2019 general election have confirmed that the electoral map of Northern Ireland has been redrawn. The Alliance Party broke out of its traditional electoral stronghold in and around Belfast to make strong gains across Northern Ireland, polling 16.8% to come third in the popular vote behind the DUP (30.6%) and Sinn Féin (22.8%). With possible fresh Assembly elections coming in 2020, the rise of centre ground in Northern Ireland politics is likely to lead to potentially … Read more
With the results of the 2019 general election in, it is clear that the results of the local and European elections earlier this year were no fluke and the surge of the centre ground in Northern Ireland politics looks here to stay. The chart above shows how the parties performed in terms of vote share at this election, compared with all Northern Ireland elections over the course of the decade. The total unionist vote being at 43% is the “new … Read more
DUP 8 seats (-2), 30.6% (-5.4%) SF 7 seats (nc), 22.8% (-6.6%) Alliance 1 seat (+1), 16.8% (+8.9%) SDLP 2 seats (+2), 14.9% (+3.2%) UUP 11.7% (+1.4%) Let’s say it clear. This is a great result for Northern Ireland. It’s simplistic to call it a victory of nationalism over unionism. It shows that voters on both sides of the divide are capable of breaking out of the monolithic duopoly. The DUP and SF have been punished for Stormont deadlock and … Read more
Let’s begin at (your) home. After all the mystery and muttering about tactics after the election, do you know which main party the DUP would support in government? I don’t. But Nigel Dodds sounds as if he’s nuzzling up to the Tories again with or without an overall majority There is no doubt that if we reach a tariff-free trade deal with the European Union, that will eliminate the need for most if not all customs checks..I sincerely hope … Read more
The DUP try to hold their position in the face of pro-Remain pacts whilst Sinn Féin try to unseat their leader and the smaller parties fight to regain Westminster representation.
It’s more than depressing when the prime minister keeps brazening out denials about checks between GB and NI. He actually contradicts himself between “ no checks” and “the only checks” within a couple of sentences below. When asked on Sky News’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday whether there would be checks, in light of the leaked Treasury document, Johnson replied: “No, absolutely not… The deal we’ve done with the EU is a brilliant deal and it allows us to do all … Read more
Is there an election on? DUP And Sinn Fein leaders are sounding optimistic notes to tempt waverers into the polling stations. Both party leaderships are also forecasting a return to Stormont any day now – without troubling us with the details of a deal. Here we also have the astounding phenomenon of Nigel Dodds and Mary Lou McDonald both speaking in favour of Boris Johnson’s withdrawal agreement – a worse deal that Theresa May’s and which they were condemning only … Read more
It’s nearly all over as Northern Ireland faces its third general election in just four years. As we get ready to head back to the polls, I thought it would be useful to pull together some things for you to look out for For the UK wide picture as soon as it hits 10pm the main networks BBC, ITV and SKY News will publish the results of their exit poll, be cautious about other polls out there! The main exit … Read more
It’s not actually news that there will “be a border down the Irish Sea” if Boris Johnson’s withdrawal agreement is passed. But if the document Jeremy Corbyn has been waving this morning is an authentic Treasury paper, it shows that Johnson is lying or at best or in denial. He will surely be pressed to explain himself in tonight’s BBC debate with Jeremy Corbyn. Taken at face value it means Johnson will denounce his own withdrawal agreement as soon as … Read more
The upcoming general election may well turn out to be a de facto second referendum on Brexit. Here is an overview of the different scenarios that are possible and how the EU is likely to position itself in each case: The first scenario, which is taken by most as the base case, is for the […]
The post How might the EU react to the possible outcomes of the general election? appeared first on BrexitCentral.
The second piece in our new mini-series looks at the strange bedfellows and hard choices for unionists, nationalists, Leavers and Remainers alike.
Losing the City of Belfast at the forthcoming election will do massive psychological damage to unionism. After the calamity of RHI, many in my family happily told of how they would not be exercising their vote at the Assembly election held after Martin McGuinness’ dramatic resignation in 2016 and especially in the second election called the next year. When the tally had come through in the 2017 election it was like a punch in the gut to some in the … Read more
Also: Reports of strong Tory performance and start of the Salmond trial casts shadow over the SNP; DUP claim they will have influence after the election.