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West Tyrone by-election

  • 15-01-2018 8:49pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 26,809 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    Now that Barry McElduff has bowed to the inevitably and resigned as MP, there will be a by-election in West Tyrone.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Tyrone_(UK_Parliament_constituency)

    West Tyrone has returned a Sinn Fein MP since 2001. Pat Doherty, former VP of Sinn Fein, and allegedly a member of the IRA Army Council. held it from 2001 until 2017.

    The SF majority has grown from 5,000 to nearly 11,000. In normal circumstances, this would not be considered a marginal constituency but there are a number of factors at play that could make it interesting ranging from Brexit to the failure to form an Assembly to the circumstances of McElduff's resignation.

    Will the SF majority continue to grow? Will the DUP still garner almost all the unionist vote? Will the SDLP make any inroads? More interestingly, could there be a third-party independent candidate that grabs all of those big issues?


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Comments

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 18,223 CMod ✭✭✭✭Nody


    In times of uncertainty (i.e. Brexit) voters tend to prefer "safer" bets over wild cards; hence I'd expect both DUP and SF to do relatively well and with the earlier vote patterns in mind I'd expect SF to take it with a decent margin.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,255 ✭✭✭blackwhite


    Even if the various unionist parties decided to only put up one candidate between them and there was a huge sectarian unionist turnout to “stick it to SF” for McElduff’s behaviour the very most they could hope for is approx their 1997 vote level - that’d be approx 16k votes.

    SF would still need to leak 25-30% of their vote to the SDLP (or elsewhere) for the seat to be in danger.

    Can’t see that happening TBH


  • Registered Users Posts: 32,598 ✭✭✭✭NIMAN


    Safest by-election ever?


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,365 ✭✭✭✭McMurphy


    I would expect Sinn Fein to reclaim the seat quite comfortably.

    This is West Tyrone we're talking about here - an area where McElduff secured the same amount of votes as the rest of the candidates did combined.

    I don't see republicans swarming to the SDLP all of a sudden.

    The DUP won't have the support base to quell the Sinn Fein vote either.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,932 ✭✭✭✭Bass Reeves


    Rick Shaw wrote: »
    I would expect Sinn Fein to reclaim the seat quite comfortably.

    This is West Tyrone we're talking about here - an area where McElduff secured the same amount of votes as the rest of the candidates did combined.

    I don't see republicans swarming to the SDLP all of a sudden.

    The DUP won't have the support base to quell the Sinn Fein vote either.


    While his vote may be republican it is not all a hard republican vote. SDLP had a strong base there in the 80's. Voters are often hard to understand. They may decide to give SF a bloody nose in an by-election that really won's count. As SF MP's do not take there seats in Westminister the general voter may see it as a chance to put manners on SF.

    Slava Ukrainii



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  • Registered Users Posts: 13,365 ✭✭✭✭McMurphy


    While his vote may be republican it is not all a hard republican vote. SDLP had a strong base there in the 80's. Voters are often hard to understand. They may decide to give SF a bloody nose in an by-election that really won's count. As SF MP's do not take there seats in Westminister the general voter may see it as a chance to put manners on SF.

    That's one way of looking at it. However, I'm going to be looking at it in a more realistic fashion.

    Sinn Fein will comfortably retain that seat - West Tyrone could be aptly described as a Republican stronghold. The SDLP are a nationalist party - not a Republican party.

    I await the nominee being named - but my prediction will remain regardless.

    You can revisit this post if I'm wrong. But I don't think I am going to be.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,809 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    Rick Shaw wrote: »
    That's one way of looking at it. However, I'm going to be looking at it in a more realistic fashion.

    Sinn Fein will comfortably retain that seat - West Tyrone could be aptly described as a Republican stronghold.

    I await the nominee being named - but my prediction will remain regardless.

    You can revisit this post if I'm wrong. But I don't think I am going to be.

    I agree with you that the majority is such that it is very difficult to see how Sinn Fein can lose it.

    It would be interesting if a high-profile non-party candidate with nationalist ties threw their hat in the ring as by-elections can be interesting.

    What I do expect is a drop in the Sinn Fein vote.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,365 ✭✭✭✭McMurphy


    blanch152 wrote: »
    I agree with you that the majority is such that it is very difficult to see how Sinn Fein can lose it.

    It would be interesting if a high-profile non-party candidate with nationalist ties threw their hat in the ring as by-elections can be interesting.

    What I do expect is a drop in the Sinn Fein vote.

    Hard to say tbh. It'll more than likely boil down to the usual us and them battle (SF v DUP) and while there will be some republicans who were far from impressed t McElduffs antics and how Sinn Fein reacted to it (myself included) I don't see any chance of the SDLP making anything more than an insubstantial (hardly noticeable) gain from it.

    It was a regrettable incident, and they should have been a lot more proactive on removing McElduff from the get go.

    Overall though It will have little to no effect on Sinn Feins growth up there.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,932 ✭✭✭✭Bass Reeves


    Rick Shaw wrote: »
    That's one way of looking at it. However, I'm going to be looking at it in a more realistic fashion.

    Sinn Fein will comfortably retain that seat - West Tyrone could be aptly described as a Republican stronghold. The SDLP are a nationalist party - not a Republican party.

    I await the nominee being named - but my prediction will remain regardless.

    You can revisit this post if I'm wrong. But I don't think I am going to be.

    I disagree most Irish political parties have republican principles, freedom of speech and religion, equal right etc. It is just that the Shinners have hijacked the word republican even though there have a very narrow meaning and understanding of the name. In reality they are a sectarian party which is not compatible with true republicanism.

    I do not disagree that you would imagine that the West Tyrone is the Shinners to lose. But at present they seem stuck in a time warp. There political mismanaged has left the North without an assembly and have given the DUP free virtual rein and a big say in British Government politics at present.

    There ignoring of Barry McElduff sectarianism may cause softer supporters or swing voters to look at alternatives

    Slava Ukrainii



  • Registered Users Posts: 26,809 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    Rick Shaw wrote: »
    Hard to say tbh. It'll more than likely boil down to the usual us and them battle (SF v DUP) and while there will be some republicans who were far from impressed t McElduffs antics and how Sinn Fein reacted to it (myself included) I don't see any chance of the SDLP making anything more than an insubstantial (hardly noticeable) gain from it.

    It was a regrettable incident, and they should have been a lot more proactive on removing McElduff from the get go.

    Overall though It will have little to no effect on Sinn Feins growth up there.

    They could actually lose votes and increase their majority if more unionist voters annoyed at Brexit move away from the DUP.

    The key thing I would hope for is a move towards the middle from both sides, even if the expected result still happens.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 13,365 ✭✭✭✭McMurphy


    I disagree most Irish political parties have republican principles, freedom of speech and religion, equal right etc. It is just that the Shinners have hijacked the word republican even though there have a very narrow meaning and understanding of the name. In reality they are a sectarian party which is not compatible with true republicanism.
    Actually I agree with this. Perhaps the description of the SDLP I was looking for was 'not nationalist enough' for the nationalist/republicans of West Tyrone. My bad.
    I do not disagree that you would imagine that the West Tyrone is the Shinners to lose. But at present they seem stuck in a time warp. There political mismanaged has left the North without an assembly
    We don't agree on this however.

    The North is without an assembly due to the DUPs intransigence. It may be handy to try and insinuate SF (soley) are to blame for the assembly's collapse, however it is also extremely disingenuous.

    Firstly you have Arlene Fosters steadfast refusal (with the full backing of her party) to step aside so that an independent inquiry could look into the RHI scandal - and to do so temporarily and without prejudice.

    Secondly - the calls for Foster to do so (temporarily and without prejudice) was a call from every single major political party in the north. As I said - attempting to cast that on SF alone = wrong on more than one level.
    and have given the DUP free virtual rein and a big say in British Government politics at present.
    This is also being disingenuous.

    The DUP have a big say in the British Government due to the Tories decision to call a snap election, falling short in numbers, and requiring the DUP to prop them up.

    If this is leading to some lame argument about the abstentionsm policy of SF, I'll point it out now that many sf voters vote for them because they abstain. Taking their seats in Westminster would certainly alienate a large percentage of their core vote. Not gonna happen.
    There ignoring of Barry McElduff sectarianism may cause softer supporters or swing voters to look at alternatives
    They didn't ignore it.

    They certainly didn't react in a strongly enough manner, but that's not ignoring something.

    Regardless if the soft/undecided voters go to alternatives, there won't be within an asses roar of anywhere near the amount that would result in the loss of their west Tyrone seat to the DUP or to the SDLP. Also not gonna happen , and you can chalk that one down.


  • Registered Users Posts: 65,751 ✭✭✭✭FrancieBrady


    It will be interesting to see what issues it is fought on.
    Has a date been fixed?
    Arlene is coming up before the RHI inquiry shortly, which will factor in I would imagine, if she doesn't perform well.
    Will be interesting to see if there is any blowback for the DUP from the farming community on Brexit. I would also imagine they will be watching that very closely for future direction on the issue.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,131 ✭✭✭munsterlegend


    There is rumour of Peter Canavan running but have no idea if anyway realistic. Sinn Fein will win comfortably and while their majority may be reduced it won't even be close.

    Good article with Joe Brolly how Catholics/ nationalist have lost faith in any shared Northern Ireland future. This is indicative in itself of how little a chance of Sinn Fein losing this seat.


  • Registered Users Posts: 65,751 ✭✭✭✭FrancieBrady




  • Registered Users Posts: 13,365 ✭✭✭✭McMurphy


    There is rumour of Peter Canavan running but have no idea if anyway realistic. Sinn Fein will win comfortably and while their majority may be reduced it won't even be close.

    Good article with Joe Brolly how Catholics/ nationalist have lost faith in any shared Northern Ireland future. This is indicative in itself of how little a chance of Sinn Fein losing this seat.

    Peter ruled himself out


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,626 ✭✭✭✭maccored


    i cant see SF losing that seat tbh


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,365 ✭✭✭✭McMurphy


    While his vote may be republican it is not all a hard republican vote. SDLP had a strong base there in the 80's. Voters are often hard to understand. They may decide to give SF a bloody nose in an by-election that really won's count. As SF MP's do not take there seats in Westminister the general voter may see it as a chance to put manners on SF.

    No bloody nose.
    Sinn Féin’s Orla Begley declared herself a history maker as she became the first woman elected as West Tyrone MP.

    The 26-year-old political newcomer comfortably held onto a seat relinquished by party colleague Barry McElduff when he quit amid a furore over a controversial social media post.

    The solicitor from the Co Tyrone village of Carrickmore secured an almost 8,000 majority in the parliamentary by-election, ahead of second placed Democratic Unionist Thomas Buchanan, though Sinn F’s percentage of the vote did drop from over 50% in last year’s general election to 47%.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,809 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    No bloody nose.

    Yes, but some encouraging signs.

    The Sinn Fein vote was down, the DUP vote was down.

    SDLP, the Alliance and the Greens were all up.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,365 ✭✭✭✭McMurphy


    blanch152 wrote: »
    Yes, but some encouraging signs.

    The Sinn Fein vote was down, the DUP vote was down.

    SDLP, the Alliance and the Greens were all up.

    Encouraging signs :D

    The shinners received almost 16.5k first preference votes, almost double that of the party that finished second to them, (DUP) and more than 10k ahead of the other nationalist party (SDLP).

    That's some optimism you have.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,809 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    Encouraging signs :D

    The shinners received almost 16.5k first preference votes, almost double that of the party that finished second to them, (DUP) and more than 10k ahead of the other nationalist party (SDLP).

    That's some optimism you have.

    Sinn Fein got 5,714 votes less than the general election, a drop of 26%.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 13,365 ✭✭✭✭McMurphy


    blanch152 wrote: »
    Sinn Fein got 5,714 votes less than the general election, a drop of 26%.

    Not only is your percentage up the left, it was already calculated for you in the quote above which I took from the examiner.

    The solicitor from the Co Tyrone village of Carrickmore secured an almost 8,000 majority in the parliamentary by-election, ahead of second placed Democratic Unionist Thomas Buchanan, though Sinn Fein’s percentage of the vote did drop from over 50% in last year’s general election to 47%

    47% from 50% does not equal 26%, no matter what mathematical gymnastics I come up with.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,809 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    Not only is your percentage up the left, it was already calculated for you in the quote above which I took from the examiner.




    47% from 50% does not equal 26%, no matter what mathematical gymnastics I come up with.


    My numbers are 100% correct.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Tyrone_by-election,_2018

    Sinn Fein got 22,060 votes in the 2017 general election. It got 16,346 in the by-election.

    22,060 - 16,346 = 5,714

    5,714 as a % of 22,060 is 25.9%. I rounded to 26%.

    Interestingly, the SDLP vote went up from 5,635 to 6,254, an increase of 10.98%, which we can round to 11%. Alliance had an increase of 13%,

    There is some comfort for Sinn Fein in that the DUP got 28.4% less votes than in the general election, a slightly worse result than theirs. As I said, there are some encouraging signs with the more moderate parties gaining votes while the extremists lost votes, and the facts back me up on this.


  • Registered Users Posts: 65,751 ✭✭✭✭FrancieBrady


    Wasn't there justifiable objections across the water to using local election results as a predictor of how a general election would go?

    Same as there is using EU elections to chart the rise and fall of a party.

    they are different elections and can only really be judged on their own merits. And it seems this one shows the massive majority in favour of SF policy, again.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,809 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    Wasn't there justifiable objections across the water to using local election results as a predictor of how a general election would go?

    Same as there is using EU elections to chart the rise and fall of a party.

    they are different elections and can only really be judged on their own merits. And it seems this one shows the massive majority in favour of SF policy, again.


    I am confused. This was neither a local government election nor a European parliament election, it was a by-election.


  • Registered Users Posts: 65,751 ✭✭✭✭FrancieBrady


    blanch152 wrote: »
    I am confused. This was neither a local government election nor a European parliament election, it was a by-election.

    Yes, which is different to a general election. The government or majority party can often take a hit in a by election.


  • Registered Users Posts: 695 ✭✭✭Havockk


    blanch152 wrote: »
    My numbers are 100% correct.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Tyrone_by-election,_2018

    Sinn Fein got 22,060 votes in the 2017 general election. It got 16,346 in the by-election.

    22,060 - 16,346 = 5,714

    5,714 as a % of 22,060 is 25.9%. I rounded to 26%.

    Interestingly, the SDLP vote went up from 5,635 to 6,254, an increase of 10.98%, which we can round to 11%. Alliance had an increase of 13%,

    There is some comfort for Sinn Fein in that the DUP got 28.4% less votes than in the general election, a slightly worse result than theirs. As I said, there are some encouraging signs with the more moderate parties gaining votes while the extremists lost votes, and the facts back me up on this.

    You maths are seriously flawed. On one hand you claim that a drop of 5700 votes equates to a 26% swing while on the other hand claim that an increase of about 700 votes is equivalent to 10%

    You certainly are not talking about % share of vote. All you seem to be doing is giving the difference in change as a % against itself.




  • blanch152 wrote: »
    My numbers are 100% correct.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Tyrone_by-election,_2018

    Sinn Fein got 22,060 votes in the 2017 general election. It got 16,346 in the by-election.

    22,060 - 16,346 = 5,714

    Your numbers may be correct in absolute terms, but I notice you haven't factored in a drop in turnout from 68% in the 2017 GE to 55% now.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,365 ✭✭✭✭McMurphy


    blanch152 wrote: »
    My numbers are 100% correct.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Tyrone_by-election,_2018

    Sinn Fein got 22,060 votes in the 2017 general election. It got 16,346 in the by-election.

    22,060 - 16,346 = 5,714

    5,714 as a % of 22,060 is 25.9%. I rounded to 26%.

    Interestingly, the SDLP vote went up from 5,635 to 6,254, an increase of 10.98%, which we can round to 11%. Alliance had an increase of 13%,

    There is some comfort for Sinn Fein in that the DUP got 28.4% less votes than in the general election, a slightly worse result than theirs. As I said, there are some encouraging signs with the more moderate parties gaining votes while the extremists lost votes, and the facts back me up on this.

    You might want to check out the overall turn out numbers before you get too carried away with yourself there blanch.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,809 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    17-pdr wrote: »
    Your numbers may be correct in absolute terms, but I notice you haven't factored in a drop in turnout from 68% in the 2017 GE to 55% now.
    You might want to check out the overall turn out numbers before you get too carried away with yourself there blanch.


    Turnout is a factor, and the argument can be made that DUP and SF voters stayed at home and will return at the next election, that is fair enough.

    However, the point I am making is that this turnout drop did not prevent the SDLP and Alliance from increasing the actual number of people who voted for them.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 695 ✭✭✭Havockk


    blanch152 wrote: »
    Turnout is a factor, and the argument can be made that DUP and SF voters stayed at home and will return at the next election, that is fair enough.

    However, the point I am making is that this turnout drop did not prevent the SDLP and Alliance from increasing the actual number of people who voted for them.

    It's still a horrible result for SDLP in the circumstances. SF lose 6-7K votes and all they can manage to pick up is 700?

    In fact, when looking at even the 2015 results, it's just back to square 1.


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