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NI Assembly Elections - A rerun of the GFA referendum?



  • Registered Users Posts: 16,438 ✭✭✭✭Loafing Oaf

    Where does Alliance fit into this scenario? Up to the individual voter which bloc they fall into?

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,184 ✭✭✭✭Furze99

    This is tedious. Of course a 'border poll' and a UI are part of the SF manifesto. If you'd been around this site for more than a few minutes, you'd know that it's often said that a UI is effectively the primary one and only policy of SF. And they have a perfect right to have that as a policy. So do southern parties but it's not a priority issue to the same extent.

    As regards this election though, SF were careful not to over emphasise the border poll question as such rhetoric was liable to drive votes towards the harder line unionist parties.

  • Registered Users Posts: 68,826 ✭✭✭✭FrancieBrady

    You could say the same thing about any election in the north.

    The island is already divided btw and those affected by that will not stay quiet just because 'Jack's alright'.

  • Posts: 6,192 ✭✭✭ [Deleted User]

    Would driving people towards more hardline unionists not have strengthened em more by splitting the unionist vote??

    (In reality,they did right thing and stayed outta being dragged into the protocol mess)

    SF have spent last 12 months,spending them millions they gotton, holding utd ireland conferences (many also attended by eastwood),including the letter being leaked from them to saoradh 48 hours before the polls.....

    the notion they been keeping stump,and secret their intentions on a utd ireland is a poor attempt to explain away/distract from extraordinary vote management by the esbtablishment

  • Registered Users Posts: 387 ✭✭shirrup

    "We don't forget those things down south and it's why the vote in SF in the Republic is self limiting as there are still many who lived through those times and know what they were about. It's also explains why southern parties like FF or FG or Lab are much more comfortable supporting the SDLP or Alliance etc."

    I assume your taking the proverbial?

    The people of the South don't forget things in a hurry, yet they literally have been voting in political partys that emerged from the civil war for a century?

    FF members literally turned up to the Irish parliament with "revolvers in their pockets".

    You seriously need to reeducate yourself.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 68,826 ✭✭✭✭FrancieBrady

    The 'shinner ceiling' again?

    The Shinners don't own a UI, we constitutionally aspire to it as a people.

  • Posts: 6,192 ✭✭✭ [Deleted User]

    FF less than a geneation after bankrupting the state,have a cabinet member from that time as taoiseach,along side a massive mandate.....

    But but the free state electorate have long memories🤔👏👏

  • Registered Users Posts: 946 ✭✭✭bricksNDmortar

    Well alliance won’t nail colours to the mast either way but Naomi long said if endorsed she would support a call for a border poll to settle the constitutional matter.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,624 ✭✭✭votecounts

    What Nationalists don't like is that FF,FG and Labour come up North and only attack 1 party, never a bad word about the DUP, UUP, TUV, etc. They don't even really care about the SDLP, they just won't want to harm SF and then will bend over backwards to help Unionists and their friends in RTE will give Unionism soft interviews, not calling them what they are, homophobes and sectarian bigots who simply don't want a tadgh about the place.

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,438 ✭✭✭✭Loafing Oaf

    Don't follow NI politics closely, but my impression is most Alliance members/voters would ultimately fall into the Protestant/Unionist camp, however liberal & moderate, and if it came to the sectarian headcount of a border poll, they would revert to their tribal allegiance.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,764 ✭✭✭ArthurDayne

    Well, my own brother votes Alliance and is very much in the Irish/Nationalist camp. He’s of the view that unified cross-community politics is the key to the eventual unification of the country — i.e. a United Northern Ireland must exist before a United Ireland. Try as they might, it’s a dubious prospect that Sinn Fein will ever actually get people in the likes of North Down to start voting for them unless those voters get replaced by Nationalists via demographic changes. So, there are people in what I would call the ‘Patient Nationalism’ camp (as in, nationalists who would aspire towards eventual unification but whose politics are not defined by that and who are happy to make the status quo work for now) who see a vote for Alliance as a vote for a more mutually acceptable party across the traditional divide who will work constructively for NI and engage constructively with the Republic to further tear down the barriers.

    Another point I would make (which I don’t think is getting as much commentary as it merits) is that Unionist voters haven’t just gravitated towards Alliance because of the DUP’s idiotic intransigence on Brexit or because they are sick of the ‘Unionist’ label. Those are obviously likely factors for many, but I think the other factor here is liberalism. Nationalists have a liberal party in the form of Sinn Fein, who have been pro-active in recent years on things like gay marriage and abortion etc — but Unionists clearly don’t have that in the DUP. A new generation of liberal Unionists is out there, who don’t subscribe to the bible-thumping, gay-bashing Orangeism of their forebears — but the Unionist parties have failed to cater for millennial Unionists at all. Alliance gives them that without having to vote Nationalist.

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,438 ✭✭✭✭Loafing Oaf

    Interesting but I don't think it undermines my fundamental point that the the idea that rise of Alliance signals that Nordies of a Protestant/Unionist background are softening towards the Republic and some may be persuaded to vote for a UI is largely wishful thinking and that hence a UI via a Border Poll is likely still decades away

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,551 ✭✭✭✭Galwayguy35

    I thought the SDLP would have got more than 3 seats, SF did well but don't seem to have got the landslide they were expecting.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,544 ✭✭✭✭markodaly

    For all the talk of a UI, its nonsense.

    The same % of people voted for nationalists vs unionists in 1998 as today.

    Sure, 10% of SF voters would vote AGAINST a UI!

    If SF goes down the road of banging on about a border poll while they ignore their electorate on the day to day issues, which include the longest waiting lists in Europe and the poorest areas on the British Isles, they ill quickly be given the heave-ho.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    100% of sinn Fein voters know that their main objective is a United Ireland

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,544 ✭✭✭✭markodaly

    Objective maybe, yet 10% of SF voters given the last big poll on a UI would vote to stay in the Union.

    Them the facts!

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,551 ✭✭✭✭Galwayguy35

    I'm no shinner but in all fairness there isn't much they can do if the DUP won't enter Government with them, was listening to Donaldson on the BBC earlier on and he while he didn't come right out and say it its clear hasn't a notion of entering powersharing with them and will not agree to a SF FM

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,764 ✭✭✭ArthurDayne

    I think you’re right in some ways, but you also have to consider how the rise of Alliance (if it continues) affects the dynamic of cross-border politics. While integration between North and South has consistently deepened, a major impediment in that process has been the ideological entrenchment of political forces like the DUP who loathe Dublin and any involvement of Dublin in the affairs of the North or any other form of integration with the South — be it legal, political, economic or infrastructural. Indeed, this desire to keep ties severed was the source of the DUP’s disastrous miscalculation over Brexit.

    That just isn’t going to be the case with Alliance. They will seek engagement with the South, they will not be approaching all-island initiatives with ideological suspicion, they are not going to be injecting firebrand British nationalism or Ulster Loyalism into everything. They are going to push for what makes sense for NI, and cross-border cooperation and all-island alignment makes sense for NI - especially now that the UK has made it clear that NI is nothing more than an inconvenient anomaly to them that they can gradually remove from the equation by alienating it to the extent they can get away with.

    So I’d agree with you that Alliance voters aren’t just going to be UI voters in ten years, but we are definitely seeing a softening of Unionism even if still remains Unionism. But that softening is enough to imagine that we might be entering an era of further North South cooperation and integration — which may go some way in mitigating Unionist fears towards Dublin and indeed southern misgivings about those crazy Nordies.

  • Registered Users Posts: 68,826 ✭✭✭✭FrancieBrady

    Who was expecting a landslide?

    It was always evident the DUP/TUV would scare voters into voting for them to keep SF out….they failed and now they will be on a world stage behaving as suprematists and bigots.

    How they think they are going to get a positive outcome for Unionism I cannot fathom.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,776 ✭✭✭✭briany

    I thought he said that without changes to the NIP , the DUP would not agree to form a government. It could well be that it's just a case of any old excuse not to form a government with Sinn Fein where SF is the largest party - a concept that must sicken Donaldson to his core and then down to his toes, but the reality of SF being the largest party would be undeniable. Refusing to form a government would only alienate the DUP even further from the ordinary people of NI who just want to get on with their lives, but as recent years have shown, the DUP cannot be said to be known for their political nous.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 68,826 ✭✭✭✭FrancieBrady

    Good question from Feeney, what is the point of the place now?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,764 ✭✭✭ArthurDayne

    I do think it’s also worth pointing out, in response to the post you replied to, that Sinn Fein did in fairness actually put bread and butter issues at the forefront of their campaign. I didn’t give them my first preference vote but I would have to hand it to them, they got their tone right in this election and so far they are getting it right post-election.

    By getting the result they got, they have absolutely outmanoeuvred the DUP and have plopped them right into a total cluster**k of a dilemma. If the DUP refuse to enter government with SF, they will look anti-democratic and bigoted (which wouldn’t have mattered much of a damn to them for years but now they risk losing progressive Unionists to Alliance). It will also harden Nationalist resolve and evoke old feelings of Unionists wanting to alienate Catholics from influence. If they do a u-turn, they risk further electoral defection to the TUV and the reality of an Executive with strong SF and Alliance influence to contend with. If they push for scrapping the Protocol, they risk continuing on their recent path of delusional thinking on this which has made them look utterly idiotic to their moderate base — while also more or less unwittingly demonstrating for all the world to see just how happily Westminster will stab Loyal Ulster in the back at every turn.

    They are in an absolute hole, which they have entirely dug themselves into, and Sinn Fein have made hay. Seems like all they can do is push for some meaningless symbolic wording about the Protocol which they can hold up to their hardcore loyalist base as being something which means the Protocol is OK now.

  • Registered Users Posts: 32,777 ✭✭✭✭gmisk

    Lovely to see someone from the Alliance get a seat in north antrim and from interview patricia o lynn was hugely impressive.

  • Registered Users Posts: 68,826 ✭✭✭✭FrancieBrady

    TUV will only have one seat in the new assembly

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,438 ✭✭✭✭Loafing Oaf

  • Registered Users Posts: 716 ✭✭✭macvin

    Absolutely not.

    I'm very much "Irish" and voted alliance. Many people I know voted Alliance.

    You could say its a class divide - those with brain cells and who just despise the Unionism/Nationalism argument that is 30+ years past the best before date went with alliance. their candidates are also on the more intellectual side.

    And this is not a "win" for sinn fein. With DUP in tatters, and a huge jump in young voters they only increased their share of votes be a single point. They did not gain any seats either.

    Frankly it was a poor performance because they have done absolutely nothing for local people here that have really felt the hardships of higher prices, poor hospital care and drop in local services. Things sinn fein have done nothing about

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,066 ✭✭✭✭BonnieSituation

    God be with the days when Blanch didn't even know what Slugger was.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,776 ✭✭✭✭briany

    Yeah, I think the basic story of this election has more been that a higher proportion of moderate DUP voters have gotten p*ssed off enough with their usual party to either vote Alliance or just stay home altogether.

  • Registered Users Posts: 68,826 ✭✭✭✭FrancieBrady

    Parties lose votes if they are not delivering. You point is a nonsense in that respect.

    Alliance now have to deliver for their electorate, let's see how they go. Let's see how they get on dealing with the intransigence and suprematism of the DUP

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  • Registered Users Posts: 19,066 ✭✭✭✭BonnieSituation

    Sure, he's not even going to take up his seat. He was squirming when Carruthers asked him about it. No chance.