Absolutely none. In short term or long term. None. And I can live with that.
With their usual sense of entitlement….being GODs Special People…they anticipated some sympathy in respect of their “principled” stand on Flegs. But I think they hopelessly miscalculated. Human sympathy for the disgusting fascist attacks on Alliance offices, homes and people did not translate into political support for a political party which is at heart anti-democratic….and that sense of entitlement to two Executive seats.
Their vote yesterday…less than five hundred ….was derisory. Amusing even as David Ford increasingly out of touch with Reality predicted that the story of the night would be the Alliance performance.
So….In 2010, they got 1.0% of the votes in Mid Ulster. And this time managed a staggering 1.3%. Risible. Aside from the “sympathy” vote, they should hado got something from the decision to run an agreed Unionist. Theoretically this should have produced some liberal unionist votes. Indeed had a McUnionist run….it’s likely Alliance would have lost votes.
West of the Bann….Alliance is still a joke. But the real repercussions are in Belfast and its suburbs. No sympathy in Mid Ulster is likely to mean no sympathy in East Belfast and the spectre of an agreed unionist in East Belfast means that Naomi Long is “toast” in Westminster 2015. Even more likely is the loss of one Assembly and a precious Executive seat. There was no liberal unionist challenge in Mid Ulster. There will be in Lagan Valley, Strangford, South Antrim, North Down. A crowded middle ground is not good news for Alliance.
But what of David Ford. Will he come under pressure? I think so. Naomi and Farry will be watching it all closely.