Sinn Fein: Reasons To Be Cheerful?

First of all congratulations to Francie Molloy….MP.

It was a bye election in a safe seat. He dropped 4,000 votes and lost 5% of the Sinn Fein vote share. He was undoubtedly helped by the fact that it is First Past the Post AND there was a single unionist candidate….and there was so to speak…bad blood between them.

In 2010, there was 38 percentage points advantage over SDLP and this time a still impressive 30 points…the SDLP actually gained votes.

What next? Well Francie goes to Westminster…or rather DOESNT go to Westminster. A new MLA will be co-opted…election agent, Ian Milne? Does this return the SDLP to 2007 levels? Not quite…this time around there was a single unionist. So SDLP will be happy.

The focus shifts to Fermanagh-South Tyrone…albeit in a General Election in 2015. SDLP is clearly a stopped the decline, is reviving and unionist unity actually works. That’s bad news for Michelle Gildernew and probably for one of the three Sinn Fein MLAs there. SDLP has clearly shown it is in the game to win back the seventy odd votes it needs there.

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7 Responses to Sinn Fein: Reasons To Be Cheerful?

  1. hoboroad says:

    So the fruits of Unionist Unity so far are the Ulster Unionists losing two MLA’s.

  2. ‘unionist unity actually works. That’s bad news for Michelle Gildernew and probably for one of the three Sinn Fein MLAs there’

    Does it though? They lost votes if my memory serves me right.

    As for how this may play out in FST, it’s been tried before and it didn’t succeed and Rodney was supposed to be pretty popular among unionists in that area. I do see how it can be successful, however, Michelle is pretty popular among Nats, she has a lot of good will behind her and a ruthless party machine that’s usually very good at getting the vote out. I am not saying it will not be close, but she’s the incumbent, I think it gets harder and harder as each year goes by especially in the circumstances she has had to keep her seat.

    For the Assembly, maybe BD would be better at this than I but as it is a PR vote I don’t see this having any kind of an uplift for unionist candidates.

    • There could well be hardened republicans turning away from SF. And I do think SDLP will recover a little ground.
      The Demographics certainly favour nationalists.
      But I think without an Assembly profile, Gildernew COULD become invisible.

      • There could be, but where to, abstaining to vote? Something tells me that they would much rather see SF win than unionism in general. As for Gildernew becoming invisible, maybe, maybe not. If there is 2 unionist pols fighting for the seat she will be invisible, if they have a unity candidate I expect her to be out front and centre in the media’s glare as a spokeswomen of some kind, probably agriculture again.

      • oakleaf says:

        Yeah a lot of republicans have stopped voting for various reasons.

      • I think many people believed that Sinn Fein was a different kind of political party.
        Sinn Fein is really no different at all. and there’s a disillusionment. After all I voted for them from 1993 to 2009.
        Various reasons?
        Well certainly some ex voters are now supporting dissidents…passively.
        Some have fallen back on abstention.
        And there is a “nationalist floating voter” who will make an informed decision between SDLP and SF.

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