I first met Claire Bailey in 2006 when she successfully canvassed me to vote for her as Mature Students Officer at Queens University.
I never had her down as the “strong SILENT type” so I am surprised that she has taken a vow of silence since entering the Assembly as Green Party MLA for South Belfast.
While it is perfectly possible for a MLA to be highly capable without actually speaking in the Assembly chamber, it is surely inadvisable to spend eight months in the Assembly without actually speaking.
Still nice that she got to say something out loud once…even if it was only on the day that Stormont actually collapsed.
Whether the Greens consider endorsing her for the upcoming election (or replacing her with John Barry who is always talking about something) I cant say…but it is rather obvious that rival parties will bring The Silent Green up on the doorsteps.
In fairness, Steven Agnew did need someone to keep him company in the Stormont restaurant 😉
In case someone tried to steal his lunch money.
how do you expect south Belfast to pan out?
What do you recon as to the SDLP’s chances in West Belfast? I am hoping for Alex Attwood.
It will be difficult. The hardest aspect is the quota being higher because there are only five seats.
Whether unionists turn out and transfer is another dimension and of course PBP will run two candidates.
Very very difficult.
What did you make of SDLP south Belfast telling people on the doorstep to vote for liberal progressive parties like Greens and UUP in transfers and not to transfer to SF. I’m all for political rivalry but a. Seems suicidal and b. UUP aren’t considered progressive by their target audience, unless that is now the small Alliance vote they want instead.
Ive not heard this but not really surprised.
I dont think that (an element of) SDLP in South Belfast is typical SDLP as a whole.
In fairness whoever the UUP candidate is is likely to be “ok”.
I do recall last year a prominent former SDLP person congratulated two progressive women getting elected in South Belfast (ie Claire Hanna and Claire Bailey). I note that SDLP dont mention Alliance and certainly from SDLP analysis, South Belfast would likely pan out as 3 safe seats DUP, SDLP, SF….
Seat 4 and 5 would be GP or AP
My guess would be SDLP would prefer GP or UUP to AP.
AP are the fly in the ointment …if they can claim a Ministry …they will! And if Sugden loses in East Derry, they would forget their principles and join with DUP and SF.
My own belief is that Parties are stupid to advise on transfers. People fall out about #2,3, 4.
I am a nationalist/republican….all my life I have voted 1SDLP 2 SF (and between 1993-2009) vice versa.
As a nationalist voter, unionists are my enemy.
and most nationalist voters will see see SDLP and SF as rivals rather than enemies.
Unfortunately for party members, there is animosity.
My own plan for 2 March is voting SDLP and probably not giving any other preference. Whatever the total of votes SDLP candidate gets will be short of a quota but will not be an early elimination. The candidate will miss out as the 6th placed person or get the 5th seat, short of a quota….
In fairness, I believe it was some SDLP youth kid digging a big hole for herself on twitter.
I’m relieved to hear that.
I’ll probably vote for Claire Hanna in South Belfast. But if the SDLP tell me to transfer to the Greens or UUP, not only will I not do that, I will also not vote for Claire Hanna.
Its foolish to ever ask a voter to give #2 to another Party. Much simpler to say “and give your #2 to the party which yoy feel represents SDLP values”.
its a tried and trusted formula.
People before profit have unfortunately eaten into the vote in West Belfast so much that they are running two candidates. They wouldn’t weren’t quite confident. A worry.
I mean PBP they wouldn’t run two candidates in West Belfast if they weren’t quite confident. That is a worry for Sinn Féin quite honestly.
Also for Sdlp.
Derry-foyle will be interesting. Sdlp are only running two candidates and likely to win both.
SF are safe with one. And if they get a McGuinness sympathy vote, they might get two but really only one is safe.
The last two seats will be between, MCCann, DUP and a second SF.
But I very careful about looking at 2016 to guess 2017. This is very different.
Are SDLP running 2 candidates in SB this time? See Alliance are with a smaller vote share. DUP got 2 seats last time with only 2% more first preferences. Hope they find a running mate for Hanna.
The big question is can SDLP move a candidate from finishing seventh to fifth.
Alliance ….a case of running two to get one (the areas allocated to their candidates this time might well be different from 2016)
I think Alliance are taking a huge risk here. On the basis of last year’s figures they actually have less than 1 quota in a 5 seat constituency. Were the UUP to field a better candidate than Rodney McCune, taken together with a swing to them from the DUP (on the basis of the RHI scandal/cover up) and a small boost for Bailey, Alliance could really be spitting blood to hold 1 seat. 1 each for SF, SDLP, Green, DUP, UUP not inconceivable. If the SDLP only field one candidate however then some of Hanna’s surplus would probably help them over the line.
I get the impression that Alliance would have preferred Duncan Morrow to have been elected in 2016. He is Alliance “royalty” but Paula Bradshaw is ex UUP who actually stood against Alliance in 2010.
The choice of Alliances second candidate will therefore be interesting (I havent seen anything about candidates). And the allocation of the canvassing territory will be interesting.
Local councillor Emmet MCSomebody Browne and Ian Parsley (formerly Alliance, UUP, Conservative and Alliance ….but not necessarily in that order) are on Ms Bradshaws staff …..Mr Parsley is of course husband to Ms Bradshaw.
A second SDLP candidate would at least influence the final outcome.
Emmett McDonough Brown is indeed the 2nd Alliance candidate. A “Tories in disguise” campaign might hurt them regarding transfers from the plethora of “Left” candidates that will be eliminated in the early rounds.
McDonough Brown might have more credibility with nationalist/republican/progressive voters than Bradshaw.
But clearly Bradshaw has established herself as the main Alliance person in South Belfast.
Of course young Mr McDonough-Brown might actually win and Ms Bradshaw lose. Then he could employ Ms Bradshaw as his advisor and Mr Parsley as organiser of his paper clips.
Everyones a winner.