The problem with this campaign is the contradictions. The biggest contradiction is speculation about Turnout. Some tell me it will be better than last year. Applications to get on the register are allegdly up…but some canvassers are being told that people are not voting.
Maybe both are right…maybe there are regional variations or maybe different parties are getting different reactions. The “good response on the doorstep” quote is a cliché. But obviously in a lot of cases, it is true. Maybe there is actual movement.
Reading “The Tyrone Courier” in a barbers in Dungannon two weeks ago , there was no election coverage except for those clichéd photographs of candidates and supporters handing in nomination papers. In a coffee shop in Newtownards, the ladies were in guarded conversation.
There does not seem to be many “sweepers”. It looks like some votes wont actually count. More votes than candidates.
Claims that UUP AND SDLP are eating into veteran Trevor Lunn’s Alliance vote in Lagan Valley but Alliance doing well in East Belfast and North Down.
Violence….casual sexism, sectarianism, homophobia or just unpleasantness at doorsteps, a bullet sent to a pregnant SDLP candidate (Nichola Mallon) and the fire-boming of a SF agents car in Bangor….and the casual theft of election posters.
I will be glad when it is all over.