Next Year, and it’s not long away, we have the next round of European Parliament elections. It could be fun. The interesting thing from the point of view of this part of the world is the old sectarian headcount canard. As always my own view is thatEuro flag only the votes count. The Euro elections are a strange one in terms of elections here. They tend not to generate a particularly high turnout, probably because we all know that Europe revolves upon our political machinations (ahem) and the finances they tend to send our way is a reward for good (or percieved as good)  behaviour. A lesson not lost on certain elements we are all familiar with who have a certain sense of entitlement without the attendant responsibilities as a result.

Taking a quick look at recent Euro elections, the turnout is typically low.The results are below:

Euro Comparison

The fly in the ointment is the fragmentation of the Unionist vote.This has happened before of course. The DUP vote collapse transferred en-mass to Jim of the TUV last time out but this time there may be other anti EU forces in play, notably the Fleggers and the UKIP wings of Unionism.

From a nationalist viewpoint the question is whether 2 seats out of 3 is achievable. I think it is. The only question is if nationalist voters can be energised enough to turn out in sufficient numbers. That may depend upon a combined unionist vote transferring more effectively than previously.

1984 1989 1994 1999 2004 2009
Green Party 0.3% 1.2% 0.0% 0.0% 0.9% 3.3%
TUV 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 13.7%
Sinn Féin 13.3% 9.1% 9.9% 17.3% 26.3% 26.0%
Democratic Unionist Party 33.6% 29.9% 29.2% 28.4% 32.0% 18.2%
SDLP 22.1% 25.5% 28.9% 28.1% 15.9% 16.2%
Ulster Unionists 21.5% 22.2% 23.8% 17.6% 16.6% 17.1%
Alliance Party 5.0% 5.2% 4.1% 2.1% 0.0% 5.5%
Independents 2.9% 5.7% 3.6% 6.4% 8.3% 0.0%
Workers Party 1.3% 1.0% 0.5% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%

So what are the odds on a transfer of power? Diane Dodds is an incredibly weak candidate for the DUP. She is very demonstrably petulant, weak and ineffective. She is  vulnerable in the face of a serious challenge. I think the DUP know this. Unlike others, I think the threat of a second DUP candidate is a direct reaction to this reality, not, as reported (and attributed to Jim Allistar) and unchallenged by the msm, as a challenge to the Official Unionists. It is interesting that this went un-commented upon by the DUP.

Anyhow, the interesting thing will be the turnout and how it is affected if combined with council elections. My guess is that nationalism may just squeeze that second seat.