Good evening all.
A couple of days full of high drama, political scandal, raised voices, wild predictions, political shocks, cummupances, high points, low points and even fisticuffs at count centres (Derry I believe). Great fun and I’ve enjoyed it for the most part. I hope you all have.
At time of writing 9 seats have still to be decided so I may be a little premature but I thought it would be a good evening to take stock and put some context on the results. The devil, as always, will be in the detail and time enough to look at that. Below is a chart examining the results in percentages over the last few Council elections in the North. It is not exhaustive but it is accurate as of now.
As we may see above Sinn Fein have held their own, SDLP have a problem, the DUP have a major problem and the UUP have steadied the ship. The “dissident” Unionists have done pretty well and the Greens have done what the Greens usually do. I might add I was personally delighted for John Barry who I interviewed on this blog, getting elected in second place far above expectations. Nuala Toman of SF, also interviewed recently here, almost pulled off what would have been a major shock by narrowly failing to make the grade in Castlereagh South.
A number of wider political questions present themselves from these results.
Is this a typical “mid term” election where voters are punishing the incumbent governmental parties?
What are the parties doing to encourage political engagement from potential voters?
Is there a tendency of a drift to the extremes on the part of those who are politically active and voters?
Ah well, Let’s do it all again on Monday- from a European perspective?