What an interesting electoral cycle that was.
I think the uncontested facts are that Unionism stood still, SF and the SDLP almost stood still but took an almighty wobble, The radical left wing did very well indeed and the so called “progressives” eh, didn’t progress very much. That is despite the attempt by the SDLP to grasp the “progressive” mantle. I still have no idea what the term actually means.
This all flies in the face of the narrative of this blog but I still stand firmly behind the basic narratives that underlie the central premise. To be clear I still think there is a clear correlation between those of a catholic/ nationalist upbringing, and the voting patterns evident in the the north east of Ireland.
What is clear is that the nationalist leaning electorate are not actually voting. There is no evidence that they are voting for anyone else such as the DUP but they are clearly just not voting anymore, for anyone.
This is a developing narrative. Some respected commenters here are suggesting that there is a need for a right wing, catholic, nationalist party. As a democrat I’m all for that idea. I’m yet to be persuaded that the likes of Fianna Fail would do well in the North East but I’m fully open to them standing for election
Meanwhile, it is clear that those of a nationalist mindset are under-represented in the current assembly.
That, in my view, is an educational matter.
Disengagement from the democratic process is something that should concern us all.