Monday, 8 June 2009

Confident Nicholson - success within his grasp?

The BBC coverage of the European election is underway and Jim Nicholson has arrived at the count with party leader Sir Reg Empey. Both men look quietly delighted. We are closing in on an announcement of first preference votes and by the News Letter’s estimation the Conservatives and Unionists are battling it out for second place with the DUP. Increasingly there is an expectation that Nicholson could beat Dodds into third. Exciting stuff.

There is even a suggestion that Sinn Féin might have to wait for another count to confirm its candidate’s success. The extreme nationalist party could be just under a quota on the first time of asking. It is notoriously unreceptive to transfers, but would probably muster enough to get home comfortably.

Update: Some provisional figures:

F - 126,000, DUP - 88,000, UCUNF - 82,000, TUV - 66,000, SDLP - 78,000, All - 24,000, Greens - 18,000

Would make it likely that Jim would be first unionist elected..

Further update:

Unconfirmed first preferences

First Pref as follows:
SF - 126184
DUP - 88346
UCUNF - 82893
SDLP - 78489
TUV - 66197
Alliance - 26699
Greens - 15764

SF elected on first count.

And another:

Confirmed by the BBC.

Agnew and Parsley eliminated. Few of their transfers will go to the Dupes.


Timothy Belmont said...

I'm confident the result will be 2 Unionists and 1 S/F. It's hard to conceive that Jim Nicholson would lose.

I've been griping all morning about NI's reluctance to get out of the 19th century and count votes as immediately as is feasible, like everywhere else in the UK.
Any excuse that they refuse, or cannot count on a Sunday is unsustainable in the 21st century. Get into line with everyone else!


Peter said...

Slightly depressing that the UCUNF vote has only edged fractionally higher. Little sign that moderate Unionists who had moved away from the UUP in recent years have been wooed back in any great numbers.
By the same token, nothing to suggest that moderate nationalists are losing patience with SF (despite the Ruane/education debacle) and switching back to the SDLP.
So a pretty depressing result of "same old", except that the extreme Unionist right split between its usual DUP vote and another anti-progress party.
Until we start seeing big swings away from DUP/SF towards UCUNF/SDLP and even the Alliance and Greens, there is little to be positive about in NI politics.

Anonymous said...


At least the *growth* of the extremes has stopped.