Northern Ireland’s political parties face a triple electoral whammy next May, with local council and assembly polls taking place at the same time as the Alternative Vote referendum.
I wonder what appetite hard-working activists and an apathetic general public will have for campaigns starting in the grey months of Winter and running into the early Spring?
No doubt some of our representatives will be more up for the fight than others. Still, it’s hard to envisage them inspiring a healthy turnout from an indifferent electorate.
If the menu of political options is unchanged, or even decreases from previous polls, even the anoraks among us may be scrabbling around for a candidate worth backing.
One interesting question for the run-up to May 5th 2011, how will the local parties advise their supporters to vote on AV?
If self-interest is the guiding principle, and surely it will be, you would imagine the UUP, SDLP and Alliance will back it enthusiastically, while the DUP and Sinn Féin might not be so keen.
The referendum should keep party number crunchers busy for the next few months.