The 2017 Assembly Election & the mythical collapse of the unionist vote.

Enigma Variations

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Recent claims have been made by unionist posters explaining that their unprecedented electoral slippage in 2017 is accounted for by everything from stay-at-home voters/apathy to disaffection towards the DUP, and defections from the DUP to the UUP and Alliance.
This has struck me as rather odd because it didn't seem like that sort of election, since it was a particularly bitter, rancorous campaign and that sort of mood tends to galvanise both sides. And so it proved.
A quick look at the actual vote compared to last time, demonstrates that while its share of the turnout was down, the actual unionist vote was significantly up. The DUP vote this time was up by 11.3% while the UUP vote rose by a whopping 18.3%. Even when a sharp fall of nearly 11,000 votes for minor unionist parties is factored in, the overall unionist vote was still up by over 28,000 votes, or 8.4%. This of course means that a far greater number of apathetic nationalists who rarely, if ever voted before, were mobilised this time around.
This is not to say that there were not unionist “stay-at-homes”, but the evidence proves that it wasn't as important a factor as is being suggested.
The one significant unknown factor are Alliance, whose vote rose by 24K, an astonishing result for them. Obviously some of those votes can be accounted for by unionist defections but certainly not all. Their vote also rose significantly in a number of nationalist constituencies as well and they will certainly have benefited considerably from previously apathetic non-voters appalled by the RHI fiasco voting perhaps for the first time.
It remains to be seen whether the uncommitted and apathetic voters who accounted for the huge rise in all the non-unionist parties can be mobilised as effectively next time. It is doubtful. But a far more interesting "unknown" will be the capacity within unionism to galvanise their remaining potential among non-voters, as a consequence of the shock of the 2017 election.


PartyDUPUUPOthersTotal unionist
20162025678730245664335533
201722541310331435009363736
Inc/dec.2284616012-1065528203
% inc.11.318.38.4
 


Se0samh

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Recent claims have been made by unionist posters explaining that their unprecedented electoral slippage in 2017 is accounted for by everything from stay-at-home voters/apathy to disaffection towards the DUP, and defections from the DUP to the UUP and Alliance.
This has struck me as rather odd because it didn't seem like that sort of election, since it was a particularly bitter, rancorous campaign and that sort of mood tends to galvanise both sides. And so it proved.
A quick look at the actual vote compared to last time, demonstrates that while its share of the turnout was down, the actual unionist vote was significantly up. The DUP vote this time was up by 11.3% while the UUP vote rose by a whopping 18.3%. Even when a sharp fall of nearly 11,000 votes for minor unionist parties is factored in, the overall unionist vote was still up by over 28,000 votes, or 8.4%. This of course means that a far greater number of apathetic nationalists who rarely, if ever voted before, were mobilised this time around.
This is not to say that there were not unionist “stay-at-homes”, but the evidence proves that it wasn't as important a factor as is being suggested.
The one significant unknown factor are Alliance, whose vote rose by 24K, an astonishing result for them. Obviously some of those votes can be accounted for by unionist defections but certainly not all. Their vote also rose significantly in a number of nationalist constituencies as well and they will certainly have benefited considerably from previously apathetic non-voters appalled by the RHI fiasco voting perhaps for the first time.
It remains to be seen whether the uncommitted and apathetic voters who accounted for the huge rise in all the non-unionist parties can be mobilised as effectively next time. It is doubtful. But a far more interesting "unknown" will be the capacity within unionism to galvanise their remaining potential among non-voters, as a consequence of the shock of the 2017 election.


PartyDUPUUPOthersTotal unionist
20162025678730245664335533
201722541310331435009363736
Inc/dec.2284616012-1065528203
% inc.11.318.38.4

Expect no response from the chief culprits, those claims were merely a self-comforting meme they tried to spread......shrivelled at first sight..................whistling past the graveyard.............:roll:
 

CastleRay

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Recent claims have been made by unionist posters explaining that their unprecedented electoral slippage in 2017 is accounted for by everything from stay-at-home voters/apathy to disaffection towards the DUP, and defections from the DUP to the UUP and Alliance.
This has struck me as rather odd because it didn't seem like that sort of election, since it was a particularly bitter, rancorous campaign and that sort of mood tends to galvanise both sides. And so it proved.
A quick look at the actual vote compared to last time, demonstrates that while its share of the turnout was down, the actual unionist vote was significantly up. The DUP vote this time was up by 11.3% while the UUP vote rose by a whopping 18.3%. Even when a sharp fall of nearly 11,000 votes for minor unionist parties is factored in, the overall unionist vote was still up by over 28,000 votes, or 8.4%. This of course means that a far greater number of apathetic nationalists who rarely, if ever voted before, were mobilised this time around.
This is not to say that there were not unionist “stay-at-homes”, but the evidence proves that it wasn't as important a factor as is being suggested.
The one significant unknown factor are Alliance, whose vote rose by 24K, an astonishing result for them. Obviously some of those votes can be accounted for by unionist defections but certainly not all. Their vote also rose significantly in a number of nationalist constituencies as well and they will certainly have benefited considerably from previously apathetic non-voters appalled by the RHI fiasco voting perhaps for the first time.
It remains to be seen whether the uncommitted and apathetic voters who accounted for the huge rise in all the non-unionist parties can be mobilised as effectively next time. It is doubtful. But a far more interesting "unknown" will be the capacity within unionism to galvanise their remaining potential among non-voters, as a consequence of the shock of the 2017 election.


PartyDUPUUPOthersTotal unionist
20162025678730245664335533
201722541310331435009363736
Inc/dec.2284616012-1065528203
% inc.11.318.38.4
That's pretty much the same level of voting numbers as 1998 election if you include the UK Unionists into the figures. The combined nationalist vote of SF and SDLP is almost identitical as 1998. Nothing much at all has changed in 20 years except the 6th seat affected the DUP/UUP numbers more adversely than SF/SDLP.
 

Enigma Variations

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That's pretty much the same level of voting numbers as 1998 election if you include the UK Unionists into the figures. The combined nationalist vote of SF and SDLP is almost identitical as 1998. Nothing much at all has changed in 20 years except the 6th seat affected the DUP/UUP numbers more adversely than SF/SDLP.
You're missing the central point of the thread.
 

Mickeymac

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You're missing the central point of the thread.


Would not be the first time EV a unionist ignored the elephant in the room or engaged in a little bit of "look over there" :D

BTW, interesting post plus stats......much more informative than some loon claiming 760M residents in the EU.:D
 

Enigma Variations

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Just so that we are clear, the thread is not about any growth, real or otherwise, of the nationalist position since 1998, though of course the unionist vote has fallen from around 410K to 335K during that period, and fell from an overall majority into a plurality of around 45.6%, while the nationalist vote has actually risen from 321K to 334K in the same time.
It is about explaining the dramatic decline in elected unionist political influence over the last 10 months.
As it happens on the basis of Assembly seats as a ratio of votes, nationalists are marginally over-represented now, by one seat, while unionists are proportionately under-represented by the same number, while following the 2016 election the combined UUP/DUP seat total was actually proportionately an over-representation of around 8 seats, although that reduces to 5 when you factor in the minor unionist parties' votes which didn't transfer effectively.
Two significant lessons from the 2017 election seem to be:
1. The nationalist and other non-unionist vote has been jolted out of apathy at least on this occasion. How long that will continue for is open to question.
2. The long term decline of unionist electoral influence seems unstoppable but the drop in seats this time was largely only a correction anyway, based upon the proportional distribution of votes.
 
Last edited:

Se0samh

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Just so that we are clear, the thread is not about any growth, real or otherwise, of the nationalist position since 1998, though of course the unionist vote has fallen from around 410K to 335K during that period, and fell from an overall majority into a plurality of around 45.6%, while the nationalist vote has actually risen from 321K to 334K in the same time.
It is about explaining the dramatic decline in elected unionist political influence over the last 10 months.
As it happens on the basis of Assembly seats as a ratio of votes, nationalists are marginally over-represented now, by one seat, while unionists are proportionately under-represented by the same number, while following the 2016 election the combined UUP/DUP seat total was actually proportionately an over-representation of around 8 seats.
Two significant lessons from the 2017 election seem to be:
1. The nationalist and other non-unionist vote has been jolted out of apathy at least on this occasion. How long that will continue for is open to question.
2. The long term decline of unionist electoral influence seems unstoppable but the drop in seats this time was largely only a correction anyway, based upon the proportional distribution of votes.

Another would be that Arlene and her advisers should never play poker............having no clue whatsoever, as to the relative strength of their opponents hand..........:rolleyes:
 

devonish

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Just so that we are clear, the thread is not about any growth, real or otherwise, of the nationalist position since 1998, though of course the unionist vote has fallen from around 410K to 335K during that period, and fell from an overall majority into a plurality of around 45.6%, while the nationalist vote has actually risen from 321K to 334K in the same time.
It is about explaining the dramatic decline in elected unionist political influence over the last 10 months.
As it happens on the basis of Assembly seats as a ratio of votes, nationalists are marginally over-represented now, by one seat, while unionists are proportionately under-represented by the same number, while following the 2016 election the combined UUP/DUP seat total was actually proportionately an over-representation of around 8 seats, although that reduces to 5 when you factor in the minor unionist parties' votes which didn't transfer effectively.
Two significant lessons from the 2017 election seem to be:
1. The nationalist and other non-unionist vote has been jolted out of apathy at least on this occasion. How long that will continue for is open to question.
2. The long term decline of unionist electoral influence seems unstoppable but the drop in seats this time was largely only a correction anyway, based upon the proportional distribution of votes.
It's still quite alarming that even with the increase in turnout, over 1/3rd of the electorate didn't vote. I just had a quick look at turnout, highest turnout was in rural areas where SF are strong like FST, mid-Ulster, west Tyrone, Newry & Armagh, all areas where unionists lost seats as a result of the move from 6 to 5. I suspect that unionist turnout in these areas was already pretty high before 2017 and there is little scope for it to increase. We're in for a period of two minorities which could last for quite a long time, I don't see unionists regaining 50%+ plus of seats nor do I see a nationalist majority of seats anytime soon.
 

Se0samh

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It's still quite alarming that even with the increase in turnout, over 1/3rd of the electorate didn't vote. I just had a quick look at turnout, highest turnout was in rural areas where SF are strong like FST, mid-Ulster, west Tyrone, Newry & Armagh, all areas where unionists lost seats as a result of the move from 6 to 5. I suspect that unionist turnout in these areas was already pretty high before 2017 and there is little scope for it to increase. We're in for a period of two minorities which could last for quite a long time, I don't see unionists regaining 50%+ plus of seats nor do I see a nationalist majority of seats anytime soon.
I agree with you on virtually everything here, but I'm not sure of your definition of soon and brexit still has the capacity for enormous and rapid change..................
 

GDPR

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It's still quite alarming that even with the increase in turnout, over 1/3rd of the electorate didn't vote. I just had a quick look at turnout, highest turnout was in rural areas where SF are strong like FST, mid-Ulster, west Tyrone, Newry & Armagh, all areas where unionists lost seats as a result of the move from 6 to 5. I suspect that unionist turnout in these areas was already pretty high before 2017 and there is little scope for it to increase. We're in for a period of two minorities which could last for quite a long time, I don't see unionists regaining 50%+ plus of seats nor do I see a nationalist majority of seats anytime soon.
I believe that it is a civic duty to vote. So I vote, but in the context of Northern Ireland I well understanding people not voting.

People both on the main board and here have expressed shock that I vote Alliance; but given the situation how could I do otherwise if I'm going to vote?
 

devonish

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I agree with you on virtually everything here, but I'm not sure of your definition of soon and brexit still has the capacity for enormous and rapid change..................
Well, for at least 10 years, combined nationalist seats are at 37, need 46 for majority, that's just not possible.
 

CastleRay

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Just so that we are clear, the thread is not about any growth, real or otherwise, of the nationalist position since 1998, though of course the unionist vote has fallen from around 410K to 335K during that period, and fell from an overall majority into a plurality of around 45.6%, while the nationalist vote has actually risen from 321K to 334K in the same time.
It is about explaining the dramatic decline in elected unionist political influence over the last 10 months.
As it happens on the basis of Assembly seats as a ratio of votes, nationalists are marginally over-represented now, by one seat, while unionists are proportionately under-represented by the same number, while following the 2016 election the combined UUP/DUP seat total was actually proportionately an over-representation of around 8 seats, although that reduces to 5 when you factor in the minor unionist parties' votes which didn't transfer effectively.
Two significant lessons from the 2017 election seem to be:
1. The nationalist and other non-unionist vote has been jolted out of apathy at least on this occasion. How long that will continue for is open to question.
2. The long term decline of unionist electoral influence seems unstoppable but the drop in seats this time was largely only a correction anyway, based upon the proportional distribution of votes.
All fair points. It matters little from a constitutional position; the Assembly elections are not a border poll. If Unionists are not a majority that'll worry me not. They're a bunch of prîcks only equally matched for incompetence by the Nationalist parties. When Politics is grouped into a single issue every election no one can exspect good government.
 

Se0samh

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Well, for at least 10 years, combined nationalist seats are at 37, need 46 for majority, that's just not possible.
Unlikely but not impossible, as I said brexit may be a game changer and if it is, then realisation will kick in about 5 years or so from now.......perhaps even earlier............
 

Novos

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All fair points. It matters little from a constitutional position; the Assembly elections are not a border poll. If Unionists are not a majority that'll worry me not. They're a bunch of prîcks only equally matched for incompetence by the Nationalist parties. When Politics is grouped into a single issue every election no one can exspect good government.
To be fair to the pr1cks, no one has elected any of them with any expectation that they have any ability, at least I hope not.
 

CastleRay

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To be fair to the pr1cks, no one has elected any of them with any expectation that they have any ability, at least I hope not.
Listening to radio phone ins and looking at boards like this, there seems to be an expectation that complete prîcks will deliver something of value here. To date, what positive has been delivered for citizens in Northern Ireland? Very little except a vast reduction in terrorism. Big deal.
 

Mickeymac

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Listening to radio phone ins and looking at boards like this, there seems to be an expectation that complete prîcks will deliver something of value here. To date, what positive has been delivered for citizens in Northern Ireland? Very little except a vast reduction in terrorism. Big deal.

You say you live in East Belfast sir, would you say this event (link below) has anything positive to deliver to the people of the North of Ireland?

The way I see it is the absence of your elected representatives failure to condemn it which I find as a negative.



Council probes east Belfast 'celebration event' on day of Martin McGuinness funeral - BelfastTelegraph.co.uk
 

Enigma Variations

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Another would be that Arlene and her advisers should never play poker............having no clue whatsoever, as to the relative strength of their opponents hand..........:rolleyes:
That was a huge miscalculation on her part.
The DUP's overconfidence generally last year was hard to fathom and as a group they seemed to swallow their own propaganda, without looking at the underlying maths which would have told them that their disproportionate strength, as represented by seat numbers, was built on poor foundations.
The sheer hubris of that pass-the-sickbag moment, "Arlene's on fire", was a symptom of it.
 

Se0samh

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That was a huge miscalculation on her part.
The DUP's overconfidence generally last year was hard to fathom and as a group they seemed to swallow their own propaganda, without looking at the underlying maths which would have told them that their disproportionate strength, as represented by seat numbers, was built on poor foundations.
The sheer hubris of that pass-the-sickbag moment, "Arlene's on fire", was a symptom of it.
Terrible images...........thanks for that.............:mad:.......................;)

But yes not a lucky general, in Napoleonic terms...................
 

Novos

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Listening to radio phone ins and looking at boards like this, there seems to be an expectation that complete prîcks will deliver something of value here. To date, what positive has been delivered for citizens in Northern Ireland? Very little except a vast reduction in terrorism. Big deal.
The only ability they all have is to keep coming up with excuses as to why they have failed to deliver anything. Luckily for them most of their voters are thick.
 


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