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AND SO TO BED …

By Pete Moore On December 12th, 2019

56 Responses to “AND SO TO BED …”

  1. well well
    exit polls are much more accurate by opinion polls
    can’t see the tories going lower than 50 + majority, could be 100 on a super night for them.
    Corbyn has to go , Keir Starmer next leader and 5 years opposition.
    SNP will call every week for a referendum , Trade talks will bore everyone to alcoholism
    I’ll be switching off for 5 years – worra load of bollocks ..

  2. Pretty much what I expected. Boris is much more palatable over Corbyn. Boris really isn’t like Trump at all – he’s much smarter, has wit and possesses acute politically savvy, which Trump does not.

    I think y’all will be fine.

  3. We will wake up in the morning, have a cup of tea keep calm and carry on, as we always do. 😉

  4. At least your leader isn’t on Putin’s payroll

    Did Boris disclose his personal finances/income tax

  5. Phantom

    The issue of politicians personal tax returns isn’t really an issue in our elections.

  6. Daphne its going to be funny with BJ as PM fighting a war, acting like churchill in a battle entirely of the tories own making , in other words, totally unnecessary . Its Nuts like over in USA with Trump ..

  7. Has anyone seen what the exit polls showed for the national share of the vote.

  8. It’s a Tory landslide. They have breached the so-called “Labour wall” in the North of England and seen off the Lib Dems in the south. Johnson will have a big majority and will have to govern with consequences, i.e. take the shit which will immediately start falling on Monday morning.

    If the SNP have taken 95% of the Scottish seats (on less than 60% of the vote) there will be an immediate demand for a second referendum on independence. The Tories will be in power until 2023-24 and Johnson will probably be the PM who sees the UK break up, but many in his (English) party will cheer that on because they are English nationalists at heart.

  9. Ouch the DUP just became totally irrelevant

  10. It looks like the English working class vote is now something like 60% Tory, 30% Labour and 10% Lib Dem. And that the middle class vote is majority anti-Tory. If so, then we are back to how people voted in the period 1832-1910, i.e. on cultural values rather than perceived economic class interest. The middle class are voting for higher taxes and the working class are voting for lower government spending.

  11. aye Peter, it was a “Keep Britain White” election and we’re gonna be hearing about it for the next five years from petem and side-kick.
    If SNP get close to splitting from UK , ATW will be full of threads on anti-semitism in the SNP.

  12. “Labour’s John McDonnell has blamed a campaign “dominated by Brexit” for a predicted poor performance by Labour in the election. The shadow chancellor said his party had been hoping “other issues would cut through”. A BBC/ITV/Sky exit poll put Labour on 191 seats, which would be its worst result since 1935.”

    LOL

    This is the same McDonnell who wanted to overturn the Leave vote in 2016. Labour could have campaigned on a second referendum, i.e. vote for Johnson’s withdrawal deal or vote to Remain. That would have been just about defensible, but instead they chose the nonsense position of “renegotiating” a leave deal that the EU has made clear cannot be negotiated and then (probably, including McDonnell) recommending that the new deal should be rejected in favour of Remain.

    Serve them ****ing right.

  13. Looks like Alliance is set to win North Down.

  14. As some of us (ahem) predicted, Lib-Dem leader Swinson is likely to lose her seat to the SNP. It was her decision to campaign on a policy of ignoring the 2016 referendum completely, neither liberal nor democratic. Also, she was unable to accept the biological difference between a man and a woman on Radio 4 this week, having bought in to the Trans agenda 100%. This means that a human being with a penis can enter the women’s changing room if he “self-identifies” as a woman.

    Good riddance, and let’s hope that the Lib Dems select a new leader who has some sense.

  15. Looks like Alliance is set to win North Down.

    Let’s hope so, my daughter and her husband were faced with a choice of three unionists and Alliance. They will be well-pleased if this is correct.

  16. //Let’s hope so, //

    But you still didn’t give them your vote in N Belfast, Peter. Poor show. 🙁

  17. But you still didn’t give them your vote in N Belfast, Peter. Poor show. 🙁

    Fair point Noel

  18. //As some of us (ahem) predicted, Lib-Dem leader Swinson is likely to lose her seat to the SNP. It was her decision to campaign on a policy of ignoring the 2016 referendum completely,//

    But so did the SNP. Swinson had little choice. Her constituency voted over 70 pc Remain and she was always for Remain. It would have been hypocritical of her to change her views just to suit the prevailing wind in England and stupid of her to ignore the people who elected her.

  19. Scotland bucking the trend. Conservative vote up everywhere in England so far, but falling in Scotland.

  20. Finucane gain N Belfast. Wow.

  21. It looks like unionists are down to 8 seats out of 18 in northern Ireland

  22. I wonder if those disgusting anti Finucane posters backfired?

    A British nationalist movement has dealt big blows to British power in Ireland and Scotland

    US tv news is blathering endlessly about the impeachment non story. Who cares what happens to this bum

    BBC World Is giving wall-to-wall coverage of the British election, as you would expect. This is the biggest story in the world this week,

  23. Massive gain for the SDLP over SF in Derry. Colm Eastwood’s vote surpassed even John Hume’s back in the old days.

    Really great news for SF in North Belfast. The DUP leader in the House of Commons now unemployed.

  24. Someone called Colm won an election ?. Well there is justice in this world after all 😉

  25. Sorry, Colm, my mistake. His name’s Colum. But he’s from the SDLP not Sinn Fein, so the DUP won’t be able to say he’s part of the fifth column.

    Colm, where did you go with your vote now that Kate Hoey is no longer votable?

  26. SF win F+ST, so now for the first time Northern Ireland elects more Nationalist than Unionist MPs, although the overall SF vote down from last time.

  27. Noel

    As I mentioned earlier I wanted a (well) hung Parliament so I voted Lib Dem’s, but obviously the only large swing in Westminster now is going to be a very engorged big Johnson 😱

  28. I presume your member in now very prominent in this hung parliament.

  29. My member would be very prominent in any Parliament 😉

  30. Let’s hope no constituent gets shafted by Colm’s member.

    Unionist minority in Belfast City Council
    Unionist minority in Assembly
    Unionist minority in wee six Westminster seats.

    That should tell unionism something.

  31. Unionism Decayed?

  32. A good result for Boris and for anti-partitionists in the north.

    I see Arlene is blaming the phantom “pan-nationalist front” for Doddsy losing his seat. As opposed to the very real DUP-UUP-UDA front.

  33. Yeah, saw that Reg. I think that her adopting the language of the UDA is a combination of sour grapes and shifting blame for bad leadership.

    As you said, a good result for anti-partitionists, I don’t thank that north or south Belfast will ever have an overtly unionist MP again and whilst Belfast North was the big local story North Down was a pretty spectacular coup too.

  34. Agree re Arlene’s poor leadership. Although, to be fair, Michelle O’Neill is almost as underwhelming as her counterpart.

    The SDLP comeback is welcome. Nationalism needed that.

  35. Yes, an SDLP comeback should be welcomed by all who want much better relations

  36. Right 45.6%

    CON Conservative 43.6%
    BRX The Brexit Party 2.0%

    Left 50.3%

    LAB Labour 32.2%
    LD Liberal Democrat 11.5%
    SNP Scottish National Party 3.9%
    GRN Green 2.7%

  37. Fews, yer on ATW. The Conservatives are Left.

    On the other hand, the Nationalist parties did well in the North compared to their overall share of the vote.

  38. The NHS loving Conservatives actually are left when seen from a US context.

    As said before, there isn’t one thing that Boris believes in that Hillary Clinton would be uncomfortable with.

  39. Pete

    Are you really sure that you are happy with this result?

  40. I think it’s pretty obvious that whatever party won this time will be out on its ear by the next GE. There are too many difficult decisions to be made, too many losses to be faced, in the coming years, and a party winning such a large majority tends to pull itself apart in factions before long.

  41. Pacts have worked for Nationalists (pro-Remain pact won 3 of the 4 seats it was in effect), haven’t worked for Unionists (pro-Union pact lost both seats it was in effect), and their decision not to enter any pacts has done the Alliance Party immense favours (even though they benefited from other people’s decisions not to stand in North Down). So it is hard to take a position about whether or not pacts are a good or bad thing (for the parties – without passing judgement on whether or not they are good for society).

    It was an awful night for the DUP. Firstly, their influence at Westminster was wiped out by the Tory landslide. Secondly, they failed to make their expected gain in North Down. Thirdly, the lost two MPs in Emma Pengelly and, more crucially, Nigel Dodds. The Pengelly loss was to be expected. They won by a bit of a fluke (a four way even split between their opponents – two of whom had pulled their candidates for this election). Dodds was not a surprise but certainly a seat they expected to retain. They through everything including the kitchen sink at North Belfast but couldn’t hold it. Their vote (artificially high due to the nature of 2017) fell back down to earth. The combined Unionist vote dropped by 6.2%, and there are now more Nationalist MPs than there are Unionists MPs. Their retention of East Belfast, and to a lesser extent South Antrim, are the only bright spots in a dark, dark night for the DUP.

    Ultimately if she can avoid the finger pointing that will immediately follow this election then this will likely strengthen Arlene Foster as DUP leader. In February 2018 the DUP did a deal with Sinn Féin to resurrect the institutions (in exchange for an Acht na Gaeilge). Foster then couldn’t sell it to her MPs (who held the power at this time). Now her MP team is irrelevant, diminished and having lost their leader (who will likely be replaced at Westminster with a Arlene loyalist – wee Jeffrey). She will have an easier time getting her deal through now that her MP team matter less (and have likely lost their veto power).

    2017 was a weird night for Unionist. Their seat totals masked what was a troubling story in their vote – which dropped below the 50% mark. 2019 will present a similar issue with Sinn Féin. They held steady at 7 seats (with an expected loss in Foyle balanced with a less expected win in North Belfast). They are the leading Nationalist party at a time when Nationalism has never been stronger. Yet their vote (again similar to the DUP) was artificially high in 2017 and dropped back to earth in this election. The crocodile wave that took them high in both elections in 2017 has firmly petered out. In 2017 the gap between them and the SDLP was 18%. Now it is 8%. If the SDLP see the same swing to them between 2017 and 2019 in the next election then they would overtake Sinn Féin as the largest Nationalist party (for what it is worth I don’t see that happening). Sinn Féin will also have to face a new Alliance threat for the first time. Generally the Alliance has always done well in Unionist areas, and badly in Nationalist areas. That is changing, and changing rapidly. The decision to collapse Stormont was very popular in 2017, but has become increasingly unpopular given the issues over Brexit and the looming crises in both health and education. With Sinn Féin shut out in Westminster (due to abstentionism), shut out in Mexico (due to divisions between them and the civil war parties), and about to have half their MEPs dumped out of Europe (due to Brexit), Sinn Féin are increasingly needing Stormont to be back up and running simply to have relevance.

    It was a great election for the SDLP. Ultimately the pact was probably irrelevant in South Belfast. The 9,500 votes the Greens and Sinn Féin would have taken still leaves Claire Hanna with a comfortable victory. One question was asked that by going into the pact with Sinn Féin in Belfast would it hurt the SDLP’s ability to attract Unionist loaned votes in other seats. I think that Colum Eastwood’s emphatic victory in Foyle proves that they still can attract those voters. The combined unionist vote in Foyle is down 3.7%. In South Down it is only up 0.6%. If the SDLP were losing Unionist loaned votes then you should expect to see the Unionist vote up in Foyle, up 4-5% in South Down etc… That simply hasn’t materialised. It largely shows, despite Unionist politicians complaints, that Unionist votes in majority Nationalist seats do not see the SDLP as an extension of Sinn Féin.

    The one downside for the SDLP is what happens when the Assembly gets up and running again. They have, due to them being elected at Westminster, lost two of their more impressive MLAs. Likely speaking, should they decide not to go into opposition again, one of either Hanna or Eastwood would have been their ministerial choice. Similarly, they would likely be asked to fill two committee chairs in the next Assembly (maybe more if they increase their seats). So instead of it being Minister Colum Eastwood, Chair Claire Hanna and Chair Nichola Mallon, it will likely be Minister Nichola Mallon, Chair Daniel McCrossan and Chair Mark H. Durkan/Justin McNulty etc… A far less impressive team. The Alliance face a similar problem as Dr Farry would likely have been their ministerial choice. But with Naomi Long poised to return to Stormont following Brexit they will at least have the bulk of their leadership team in place there.

    Alliance had a very good election, even despite Naomi Long not winning in East Belfast. Truth be told she likely never was going to. The votes largely aren’t there. She won in 2010 due to a perfect anti-Peter Robinson storm. It is worth noting that she won in 2010 when non-DUP unionists (including ATW’s own David Vance) took nearly 27% of the vote. In 2015 they took 2.8%. In 2017 they took 4.3%. This time around they took 5.9%. For Naomi Long to win she needs the UUP to be taking at least another 5% of the vote from Robinson, something that is likely not going to happen. Gavin Robinson has always come accross as one of the more reasonable Unionist politicians, while still retaining pretty firm Unionist credentials. While there was some “a vote for Long is a vote the Ra” type stuff it largely never came (directly) from him. I wonder whether or not if he had played that stronger that he would have leaked some votes to Long. Their best result was obviously in North Down where the DUP have largely failed to pick up any of Sylvia Hermon’s former vote. The UUP’s decision to stand Alan Chambers has been particularly key here. He is a local candidate with a strong support base. For Sylvia Hermon’s unionist voters he was clearly a better choice than Alex Easton. I think if they had stood someone else then Easton would have picked up the bulk of that 10-15% vote that Chambers got, maybe enough to win him the seat. But the big result for the Alliance was not just their winning in North Down, but their performance across the North, something that will stand them in good stead in the next Assembly election. In addition to likely second seats in East Antrim, Lagan Valley, North Down, and Strangford they will likely also break through west of the Bann, with gains in East Derry, Upper Bann, and West Tyrone (as well as a gain east of the Bann in North Antirm). Not to mention being competitive in seats like North Belfast, Mid Ulster, and Newry & Armagh.

    Interestingly the Ulster Unionist vote is actually up. That being said it was a very, very poor night for the Ulster Unionists. The collapse of the DUP to a pre-2017 position has not resulted in the return of the UUP to a pre-2017 position. A repeat of the performance in the next Assembly election would likely see the UUP drop into single figures. While the DUP and Sinn Féin had bad nights they remain the dominant parties in Northern Ireland. The SDLP and Alliance had great nights. The UUP feel like the odd man left out. Their only chances of an election where their former MPs in Fermanagh & South Tyrone (as part of a Unionist pact) and South Antrim, where they missed out likely due to the Alliance surge in the seat. Their most high profile MLA, Doug Beattie, was beaten into fourth place in Upper Bann (and could be in a fight to hold his Assembly seat), especially if the DUP standard bearer in Upper Bann at the next election is Nigel Dodds (who is out of work and lives in the constituency).

  42. Assuming Stormont will be up and running in the near future is a dubious assumption. I don’t see where either side is about to change their positions. It has been so long since Stormont has been operative that it is out-of-mind for many. Even in the unlikely event it were revived it would still be bogged down in fatuous battles as the players would not be much different than in the past.

  43. Arlene Foster has already softened her language on the Irish language. She said “it is not incompatible to be an Irish-language speaker and a unionist” and that she regrets the crocodile comment.

  44. //I don’t see where either side is about to change their positions//

    NY, Seamus explains it above. The electorage changed their positions for them. They need the Assembly to establish a visible presence.

    I think it should also be said that, despite that bit of nonsence in North Belfast, there was little acrimony in this election in the North. In the old days in the South, FF and FG were much more vicious with each other at election times. In the North, there seemed to be far more acceptance of the other side than I ever remember seeing before.

    The middle ground won. Both the Nationalist and the Unionist votes were down from 2017 figures. SF saw the biggest decline, both in real and in percentage terms.

    The UUP must be particularly frustrated. There may even be a kind of merger within Unionism after this result.

    .

  45. They need the Assembly to establish a visible presence.

    I heard talk earlier on Radio Ulster that DUP Westminster Parliamentary leader Nigel Dodds might be co-opted into former MLA now MP Carla Lochart’s Upper Bann Assembly seat.

    My, how the mighty have fallen.

  46. I don’t trust Arlene Foster. She can harden her position if she sees an advantage in doing so. I don’t buy the visible presence argument. The DUP is often in the media and capable of attracting attention without Stormont. Besides the politicians, do many people really want Stormont back? I think many would like to see it sold and turned into a five star hotel.

  47. Stormont is a ridiculously excessive building for a small area.

    Yes, a hotel would be a better use for that building.

  48. That be good if DUP leader realises no need to be threatened by a tongue, a language ..
    which after all is just sounds .. the scary thing , like for many, is the word “different”
    different sounds, voices, colours ..
    I never met a fella who having tasted variety couldn’t find something to like about it ..
    meanwhile Britain huddles against a changing world – and the terrors / horrors of diversity
    Ridiculous !

  49. “Besides the politicians, do many people really want Stormont back?”

    I think the continuing crises in the health and education systems mean people want government back. So they have one of two choices ultimately. Either direct rule – which means being governed by people they didn’t vote for (the Conservative Party got 5,433 in Northern Ireland in the election yesterday) or a return to Stormont. So I think, on a balance, the majority of people want the restoration of devolution.

  50. “The DUP is often in the media and capable of attracting attention without Stormont.”

    They were often in the media because they held the de facto balance of power in the UK Parliament. It gave them disproportionate influence. That is now gone. Boris Johnson has a majority and no need of the DUP. The DUP have lost their Westminster leader, who was an effective speaker in the chamber. While they will have some media attention (as do Sinn Féin currently) the simple fact is that if direct rule is reintroduced (which it likely has to be in the absence of a return to devolution) then the DUP (and all the local parties) largely find themselves as an irrelevance. For the first time since the 2017 General Election the DUP need Stormont.

  51. So I think, on a balance, the majority of people want the restoration of devolution.

    Apparently that was the message on the doorsteps, loud and clear. The talks will be re-started next week and if there is no agreement between the DUP and Sinn Fein they will be facing another Assembly election maybe as soon as February. Neither of them will want that but the odds are still against a successful outcome to the talks.

  52. Ultimately if she can avoid the finger pointing that will immediately follow this election then this will likely strengthen Arlene Foster as DUP leader. In February 2018 the DUP did a deal with Sinn Féin to resurrect the institutions (in exchange for an Acht na Gaeilge). Foster then couldn’t sell it to her MPs (who held the power at this time). Now her MP team is irrelevant, diminished and having lost their leader (who will likely be replaced at Westminster with a Arlene loyalist – wee Jeffrey). She will have an easier time getting her deal through now that her MP team matter less (and have likely lost their veto power).

    No, Foster has led the DUP into one defeat too many. She has been a total disaster as leader and is likely to receive a further battering when the Cash for Ash report comes out in January. Wee Jeffrey pointedly failed to endorse her leadership on Radio Ulster this morning and may well have ambitions to succeed her.

  53. Direct rule by technocrats would be prefable the DUP SF duopoly. The DUP and SF do not have quality personnel for ministerial positions, based on their prior performance. NI would be much better if the DUP and SF ceased to exist.

    The DUP partly attracts attention because they are the largest party and they have some ‘colorful’ characters such as Sammy. They will still have 7/8 MPs for Westminster and I don’t think Dodds is a major loss.

    I agree the DUP should have a new leader. I have no idea who would be a good successor.

  54. Direct rule by technocrats would be prefable the DUP SF duopoly.

    That’s what we will get if Stormont has not been revived by early 2020, after yet another Assembly election. Plan B will be dusted down from the 1980s which entails further devolution to the nine local councils and an end to Stormont. My choice would be for a museum and art gallery rather than a hotel. It is a fine building for sure.

  55. Another Assembly election would only put the same sub standard career jockeys back in place. The money for another election should be given to health and education.

    A museum requires a vision and curators capable of realizing it. I doubt there is either vision or the people needed to make a first class museum of Stormont.

  56. In her analysis of her party’s election results last night, Arlene Foster said that the outcome had put the DUP back ten years to 1680.