10 observations on #LE1907 May 2019 - by Gráinne Walsh
With cross-party talks taking place on both sides of the Irish Sea, what can we say or ask after the Local Elections?
- Despite media coverage in GB, liberal unionism is alive and well (and voting Alliance)
- The two Goliaths need to fend off their respective Davids (new Davids emerging)
- With its demise in Belfast, is the UUP now a rural middle ground unionist party?
- Christopher Stalford’s contribution to the Sunday Politics show is worth watching and listening to for insight into DUP positioning
- Likewise for Sinn Féín, Conor Murphy’s contribution to today’s (7 May 2019) Nolan Show is worth listening to
- While the politics of fear may have helped Jim Rogers secure his seat, will it render him politically homeless? (what next for the UUP on Belfast City Council?)
- All change in Lisburn and Castlereagh as the DUP drop five; we see first time Sinn Féin representation with two councillors; two SDLP and a single Green of an environmental hue
- Vote management counts - e.g DUP loses in Lisburn and Castlereagh, with Sinn Féin missing out in North Belfast (former Deputy Mayor losing her seat)
- Interesting times ahead for Belfast with four Greens, People Before Profit in North Belfast and the loss of the three former SDLP independents and the PUP’s Julie-Anne Corr Johnston
- Looking to cross-party talks here, some red lines are fading to pink – see point 5 and the possibility of marriage equality legislation being introduced by Westminster