10 observations on #LE19

07 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?

  1. Despite media coverage in GB, liberal unionism is alive and well (and voting Alliance)
  2. The two Goliaths need to fend off their respective Davids (new Davids emerging)
  3. With its demise in Belfast, is the UUP now a rural middle ground unionist party?
  4. Christopher Stalford’s contribution to the Sunday Politics show is worth watching and listening to for insight into DUP positioning
  5. Likewise for Sinn Féín, Conor Murphy’s contribution to today’s (7 May 2019) Nolan Show is worth listening to
  6. 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?)
  7. 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
  8. 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)
  9. 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 
  10. 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