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Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams urges calm after release



Most Recent Opinion Poll

Populus: May 2 - 5 

Labour: 36%
Conservative: 33%
UKIP: 14%
Liberal Democrat: 8%


The following article provides more details on what the current situation is and how it came about. 

 With just less than a month until voters in both Ireland and Northern Ireland choose their representatives to the European Parliament, the Belfast police have for the past four days given the Irish republican Sinn Féin a potent campaign issue – and exacerbated tensions nearly two decades after the struggle between Irish Catholics and Protestants moved from killing and violence to the realm of politics.

Northern Ireland’s police force arrested Gerry Adams, the leader of the republican Sinn Féin since the early 1980s on Wednesday, holding him for four days in relation to one of the most brutal murders of the Northern Irish violence. Other Sinn Féin leaders, including Northern Ireland’s deputy first minister Martin McGuinness, have attacked the arrest as a political stunt, but other politicians in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland have been more reticent to comment on what’s become an unpredictable turn of events.

The  arrest relates to the 1972 murder of Jean McConville, a mother of 10 who was pulled from her home by armed gunmen within  the Irish Republican Army. She was later killed and ‘disappeared,’ her remains found only in 2003. It was a particularly cruel murder among many such killings during Northern Ireland’s  ‘Troubles,’ the violent struggle between unionist Protestants who largely supported Northern Ireland’s status within the United Kingdom, and Irish nationalist Catholics, who wanted northern Ireland to be part of a unified Irish republic. 

The struggle dates to 1921, when the United Kingdom partitioned Ireland into the largely Protestant Northern Ireland and the largely Catholic Southern Ireland. ...

Throughout the worst of the political violence in the 1970s and the 1980s, Sinn Féin emerged as the political arm of the IRA. ...

The 1998 ‘Good Friday’ agreement largely brought the sectarian violence to an end, and Adams now leads Sinn Féin as a force within both Northern Ireland, where the party sits on the Northern Ireland Executive – it largely governs alongside its rivals, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), and other parties. ...

The arrest seems certain to galvanize republican Catholics in Northern Ireland, motivating Sinn Féin supporters just before the May 22-25 European parliamentary elections. In the aftermath of the Good Friday Agreement, Sinn Féin has increasingly supplanted the SDLP, which largely rebuked the IRA’s political violence during the Troubles and which dominated politics in the era before the Good Friday Agreement. ...

Arrest could stall Adams’ momentum in Republic of Ireland

The effect in Ireland could be more damaging, where Sinn Féin had been forecast, before Adams’s arrest, to win three or four of Ireland’s 11 seats in the European parliament.

Before the Good Friday Agreement, Sinn Féin had only a marginal political footprint in the Republic of Ireland — it won just one seat in the 1997 general election. But it slowly developed a growing support base, and it won five seats in the 2002 election. ...

Today, polls show that Sinn Féin has nearly doubled its support to 20% or higher. Under Adams’s leadership and with the emergence of a new generation of republican leaders untainted by the Troubles, such as Mary Lou McDonald, Sinn Féin has emerged as the chief leftist opposition in Ireland. It was poised for a three-way race with the governing center-right Fine Gael and the more conservative Fianna Fáil to become Ireland’s largest party as the next Irish general election approaches, likely in 2016 – notably, the 100th anniversary of the failed Easter rising that launched modern Irish nationalism.

Adams today is less influential in Irish politics than he was in 2011, especially after it emerged that his brother Liam sexually abused his five-year old daughter, possibly with Gerry Adams’s knowledge.

If Adams helped put Sinn Féin on the political spectrum in Irelandproper over the past 15 years, it’s the emergence of a new guard of leaders like McDonald that are largely powering Sinn Féin’s rise as a real contender for power. 

Nonetheless, it’s not hard to envision that Adams’s arrest will jeopardize those gains — and a murder charge or conviction would almost certainly make it impossible for Sinn Féin, at least under Adams’s leadership, to take part in a coalition government with Fine Gael, Fanna Fáil, Ireland’s social democratic Labour Party. Irish voters aren’t going to elect a government that’s focused on fighting the battles of the 1970s and 1980s, so every day that McDonald and the other rising stars on Sinn Féin in Ireland are forced to defend Adams and declaim his involvement with the IRA is a day lost from more germane policy issues in the Irish republic.







A major driver of   the changes that are occurring in Northern Ireland politics is demographics. At the time of the Partition (the splitting of Ireland into Northern Ireland under British control and the Republic of Ireland) in 1922, the North was 20% Catholic.

 In the 1961 census, 35% of Northern Ireland was catholic. In the 2001 census, the catholic share of the total population had increased to 44%, and in 2011 to 45%. Meanwhile, the share of protestants in the general population dropped from 53% in 2001 to 48% in 2011. So the protestants' slim majority has vanished, and their numerical advantage over the other community has diminished spectacularly, from 9% to 3% in a mere decade.

• In school year 2006-7, ‘declared Catholics’ made up slightly more than 50% of school children in Northern Ireland, while ‘declared Protestants’ numbered just 39,5% (down from 42,7% in 2000-1).

• Research conducted in 2007 shows that youths leaving Ulster to study are twice as likely to be protestant than catholic, with those who go to Britain more likely to stay there than returning after graduation [10]. In contrast, the student populations at both of Northern Ireland's main universities are now majority-catholic (55% at Queens University, 60% at the University of Ulster).

• The brain drain of Ulster's protestant youth reinforces the existing dichotomy between the older segment of Northern Ireland's population, which is solidly protestant, and the younger segment, which is mainly catholic. In Down District, for example, the general population (in 2007) was 62% catholic, but if you only considered the over-90s, that fraction fell to just 37%. Overall, the 2001 census showed that while 67% over-90-year-olds are protestant, only 39% of 10-to-20-year-olds are.

While this article does discuss possible alternative solutions, such as a repartition (in other words ethnic cleasnsing of the Catholics) of the North to maintain a long term Protestant majority, the eventual reuniting of the North with the Republic of Ireland could well be the outcome. 

 Quite likely, if we're to follow Horseman's triumphalist reasoning: "Project Ulster has been beaten in the maternity wards, and it is all over bar the shouting. The whole basis of unionism's division of Ireland – its local majority in the north-eastern corner – is visibly evaporating, and with it will go the division. Unionism has a short window of opportunity, before these kids grow up and vote it into oblivion, to come to an honourable settlement with their fellow Irishmen and women – but there is no indication yet that that reality has yet sunk into the consciousness of the leaders of unionism. Perhaps, like Paisley [founder of the largest Protestant political party who once proposed that the Pope was in alliance with the Communists to rule the world], they know that they personally will no longer be around when the day of Irish reunification comes, and so they are content to leave their children and grandchildren to their own devices". ...

ETA: [On the other hand], the Irish Republic would need to tax each Irish family between £4000 and £8000 per annum to maintain Northern living standards as now [in 2009]. Many Ulster Catholics work for The UK state (including a British police force [there were hardly any in the 1970s-80s but that changed as a result of the 1997 Peace Accord]). The Republic has removed all claims to Northern Ireland from its statutes. According to recent opinion polls almost half of Ulster's Catholics now oppose a United Ireland". 



However, polls looked quite different only a decade ago when the Republic of Ireland was booming economically and had a higher income per capita than Canada. The collapse of the Republic's economy following the 2008 global economic crisis has went a long way towards shifting Catholic opinion in the North. The return of prosperity to the Republic could shift opinion in the North once again. The future of Northern Ireland remains uncertain. 





Whatever one feels about Gerry Adams and his arrest 40 years after the murder of Jean McConville, there is no doubt the arrest is political. The left-wing Sinn Fein party of which he is a leader has been growing in political popularity in both the British-controlled North and in the Republic of Irleand. It has been poised to make major gains in the European Parliaments in a couple of weeks.

While the IRA participated in violence, so did the other side including the police notifying Protestant militant groups when IRA prisoners would be released so that they could kill them immediately after their release. On Bloody Sunday 1972, the British Army shot 26 unarmed civil rights protesters killing thirteen of them (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloody_Sunday_(1972)). None of the soldiers or police have been prosecuted.  A perception of one-sdided justice could destabilize the peace situation again. However, Adams did call for calm after his release. 

 There seems little doubt that the arrest of Irish republican leader Gerry Adams this week over alleged involvement in a tragic murder 44 years ago is politically motivated.

The political interests pushing this agenda have no respect for victims of Ireland’s recent 30-year conflict. These interests are being selective in their focus on victims, cynically vying for political gain, and in particular to damage the rise of Sinn Fein, the Irish republican party.

Later this month, Ireland is heading into European Parliamentary elections, which up to now was promising to see major electoral gains for Sinn Fein, the party of which Adams has been president of since 1983.

In recent years, Sinn Fein has emerged has the fastest growing political party in both the British-occupied north and the independent southern state. It has become the second biggest party in the Northern Ireland Assembly, while in the southern legislative chamber, Dail Eireann, Sinn Fein has seen its number of parliamentarians expand three-fold over the past three elections to become an increasingly pivotal force there.

Sinn Fein can rightly claim to be the only all-Ireland party with representatives and organizational structure that transcend the British-imposed border, which partitions the island into northern and southern jurisdictions. Sinn Fein is distinguished from all other political parties by its manifesto calling for a united, independent country.

That manifesto not only threatens the British interest of maintaining its political presence in the North of Ireland; the so-called Irish political parties in the South of Ireland also see their establishment interests challenged by the growing popular support for Sinn Fein and its calls to shake-up the stagnant status quo on both sides of the border.



The fragility of the Northern Ireland Peace Accord was brought home with the arrest of Gerry Adams. 


When the Sinn Fein leader was arrested last week on suspicion of ordering Jean McConville’s murder in 1972, the furious reaction and near-breakdown of a critical power-sharing arrangement showed just how vulnerable Northern Ireland remains to assaults from its past.

In many places, it would be too late to prosecute a murder case gone cold, four decades after McConville’s body was secretly buried on a lonely stretch of Irish beach. But in Northern Ireland, where the ghosts of “the Troubles” continue to haunt the fragile peace, it may be too soon.

Despite 16 years of relative calm ushered in by the U.S.-brokered Good Friday Agreement, one of the most successful peace accords of modern times, trust between the unionist and republican camps runs remarkably thin, with especially little agreement about how to reckon with the legacy of 3,600 deaths over three decades of violence known as the Troubles. Both sides warn of dark plots to bring the instability back.

Although Adams was released Sunday, few doubt where the standoff would have led had he been charged.

“There would have been riots,” said Alfie Butler, 58, who lost his niece and her daughter in a 1993 bombing. “It’s fine to talk about progress in Northern Ireland. But the paramilitaries haven’t gone away. ....

While Sinn Fein had accused the police of political meddling by arresting Adams just weeks before European and local elections, the impact seemed only to have galvanized his backers, who swayed to the rhythms of protest ballads written decades ago from bleak prison cells. For a party built on defiance, Adams’s freedom was fresh evidence that Sinn Fein could still stand up to its enemies.

“Those opposed to the peace process tried and failed once again,” IRA veteran Bobby Storey shouted to deafening applause. “The stronger we get, the harder they will try.”

Smiling broadly and pausing to joke with the crowd, Adams pronounced his arrest “a sham” but was more conciliatory than McGuinness had been, saying the police had his support. He also pledged to “help all of the families” of those killed during the Troubles.






Although much (but not all) of the polling was done before Gerry Adams arrest, a poll of Irish voters shows that the left-wing Sinn Feiin party is poised to do very well in the upcoming Nay 23rd European Parliament and local elections. 

 Sinn Fein is in contention to win three of the Irish republic's 11 seats in the European Parliament, a poll showed on Saturday ahead of an election which the party says the arrest of leader Gerry Adams was timed to disrupt. ...

Sinn Fein, which shares power in Northern Ireland and has gained popularity south of the border during the country's financial crisis, could win as many European Parliament seats as Prime Minister Enda Kenny's Fine Gael party in the May 23 poll, according to a survey in the Sunday Business Post newspaper. ...

Sinn Fein, which is the second largest opposition party in Dublin's parliament after Fianna Fail, failed to win a seat in the last European elections five years ago after capturing its first ever seat in the European parliament in 2004.

It was the second opinion poll in a week which has shown Sinn Fein are poised to perform well in the elections that will take place the same day as local polls. ...

However, the 500 potential voters surveyed in each constituency were interviewed between Monday and Thursday of last week, mostly before the arrest of Adams on Wednesday.

Sinn Fein will also contest European and local elections in Northern Ireland.



Gerry Adams says his arrest in connection with the 1972 IRA murder Jean McConville had galvanized his left-wing Sinn Féin party for the European and local election battle.


 Our people were fighting a good campaign before my arrest but now they are very, very focused,” said Mr Adams. ...

Ms Boylan said a lot of people were hoping Mr Adams’s detention would damage Sinn Féin’s electoral strategy.

“But the feeling on the doors is one of people saying, ‘Are they trying to take us as fools with the timing of this?’ They are quite angry,” she said.

Sinn Féin’s single outgoing MEP Ms Anderson said that she was finding a “lot of goodwill” on the doorsteps.

“We are not taking anything for granted but without doubt people have seen that this was an attack on the peace process,” she said at the launch in the Radisson Hotel on the old Belfast gasworks site.

“Without doubt it has galvanised out activists across the North and across the island but it has also brought into sharp focus the attention of the wider nationalist, republican population as regards the importance of this peace process and the importance of reconciliation,” she said.

More generally on his arrest Mr Adams said, “It is not beneficial to Sinn Féin, it is not beneficial to me, it is not beneficial to my family. The worst thing is the signal it has sent out to citizens who have invested their hopes in the future. I have to think that the calming of the waters afterwards was down to the diligence and calmness of our leadership.”

One outcome of his arrest was “an alertness that the process can’t be taken for granted”, he added.






Sinn Fein, the left-wing Irish Republican party, of which Gerry Adams is a leader, is running in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. It has put out its election platform for the European Parliament and local elections.

The comments on austerity at the end of the article can be applied to the entire world, but apply in particular to the Republic of Ireland. The right-wing Irish government had very little government debt, unlike the other European economies after the 2008 financial crisis, but plunged the entire economy into crisis and high unemployment when it took over the Irish banks' debts, which came mainly from a housing bubble, as a favour to their capitalist cronies. 


Sinn Fein launched its elections manifesto in Belfast and said the EU had a role to play in peace building and supporting the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.

The party said: "This Agreement provides for a border poll to determine the continued partition or reunification of Ireland.

"The EU should continue to play a role in supporting the peace process, promoting cross-border working and ultimately respecting and supporting any vote for reunification."

Key republican commitments included:

:: Securing greater investment from the European Investment Bank to create jobs in Ireland north and south.

:: Defending workers' pay and conditions and promoting a "basic threshold of decency" for all workers.

:: Ensuring "fairer" distribution of Common Agricultural Policy payments.

:: Promoting urgent action on climate change.

:: Returning powers to member states and increasing the influence of state parliaments in the EU legislative process.

:: Reducing the power of the European Commission and increasing that of smaller states at the Council of Ministers through reform of the voting procedure.

:: Promoting Irish unity and EU support for a border poll.

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams said the recession had led to a social crisis north and south of the border.

"The response of the EU institutions, actively supported by governments in the member states, has been to socialise the cost of the crisis," he said.

"The needs of the banks have been put before the needs of people.

"Austerity, imposing the costs of the economic crisis on those least able to pay, has become the dogma of politicians in Dublin, London and Brussels."




New election polls are showing Sinn Fein, Gerry Adam's party, is likely to do well in both European Parliament and local elections on May 23. The Irish Labour party, which has been in coalition with the right-wing Finn Gael party, which is also down in popularity, along with the other major right-wing party in the Republic of Ireland, Fiana Fail. Gerry Adam's arrest does not seem to have hurt his party.

The surge in popularity of Sinn Fein and Indpendents is closely tied to the economic crisis and high unemployment in the Republic of Ireland created when the government bailed out the enoromous debt load of the banks even though government debt was minuscule until that time.

A new opinion poll to be published tomorrow shows Sinn Féin is on course to make massive gains in the city and county council elections.

The Behaviour and Attitudes poll for the Sunday Times shows the party on 17% of the vote, more than double its vote five years ago.

The poll of 1,545 voters was conducted between May 3 and 14 and also shows Sinn Fein set to win seats in all three European constituencies.

Their surge comes at the expense of Labour, which goes from 15% down to 7%.

Fine Gael stand at 25%, down 7% from last time, while Fianna Fail is down 3% to 22%. Independents and others account for 30%- up 13%.

The Sunday Times poll, the first to ask voters who they'll support in the local elections, and not just the European poll, is also promising for Sinn Féin when it comes to the European elections.






New polls in the Republic of Ireland confirm that there is growing support for left-wing Sinn Fein, a steep decline in support for Labour, which had the second most seats in the 2011 election but formed an alliance with right-wing Finn Gael to continue the austerity program (http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/sinn-féin-rise-and-low-labour-support-reflected-in-polls-1.1801224). One of the two recent polls shows Sinn Fein in first place with 23% of the vote in a multi-party system. The large percentage of voters intending to vote for independents also shows dissatisfaction with the right-wing austerity policies of the government. The decline in Labour support shows what happens when left-wing parties implement right-wing austerity programs. 

ETA: Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams, despite his arrest in Northern Ireland for alleged murder, had the lowest percentage of dissatisfied voters among leaders, indicating that his arrest is seen primarily as a political act aimed at trying to dampen the growing support of Sinn Fein in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.   


The low support for the Labour Party and the strong prospects for Sinn Féin shown in today’s Irish Times Ipsos/MRBI poll is also reflected into two other polls which have been published today.

With just days to go until the local and European elections, a Red C poll for The Irish Sun today puts Labour at 8 per cent, 11 percentage points below its 2011 General Election showing of 19 per cent.

The Irish Sun poll also reflects the increase in support for Sinn Féin which is up 10 percentage points on the 2011 General Election result to 20 per cent. The party’s support is up two percentage points since the last Red C poll on May 4th.

Sinn Féin looks like getting three seats , one in each European constituency, according to today’s Ipsos/MRBI Irish Times poll

The Sun poll shows that Sinn Féin is now on par in the poll withFianna Fáil, which is three percentage points above its disastrous 2011 general election showing at 20 percent. ...

Fine Gael remains the most popular party with a quarter of voters surveyed supporting it, according to the Red C survey. The result is 11 percentage points below its General Election result.

Independents continue to grow very strongly at 24 per cent, up from 17 per cent in the general election. ...

A Millward Brown poll for the Irish Independent also confirms the low rating for Eamon Gilmore’s Labour party, at 6 per cent, unchanged since the paper’s last poll three weeks ago.

This poll finds that Sinn Féin has the highest party support in the country at 23 per cent, two percentage points higher than its last poll.

It shows a decline in support for Fianna Fail in recent weeks at 21 percent (down 2 points) while Fine Gael’s support has also fallen to 20 per cent (down 5 points since the last poll). Supports for the Independents continue to grow up by by 4 per cent age points to 27per cent.

The poll also finds that just 20 per cent of voters surveyed are happy with the Government.

Of party leaders Gerry Adams has the least number of dissatisfied voters at 57 per cent (up 5 points), Tánaiste and Labour leader Eamon Gilmore has the highest dissatisfaction raiting at 72 per cent (up 2),followed by Taoiseach and Fine Gale leader Enda Kenny (at 67 percent up 4) and Fianna Fail’s Micheal Martin at 60 per cent (up 8). 









Left-wing Sinn Fein is now predicted to lead the polls in popularity in Northern Ireland. It is also predicted to substantially improve its percentage of the vote in the Republic of Ireland since the 2011 election with one poll (see above) even predicting that they could end up in first place in the Republic, despite the arrest of Gerry Adams for an alleged 1972 IRA murder during the middle of the campaign. This once again suggests that the arrest is seen as a political act meant to decrease the Sinn Fein vote. 


Sinn Fein are favourites to top the poll following European elections in Northern Ireland despite Gerry Adams' arrest, an expert commentator said. ...

The party president has claimed his arrest galvanised republicans' European election campaign.

The Sinn Fein president, 65, was released from Antrim police station a week ago after four days of questioning by detectives about the 1972 murder of Belfast mother-of-10 Jean McConville and other alleged links with the IRA.

Politics professor Richard Wilford from Queen's University Belfast said: "There is no doubt that Sinn Fein will hold the seat in the north and probably top the poll.

"The results won't demonstrate any growth because the Sinn Fein vote has plateaued."

Sinn Fein could take three of the Irish Republic's 11 seats in the European Parliament, a poll suggested, and Martina Anderson is likely to triumph in Northern Ireland.






The UKIP (UK independence Party) has made major gains in the UK local elections making it the fourth major party in the UK. UKIP Leader Nigel Farage and some of his candidates have faced major criticism over racist and homophobic remarks.

 The UK Independence Party (UKIP or Ukip /ˈjuːkɪp/) is a Eurosceptic[7][8] right-wing populist[9] political party in the United Kingdom, founded in 1993.




Britain’s three main political parties are assessing the damage from local elections in which they were all hit by the “political earthquake” that Nigel Farage’s Ukip promised and delivered.

Nick Clegg could become a casualty of the Ukip advance. The Independent has learnt that Liberal Democrat activists have launched an online petition, #libdems4change, demanding a leadership contest so the party can install a new leader this summer. ...

Mr Clegg insisted he would not quit as he blamed the party’s loss of more than 280 council seats on a “very strong anti-politics feeling”. But the pressure on him may grow if the party loses most of its 12 MEPs when the European election results are announced on Sunday night.

Mr Farage predicted that his party’s sweeping gains outside London in Thursday’s council elections in England will be matched by coming first in the Euro poll.

The Conservatives, Labour and the Lib Dems all put their best gloss on the town hall results. But behind the scenes, they were frantically calculating the impact that the new “four-party” political landscape would have on next year’s general election. With results declared in 152 local authorities, the Tories had lost 201 seats and had lost control of 11 authorities. Labour gained 292 seats and six councils, while the Lib Dems lost two authorities and 284 seats. Ukip gained 155 seats. ...

A BBC projection indicated similar voting patterns would result in a hung parliament after the general election, with Ed Miliband just short of an overall majority. It gave Labour 31 per cent of the national vote, the Conservatives 29 per cent, Ukip 17 per cent, the Lib Dems 13 per cent and others 10 per cent. That would give Labour 322 seats (up 64), the Conservatives 261 (down 45) and the Lib Dems 37 (down 20).

Ukip’s share of the vote was below the 23 per cent it secured in last year’s county council elections in Tory heartlands – due partly to a disappointing performance in London. David Cameron rejected pressure from some Tory MPs for local pacts with Ukip. ...

Although Labour did well in London, gaining four authorities, ... Traditional Labour strongholds have fallen to Ukip. Southern England isn’t yet swinging to Labour in big enough numbers.

“Labour has to refocus and fast. The ‘cost of living crisis’ is a good line but not enough to sustain the party through a general election campaign in which economic credibility will be everything. The party needs to build its message around the commitment to economic competence, fiscal responsibility and a sustainable recovery which brings new jobs and new industries to every corner of the UK.” ...

Ukip inflicted damage to the Tories, Labour and Lib Dems alike as it picked up a succession of seats across England, performing strongly in many of the marginal seats that will decide the outcome next May. It scored stunning successes in Essex, gaining 11 seats in Basildon to end Tory control and gained five seats in Thurrock to eject Labour from power. ...

Speaking in Basildon, Ukip’s leader predicted his party was heading towards a historic breakthrough in next year’s general election. He hinted he would contest a constituency in his home county of Kent. He said: “There are areas of the country where now we have got an imprint in local government. Under the first-past-the-post system we are serious players. We will see you at Westminster next year. The Ukip fox is in the Westminster henhouse.” ...

John Healey, the Labour MP for Wentworth and Dearne on the outskirts of Rotherham, said the result was an expression of the electorate’s anger at mainstream politicians.

“It's a message for all the political parties,” he said. “Wake up! People are angry. They are saying they aren't hearing enough of what they feel in what we are politicians are saying.”



Although Sinn Fein won the highest percentage of Northern Ireland votes with 24.1%, it came in second in councillors elected in local elections to the Democratic Unionist Party (founded by Ian Paisley), which had 23% of the vote. 


Of the 462 seats on the 11 new super councils up for grabs, the DUP has taken 130, Sinn Féin 105, Ulster Unionists 88, SDLP 66 (Social Democratic and Labour Party), Alliance 32 and others 41.

Counting came to an end overnight on Saturday. More than 900 candidates stood for election.

Votes for the European elections will be counted on Monday.

At 24.1%, Sinn Féin emerged with the biggest share of the vote despite the DUP winning more seats.

The DUP has dipped from a 27% share in 2011 to 23%. ...

The Ulster Unionists achieved 16.1%, while Traditional Unionist Voice rose from 2% last time to 4.5%.

On the nationalist side, Sinn Féin has dropped by about 0.5%, remaining steady at around 24%.

The SDLP is down from 15% to around 13.5% percent.

Alliance has marginally dipped by less than 1% and is on around 6%.







With half the votes counted, left-wing Sinn Fein is also making large gains in the Republic of Ireland as voters protest against the austerity measures of the coalition government. The big loser is Labour which joined the right wing Finn Gael, which lost one third of its voting percentage but still led in popularity by 1%, in a coalition and has paid a huge price for implementing the austerity measures. As in the North, the arrest of Gerry Adams appears to have little effect on the outcome. 



Ireland's coalition government suffered a bruising setback at local elections on Saturday as the opposition Sinn Fein party made major gains to capitalize on frustration over six years of relentless austerity cuts.

Ireland emerged from an international bailout under Prime Minister Enda Kenny's government last year and employment is growing strongly after a long recession, but the economic recovery is not being felt by large numbers of voters.

Kenny's Fine Gael party looked set to narrowly remain the largest party in councils, even though midway through the count it was polling at 24 percent versus 36 percent at parliamentary elections three years ago. More of the backlash was saved for junior coalition partner Labour, whose vote collapsed.

The surge by Sinn Fein, the former political wing of the Irish Republican Army, whose anti-austerity policies helped move it into third place in local polls, will pile pressure on the government ahead of one last austerity budget needed to reduce a deficit that is still among the highest in Europe.

"We went into this government with our eyes wide open to pull this country back from an economic abyss," Kenny told national broadcaster RTE.

"But this vote is one of frustration, is one of anger, is one of saying to government we need you to do better ... Obviously it's not a good day for government. It's been a hard day for (deputy prime minister) Eamon Gilmore and the Labour Party."

Kenny needs the support of Labour to push through October's budget, for which a further 2 billion euros of tax increases and spending cuts must be found. Finance minister Michael Noonan has warned of little leeway unless the recovery picks up pace.

Education minister Ruairi Quinn of the Labour Party said in an interview that if the government were to consider changing course, it could risk damaging recent increases in consumer confidence and in turn stifle economic growth.

Labour, which became the second-biggest party in the state for the first time at the last parliamentary election just months after the bailout began, had 9 percent of the vote after 72 of the 137 local authorities returned first preference votes.

In a separate by-election caused by the resignation of one of its members of parliament, Labour fell to seventh place as Sinn Fein again performed well, narrowly missing out on a seat. ...

Sinn Fein, which shares power in Northern Ireland but until recently was viewed as a political pariah south of the border, captured 17 percent of the vote to close in on the main opposition Fianna Fail party, which won 23 percent, a similar level to that of local polls five years ago.

Independent and smaller party candidates, traditionally strong performers in local polls in Ireland, were on 28 percent, adding to the pressure on the mainstream parties.

The rise in support for Sinn Fein from a record 10 percent at parliamentary elections in 2011 showed the arrest and four-day detention of party leader Gerry Adams over a 1972 murder earlier this month has done little to halt its momentum.

"The strong performance right across the state indicates that there has been a fundamental shift in terms of public sentiment and political opinion," Sinn Fein deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald said in an interview at a Dublin count center.

"We haven't by any means reached our potential, much less peaked, but there's no doubt that today is a very significant milestone on the journey to becoming a large, strong political party that can challenge for government." ...







hey jerrym, thanks for this, any such impulses of building resistance are good news these days. ( Especially here in the utter lockdowned bleakness of our dominion...) The place and people there are surely up to it too.

 From sublime to ridiculous, as many will know,  charley the black prince, a dotty but evil auld snake - and Earl of Garrick too - said Putin was like Hitler to a Jewish woman during the recent Nova Scotia visit. Of course the alleged comment drew raves...

Prince Charles Likens Vladimir Putin to Hitler, Woman Says


and response

Putin: Prince Charles' Hitler remark unacceptable, unroyal behavior


I hope to live long enough to see the awful english crown over us go down.



More over chuck the prince...

Prince Charles Strikes Another Blow for the British Republic  -  by Tony Gosling


"There is an air of unreality to Prince Charles' spin-squad attempting this week to prove that the future British Head of State's comparison of Putin to Hitler, while surrounded by journalists on a royal tour, was said in a 'private conversation'.

It is not just that his views show how out of touch he and his PR team are with the nation and the real world, but Charles' flippant remarks draw unwelcome attention to his own and his family's close connections to Nazis and related war-mongering..."


The New Aristocracy in Britain


"...The financial crisis of 2008 was a signal for the ruling class to embark on the deepest assault on working people sicne the 1930s,  in order to take back all of the concessions it was forced to make in the postwar period.

Any talk of economic recovery applies exclusively to the wealthy.

The uncritical acceptance of repugnant levels of social inequality by all the major political parties is striking..."

Yes, here too.

Mark Carney fits right in both places


For the first time in more than a century a party other than the Conservatives or Labour has won the most votes in the United Kingdom. However, it was the far-right UKIP party, whose leader and some of its candidates have repeatedly used racist and homophobic comments. The centre-right Liberal Democrats were reduced from ten to one Member of European Parliament (MEP). The results show a growing disenchantment with the centre-right and cente-left parties, not only in the UK, but in much of the European Union. In France Marie Le Pen's racist Front National also led the polls for the first time. However, in Greece, Spain, and Ireland, where austerity has hit hardest, strongly left-wing parties did very well or even led the polls.

Count on Cameron to lead the Conservatives further to the right to try to prevent the further growth of UKIP. If Labour does not shift to the left, it may well face troubles of its own from upstart parties as the public grows increasingly tired of the neoliberal austerity agenda of both the centre-right and the centre-left. 



• Ukip has stormed to victory in the European elections, performing powerfully across the UK. It now has MEPs in Scotland, Wales and every region of England. It is the first time since the general election of 1906 that a party other than Labour or the Conservatives has topped a national election.

• A strong showing in London helped Labour push the Tories into third place; the Conservatives won in 2009 but lost around 4% of their votes this time.

• The latest share of the vote figures show the Lib Dems pushed right down into fifth position, behind the Green party (the figures arefrom the BBC):

Ukip 27.5%, with 23 MEPs

Labour 25.4 with 18 MEPs

Conservatives 23.94% with 18 MEPs

Greens 7.87% with 3 MEPs

Liberal Democrats 6.87% with 1 MEP









In the Northern Ireland European Parliament elections, the left-wing Sinn Fein candidate topped the polls (notice that in the results each of the parties runs one candidate for three seats in order to not split the vote for the three European Parliament seats and that if a certain threshold is not reached the bottom candidate is dropped and next voter's choice is added on until three candidates are elected).


Then click on


Then click on

Northern Ireland (European Parliament constituency)




Both Sinn Fein and left-wing independent candidates did very in the European Parliament and local elections last week as noted in this New York Times article. 



Ireland has taken a decisive step to the left in local and European elections, where early returns on Saturday showed that the big winners were Sinn Fein, formerly the political wing of the Irish Republican Army, and Socialist independent candidates.

After almost seven years of economic austerity, voters vented their anger toward the government coalition parties, Fine Gael and Labour, blaming the latter in particular for its perceived failure to protect not only the interests of the poor but also its lower-middle-class supporters.

“Sinn Fein and independents have been the principal winners in this election,” the communications minister, Pat Rabbitte, told reporters as it became apparent that his Labour Party had been decimated. “The longevity of the recession is the worst we have seen and people are saying, ‘Enough is enough.'  ” ...

There was little evidence that last month’s arrest of Gerry Adams, the Sinn Fein president, for questioning in the I.R.A.'s 1972 murder of Jean McConville, a widowed mother of 10 wrongly believed to have been an informer, had damaged the party’s election prospects. Along with its expected consolidation in Northern Ireland, Sinn Fein leads the European Parliament vote in Dublin after the first ballot count, and at the local level has the largest representation on the biggest City Council in the state. It has also extended its representation to areas previously considered unwinnable.

Speaking to the BBC in Belfast, as early exit polls indicated a huge swing toward his party, Mr. Adams described the rise in support across Northern Ireland and in the Republic in particular as “unprecedented.”

“This is a huge day across the island for Sinn Fein and Sinn Fein voters and is a clear endorsement of its peace strategy,” he said.







Only two days after the UK local elections UKIP leader Nigel Farage is dealing with new racist and homophobic remarks, in addition to those already made by Farage himself and other candidates. 



Nigel Farage has been reported to Britain’s racism watchdog.

The Ukip leader suggested people in London would be right to be concerned if Romanians moved in next door.

The watchdog confirmed today that it has powers to investigate acts of prejudice and take individuals to court.

The move follows weeks of coverage on Ukip election candidates making controversial comments, which Mr Farage had previously put down to a few “idiots”.

The constant accusations of racism dogging Ukip appear to have damaged the party with a poll today showing its lead going into Thursday’s European elections has plummeted.

In response, it organised a carnival-style event in London today — complete with steel drums — in an effort to show it has candidates from diverse backgrounds.

Mr Farage was yesterday reported to the Equality and Human Rights Commission in a letter by Labour MP Keith Vaz ...





Nigel Farage is dealing with fresh allegations of racism and homophobia in his party only days after the local and European elections as Ukip was forced to launch an investigation into comments made by one of its newly elected councillors.

Dave Small, who was elected to Redditch borough council on Friday, faces being kicked out of the party for referring to gay people as "perverts" and African immigrants as "scroungers".







Not a good sign

Ukip wins first parliamentary seat with former Tory MP Douglas Carswell

Farage says his party can now reach into both Labour and Tory heartlands after electoral victory in Clacton




By-elections are learning moments. It will be interesting to see what the different 'mainstream' parties learn from this debacle.


The right-wing is alive and well in Britain.

Farage: July 2015 referendum is my price for propping up Tories

Nigel Farage, the Ukip leader, will prop up a Conservative minority government in exchange for a referendum on EU membership in July 2015



Let's hope they split the right-wing vote and Labour gets elected.

Ukip support surges after byelection success - Guardian/ICM poll

Latest survey shows 14% now say they would vote for Nigel Farage’s party, 35% would vote Labour and 31% Conservative


Adam T

Daily U.K polls are here: http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/


If this happens Cameron's career as Conservative Leader might come to a screeching halt before the next election. Does the mayor of London still want the job of perhaps presiding over the breakup of the Conservative party in the UK? 

Too bad Labour does not have a more together Leader because this appears to be the perfect time for Labour to seize the moment.


Two more Tory MPs set to defect if Ukip wins in Rochester, says Reckless

Further defections likely to provoke crisis in Downing Street so close to 2015 general election



Five Westminster Paedophile Rings Probed by Scotland Yard


' - Claims emerge of a complex web of child abuse at the heart of government, as leading MP in campaign for justice hands list of 22 names to police - '

"Police are investigating claims that up to five paedophile rings operated at the heart of Westminster with the involvement of 'highly influential' politicians..."


Gotta love these has-been politicians, eh! Frown

It still boggles my mind someone like Blair became Labour's Leader in the UK - what were they thinkin"

Left Turn Could Cost UK's Labour the 2015 Election, Says Blair



Cash for Favours?

Jack Straw and Sir Malcom Rifkind were duped by reporters from the Daily Telegraph and Channel 4 who posed as staff for a Chinese firm, looking to gain access to politicians and senior establishment figures.

Both men have now reported themselves to the Parliamentary Standards Committee, with Straw saying he had fallen into a “very clever trap” and Rifkind acknowledging his comments had been “silly.”

The men were caught on camera offering access to high profile figures in exchange for cash.


montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

Jack Straw needed the money so he could build a moat.


ICM poll: Labour faces wipeout in Scotland after new leader fails to dent SNP support



Looks tight.

So what will the right do to win this upcoming election or what will the left do to screw up their own chances?



The right is the right everywhere, and their tactics know no bounds.

Tory backbench rebellion defeats Hague's attempt to unseat Speaker

John Bercow fights back tears after motion to introduce secret ballot to elect Speaker in next parliament is defeated by 228 votes to 202





David Cameron in talks over another coalition, it is claimed

With polls pointing to another hung Parliament it is claimed that the Prime Minister “doesn’t bother to maintain the fiction” that he is not planning for a second coalition with the Liberal Democrats.

According to The Spectator magazine, Mr Cameron has held “at least two detailed discussions” on the issue in recent weeks.

Mr Cameron does not want to run a minority Conservative government and “would prefer coalition”, the magazine claimed.

Nick Clegg has said he is prepared to do a deal after the election with whichever party has the most seats.

David Cameron on Wednesday denied the claims and said that he is going for an “all-out win” on May 7.

Senior Downing Street sources described the reports about coalition discussions as “rubbish”.

Senior Conservatives are increasingly concerned about the prospect of another hung Parliament.

At least two Cabinet ministers have told The Daily Telegraph that although they believe that the Conservatives will be the largest party after the election, the margin of victory will not be large enough for a Parliamentary majority.

According to the Spectator, one Cabinet minister said: “No one thinks we’re going to come back with a 30- or 40-seat majority.”

“In private, what the Prime Minister discusses is his plans for the next coalition deal,” the magazine reported. “The Spectator knows of at least two detailed discussions that Cameron has had on the topic in recent weeks. He said the same in both: no matter what they might hear to the contrary, he does not want to run a minority government.

“In the likely event of another hung parliament, he would prefer coalition. So the outcome of the general election will be decided by two battles: one at the ballot box, and the other behind closed doors — away from (and, in some cases, running contrary to) what was said on the campaign trail.”


montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

With Liberal help, Cameron and Osborne have run the most right-wing Tory government in a century.


It is going to be very close

U.K. General Election Predictions

FiveThirtyEight is publishing forecasts for the 2015 parliamentary election developed by Chris Hanretty, Ben Lauderdale and Nick Vivyan, a group of U.K. academics. Their model combines opinion polls, historical election results and census data.



Conservatives have just gained 10 seats on Labour, SNP may well be the king-maker

Party / GE / Apr 4 / Apr 7 / Change

Conservatives / 302 / 283 / 287 / Down 15 seats

Labour / 256 / 277 / 271 seats / Up 15 seats

SNP / 6 / 40 / 42 seats / Up 36 seats

Liberal Democrats / 56 / 26 / 27 / Down 29 seats

326 seats needed for majority


U.K. General Election Predictions



Different sites, different projections.




Wikipedia has a list of a few of the seat prediction sites:



Apr 7 - 7 PM

Party / GE / Apr 4 / Apr 7 / Change

Conservatives / 302 / 283 / 287 / Down 15 seats

Labour / 256 / 277 / 270 seats / Up 14 seats

SNP / 6 / 40 / 43 seats / Up 37 seats

Liberal Democrats / 56 / 26 / 27 / Down 29 seats

326 seats needed for majority




Labour leads by 2 in the last two public polls.



Which would leave 538's prediction far from the mark since it is generally agreed that Labour has the advantage in vote efficiency.  Hence, if Labour is ahead by 2, it would be far more likely that they would have a 17 seat lead than it would be for the Tories to have any lead at all.


Right now at least it sure looks like SNP could be the kingmaker - so who will they support? 


Party / GE / Apr 4 / Apr 7 / Apr 8 / Change

Conservatives / 302 / 283 / 287 / 284 / Down 18 seats

Labour / 256 / 277 / 271 / 274 / Up 18 seats, within 10 seats of the Conservatives

SNP / 6 / 40 / 42  / 41 / Up 35 seats

Liberal Democrats / 56 / 26 / 27 / 28 / Down 28 seats

326 seats needed for majority




General election campaign: who won day 10?

Who won the day of non-doms? Dan Hodges decides



NorthReport wrote:

Right now at least it sure looks like SNP could be the kingmaker - so who will they support? 

SNP's Nicola Sturgeon calls for pact with Labour to oust Cameron; BelfastTelegraph.co.uk



Nicola Sturgeon has issued a public appeal to Ed Miliband to join with the SNP in "locking David Cameron out of 10 Downing Street".


Labour appears to be narrowing the gap.


Party / GE / Apr 4 / Apr 7 / Apr 8 / Apr 9 / Change

Conservatives / 302 / 283 / 287 / 284 / 282 / Down 20 seats

Labour / 256 / 277 / 271 / 274 / 275 / Up 19 seats, now within 7 seats of the Conservatives

SNP / 6 / 40 / 42  / 41 / 41 / Up 35 seats

Liberal Democrats / 56 / 26 / 27 / 28 / 28 / Down 28 seats

326 seats needed for majority






6 out of the last 7 polls show Labour in the lead.


montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

Those polls don't factor Ukip.


Just like the CBC when the NDP shows strength in the polls here in Canada, eh!

Tory press ignores, or underplays, polls putting Labour ahead




montrealer58 wrote:

Those polls don't factor Ukip.

It's not the polls, it's the prediction models. 12-19% is supposed to give them only 1 seat?


Topic locked