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The European Citizen: Northern Ireland and the European Elections
Stephen Spillane has posted a very interesting article on the European elections in Northern Ireland. Crudely put, the gist of it was that with the MEP Jim Allister setting up his own party after breaking away from the DUP means that the unionist vote could be spread out over more candidates. This would mean that the traditional 2 Unionist MEPs and 1 Nationalist MEP balance could be changed (but read his article to get a better sense of this with some handy numbers).

As someone from Northern Ireland, I guess I should have said something about the elections here before, but I have to admit that I haven't found the European elections in NI interesting - there hasn't really been any campaigning yet, though I think the candidates are pretty much selected, and the communal divide means that the poll won't even mean that the result can indicate and shift in political opinion in a way that matters in an EU sense or even in the traditional political sense of left v right. Elections in NI are largely still just the popular method of measuring the political weight of (1) each community in comparison to the other (2) each of the parties strength within their own community.

On the other hand, the election is interesting in that it could show developments in these areas, which I have perhaps been wrong to dismiss as not really that interesting. (Perhaps it's more interesting from the outside since it's different from "normal" politics?).
by Fran on Sun Apr 19th, 2009 at 12:35:37 PM EST
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