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The election of Naomi Long of the non-sectarian Alliance Party is a game changer in Northern Ireland as it has always, traditionally, been represented by two Unionist and one Nationalist MEPs. In part this represents demographic changes with an increasing part of the population identifying as neither Nationalist or Unionist. In part it reflects the fact that the Nationalist and Unionist populations are much more finely balanced and neither can any longer claim hegemony over N. Ireland politics. The DUP still has some difficulty coming to terms with that.

Note also the derisory votes of the Conservative Party and UKIP Candidates. "Mainland" i..e. British parties have never had any foothold in N. Ireland, the irony of which seems to have been lost on Unionists who claim they are more British than the British themselves. Note also that well over 50% of Colum Eastwood's votes transferred to Naomi Long (in preference to Sinn Fein's Martina Anderson) ensuring Long's election by a huge margin over the Traditional Unionist Voice candidate Jim Allister - whereas Eastwood himself got hardly any transfers when Ulster Unionist candidate, Danny Kennedy, was eliminated.

Sectarian voting patterns still rule the roost, particularly among Unionist voters.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu May 30th, 2019 at 09:12:15 AM EST

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