After the election: What next ?
The General Election result will, for those fascinated by the intricacies of such events, provide much fertile ground for endless speculations and interpretations. And there is a risk that these conversations crowd out some important questions as once again the daily media return their gaze to the succession competitions in the Labour and Liberal Democrat […]
The results are in: What do they mean?
As the results come in across the UK there are a number of headlines from the collapse of the Liberal Democrats to the rise of the SNP to the growth in votes for UKIP but with little electoral success. As with every election night the stories and speculation focuses on the individuals. So there is […]
The formal campaign is nearly over but what happens next matters more
As the General Election comes to a close, the speculation on what happens next is starting to seem much more important than what has been going on for the last six weeks. We have seen, as I have been arguing through these election blogs, at least three different campaign. From the media’s point of view […]
Under the radar conversations
I have been struck by the growing gap between the election campaign as it appears in the media and the conversations and discussions I am having through my work with community based organisations and residents. Over the past two weeks I have sat and listened to people talk about their voluntary work in a community […]
Bookies sort political favourites from rank outsiders
Political betting is one way of forecasting how this election might go. Working on the premise that bookies rarely lose money and always do their homework, the odds they are offering might give an overall picture of what the country will look like electorally on May 8. There has been a remarkable transformation in the […]
General Election 2015 is a great indictment of the Northern Ireland Peace Process
It had been hoped that the religious and political binary fault line between Catholic/ Nationalist/ Irish and Protestant/ Unionist/ British was something that 20 years of the Peace Process would begin to erode. This election will suggest quite the reverse: ‘real’ politics, based on political, ideological issues rather than simple religious affiliation may be some […]
As the TV Election dominates, what are the local issues?
The TV election debate is , as to be expected, shaped and defined by the personalities and the ‘incidents’ as interpreted by the media commentators. And, of course, the political leaders (to a greater or lesser extent) play up to this. But at a local level there is another election campaign taking place. It seems […]
The televised political debate: Body language under the microsope
In 1960 politics changed forever. It was the first televised political debate in the U.S. between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon. The significance of the power of television in politics is demonstrated by the fact that those who listened to the debate on the radio thought that Nixon had won, whereas those who watched […]
What about the issues that don’t figure in the election campaign, but matter ?
The ways in which the formal election campaign and its associated conversations miss out the issues that touch most people, are ones I will come back to over the coming weeks. It’s important to start though by recognising that the shared conversations between the politicians and the media rule out a whole series of voices […]
How Northern Ireland’s parties could hold the balance of power
Northern Ireland might be a small place that has receded from the public imagination since the end of the Troubles and the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, but it might just be propelled back into the political spotlight. It remains religiously and politically divided along sectarian fault lines, but the 18 MPs that it returns […]