What would happen at GE2019 if it is more like the 2019 European election than the last general election?

Previously, I looked at what might happen at a future general election using the 2017 general election results as a base and a YouGov poll to redistribute votes to see how a new general election might pan out. This poll gave the Tories a 9 point lead over Labour in second place, and accordingly in such a scenario the Tories would win a majority despite a historically low vote share, albeit with a smaller majority if the Lib Dems, Greens … Read more

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The role of media in conflict: A Féile discussion

The role of media in conflict: A Féile discussion by Allan LEONARD 8 August 2019 Hosted by Féile an Phobail, the campaign group Time for Truth organised an event to examine the role of the media in conflict and to listen to the account of those journalists in the front line who helped shape and influence the narrative. The panellists were Amanda Ferguson (journalist), Sean Murray (film director), Trevor Birney (film producer), and Barry McCaffery (journalist). After welcoming those attending … Read more

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Trans Rights are Human Rights – Ellen Murray’s Amnesty NI lecture at Belfast Pride

Read or watch back Ellen Murray’s lecture (delivered on Tuesday 30 July as part of Belfast Pride). Under the title ‘Trans Rights are Human Rights’, she examined the international context, foreign opinion on the “worrying” state of public discourse in the UK, the shared history with disabled rights struggles, as well as healthcare, welfare of children, women’s rights and her hopes for trans rights in Northern Ireland.

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The Universal Credit two-child limit: all cost, no benefit

SOAPBOX: a representative from the British Association of Social Workers argues that the UK Government policy to limit Universal Credit to the first two children in a household is unbefitting of a modern, just society and argues that this roll-back of welfare provision is being pursued regardless of the impacts on hard-up families and vulnerable children. The resulting costs of implementing the introduction of the two-child policy mean that it seems to be driven by ideological rather than fiscal responsibility.

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Class division in Northern Ireland even greater than between orange and green, argues CFNI chief

Class is a bigger and more significant division in Northern Ireland than is the religious divide, argues the chief executive of the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland Andrew McCracken.   “Whilst there’s the really visible gap between orange and green, the more fundamental and more important gap is the gap between rich and poor and the bubbles of society that we live in,” says Andrew in the latest Forward Together podcast. He continues: “The thing I really care about, that’s part … Read more

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The Unite to Remain alliance will have a mountain to climb to prevent a Conservative victory at the next general election

After several months where the Brexit Party, the Liberal Democrats, Labour and the Conservatives have been locked in essentially a four-way tie in the opinion polls for the next British general election, the election of Boris Johnson as Conservative party leader and prime minister has led to the Tories having a consistent lead over their rivals. The Tories have a lead of around 10 percentage points over Labour and the Liberal Democrats, who remain essentially tied on around 21%. The … Read more

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Don’t underestimate him. Boris Johnson is making a powerful appeal by defying party traditions, but at the expense of the Union

Without doubt Boris Johnson holds the political initiative. Despite all their lambasting and lamentations, the opposition parties show no sign of getting an act to together to prevent No Deal or even save the Union. Rather the reverse. Andrew Rawnsley is the latest to explain the situation. Labour is insistent that any alternative government must have Mr Corbyn as its leader. There is no conceivable parliamentary majority for installing him at Number 10, even on a temporary basis. There are … Read more

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An insiders guide to the Royal Black Institution and the Fermanagh Black Twelfth…

Choyaa is a Fermanagh Orangeman The anticipation of the big parade has been building up for the past year and come the first Saturday in August all preparations are about to be realised. There’s a plethora of speculation about who will be within the procession with some very famous dignitaries anticipated along with spectators expected to reach tens of thousands. There is a buzz, there is vibrancy, and there is a feeling that this parade is part of the mainstream … Read more

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50th Anniversary of The Battle of the Bogside…

In the summer of 1969 Clive Limpkin was a staff photographer on the now defunct Daily Sketch. He’d found the job unrewarding, and was wondering if he wouldn’t be more interested in copywriting, going to J Walter Thompson for an interview. He didn’t take the job because of the meagre salary. He went back to the Sketch, where the picture editor had got wind of his intentions: he said: — Ulster. Apprentice Boys march in Derry on Tuesday. We think the shit … Read more

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The cost of running: candidate spending in the 2019 local government election

Spending by candidates in the 2019 local government election is now available and when we delve into it, comparing candidate and party spend with the number of votes secured, a number of very interesting narratives emerge. The headline figure is that 819 candidates, representing 17 parties (plus 71 independents) spent a total of £650,140 in order to win 462 council seats. (It should be noted that there are only returns for 815 candidates as 4 candidates either did not make … Read more

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