Newton Emerson - The Sinn Fein game is to let Unionism drive itself mad then pick up the pieces

"In Northern Ireland... letting unionism drive itself mad then picking up the pieces has been the only game Gerry Adams has ever played."

Newton Emerson, The Irish News, May 29 2014. 


Newton Emerson - Large number of unionist parties increases unionism's overall share

In the Sunday Times of May 25 2014, Newton Emerson wrote of unionism:

"Unionism's overall share of the vote increased from 46.1% to 49.5%, boosted by the large number of unionist parties an their advice to transfer to all other unionists on the ballot."

Of nationalism:

"Nationalism lost out as a result, with Sinn Fein down to 24.1% of the first-preference vote from 24.8%, and the SDLP down to 13.6% from 15%."

And more:

"This continues the general trend in nationalism, where Sinn Fein has reached a plateau and is not benefitting from the SDLP's decline."

Survey of Fermanagh Orangemen

A first professional survey of Orangemen in Fermanagh found the following:

- Almost 50% of respondents believe the rule barring Orangemen from attending Mass should be changed. Just 25% believe it should stay.

(The Mass finding may be influenced by the overwhelmingly Church of Ireland make-up of Fermanagh Orangemen, with 77 per cent coming from an Anglican background.)

- 43% believe shared education should be encouraged, with 30% opposed 

- 33% of Fermanagh Orangemen do not think the Order is doing enough to promote good relations.

- Only 44% believe the wider Protestant/unionist community understand them.

One member told researchers: 

"No matter how we create good relations in Fermanagh we will always be let down by the hooligans in Belfast who tarnish our reputation."

The information-gathering exercise was run by consultancy firm Green Hat and partly funded by Fermanagh District Council. The  survey was sent to all the county’s roughly 1,800 Orangemen. The survey was run with the aim of improving relations in the Fermanagh area. A large percentage – almost a third – responded, and the results were published as a 166-page report last night.

Alex Kane on what's wrong with Unionism