Prodiban make waves in Dromore


And we have the result in from the Dromore by-election. This, you’ll recall, was the first electoral outing for Jim “Oven Glove” Allister’s Traditional Unionist Voice (and what a bloody awful name for a party, by the way), and so a run-of-the-mill contest for a seat on Banbridge council was transformed into a battle for the soul of unionism. At least that was the media spin – with turnout barely half of the 2005 mark, the punters were perhaps less enthused. Anyway, here are the figures via Slugger, where as always there is much discussion going on.

First count:

Stewart (DUP)       1069    28.6%   -21.2%
Black (OUP)            912     24.4%    -6.9%
Harbinson (TUV)   739     19.8%
Griffin (Alliance)    357      9.5%
Gribben (PSF)       350      9.4%      +2.3%
Drake (SDLP)        255      6.8%      -5.0%
Corry (Green)       59         1.6%

Drake and Corry elimated, second count:

Stewart               1074   +5
Black                    937     +25
Harbinson           742     +3
Gribben               507     +157
Griffin                  479     +122

Griffin eliminated, third count:

Stewart               1127    +53
Black                   1119    +182
Harbinson          801      +59
Gribben              507

Gribben eliminated, fourth count:

Black                  1194    +67
Stewart             1178     +59
Harbinson         828      +27

Harbinson eliminated, final count:

Black               1571       +377
Stewart          1508       +330

Immediate reactions: well, the first count results are straightforward enough. The TUV vote came cleanly off the DUP. The Alliance vote (they didn’t run in Dromore last time) hit the Official Unionists and to a lesser extent the SDLP. The Shinners, in what’s a relatively new area for them, pull clearly ahead of the SDLP for the first time, and manage to pick up more SDLP transfers than Alliance.

The unexpected OUP victory, despite a decline in their first preference share, comes about via receiving not only transfers from nationalist and middle-of-the road voters, which we might have expected, but the majority of the TUV transfers. Word from Banbridge is that Prodiban canvassers were telling their voters to transfer OUP rather than DUP, but there had to be doubts about that as the DUP would be a more natural home for them. It seems that disgruntled unionists really are disgruntled and want to slap it up Big Ian in a bad way.

So the Prodiban will have their tails up, having shown they have some critical mass, at least in Dromore. The OUP will probably continue with their kamikaze strategy of trying to out-Paisley Paisley, even though that will allow the new kid on the block to gazump them. The big losers are of course the DUP, who failed to win in a DEA they were miles ahead in last time, and furthermore failed to wipe out their challengers. Interesting times in Banbridge, and it’s not often you’ll hear that said.


  1. WorldbyStorm said,

    February 17, 2008 at 12:50 am

    I really can’t see where this ends. If the result of TUV is to strengthen UUP as against DUP surely they’re just leading to yet more disappointment for themselves, although I guess one should never underestimate the comforts of disappointment for those in politics…

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