The Transfer Oddities of AE17a

I’m always interested in weird things – it’s a bit of an obsession. Ripley’s Believe it or not is kinda my jam. So after Assembly elections… after the counting is done and the candidates are returned (or crying at home), I like to look and see what bizarre things happened. The unlikely… the inexplicable…

So, thanks to Bob Harper and Elections NI, I went through the counts, and, where possible (some stages aren’t calculable due to simultaneous events) noted down the kind of transfers that make you scratch your head and say, “seriously?”

I considered it myself… In South Belfast, prior to going into the ballot box, my preferred order was:

  1. Paula Bradshaw (Alliance)
  2. Emmet McDonough-Brown (Alliance)
  3. Clare Bailey (Green)

But I played with actually going with

  1. George Jabbour (NI Conservatives)
  2. Lily Kerr (Worker’s Party)
  3. John Hiddleston (TUV)
  4. Paula Bradshaw
  5. Emmet McDonough-Brown
  6. Clare Bailey

Not because I wanted them to be elected, but because I knew they wouldn’t be… I wanted to give some fun to the counters, I wanted the following conversation to happen:

“Who the hell went from the Tories to the Worker’s Party?? Who the HELL went from the Worker’s Party to the TUV?? WHO THE FUCK WENT FROM THE TUV TO ALLIANCE??”

In the end though, I bottled it and felt the weight of democracy upon my shoulders, so I went with what was right, for me.

Can the same be said for these other transfers from this recent election?

North Belfast

Julie-Ann Corr-Johnston (Progressive Unionist Party) – 14 transfers went from Corr-Johnston to Sinn Féin. 49 went from J-AC-J to the SDLP.

Fiona Ferguson, the People Before Profit candidate, had 38 votes move to the DUP.

Nelson McCausland, the Christian Fundamentalist Veteran of the DUP, had:

  • 2 votes transfer to Gerry Kelly of Sinn Féin
  • 30 votes transfer to SDLP
  • 39 votes transfer to Nuala McCallister of Alliance

South Belfast

Sean Burns of the oh-so-socialist Worker’s Party: 11 transfers went to the DUP, and 7 to the TUV.

West Belfast

The SDLP’s Alex Attwood saw 74 transfers go to the DUP’s Frank McCoubrey

East Antrim

Ruth Wilson of the TUV had 2 transfers move directly to Sinn Féin

Noel Jordan, the last bastion of UKIPpery hanging on in Northern Ireland, had 14 transfers move to Sinn Féin, presumably this is part of UKIP’s new approach following Paul Nuttall, a Catholic, being appointed as leader of UKIP.

Danny Donnelly, the second Alliance candidate in East Antrim watched 26 votes move to the DUP.

East Londonderry

David Harding of the NI Conservatives.. yes… the CONSERVATIVES, had 2 votes move directly to the People Before Profit candidate. Yes. The TORIES TO PBP! Really.

One of the PUP’s three candidates in Northern Ireland, Russel Watton, had 3 votes move to Sinn Féin… 5 Unionist candidates remained, but nope – those 5 people preferred Sinn Féin over any other Unionist politician in East Londonderry.

Furthermore, Jordan Armstrong of the TUV had 4 votes go to Sinn Féin… those 4 TUV voters preferred Sinn Féin over the DUP, Claire Sugden, and the UUP.

Gerry Mullan, the de-selected outgoing MLA who was representing the SDLP before his solo run as an independent had more votes for go to the independent, Claire Sugden (270) than to the SDLP candidate, John Dallat (266), what actually happened up there to the SDLP?

Fermanagh & South Tyrone

The SDLP’s Richie McPhillips saw 73 transfers go to Maurice Morrow of the DUP. Presumably these kinds of transfers to Unionists are okay with the DUP?

Lagan Valley

Dan Barrios-O’Neill from the Green Party watched as 37 transfers moved to the DUP, including 18 (eighteen) to Edwin Poots. A further 14 went to Sammy Morrison of the TUV.


Sinn Féin Leader-in-the-North, Michelle O’Neill had 1 transfer go to the local TUV candidate, Hannah Loughrin, despite her having 2 Sinn Féin colleagues still in the game.

North Antrim

Patricia O’Lynn of Alliance had 115 transfers, not an insignificant figure, go to the TUV candidate – a certain Jim Allister, no less.

Connor Duncan also saw 155 of his SDLP votes move to Jim Allister too.

South Antrim

The local NI Conservative candidate, Mark Logan, had 5 whole votes, 2.57% of his entire first preference votes, move to People Before Profit.


Dermot Kennedy, Sinn Féin’s candidate in this Unionist-dominated seat, had 4 transfers go to DUP candidates.

South Down

Harold McKee, the right-wing Christian-conservative say 812.94 of his votes transfer to Alliance’s Patrick Brown instead of the DUP’s Jim Wells.

I would LOVE to speak to some of these out-of-the-box voters, it shows that people aren’t always as predictable as might be expected!


1 Comment

  1. “I can’t believe that!” said Alice.
    “Can’t you?” the Queen said in a pitying tone. “Try again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.”
    Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said: “one can’t believe impossible things.”
    “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”


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