Review your data settings

Cookies are set through this site to recognise your repeat visits and preferences, serve more relevant ads, facilitate social sharing, and to analyse traffic. By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies that may process personal data for these purposes in line with our privacy statement and cookie policy.

Menu

Our two-party state doesn't augur well for reconciliation

By Suzanne Breen ·

103
DUP’s Jim Shannon and Simon Hamilton celebrate

Almost 20 years on from the Good Friday Agreement, Northern Ireland looks nothing like what starry-eyed dreamers may have hoped for. The rich tapestry of political life is nowhere to be seen.

After the mother of all sectarian headcounts in Thursday's Westminster election, we now clearly have a two-party state. There is no point in trying to pretend otherwise.

The DUP and Sinn Fein have obliterated the Ulster Unionists and the SDLP. It's impossible to see a way back for either party. For many years now they had been a shadow of their former selves.

We had grown used to them hanging on in there, limping along to the end of the race. Now the death-knell has sounded. They lost their combined five seats in the House of Commons.

The financial implications for both already cash-starved parties are devastating. They will lose more than £1 million in public funding over the next five years.

The SDLP and the UUP are now of only regional significance with a handful of councillors and MLAs in the (mothballed) Assembly to make their case. In the wider political landscape, they are bit players.

A total of 17 of our 18 MPs are DUP or Sinn Fein. And next election around, sole Independent Lady Sylvia Hermon will surely be replaced by a DUP MP.

The political predominance of one party in both the unionist and nationalist communities is depressing. It's unhealthy and it's bad for democracy. Yet the UUP and the SDLP have only themselves to blame.

103
Local candidate Mr Fishfinger waits as ballot papers are counted at the Westmoorland and Lonsdale constituency count at Kendal Leisure Centre on June 8, 2017 in Kendal, United Kingdom. (Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images)

Decades of easy success made them lazy and arrogant, so, when the going got tough, they just couldn't cope.

In Thursday's election the DUP polled almost four times more votes than its rival - 36% to the UUP's 10%.

"Unionists saw nationalists rallying around Sinn Fein in massive numbers in March's Assembly election. They decided they wanted a big orange attack dog to take on the big green one," a DUP source told me at the Belfast count.

Over the past two months the DUP has worked tirelessly to sign up new voters. Community groups, the Orange Order and others were also involved in a unionist registration drive.

Their success could be seen in turnouts of 60-70% in working-class loyalist areas where it would usually have reached no more than 30-40%. In East Belfast, which was expected to be a tight battle with Alliance, the DUP's Gavin Robinson romped home, increasing his vote by 6%.

The UUP's poor performance can't be blamed on new leader Robin Swann who was only 10 days in the job when Theresa May called the election. But it's impossible to believe that he can stop the rot and get the party competitive again.

In areas like South Belfast, its structures are fossilised. It lacks an energetic membership. The party just doesn't have a machine capable of fighting elections.

There will surely be defections from some ambitious UUP councillors to DUP ranks. In the longer-term, a realignment of unionism seems inevitable.

Sinn Fein decimated the SDLP in this election. While South Down and South Belfast looked vulnerable, few thought that Foyle, which Mark Durkan and his mentor John Hume had held since 1983, was in jeopardy. Running three former failed leaders in its Westminster seats signified the SDLP's problem. Durkan, Margaret Ritchie and Alasdair McDonnell just weren't seen as dynamic, inspiring individuals.

While Sinn Fein can get away with having underwhelming MPs like Paul Maskey and Mickey Brady, the SDLP equivalent needs to be at the top of their game to compete with the republican party.

Running three candidates, whose stewardship of the party had seen its continuing downward spiral was unwise. Had Claire Hanna been the SDLP candidate in South Belfast, she would have surely held the seat.

The SDLP's lacklustre Westminster line-up is in stark contrast to the young, impressive team of Hanna, Colum Eastwood, Nichola Mallon and Daniel McCrossan at Stormont.

Eastwood barely put a foot wrong in the campaign - and is a far superior performer to Sinn Fein's Michelle O'Neill, but it isn't enough and it never will be. The SDLP has simply passed its sell-by date.

Eastwood barely put a foot wrong in the campaign - and is a far superior performer to Sinn Fein's Michelle O'Neill, but it isn't enough and it never will be. The SDLP has simply passed its sell-by date.

It doesn't have a credible narrative for nationalists and it is tarred with the loser tag that it will never shake off. No amount of think tanks and research studies that the party has previously commissioned can change this.

During the Westminster election campaign Republic of Ireland star James McClean, Belfast boxers Paddy Barnes and Mick Conlan, and a host of GAA and other local sporting personalities lined up to support Sinn Fein, tweeting or appearing in social media videos.

Nobody wanted to be associated with the SDLP. It has lost almost all connection with working-class nationalists. Young and middle-class voters also see it as less liberal than Alliance and the Greens on social issues such as abortion in cases of fatal foetal abnormality.

While winning back Bobby Sands' old constituency of Fermanagh and South Tyrone was great for Sinn Fein, the real jewel was South Down.

Down was historically the most anti-republican of all the Northern counties. When the GAA's Rule 21 ban on security force members was previously debated, Down alone supported lifting it. If Sinn Fein can win in that constituency, it can win anywhere.

It's difficult to see the SDLP ever being competitive enough to win back the three seats it lost on Thursday; South Belfast is the only one perhaps possible. The party's only hope now is an amalgamation with Fianna Fail if that party keeps its promise to come north. Such a move could be a game-changer in nationalist politics here.

While it was a great election for Sinn Fein, it was a spectacular one for the DUP. In March just 1,168 votes separated the parties - now the DUP on an unprecedented 36% has a seven point lead. Based on Thursday's results, unionists have no reason to fear a border poll.

The prospects for a return to devolution appear slim. With a new Taoiseach about to be installed in Dublin, and a very shaky coalition Government in London, both parties will be tempted to do nothing until the political landscape stabilises.

While Sinn Fein's more middle-class voters may be keen to get devolution up and running, the party knows that returning to Stormont and implementing Tory cuts will alienate its working-class supporters and make the likes of People Before Profit relevant again.

Sinn Fein may be content to sit back and let the Tories and the DUP get on with business from Westminster, while loudly protesting at the austerity which follows.

Likewise, with its kingmaking role in Parliament, and its best ever vote, Arlene Foster's party will be in no mood to rush into a deal with Sinn Fein and sign off an Irish Language Act.

The two big political power blocs have never been stronger - and the growing polarisation of our communities, and stalemate at Stormont, seems depressingly inescapable.

1 / 103
DUP’s Jim Shannon and Simon Hamilton celebrate
2 / 103
SDLP leader Colum Eastwood reflects
3 / 103
Sinn Fein’s Pat Doherty with Northern leader Michelle
4 / 103
Local candidate Mr Fishfinger waits as ballot papers are counted at the Westmoorland and Lonsdale constituency count at Kendal Leisure Centre on June 8, 2017 in Kendal, United Kingdom. (Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images)
5 / 103
DUP leader Arlene Foster (2nd L), DUP deputy leader and north Belfast candidate Nigel Dodds (L), former DUP leader and Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson (R) watch on at the Belfast count centre on June 9, 2017 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
6 / 103
British Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader Theresa May speaks at the declaration at the election count at the Magnet Leisure Centre on June 9, 2017 in Maidenhead, England. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
7 / 103
Theresa May kept her senior ministers in post after suffering humiliating losses in the snap election. AFP/Getty Images
8 / 103
Prime Minister Theresa May reacts at the Magnet Leisure Centre in Maidenhead, after she held her seat. PA
9 / 103
Prime Minister Theresa May at the Magnet Leisure Centre in Maidenhead, after she held her seat. PA
10 / 103
British Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader Theresa May (far left) stands with other candidates at the declaration at the election count at the Magnet Leisure Centre on June 9, 2017 in Maidenhead, England. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
11 / 103
DUP leader and Northern Ireland former First Minister Arlene Foster (R) waves to the media alongside Gregory Campbell (L) after holding a press conference with the DUP's newly elected Westminster candidates who stood in the general election on June 9, 2017 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
12 / 103
A television presenter stands outside 10 Downing Street in London on June 10, 2017, holding a copy of The Daily Mirror newspaper with the headline 'Coalition of Crackpots' the day after the general election resulted in a hung parliament and British Prime Minister Theresa May forming a minority government. AFP/Getty Images
13 / 103
UKIP Leader Paul Nuttall leaves via a fire exit following the vote count for the constituency of Boston and Skegness on June 9, 2017 in Boston, England. (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)
14 / 103
Sinn Fein's Northern Ireland leader Michelle O'Neill (centre left) and party president Gerry Adams (centre) speaking outside Sinn Fein offices on the Falls Road in Belfast after the party emerged with seven MPs following the General Election. PA
15 / 103
Sinn Fein's party president Gerry Adams speaking outside Sinn Fein offices on the Falls Road in Belfast after the party emerged with seven MPs following the General Election. PA
16 / 103
DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds (L) points to DUP leader and Northern Ireland former First Minister Arlene Foster (R) as they hold a photocall with their newly elected candidates who stood in the general election on June 9, 2017 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
17 / 103
Sinn Fein's Northern Ireland leader Michelle O'Neill (left) and party president Gerry Adams (right) speaking outside Sinn Fein offices on the Falls Road in Belfast after the party emerged with seven MPs following the General Election. PA
18 / 103
DUP leader and Northern Ireland former First Minister Arlene Foster (C) holds a brief press conference with the DUP's newly elected Westminster candidates who stood in the general election on June 9, 2017 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
19 / 103
Leader of the DUP Arlene Foster holds a press conference at the Stormont Hotel in Belfast on June 9th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
20 / 103
Leader of the DUP Arlene Foster holds a press conference at the Stormont Hotel in Belfast on June 9th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
21 / 103
DUP leader Arlene Foster along with her MPs pictured at the Stormont Hotel in south Belfast this afternoon. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
22 / 103
Britain's Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street in central London on June 9, 2017, en route to Buckingham Palace to meet Queen Elizabeth II. AFP/Getty Images
23 / 103
Prime Minister Theresa May with her husband Philip arrives at Buckingham Palace where she will seek the Queen's permission to form a UK government on June 9, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Victoria Jones - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
24 / 103
The car carrying Prime Minister Theresa May arriving at Buckingham Palace before her audience with Queen Elizabeth II after the General Election resulted in a hung parliament. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 9, 2017. See PA story ELECTION Main. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire
25 / 103
Britain's Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street in central London on June 9, 2017, en route to Buckingham Palace to meet Queen Elizabeth II, the day after a general election in which the Conservatives lost their majority. British Prime Minister Theresa May will on Friday seek to form a new government, resisting pressure to resign after losing her parliamentary majority ahead of crucial Brexit talks. May is set to meet the head of state Queen Elizabeth II and ask for permission to form a new government, according to her Downing Street office. / AFP PHOTO / Daniel LEAL-OLIVASDANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images
26 / 103
Britain's Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party Theresa May (L) leaves 10 Downing Street in central London on June 9, 2017, en route to Buckingham Palace to meet Queen Elizabeth II, the day after a general election in which the Conservatives lost their majority. British Prime Minister Theresa May will on Friday seek to form a new government, resisting pressure to resign after losing her parliamentary majority ahead of crucial Brexit talks. May is set to meet the head of state Queen Elizabeth II and ask for permission to form a new government, according to her Downing Street office. / AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNISADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images
27 / 103
Theresa May arrives at Buckingham Palace to meet Queen Elizabeth. AFP/Getty Images
28 / 103
Theresa May leaves Conservative Party HQ in Westminster (Rick Findler/PA)
29 / 103
Liberal Democrat Party leader Tim Farron speaks to suporters and the press at 1 Whitehall Place on June 9, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
30 / 103
Liberal Democrat Party leader Tim Farron speaks to suporters and the press at 1 Whitehall Place on June 9, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
31 / 103
Leo Varadkar said the UK election result presents an opportunity for Ireland
32 / 103
Paul Nuttall has resigned as the leader of Ukip (Joe Giddens/PA)
33 / 103
DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds, leader Arlene Foster and former leader Peter Robinson cheer as Emma Little Pengelly is elected to the South Belfast. PA Niall Carson/PA Wire
34 / 103
DUP leader Arlene Foster (2nd L), DUP deputy leader and north Belfast candidate Nigel Dodds (L), Emma Little Pengelly (2nd R) DUP south Belfast candidate and Gavin Robinson (R) DUP east Belfast candidate celebrate at the Belfast count centre on June 9, 2017 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. After a snap election was called the United Kingdom went to the polls yesterday, after a closely fought election the results from across the country are being counted and an overall result is expected in the early hours. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
35 / 103
9 / 6 / 17 PACEMAKER PRESS Francie Molloy wins the Mid Ulster seat for Sinn Féin in the UK Parlimentary Election. PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS
36 / 103
PACEMAKER BELFAST 09/06/2017 Gregory Campbell with his wife Frances after he was re-elected to represent East Londonderry
37 / 103
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th June 2017 - Westminster General Election 2017. Michelle Gildernew celebrates at the election count at Omagh Leisure Complex Omagh for West Tyrone and Fermanagh & South Tyrone. Photo by John McVitty / Press Eye.
38 / 103
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th June 2017 - Westminster General Election 2017 The election count at Valley Leisure Centre Newtownabbey for East Antrim and South Antrim DUP's Sammy Wilson Photo by Matt Mackey / Press Eye.
39 / 103
Winner: Sinn Fein candidate for South Down Chris Hazzard celebrates after winning the seat at the election count at the Eikon Exhibition Centre Sprucefield for Lagan Valley, Newry & Armagh, South Down and Upper Bann. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com
40 / 103
Winner: Jim Shannon (DUP) with his electoral agent Simon Hamilton during the 2017 Westminster Election count at Aurora Leisure Complex, Bangor. Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
41 / 103
Nicola Sturgeon and Stephen Gethins eat chips on the General Election campaign trail (Jane Barlow/PA)
42 / 103
Leader of the Conservative party Theresa May and Britain's main opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. AFP/Getty Images
43 / 103
Two anti-Brexit activists pose with their hand-puppets depicting British Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative party Theresa May, left, and Britain's Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn, in front of the the Houses of Parliament on election day in London, Thursday, June 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
44 / 103
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 08: Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn casts his vote at a polling station at Pakeman Primary School on June 8, 2017 in London, England. Polling stations have opened as the nation votes to decide the next UK government in a general election. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
45 / 103
Toby, a beagle cross waits for his master outside a polling station on the Glen road on June 8, 2017 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
46 / 103
Voting activists encouraging commuters to vote in the General Election 2017, at Turnham Green station in London. PA
47 / 103
A sign is pictured outside a polling station in Kingston-Upon-Hull, northern England, on June 8, 2017 as Britain votes in the general election. AFP/Getty Images
48 / 103
Copies of the Evening Standard newspaper, with the headline 'You decide' are pictured in central London on June 8, 2017, as Britain holds a general election. AFP/Getty Images
49 / 103
Dougie the Cocker Spaniel sits beside a sign reading 'Pawing Station' outside a polling station on June 8, 2017 in Stalybridge, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom. Voters are going to the polls today to vote in the General Election (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)
50 / 103
Alliance candidate for West Belfast Sorcha Eastwood casts her vote in the 2017 General Election, with her husband, Dale Shirlow, at a polling station in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, still wearing her wedding dress after they were married earlier in the day. Brian Lawless/PA Wire
51 / 103
Sinn Fein leader in Northern Ireland Michelle O'Neill arrives at a polling station at St Patrick's primary school in Annaghmore, Clonoe to cast her vote in the General Election. Liam McBurney/PA Wire
52 / 103
Arlene Foster, Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, leaving Brookeborough Primary School, Co Fermanagh, having cast her vote in the 2017 General Election. Brian Lawless/PA Wire
53 / 103
A voter arrives at the polling station in St Nicolas Parish Hall, Belfast, as voting gets underway in the 2017 General Election. Pic: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
54 / 103
Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party, gives the thumbs up during a campaign rally on Buchanan Street on June 7, 2017 in Glasgow, Scotland. The Labour leader is holding six rallies across Scotland ,England, and Wales on today on the final day before polling day in General Election. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
55 / 103
NOTTINGHAM, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 07: Britain's Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party Theresa May and husband Philip speak to staff at a Dunelm department store during a campaign visit on June 7, 2017 in Nottingham, England. Britain goes to the polls tomorrow June 8 to vote in a general election. (Photo by Ben Stansall - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
56 / 103
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JUNE 07: SNP Leader Nicola Sturgeon, holds a final campaign rally in Leith on July 7, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Ms Sturgeon urged people to unite behind the SNP and deprive Theresa May of a majority in the 2017 General Election. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
57 / 103
Labour supporters an event at the Parade in Watford, ahead of a speech from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn while on the General Election campaign trail. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 6, 2017. See PA story ELECTION Main. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
58 / 103
Labour supporters an event at the Parade in Watford, during a speech by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn while on the General Election campaign trail. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 6, 2017. See PA story ELECTION Main. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
59 / 103
WATFORD, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 07: Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party greets supporters during a campaign rally at the Parade on June 7, 2017 in Watford, United Kingdom. The Labour leader is holding six rallies across Scotland, England and Wales today on the final day before polling day in the General Election. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
60 / 103
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn after speaking at an event at the Parade in Watford while on the General Election campaign trail. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 6, 2017. See PA story ELECTION Main. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
61 / 103
Britain's Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party Theresa May and husband Philip speak to staff at a Dunelm department store during a campaign visit on June 7, 2017 in Nottingham, England. Britain goes to the polls tomorrow June 8 to vote in a general election. (Photo by Ben Stansall - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
62 / 103
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn speaking at an event at the Parade in Watford while on the General Election campaign trail. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 6, 2017. See PA story ELECTION Main. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
63 / 103
WATFORD, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 07: Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party greets supporters during a campaign rally at the Parade on June 7, 2017 in Watford, United Kingdom. The Labour leader is holding six rallies across Scotland, England and Wales today on the final day before polling day in the General Election. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
64 / 103
WATFORD, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 07: Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party and Chris Ostrowski, Labour candidate for Watford during a campaign rally at the Parade on June 7, 2017 in Watford, United Kingdom. The Labour leader is holding six rallies across Scotland, England and Wales today on the final day before polling day in the General Election. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
65 / 103
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JUNE 07: SNP Leader Nicola Sturgeon, holds a final campaign rally in Leith on July 7, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Ms Sturgeon urged people to unite behind the SNP and deprive Theresa May of a majority in the 2017 General Election. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
66 / 103
Supporters hold placards as they attend the final general election campaign rally of Scotland's First Minister and leader of the Scottish National Party Nicola Sturgeon on June 7, 2017, in Edinburgh, Scotland. Britain on June 3 headed into the final day of campaigning for a general election darkened and dominated by jihadist attacks in two cities, leaving forecasters struggling to predict an outcome on polling day. / AFP PHOTO / Andy BuchananANDY BUCHANAN/AFP/Getty Images
67 / 103
Scotland's First Minister and leader of the Scottish National Party Nicola Sturgeon waves as she holds a final general election campaign rally on June 7, 2017, in Edinburgh, Scotland. Britain on June 3 headed into the final day of campaigning for a general election darkened and dominated by jihadist attacks in two cities, leaving forecasters struggling to predict an outcome on polling day. / AFP PHOTO / Andy BuchananANDY BUCHANAN/AFP/Getty Images
68 / 103
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn speaking at an event at the Parade in Watford while on the General Election campaign trail. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 6, 2017. See PA story ELECTION Main. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
69 / 103
SOLIHULL, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 07: Prime Minister Theresa May greets supporters as she arrives for her last campaign visit at the National Conference Centre on June 7, 2017 in Solihull, United Kingdom. Britain goes to the polls tomorrow to vote in a general election. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
70 / 103
WATFORD, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 07: Labour supporters cheer as Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party speaks during a campaign rally at the Parade on June 7, 2017 in Watford, United Kingdom. The Labour leader is holding six rallies across Scotland, England and Wales today on the final day before polling day in the General Election. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
71 / 103
This combination of pictures made on June 6, 2017, shows Britain's Prime Minister and Leader of the Conservative party Theresa May (top L) on May 30, 2017 in Wolverhampton, Britain's main opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn (top R) on May 22, 2017 in Kingston-upon-Hull, Scotland's First Minister and leader of the Scottish National Party Nicola Sturgeon (bottom L) on April 20, 2015 in Edinburgh, and Liberal Democrats leader Tim Farron (bottom R) on May 26, 2017 in Manchester. AFP/Getty Images
72 / 103
First Minister and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon speaks during an event at the Malmaison Hotel in Edinburgh while on the last day of campaigning for the General Election. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday June 7, 2017. See PA story ELECTION Main. Photo credit should read: Jane Barlow/PA Wire
73 / 103
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JUNE 07: SNP Leader Nicola Sturgeon, holds a final campaign rally in Leith on July 7, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Ms Sturgeon urged people to unite behind the SNP and deprive Theresa May of a majority in the 2017 General Election. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
74 / 103
First Minister and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon speaks during an event at the Malmaison Hotel in Edinburgh while on the last day of campaigning for the General Election. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday June 7, 2017. See PA story ELECTION Main. Photo credit should read: Jane Barlow/PA Wire
75 / 103
(FILES) A combination of pictures created in London on May 31, 2017 shows Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May (top) speaking during an event to launch the Conservative Party general election manifesto in Halifax in northern England on May 18, 2017 and Britain's main opposition Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn (bottom) delivering a general election campaign speech on leadership in London on April 29, 2017. Britain goes to the polls to vote in a general election on June 8. / AFP PHOTO / Ben STANSALL AND Niklas HALLE'NBEN STANSALL,NIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP/Getty Images
76 / 103
Liberal Democrats leader Tim Farron visits local voters at the campaign office in Carshalton during the final day of the General Election campaign trail. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday June 7, 2017. See PA ELECTION stories. Photo credit should read: Victoria Jones/PA Wire
77 / 103
Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband Philip meet staff at a Dunelm home furnishing shop in Nottingham while on the General Election campaign trail. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday June 7, 2017. See PA story ELECTION Main. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
78 / 103
TOPSHOT - A supporter of Britain's main opposition Labour Party takes a photograph as they wait for the leader Jeremy Corbyn to arrive at a campaign visit in Colwyn Bay, north Wales on June 7, 2017, on the eve of the general election. Britain on Wednesday headed into the final day of campaigning for a general election darkened and dominated by jihadist attacks in two cities, leaving forecasters struggling to predict an outcome on polling day. / AFP PHOTO / Oli SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
79 / 103
TOPSHOT - Tourists gather near the Elizabeth Tower, commonly referred to as Big Ben, at the Houses of Parliament in central London on June 7, 2017, on the eve of the general election. Britain on Wednesday headed into the final day of campaigning for a general election darkened and dominated by jihadist attacks in two cities, leaving forecasters struggling to predict an outcome on polling day. / AFP PHOTO / Justin TALLISJUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images
80 / 103
Liberal Democrats leader Tim Farron visits Twickenham during the final day of the General Election campaign trail. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday June 7, 2017. See PA ELECTION stories. Photo credit should read: Victoria Jones/PA Wire
81 / 103
UNSPECIFIED, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 07: Supporters lok-on as Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks on the Promenade on June 7, 2017 in Colwyn Bay, Denbighshire, United Kingdom. The Labour leader is holding six rallies across Scotland, England and Wales today on the final day before polling day in the General Election (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)
82 / 103
UNSPECIFIED, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 07: Supporters applaud as Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn arrives to speak on the Promenade on June 7, 2017 in Colwyn Bay, Denbighshire, United Kingdom. The Labour leader is holding six rallies across Scotland, England and Wales today on the final day before polling day in the General Election (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)
83 / 103
UNSPECIFIED, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 07: Members of the public look-on as Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks on the Promenade on June 7, 2017 in Colwyn Bay, Denbighshire, United Kingdom. The Labour leader is holding six rallies across Scotland, England and Wales today on the final day before polling day in the General Election (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)
84 / 103
UNSPECIFIED, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 07: A young girl holds a sign as Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks to supporters on the Promenade on June 7, 2017 in Colwyn Bay, Denbighshire, United Kingdom. The Labour leader is holding six rallies across Scotland, England and Wales today on the final day before polling day in the General Election (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)
85 / 103
Prime Minister Theresa May speaking at an event at The Space in Norwich while on the General Election campaign trail. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday June 7, 2017. See PA story ELECTION Main. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
86 / 103
UNSPECIFIED, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 07: Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks on the Promenade on June 7, 2017 in Colwyn Bay, Denbighshire, United Kingdom. The Labour leader is holding six rallies across Scotland, England and Wales today on the final day before polling day in the General Election (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)
87 / 103
Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron attends a campaign visit in Twickenham, south-west London on June 7, 2017, on the eve of the general election. Britain on Wednesday headed into the final day of campaigning for a general election darkened and dominated by jihadist attacks in two cities, leaving forecasters struggling to predict an outcome on polling day. / AFP PHOTO / NIKLAS HALLE'NNIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP/Getty Images
88 / 103
Britain's main opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn (bottom R) addresses supporters at a campaign visit in Colwyn Bay, north Wales on June 7, 2017, on the eve of the general election. Britain on Wednesday headed into the final day of campaigning for a general election darkened and dominated by jihadist attacks in two cities, leaving forecasters struggling to predict an outcome on polling day. / AFP PHOTO / Oli SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
89 / 103
Britain's main opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn addresses supporters at a campaign visit in Colwyn Bay, north Wales on June 7, 2017, on the eve of the general election. Britain on Wednesday headed into the final day of campaigning for a general election darkened and dominated by jihadist attacks in two cities, leaving forecasters struggling to predict an outcome on polling day. / AFP PHOTO / Oli SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
90 / 103
TWICKENHAM, ENGLAND - JUNE 07: Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron speaks to the media in front of a betting shop as he campaigns with former Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Vince Cable (not pictured) in Twickenham on June 7, 2017 in Twickenham, England. Mr Cable is campaigning to retake his former seat after it was won by Conservative Tania Mathias in the 2015 general election. Britain goes to the polls tomorrow June 8 in a general election. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)
91 / 103
Britain's main opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn leaves after addressing supporters at a campaign visit in Colwyn Bay, north Wales on June 7, 2017, on the eve of the general election. Britain on Wednesday headed into the final day of campaigning for a general election darkened and dominated by jihadist attacks in two cities, leaving forecasters struggling to predict an outcome on polling day. / AFP PHOTO / Oli SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
92 / 103
NORWICH, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 07: Philip May (L), husband of Britain's Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party Theresa May, listens as she speaks during a Conservative Party general election campaign visit at The Space on June 7, 2017 in Norwich, United Kingdom. Britain goes to the polls tomorrow June 8 to vote in a general election. (Photo by Ben Stansall - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
93 / 103
TWICKENHAM, ENGLAND - JUNE 07: Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron (L) and former Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Vince Cable (R) sit in a restaurant as they campaign in Twickenham on June 7, 2017 in Twickenham, England. Mr Cable is campaigning to retake his former seat after it was won by Conservative Tania Mathias in the 2015 general election. Britain goes to the polls tomorrow June 8 in a general election. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)
94 / 103
Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron (R) and attends a campaign visit with the party's candidate for the Twickenham constituency, Vince Cable, in Twickenham, south-west London on June 7, 2017, on the eve of the general election. Britain on Wednesday headed into the final day of campaigning for a general election darkened and dominated by jihadist attacks in two cities, leaving forecasters struggling to predict an outcome on polling day. / AFP PHOTO / NIKLAS HALLE'NNIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP/Getty Images
95 / 103
Britain's main opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn greets supporters as he leaves after attending a campaign visit in Colwyn Bay, north Wales on June 7, 2017, on the eve of the general election. Britain on Wednesday headed into the final day of campaigning for a general election darkened and dominated by jihadist attacks in two cities, leaving forecasters struggling to predict an outcome on polling day. / AFP PHOTO / Oli SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
96 / 103
Britain's main opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn leaves after attending a campaign visit in Colwyn Bay, north Wales on June 7, 2017, on the eve of the general election. Britain on Wednesday headed into the final day of campaigning for a general election darkened and dominated by jihadist attacks in two cities, leaving forecasters struggling to predict an outcome on polling day. / AFP PHOTO / Oli SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
97 / 103
Britain's main opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn greets supporters as he leaves after attending a campaign visit in Colwyn Bay, north Wales on June 7, 2017, on the eve of the general election. Britain on Wednesday headed into the final day of campaigning for a general election darkened and dominated by jihadist attacks in two cities, leaving forecasters struggling to predict an outcome on polling day. / AFP PHOTO / Oli SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
98 / 103
Liberal Democrats leader Tim Farron and Vince Cable, local candidate for Twickenham, visit in Twickenham during the final day of the General Election campaign trail. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday June 7, 2017. See PA ELECTION stories. Photo credit should read: Victoria Jones/PA Wire
99 / 103
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn speaking at an event on the Promenade in Colwyn Bay, Wales, while on the General Election campaign trail. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 6, 2017. See PA story ELECTION Main. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
100 / 103
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland 31st May 2017 - Picture by Matt Mackey / Press Eye. Alliance party general election Manifesto launch at CIYMS in East Belfast.
101 / 103
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland 31st May 2017 - Picture by Matt Mackey / Press Eye. Alliance party general election Manifesto launch at CIYMS in East Belfast. Paula Bradshaw
102 / 103
Pacemaker Press 5/6/17 Sinn Fein's Michelle O'Neill during A television debate from the five main parties which was recorded at UTV in Belfast. Pic Pacemaker
103 / 103
Pacemaker Press 31/5/2017 DUP Leader Arlene Foster and Deputy leader Nigel Dodd during the DUP Manifesto Launch at The Old Courthouse in Antrim on Wednesday morning ahead of the General election on the 8th of June. Pic Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker