The increasing confidence of Irish nationalism and the declining power of unionism has become clear in an election campaign marked by signs of incremental but irreversible change.
On the anniversary of the death of Bobby Sands, all republicans are being encouraged to play their part by voting for republicans and transferring to other republican and nationalist candidates.
The invocation by unionism of a ‘green menace’ of Irish unity, supported by the new ‘terrors’ of the Brexit Protocol and the Irish language, points to its desperation as a declining electoral power.
Recent polls have confirmed that demographic change in favour of nationalists is being augmented by exhaustion among ordinary unionists at political leaders who continue to cry wolf and prevent a progressive island-wide improvement in living standards.
The odds are stacked that the largest party in the Six Counties after votes are counted this weekend will be Sinn Féin, and that there will be historic gains for two other republican parties, Aontú and the IRSP.
It seems only a gerrymander or electoral trick, or apathy among our own supporters, can prevent a dramatic shift in favour of nationalism and Irish unity.
This is despite shocking and reactionary efforts by the establishment to intervene in the electoral process, most clearly to suppress the Irish Republican Socialist Party.
The IRSP has been making in its first steps into peaceful electoral politics at this level, but oppressive police raids, cyber attacks, censorship, bureaucratic discrimination, the closure of its bank account, and now the issuance of arrest warrants, amount to nothing less than a fascistic intervention into what is promoted as democracy in occupied Ireland.
Meanwhile, an attempt to ‘smear’ Sinn Féin, by highlighting a peace appeal to Saoradh over two years ago, is another indication of a sinister agenda at work.
In light of the powerful forces conspiring against change, it is important that nationalists and republicans refuse to cooperate with a British strategy of divide and conquer.
Across the Six Counties, the transfers of votes between Sinn Féin, the SDLP, Aontú, the IRSP, People before Profit, the Workers’ Party and independent nationalist candidates can make a difference in electing nationalists.
A decisive move towards a nationalist majority within the Six County area would remove any last vestige of argument against ending the partition of the island.
A clear decline of unionism could also expose its long-concealed contempt for electoral democracy. A collapse of its sense of colonial superiority would be a huge step to removing the block to unity and political progress.
Staying at home can only support unionism, the Tories and the status quo. Vótáil Poblachtánach. Vote Republican, and transfer your vote to genuine nationalists and republicans down the ballot paper.