McCartney backs the DUP in North Down

Looks like Sylvia Hermon‘s got a fight on her hands. Bob McCartney is standing down in favour of the DUP. Hermon could still win it, if she can squeeze the Alliance and take the Women’s Coalition and large chunk of the small Catholic vote in North Down. Her opponent will be local DUP MLA Peter Weir.

  • Bangorian

    After their years of sneering and sniping, Peter Weir is about to exact his revenge on the shower that is North Down UUP.

    Lady Sylvia, you are the weakest link – goodbye!

  • Alan2

    Lady Silvia was 2642 votes ahead of the DUP at the last election where the Alliance stood aside. Bob McCartney took 3,583 votes which will mostly go to the DUP plus Alliance ARE standing in this election.

  • Indeed

    Firstly, can i pay tribute to Bob, he is one of the most capable and articulate politicians in the province and someone who always was upfront and honest in his views.

    Secondly, bye bye Sylvia. Wonder what the diary entry for today will say?

  • fair-deal

    A wise decision by a deeply intelligent and articulate man.

    I do hope the DUP have the sense to offer him a peerage when he stands down from electoral politics.

  • Alan2

    Indeed. A good man.

  • pete

    someone tell me – what good has this man actually ever done??

  • bob

    as a North Down catholic (as rare a sight as the yeti) I’ll swallow hard and vote for UU as will ever other potential SDLP and Alliance N.Down voter to ensure that the DUP Afrikaners don’t get in.

  • elvisthedog

    If the DUP win the seat, fine, all’s fair.

    But good grief – Peter Weir? He’s hardly the brightest or the best of anything. We all deserve better than candidates like this.

  • bob

    what was Bob McCartney doing drinking in a bar in the Markets anyway ?

  • Henry94

    Might there be a backlash against the idea of the DUP taking all the unionist seats?

  • tiny

    Weir could be the flaw in an otherwise perfect plan

  • tiny

    Weir could be the flaw in an otherwise perfect plan

  • beano @ Everything Ulster

    Used to have a lot of time for McCartney, less so recently.

  • Davros

    Nobody has as much time for McCartney as McCartney himself 😉

  • The Watchman

    More bad news for the UUP. Heck, it’s been an awful day?

  • orange1

    Dup have great chance, however i think Weir is the wrong man for the job.

  • orange1

    Dup have great chance, however i think Weir is the wrong man for the job.

  • Keith M

    Farewell to a thoroughly honest and honourable man. I know that his style upset some people, but the Northern Ireland political landsscape will be a lot duller without McCartney.

    As for the consequences of his standing aside, North Down now falls into the “too close to call” section. This has always been the most maverick of NI constituencies so it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if it elected the only UUP MP, however a DUP grand slam over the UUP is certainly one step closer after today.

  • tiny

    the trouble with Bob was that he could see the shortcomings in everybody elses ideas but had none of his own

  • oliver

    Looking on the bright side, Sylvia can prove herself when she wins this. I think Sylvia is an attractive candidate for all those who are not DUP. Although David Alderdice is a good man I think the voters will plump for Sylvia with her moderate decent position.

  • Comrade Stalin

    There’s a lot of nonsense being talked in this thread. I am not clear how Bob McCartney can be described as being upright and honest in his views. Since 1995 he has claimed to have nothing with do with the DUP, calling them “bigots”, while at the same time they mysteriously seemed to find themselves compelled to stand aside for him during elections, how strange.

    The real reason why Bob is standing down is to allow his old friends in the DUP to have a run at unseating Hermon. Alliance’s decision to stand will have the effect of splitting Hermon’s vote, allowing a consolidated fUKUP/DUP vote a real chance of emerging victorious.

  • David McC

    What a bad day for the UUP and it’s only the first proper day of campaigning! Can it get any worse for them??? Then again you only reap what you sow.

    Roll on 5 May when this shower of UU’s finally get their come-uppance!!!

  • Alan2

    David – I think that is the wrong way to be approaching it. The UUP has moved away from the people not the other way around. The Unionist people were prepared to giv things a chance but Trimble`s efforts were thrown back in his face yet he carried on regardless and must now face the consequences of a disenfranchised people who no longer believe either him or Sinn Fein. This is not a “change” of opinion but a reflection that the UUP has moved away from it`s intial stance and left the people not wanting to vote for them.

  • Jacko

    Comrade Stalin

    You are spot on. McCartney is a vindictive, obnoxious and bitter individual driven by his thirst for revenge on the UUP.
    He once presented himself as a non-sectarian unionist even going so far as to berate Paisley at a City Hall rally. Then, lo and behold he becomes a DUP puppet. Surrounds himself with the strangest of people and manages to fall out with all of them.
    He has stood aside because he would have been humiliated in the election.

  • oliver

    Sylvia Hermon, UUP candidate for North Down, has commented on the press conference given by Bob McCartney QC this afternoon:

    “Bob’s decision not to stand in the Westminster election marks the effective end of a long career in electoral politics. Despite our differences, I would want to acknowledge his contribution and his service to the people of North Down.

    “I am delighted that Bob McCartney has endorsed the Ulster Unionist Party’s position on devolution, set out by my Party Leader in March, namely that there cannot be a mandatory coalition that includes Sinn Fein because that party has been proved – by us – to be unfit for government.

    “North Down is now very much a two-horse race between myself and the DUP. I am quietly confident that the people of North Down will back my position and acknowledge the work I have done when we go to the polls on 5th May.”

  • Davros

    I understand that Bob speaks highly of you as well jacko 😉

  • Alan2

    “Ulster Unionist Party’s position on devolution, set out by my Party Leader in March, namely that there cannot be a mandatory coalition that includes Sinn Fein because that party has been proved – by us – to be unfit for government.”

    So it is now UUP policy not to share power with Sinn Fein?

  • Comrade Stalin

    There’s not half a lot of nonsense out there. The BBC report on Bob’s press conference :

    “In 1995, Mr McCartney won the seat in a by-election on a strongly anti-Agreement ticket.”

    The Agreement was not written until 1998 so how could Bob have been anti-Agreement in 1995 ? Unless he had a TARDIS. No, Bob is paraphrased “..in his view this meant the Belfast Agreement was now dead and his main political objective had been achieved.”

    Bob’s main political objective was to solve NI’s problems by integrating NI more closely with the UK. He even said he might take up the Labour whip at one point before they got into power. Naturally he didn’t and of course he was very quickly forgotten about until he lost his seat in 2001. Bob’s UK Unionist closer integration project is even further away from reality than it was in 1995, and in every single respect he has been a dismal failure.

  • Davros

    The Agreement was not written until 1998 so how could Bob have been anti-Agreement in 1995 ?

    The Anglo-Irish Agreement of 1985 ?

  • Tim Roll-Pickering

    I presume they mean the preliminaries to the peace process at the time – the tension between McCartney and the UUP over it seems to have been clear from the outset.

  • beano @ Everything Ulster

    Alan2:
    “So it is now UUP policy not to share power with Sinn Fein?”
    I thought that had been their position for some time.

  • beano @ Everything Ulster

    28th January 2005:
    “The Ulster Unionist Party have made it clear to both the British and Irish Governments that an inclusive executive with Sinn Fein is off the agenda for the foreseeable future and I hope Mr McCrea realises that.”
    From People of Northern Ireland deserve a way forward without Sinn Fein – McClarty

  • davidbrew

    “The Ulster Unionist Party have made it clear to both the British and Irish Governments that an inclusive executive with Sinn Fein is off the agenda for the foreseeable future and I hope Mr McCrea realises that.”
    ..translated from
    “The Ulster Unionist party have made it clear to its Assembly team that they won’t be in an inclusive executive for the forseeable future, and won’t exist unless they start to sound more like the DUP and I pray the electorate don’t realise that it’s a stunt”

    Right call from Bob, even though he’s obviously underwhelmed by Weir. remember it was Bob’s campaign which first exposed the rottenness and arrogance of the UUP in the North Down by election- facets which we have seen dominate the UUP since 1998. Who was the director of that glorious campaign?- one Ken Maginnis, who sadly seems to have been sidelined this time. Or perhaps he’s too busy with m’learned friends after reports of writs being threatened from Arlene Foster. Hopefully he’s been booked for the tv election coverage on May 6th. His response to the fall of seat after seat will be a picture.

  • Jacko

    How could anyone even be tempted to vote for Peter Weird?
    He makes Sammy Wilson seem normal(ish).

  • Keith M

    “Bob’s UK Unionist closer integration project is even further away from reality than it was in 1995, and in every single respect he has been a dismal failure.” Actually no, the fact that Northern Ireland is run by British politicians and civil servants and that devolution seems further away than at any time for the last 10 years means that integration is alive and well. You can’t give much of the credit to McCartney though, although he (and the UKUP) were instrumental in convincing the majority of unionists that the 1998 Agreement needed to be changed.

  • Rebecca Black

    Its strikes me that the best way for the anti UUP parties to take the North Down seat would be to run Robert McCartney and stand Weir down. McCartney would be more of a challenge to Hermon than Weir is. Another example of DUP ego coming before sense?

  • Indeed

    Whats the story with all this personal criticism of Peter Weir?

    He’s a top bloke, held in high regard in the constituency and his hard work for the people of North Down will be rewarded on 5th May.

    Rebecca,

    When the DUP want advice from the UUP on how to win elections we’ll ask for it thanks. Actually, we’ll not…because if we’re that bad of a situation i think we’d be better off going into the dog grooming business or the like! Apparently theres a market for it in North Down….

  • Comrade Stalin

    Come on Keith, less of the twaddle. fUKUP was a dismal failure exemplified by what took place when all of it’s MLAs other than the leader resigned from the party. We’ve heard zero from it since that date. Bob has contributed virtually zero to the debate in NI since he was elected in 1995. Can you name some specific things he has done to advance the cause of unionism ? No, because there aren’t any.

    Today, we are exactly in the same place as in 1995. Our integration with the UK is at best at a similar level, probably much less, compared with 1995 given that even the DUP accepts the need to share power with Sinn Fein and crucially gave concessions on the issues of North-South bodies. A local administration – whether it includes Sinn Fein or not – is accepted by virtually every player in the political process right now. Bob’s UK integrationism is an utter, dismal failure.

  • peter

    Sylvia Hermon should not be written off. North Down is a very wealthy Constituency. The wife of the former chief constable being a lady and all that should go down well here. I think she will win. The Alliance vote will stay with her.

  • bob

    as a north down nationalist its Hobson’s choice for me.

  • idunnomeself

    Indeed,

    Don’t fool yourself, he doesn’t come across well