Call for McGimpsey to stand down

South Belfast UUP Assembly Candidate John Hiddleston has written to the News Letter calling for UUP Westminster candidate Michael McGimpsey to stand down in favour of Jimmy Spratt.

  • beano @ Everything Ulster

    Would be nice to know exactly what it was Spratt said that made up Mr Hiddleston’s mind. As far as I can tell Spratt is a political nobody, I haven’t heard of a single policy or priority from him since the campaigning began. To be fair though, there hasn’t been much from McG either.

  • queens_unionist

    I can tell you now that Jimmy Spratt is a far superior candidate.
    I would hat it if M McGimp was representing me in westminster.
    JS’s experience on the police ederation will be very useful for him.
    He was a well like figure in the RUC.
    He will not be bought unlike McGimp who i would think if offered the right money would stand down very easily.
    JS is a hard worker. out every night canvassing. He will work equally hard when in the position. Just what the people of South Belfast need.
    It would be such a shock if McGimp got in.
    going from MS to McGimp would be such a step backwards.
    JS acknowledged MS contribution rather than trying to pay him off.

  • Visioner

    A good MP for Unionism or good MP for South Belfast constituents?

    McGimpsey has the knowledge of the ground and the issues on it.

    Spratt is an unknown and has been thrown into the running by the DUP as a ‘protest candidate’ against the Ulster Unionists and particularly McGimpsey.

    I wonder if Spratt even wants to be an MP?

  • Intelligence Insider

    Looking at this and previous posts by q-u it seems that the standards at Queens have dropped dramatically in recent years. If Splitter Spratt was elected it would be the last we ever heard of him with so many subsidised bars in the Palace of Westminster!

  • Visioner

    “I would hat it if M McGimp was representing me in westminster.”

    Many would hate Spratt of the DUP to be ‘apparently’ representing them at Westminster.

    Spratt as a DUP candidate would raise the profile of Sinn Fein over the SDLP in the area.

    McGimpsey has the experience as a Constituency worker and Unionist.

    Obviously people like McGimpsey enough to vote for him, leading him top the poll as the No. 1 Unionist in SB at the November 2003 elections. – November ’03 being the DUP’s ‘revolution’.

    Where was Hiddleston in the Assembly ’03 elections as McGimpseys opposition?

  • Alan2

    I would suggest the UUP are reaping what they sowed. It was clear from the beginning that McGimpsey was a devise candidate WITHIN the UUP before factoring in the DUP. The DUP did not stand against Martin Smyth and nor would they if he had remain or someone similar had been selected in his place. The UUP are entitled to field whom they please just like the DUP are entitled to stand where they see fit and they clearly see that their position is not being offered to the electorate in South Belfast and therefore it is only right to offer that choice to the electorate and clealry alot of UUP members think likewise.

  • Alan2

    “Where was Hiddleston in the Assembly ’03 elections as McGimpseys opposition?”

    Surely hiddleston as a UUP candidate was McGimpseys co-runner?

  • fair_deal

    Visioner

    “McGimpsey has the knowledge of the ground and the issues on it.”

    McG is relatively well dug in at the Belfast end of the constituency (particularly the working class parts – which increasingly tend not to vote) but the castlereagh end is what is increasingly important, especially in terms of the Unionist vote.

    Also McG wasn’t overly happy with his assembly result as he had invested heavily in the campaign and expected better. He wanted it to make him look unassailable for Westminster but it didn’t.

  • Alan

    I can honestly say that I will have great difficulty deciding to vote for any of those standing for Westminster in South Belfast.

  • Finaghy DUP

    I have spent the last week out campaigning for Ruth Patterson in South Belfast and the public response has been overwhelming! There has even been a huge swing in support since the assembly election. Ruth is on the ground working tirelessly for the people. Everyone can see that and that’s why her campaign is gaining such momentum. I predict two DUP councillors in Balmoral at the expence of Bob Stoker.
    Role on May 5th!!!

  • bigwhitedove

    Finaghy DUP,

    I would predict that Ruth will lose her seat to the Sinn Feins Stiofan Long this time around, that is the obvious outworking of the last 2 election results, if Ruth was so popular why is she not in the Westminister race?

  • fair_deal

    BWD

    Finaghy DUP seems to be a piss take.

    SF will probably take a seat but not at the DUP’s expense.

  • El Matador

    The petty ramblings between the unionists is putting a lot of people off. Alasdair McDonnell has the best record of any of the candidates for standing up fore the rights of ordinary south Belfast citizens, whether it be tackling loyalists, provos or any other negative elements.

    It isn’t easy and not always popular, but unlike McGimpsey and Spratt the Unknown, people know where they stand and can trust the doctor.

    Both unionists and nationalists should vote for Alasdair in the knowledge that he will represent the PEOPLE, not political dogma.

  • fair_deal

    El matador

    I spent this morning talking to contacts in nationalist community in south Belfast of a variety of hues. (Purely mercenary as I was trying to finish off my bet for the 18 constituencies). To a person they did not rate his chances – always a bridesmaid never the bride analogy.

    I also used to work across south Belfast for a couple of years and met every single political representative on more than one occassion making their contribution on a range of issues with one exception, Alasdair McDonnell never pitched for any of these meetings and rarely sent an apology.

    I can’t understand why the SDLP didn’t select Carmel to run in south.

  • True Blue

    South Belfast is going to be a very tight race and im sure people are taking note of those within the UUP that are coming out to publicily back Jimmy Spratt. Gimp is nothing but Trimbles puppet and is only out to try and be the new leader. Well god help the UUP if he is as he cant even unite his own constituency branch, so how would he unite the party.

  • beano @ Everything Ulster

    “I can honestly say that I will have great difficulty deciding to vote for any of those standing for Westminster in South Belfast.”

    I’m in the same boat. Despite being ideologically more at ease with the UUs, I don’t think McGimpsey was the right man to choose, not least because I’ve written to him twice regarding the new stadium and he didn’t reply – I’m taking that as a good measure of the importance with which he holds the views of his constituents. Ruth Patterson’s in the same boat though, as the DUP councillor for my ward I gave her a chance, but didn’t expect a reply from any female councillors on what they presumably saw as a sports matter, not to mention the huge support the DUP in Lisburn has given the Maze project.

    Anyway I digress, what I’m saying is I can’t really countenance voting for the DUP either, particularly not anyone thrown in in the manner in which Spratt was.

    It’s looking more like Geraldine Rice, but I’ve no idea who the hell she is!

  • queens_unionist

    “It’s looking more like Geraldine Rice, but I’ve no idea who the hell she is!” thats a good reason to vote for someone!

  • Alan2

    Well what about asking Mr Spratt some questions?
    Try speaking to people that do know him particulalrly in his role in the Police Federation.

  • beano @ Everything Ulster

    OK QU if you want a reason, the fact she ISNT one of the big 4 parties who are too busy fighting with each other to make any clear policies and that one of her colleagues in the Alliance party is the only person I currently rate out of the crop of outgoing Belfast councillors.

  • Mike Stevenson

    If the middle-class gurus of the Malone and Lisburn Roads value the hefty premium that their houses attract (because SB is viewed as a peaceful mecca of Catholic and Protestant) then they cannot afford to let a hardliner take the seat. That would make SB no better than NB, EB or WB. They will come out and tactical voting will ensure McGimpsey wins (otherwise McDonnell) and Alliance will increase their share!

  • amarillo

    I have never read so much uninformed comment in one thread. Either Spratt or McDonnell will win. McGimpsey is out of the race.

  • Thora’s alive

    Here’s some informed comment…go look at the last 2 sets of W’minster polling figures. McGimpsey will win with a smaller majority, about 13/14 000 votes, Spratt hasn’t the presence, or the knowledge of the area…neither will SB vote for a DUP MP, it’s far too moderate a constituency. 7 000 votes and he’ll be doing well.

    McDonnell is talking a good game, but his vote won’t hold. The people who voted for him as a protest against Smyth the last time will shore up McGimpsey this time. McG topped the poll at the Assembly elections…McD’s personal vote collapsed. (The Assembly elections also prove why Spratt is a non starter – Hiddleston’s letter about standing down is total nonsense).

    SB is staying with the UUP, the race isn’t even going to be close…and by the way I’m not a UUP supporter, I’m only reading the voting patterns over the past decade.

  • jimmyquickswipe

    Willowfield UUP in South Belfast has disaffiliated in protest to support the DUP.

  • Visioner

    Thora’s alive,

    I do think that your analysis would be correct.

    McDonnell’s vote was previously a protest vote against Smyth.

    McGimpsey can get the support of SB.

    People do not want to see the last constituency of Belfast to go like the rest.

    Spratt’s aim is not to win, but to come in preferably in 2nd place, before McGimpsey, letting (and hoping) McDonnell will win the seat. Then the DUP will blame the UUP for losing the seat to a nationalist and cough up whatever else they want to blame on the UUP and Spratt will ride off into the sunset with his job done, never to be seen again.

  • lorre

    UUP *Willowfield* branch folds to follow DUP

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/vote_2005/northern_ireland/4463015.stm

    Did Willowfield ever exist to begin with.

    South Belfast consists of two areas.

    Balmoral and laganbank

    Laganbank consists of:
    Ballynafeigh, Botanic,Rossetta,Shaftebury Stranmillis wards.

    Balmoral consists of: Blackstaff,Finaghy,Malone Musgrave Upper Malone and Winsor wards

    According to the Belfast City Council Willowfield ward never existed .

  • Alan

    Beano / Mick etc,

    Perhaps Slugger should organize a hustings in S Belfast with the candidates – so that we can make our minds up! Could it be done online?

  • fair_deal

    I was chatting to a couple of UUers last night and they say another scandal is brewing. Looks like the ‘Decent people’ slogan is going to be up there with Tories ‘back to basics’. They wouldn’t tell me what the scandal was though (feckin spoilsports!!)

  • Stalford

    lorre

    South Belfast does not merely contain Balmoral and Laganbank. It also contains Castlereagh West, Knockbracken and Galwally in Castlereagh South and Woodstock/Ravenhill in Pottinger.

    Might I suggest that that Woodstock/Ravenhill would be the catchment area for the “Willowfield” Branch?

  • davidbrew

    “Did Willowfield ever exist to begin with.”

    Yes, and historically it was one of the most important branches in Unionism- so much so that it had special representation reserved for it to the UUC until reorganisation in the 1970s. It had a long and distinguished pedigree, going back to befire the formation of the UUC itself, and was I think linked to Colonel Fred crawford of Gun running fame. Certainly not what it once was, but to lose any branch in the mouth of an election is another serious blow to the man who makes Michael Howard look like Jonathon Harker

  • fair_deal

    More bad news for the good ship UUP. I never knew David Archer had gone into business the last I heard he was working in McGimpsey’s office

    Source BBC NI website

    UUP council candidate withdraws

    A businessman standing for the local council election in Lisburn has confirmed he is now withdrawing his candidacy for next month’s poll.
    The withdrawal of Ulster Unionist candidate David Archer Jr followed an alleged incident inside the city’s council offices.

    Mr Archer Jr said he would now withdraw from politics and focus his energies on developing his business career.

    He said he was resigning his current position as councillor “forthwith”.

    Mr Archer Jr said in a statement he had to make a choice between politics and business.

    “Working in politics has been an intensely fulfilling and rewarding experience for me but it also a fickle and, on occasion, dirty business to be involved in,” he said.

    “I have no time for the type of dirty tricks and innuendo that have characterised this election campaign to date and trust that they will end.”

  • Curious!

    Finaghy DUP,

    When you were out canvassing for Ruth Patterson over the last week, pray tell what literature were you out canvassing on her behalf with?
    As the last I heard was that Ruthie was refusing to agree joint election material with her running mate Jim Kirkpatrick.

  • Alan2

    “they cannot afford to let a hardliner take the seat.”

    Mr Spratt is simply a traditional Unionist along the same lines as Martin Smyth who served the constituency well for numerous years.

  • queens_unionist

    “I heard was that Ruthie was refusing to agree joint election material with her running mate Jim Kirkpatrick.”

    um…no i was out last night with the both of them. good relations and joint literature.

  • Alan2

    Interesting quote from Mr Archer:

    “Working in politics has been an intensely fulfilling and rewarding experience for me but it also a fickle and, on occasion, dirty business to be involved in,” he said.

    “I have no time for the type of dirty tricks and innuendo that have characterised this election campaign to date and trust that they will end.”

  • Karl Rove

    Shurely that isn’t the same David Archer who works for the Gimp, is it? So many decent people, so little time.

    Don’t be DUPed!

    One grubby polaroid etc etc

  • Alan2

    Were you against the deal on the table last year?
    Which issues were you against and why?
    It was a vast improvement on before. Nearly everything had been made accountable to the Assembly ( North-South bodies, Ministers etc)
    There was an expansion of the Council of the Isles (alongside an All-Ireland forum). Jeffrey Donaldson and Peter Robinson have both actively participated in events South of the border. The DUP is no anti-ROI it is pro NI and as such it would be the height of silliness not to work and cooperate with our closest neighbour to the benefit of all whilst maintaining our own political and cultural identity.

  • Curious!

    queens-unionist.

    Delighted to hear you were out canvassing for the DUP last night. But were you being overwhelmed in Balmoral one week ago with Finaghy DUP?

    Good relations = Ruth Patterson, laugh I nearly cried, and most certainly not words that would normally be found in the same sentence. Tell me how good were “relations” Monday of last week and in the days that followed?

    When might we expect to view DUP election posters for Balmoral, which will no doubt extoll the virtues of these much vaunted good relations?

  • fair_deal

    Curious

    Finaghy DUP is extracting the urine. A very similar message appeared in a range of strands within a few minutes making claims for a wide range of constituencies. Its balderdash

  • Mike Stevenson

    UUP council candidate withdraws

    A businessman standing for the local council election in Lisburn has confirmed he is now withdrawing his candidacy for next month’s poll.
    The withdrawal of Ulster Unionist candidate David Archer Jr followed an alleged incident inside the city’s council offices.

    Lisburn Town North. UUP now guaranteed to lose a seat and could lose as many as 3 (out of 5 currently held) as only 2 of their remaining runners are sitting councillors. DUP and Alliance to make gains. To be fair they actually won 4 seats here last time but an independent returned to the fold!

  • Curious!

    fair_deal

    Thanks for the explaination, you were spot on with your earlier posting about SF.

    Unfortunately!

  • Alan2

    “Shurely that isn’t the same David Archer who works for the Gimp, is it? So many decent people, so little time.”

    Yes it is apparently. He also worked for Jeffrey Donaldson for a time when he was still in the UUP.

  • Karl Rove

    Utterly unfounded allegations conecting them to drugs, porn and now this mysterious and unmentionable Archer business. What will the UUP think of next to amuse us with? Filthy donkey love? Dutch hamster scaring? Double jointed finger pointing? My mind just isn’t dirty enough to get to grips with Ulster’s most decent party. Please someone help me!

  • sean west

    Decent crooks vote uup.