Out and about with Jimmy Spratt

Just been out round Sandy Row with Jimmy Spratt and an entourage of a good 20 plus leafleters. Since yesterday they’ve delivered 8,000 of them and by tomorrow night they’ll pushed out another 7,000. Amongst them was Jim Kirkpatrick a former UUP councillor, who is now an enthusiastic DUP man.Jim acknowledges that the DUP have learned some things from Sinn Fein about working effective politics. “Sinn Fein worked on the ground with the sneakers on and the jeans and they worked the streets. The DUP are walking the streets talking to the people, touching the flesh and really there is an accomdation there that we never had before, between the people and the party”.

Jimmy Spratt (James to his wife). His clear pitch is to ‘unite Unionism’, which in this constituency means pursuading people that McGimpsey can’t win. So he pitches it as a battle between him and Alisdair McDonnell and a battle for every vote to the end. Though he’s clearly noticed the intense rivalry between the two Nationalist candidates.

Just afterwards I met Michael McGimpsey in a rush, calling back into his constituency office to grab some leaflets for his leafleting team at Annadale. All he would say is that he thought McDonnell had little chance of taking Alex Maskey’s votes. And then he rushed of in his car without a look behind. He did not look a happy man!