UUP to nominate three

The BBC are reporting that Sir Reg Empey will nominate three UUP MLAs to sit on the Policing Board and not two as Peter Hain asked him to nominate. This is clearly an indication that he views the results of the 2003 Assembly Election as the legitimate point from which to run d’Hondt, and not the DUP’s high water mark as is being reported to be the case.

  • Pete Baker

    “This is clearly an indication that he views the results of the 2003 Assembly Election as the legitimate point from which to run d’Hondt”

    If that’s his view, it’s a clear indication that he’s out to lunch.

  • darth rumsfeld

    crikey what next-is Reg going to nominate an MP for Upper Bann? or how about appoint himself First Minister?

    What on earth is the point of this nonsense? Hain will say pick two or I’ll do it for you, and then watch as the UUP candidates slap each other frantically with a wet haddock for the honour of listening to Quewey Orde’s monthly excusefes. If Reg thinks this makes himself look tough its no wonder the UUP can’t even get a quorum at its meetings.

    keen on panto Reg?

    all together-SHE’S BEHIND YOU!!!!!!

  • observer

    all a bit sad really, time the UUP just faced facts

  • Observer

    Sounds like the UUP don’t want to face up to realities.

    Empey should wake up to it.

  • Occasional Commentator

    Observer, what realities or facts?

    I’m wary of people who say “face the facts”. It usually means they don’t have a clue what they’re talking about and can’t remember any relevant facts!

    Here’s a fact: The seat allocations are based on the Assembly. The only question is what point in time to use for the calculations.

    Empey is saying that they can be based on the most recent election result, or based on the most up to date tally (post Berry resignation). How can anybody seriously suggest using any point in time other than those two?

    I challenge you to specify a fair rule based on the Assembly results which would give the DUP 4 seats. If the DUP are entitled to pluck a random date from thin air, then the UUP would be just as entitled to insist on using the results from the first Assembly elections (in 1998? IIRC).

  • Pete Baker

    Actually OC.. that very point was discussed, eventually[scroll down], on a recent thread

    Given the up-to-date MLA numbers, and with the seats allocated between the parties – 3,2,2,2 – the final position was to given to either DUP, SF or UUP.. all of which were calculated to be on the same d’Hondt score.

    By my reckoning there is therefore a dead heat for the 10th place, if Berry is excluded, between the DUP (with three seats already, the score is 32/(3+1)), SF (24/(2+1)) and the UUP (24/(2+1) – i.e. a score of 8 in each case.

    It’s reasonable to argue in those circumstances that the final seat should go to the party with the greater number of MLAs.

  • Occasional Commentator

    Thanks for that Pete.

    As you say, the d’Hondt method doesn’t actually specify that the DUP should get 4 seats. There’s an ambiguity in the d’Hondt system. There are a number of ways to break the deadlock.

    Another way to break the tie would be to actually use the votes cast in the election itself http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/issues/politics/election/ra2003.htm but that has it’s difficulties too. By the way, this might mean giving the 10th seat to Sinn Fein.

    The tie breaker of using the biggest seat-count is probably the best idea, as you say. So I suppose the DUP should get the 4th seat but nobody should claim that d’Hondt actually specifies that.

    Sticking with d’Hondt, someone could point out that the Others “party” (Alliance et al) actually is in the lead and should get the 10th seat. This could be an argument for having another independent member.

  • observer

    the UUP are political nobodys now, they have been superceded by the DUP, time empey realised it. They are just making fools of themselves by nominating 3 people for 2 positions.

  • Occasional Commentator

    Please point out to me where in the d’Hondt mechanism it says “If Observer says a party are political nobodys, then they shall get fewer seats”.

  • Pete Baker


    You’re right that there’s an ambiguity with the mechanism.. but the fault for not clearing up that ambiguity, in this case, lies with Hain when he requested the nominations.. but then according to the legislation he does have a free hand in terms of who he appoints to the Policing Board when the Assembly is suspended.

    On the other hand, Hain has stated that he would apply d’Hondt.. but in that case the seats due to SF should be reallocated to the other parties when they refuse to take them.

    As usual.. it’s an ad hoc approach to the political process by Hain..

    In any event, the reality is that Empey has no real basis for his claim to that 10th seat for the UUP.

  • Glen Taisie

    Do the SDLP get any seats ?


  • Yes – they get two of the first nine allocated but aren’t in the running for the tenth place.