End to North Down electoral pact?

North Down Alliance councillor, David Alderdice, has called on Slyvia Hermon to consider her position in the UUP over the decision to accept the PUP’s David Ervine as a member of the UUP Assembly group. Alliance votes proved crucial in the UUP holding the seat, could a long-term consequence of the Ervine decision be a end to this electoral pact?

  • gofigure

    APNI only provided 2,500 of the 9,000 votes given to the UUP in 2005 Westminster elections they did not receive at council level in North Down.

    Lady Sylvia needs to find a way to keep the other 7,000 people that will vote for her but not the UUP party generally or Alliance ever.

  • heres hoping

    she should now get the PUP vote.

  • David Michael

    I’ve always regarded her as a decent sort. I can’t see how she’s happy with Empey’s low machinations. She must nail her colours to the mast pronto.

  • Broo-ha-ha

    Her pathetic mealy-mouthed response says all we need to know about her.

  • Jill

    She goes home and sits and talks with Jack. Even though he’s ill and not very aware she must feel ashamed?

    If he could, he wouldn’t understand endorsing the UVF

  • David Michael

    “Her pathetic mealy-mouthed response says all we need to know about her.”

    That’s politicking, Broo-ha-ha. It’s what a lady does when asked unexpectedly to account for the farm-manager’s peccadillos.

    We peasants would call it misplaced loyalty.

  • IJP

    A couple of factual points:

    1. There was no electoral pact in 2005 (at least not among party members!)

    2. Alliance received more than twice as many first preferences (at local level) than it did ‘X’ votes (at Westminister level), so not sure where the above figures of 9,000 and 2,500 come from (bear in mind the constituency boundaries are slightly different from the borough).

  • Julian Robertson

    Reg wasn’t quite sure if the UUP was finished so he’s thumped the self destruct button just in case. Good one Reg. Can’t wait for the next decisive leadership action that flushes them further down the pan.

  • elfinto

    Gain another MLA, lose only MP (potentially).
    Nice work Reg!!

  • gofigure

    IJP,

    IJP,

    The 9,000 figure and 2,500 figures refer to the differences between Westminster votes and Council votes in 2005.

    Mrs Hermon added 9,000 votes to the UUP council total, APNI had 2,500 less votes at Westminster than council.

    As she only needed 4,000ish votes to beat the DUP the 2,500 APNI drifters should surely be less important than the 7,000 new voters that went for Sylvia over the UUP?

  • Intelligence Insider

    I have just arrived back in N.I. for a few days and spent the last 4 to 5 hours in a few establishments in Sylvia’s constituency. A colleague and I deliberately made the point of bringing up the “Ervine” matter when getting into conversation with others and I have to say that it actually seems to be supported by quite an overwhelming number. It’s the DUP that are getting it in the neck from those i have spoken to and heard speaking.

  • gofigure

    II,

    Anecdotal evidence from North Down afternoon drinkers? We’re meant to be convinced?

  • uuper

    What nasty, selfish, hypocrites Alderdice and his Alliance pals are.

    This is the man who voted a Sinn Feiner in as Lord Mayor of Belfast when Cluan Place in his constituency was on fire from republican rioters and five of his constituents had been shot by the IRA.

    The Alliance vote in his constituency continued it’s downward spiral soon after……

    You won’t get a single extra vote from the UUP’s action.

    And btw, wasn’t the Alliance and the PUP in a coalition of small parties during the last Assembly? Didn’t they run poster campaigns together with the WC?

    HYPOCRITES OF THE FIRST ORDER.

    Ordinary unionists are beginning to understand the high politics of the UUP/Ervine coalition, a unionist majority on the executive, one less seat for SF and the UUP able to exercise a veto.

    Middle of the road, middle class types (who, and this is telling, switched from Alliance to Ervine in east Belfast) have always recognised that Ervine was a man of peace, trying to lead a battered community away from violence.

    This hypocritical slaggig off Ervine and the UUP will only backfire on Alliance.

  • Paul P

    “What nasty, selfish, hypocrites Alderdice and his Alliance pals are” uuper 7.54pm

    Not quite as nasty as the new offical assoiciates of the UUP assembly group.

  • Stephen Copeland

    What nasty, selfish, hypocrites Alderdice and his Alliance pals are.

    Careful, or they’ll come around and put a pipebomb through your window!

    No, wait ….

    That’s what your new friends would do, uuper.

    But none the less, I’m sure the Alliance types are just such nasty bitches ….

  • bertie

    It s late at night and there is a knock on your door. Which would you rather have a nasty selfish hypocrite or a member of your friendly neighbourhood terrorist?

    I know which one I’d prefer.

  • IJP

    And btw, wasn’t the Alliance and the PUP in a coalition of small parties during the last Assembly?

    Ulster Unionists are now so desperate to defend their position, they’ve resorted to spouting a load of utter crap.

    Pathetic.

  • RedRep

    Carry on lads. We aren’t laughing.

    (we don’t care but we seriously aren’t laughing, honest)

  • David

    Mr Alderdice is tallking about a non-existent pact. It never existed. Certainly some Alliance types used their vote to prevent Peter Weir of the DUP getting in. But to suggest that it was some sort of official agreement is ridiculous especially when Alderdice himself ran.

  • Comrade Stalin

    uuper, can you run past me the UUP’s decision to endorse Hugh Smyth as Lord Mayor of Belfast in 1993, and why you did so at a time when murders by loyalists were outstripping murders by republicans by a factor of 2:1 ?

    Just tell us why you did it, and explain why ever since then you’ve been consistently endorsing loyalist paramilitaries for nice little jobs ever since then ?

    Middle of the road, middle class types (who, and this is telling, switched from Alliance to Ervine in east Belfast) have always recognised that Ervine was a man of peace, trying to lead a battered community away from violence.

    What are you babbling about ? Ervine’s vote fell from 10% in the 2003 assembly elections to 5% in the 2005 council elections. Ervine was so unpopular he didn’t even stand. Mind you he probably wanted all his votes to go to his political wing, the UUP.

    Speaking of people hanging up election voters, I remember well the UUP-PUP electoral pact in 2001 where the PUP did not stand in Westminster seats in order to try to save the flagging UUP. Can you be absolutely sure that PUP men were never seen putting up UUP posters in North Belfast ?

  • antitory

    Julian Robertson

    Is this really the joker who manages to get beaten by parties like the SDLP in North Down (that takes some doing, but sure at least you held off the shinners…barely!)

    IJP

    Whats pathetic here is the insignificant parties in North Down trying to scrap together another few votes off what is a non-story. Still trying to find those Young Unionists that you are so sure want to jump ship to the vibrant movement that is Young Alliance? Get a fucking grip.

  • Comrade Stalin

    David :

    Mr Alderdice is tallking about a non-existent pact. It never existed. Certainly some Alliance types used their vote to prevent Peter Weir of the DUP getting in. But to suggest that it was some sort of official agreement is ridiculous especially when Alderdice himself ran.

    Eh ?

    Alderdice didn’t say there was a pact, nor did he suggest there was one.

    Are you smoking some prime-cut Mountpottinger UVF crack ?

    This truly is a total disaster for the UUP. Here they are, standing here and defending their policy of allowing the representatives of active terrorist organizations into government. It’s not the fact that their attitude helps to promote criminality, drug dealing and racketeering by giving political legitimacy; rather, it’s the fact that this party has told us for years that we mustn’t give an inch until the terrorists have handed over all their guns.

  • Ex-UUP

    UUPER “Ordinary unionists are beginning to understand the high politics of the UUP/Ervine coalition, a unionist majority on the executive”

    WHAT F**KING EXECUTIVE?

    Was anyone at the UUP meeting to elect a new leader?
    Did Reg pledge not to take ministerial positions?

  • cynical

    Electoral pact? Was there ever one between Alliance and the UUP, I remember hearing talk that some terribly, terribly nice alliance voters intended to lend their vote to Hermon to keep that nasty Peter Weird out. This at the time scared the shit out of David Alderdice who then publicly appealed for his paltry few voters NOT to lend their vote to Hermon – they did anyway. Alliance in North Down have a reputation of being virulent, it is the only seat in Ulster that they stand a snowballs chance in hell of ever winning – although its still extremely unlikely.

    The amusing thing about the Alliance Party is that they are all about working with both communities, but it seems like its only the civilised middle class types that they are interested in bringing together, working class loyalists are a bit too uncouth for them, they’d let them rot before it ever entered their well groomed heads that inclusive does actually mean everything, not just the people they see in Sprucefield.

  • Crataegus

    When there is a problem, several options,

    1 Burry your head in the sand and leave your rear in the air to be kicked.
    2 Deny there is a problem, the Titanic approach.
    3 Try distraction by shouting abuse at others, YA BO.

    A more sensible approach is to acknowledge there is a problem, address the issues and produce a constructive way forward to limit the down side.

    From my stand point I haven’t met any people that are ecstatic about this move. I think it would be a mistake to underestimate the potential for damage as it means that ever time the UUP starts sounding off about Law and Order many will simply think hypocrites. Giving the importance of this issue in Unionism it needs to be a strong wicket and an apologetic stand just won’t deliver votes.

    By the way there is a big difference between informal Alliances between groups to promote a common interest and merger (as it were). In the Dail the independents and Greens have some sort of a strategic pact with SF to obtain rights in the Dail, but it doesn’t mean that all the independents are shiners, far from it.

    Also if Alliance run a candidate in North Down in the next general election my money would be on the DUP taking the seat. The damage will also be felt elsewhere, it will influence activists, and in my opinion it is short term gain at the expense of long term well being.

    Not my problem, thank God.

  • cynical

    ahem Crataegus

    Lets look at what exactly we are dealing with here, see below, there isn’t a hope in hell of Alliance capturing a seat. The DUP vote is higher in this election because Robert McCartney did not run. If McCartney ran, the DUPs wouldn’t have a hope. Hermon has enough votes of her own to kick Alliance and DUP ass.

    2005 general election

    Lady Sylvia Hermon (UUP) 16,268 (50.4% -5.6%)
    Peter Weir (DUP) 11,324 (35.1%)
    David Alderdice (Alliance) 2,451 (7.6%)
    Liam Logan (SDLP) 1,009 (3.1% -0.3%)
    Julian Robertson (Conservative) 822 (2.5% +0.3%)
    Chris Carter (Independent) 211 (0.7%)
    Janet McCrory (Sinn Fein) 205 (0.6% -0.2%)

    2005 Local elections

    DUP11,034(34.3%)
    UUP7,343.5(22.8%)
    Alliance4,958(15.4%)
    Independent3,180(9.9%)
    Green2,639(8.2%)
    Women’s Coalition738(2.3%)
    UKUP734(2.3%)
    PUP651(2.0%)
    SDLP526(1.6%)
    Conservative353(1.1%)

  • Crataegus

    Cynical

    Tend to agree with your perception of cosy Alliance, but surely most political parties have an over representation of the middle class and in politics generally there is a grossly disproportional number of legal types.

    Alliance has all sorts of presentation problems. The perception that it is unionist isn’t helpful and if you were to ask anyone other than an Alliance activist what Alliance stood for I bet you would get a very fussy message.

    David Ford is a capable fellow, but in my opinion he is not a natural leader, certainly he is not charismatic. For Alliances to move forward it really needs to sharpen its act, but I suppose small party and limited resources so it is difficult. If I were a member of that party I would be inclined to concentrate on increasing the number of councillors, and target the marginals. Also few of their Assembly seats are safe. They are in a very precarious position.

    I would be of the opinion that we need a party that is inclusive in the form that you imply. A party that is fairly radical and addresses the real issues of Health, Education, the Economy and the Environment, but in the context of NI press I fear they would probably be ignored, because many of the journalists are as skewed as the politicians. They have all been engaged with each other for so long that they both breathe rarefied air.

  • Crataegus

    cynical

    I never said Alliance would take the seat, as you say not a hope in hell.

    However I would disagree with regard the DUP. The DUP are rising and the UUP are falling. Bob won’t stand if he has any sense, he doesn’t have the support he once had.

    The gap between the DUP and UUP was 4944 in 2005 Westminster. But remember Bob did get 13,509 in 2001 and the DUP have 34% in the last council elections compared to the UUP at 22.8%. This is not a safe seat. The UUP are in decline.

  • Carson’s Cat

    Why on earth did the Tank Commander deny approaching Paul Berry about joining the UUP group so stridently?

    I thought this was public record that they had approached him? Is there no end of lies that they will not tell????

  • Bilbo

    “Why on earth did the Tank Commander deny approaching Paul Berry about joining the UUP group so stridently?”

    Because no one from the UUP actually did approach him, they did approach two people before Berry but I assure you one of them was not Paul Berry!

    Berry seems quite content to remain independant and I suspect he aspires to rejoining the DUP one day. No matter what Gregory seemed to think, the UUP went nowhere near him.

  • CutThemLoose

    bilbo–my understanding is the same as yours, that the UUP did not approach Berry.

    But they did approach 2 other DUP and 2 Alliance. It was the failure of any of that quartet to jump to the UUP’s Titanic which forced them to approach Ervine. Which makes all the claims of reacing out to Loyalists an utter lie. They got Ervine because they couldn’t get anyone else. That simple. That opportunistic. And that’s why UUP members like me are so utterly appalled. As long as Ervine remains in bed with my party they won’t have my vote.

    I heard from one of my North Down contacts in a call this morning that Alex Kane came out very strongly against the pact at HQ last night.

    CutThemLoose

  • Loyalist

    CTL

    Andrew McCann was reporting yesterday that Alex Kane was enraged by the decision. Alex is a good man, as is Esmond Birnie and a few other South Belfast UUPers. Just because McGimp loves it up with the paramilitaries, doesn’t mean they will. I just wish some more UUP people (who I know are disgusted) had the courage to come out and condemn this move.

  • Crataegus

    Bilbo

    Because no one from the UUP actually did approach him, they did approach two people before Berry but I assure you one of them was not Paul Berry!

    Go get your second breakfast, think I know what you actually mean.

    No one in the UUP approached Paul Berry, but they did approach two others?

  • Loyalist

    Reg needs to be forced to reverse this decision.

  • David

    Why do Unionists object to Sir Reg and Ervine potentially denying SF a seat on the executive. Or is the DUP happy to see SF grow in strength?

  • Crataegus

    David

    It makes what they have been saying about SF-IRA seem utter hypocrisy. It is a fundamental political mistake, the sort that you don’t ever quite recover from. SF’s extra seat is only an issue because the UUP chose to make one. Come the next election what do you think the voters will remember, SF minus a seat or UUP embarrassed by every wayward action of the UVF?

  • Tony Clifton

    Comrade Stalin

    It was UUP and DUP votes that got Hugh Smyth elected as Deputy Lord Mayor in the eighties and Lord Mayor in the 90’s. I have no problem with this, but you cant single one out and ignore the other.

    David

    The DUP are so unhappy because they were beaten to the punch, they wanted the seat for themselves but couldnt get it done. They have now started throwing mud (in relation to Loyalism) at the UUP, this is suicide on the part of the DUP as whatever they can through comes back 100 fold, the DUP has so many skeletons in the cupboard there is hardly any room for their pinstriped suits and ‘lead the way’ t shirts.

  • Bilbo

    “Go get your second breakfast, think I know what you actually mean. ”

    Well, I’m eating an apple now, does that count?!

    To my knowledge the UUP approached one other person before Ervine. That was someone in the DUP who is not exactly content there – now there is a few there to guess from, enjoy!!

    “Reg needs to be forced to reverse this decision.”

    Ah dry up would you, he’s a big boy, he can make up his own mind.

    As for Alex Kane, what he says behind closed doors is party business, if he chooses to say it outside then it becomes relevant but i think you’ll find he won’t.

  • gold coaster

    Sylvia must be slightly worried. Tank Commanders’ role will taint her by implication.

    All that is needed is a credible alternative candidate and no DUP cock-ups between now and 2009.

  • Bilbo

    “All that is needed is a credible alternative candidate and no DUP cock-ups between now and 2009. ”

    haha, so you think Peter Weir isn’t a credible candidate?!?! Poor guy, leaves the UUP to be take seriously only to not be taken seriously in the DUP. The man works very hard you know

  • malo

    Im not sure why the Alliance party are sticking there nose into the Ervine issue, as this party supported a member of S/F IRA to become Lord Mayor of Belfast.

  • Young Fogey

    It was UUP and DUP votes that got Hugh Smyth elected as Deputy Lord Mayor in the eighties and Lord Mayor in the 90’s. I have no problem with this, but you cant single one out and ignore the other.

    So, you didn’t have a problem with the Unionist parties electing a UVF Mayor in June 1994. Do Ervine’s mates give you a special rate on that stuff, Tony?

    Let’s look at what the UVF were up to in May and June 1994.

    8 May 1994 – Rose Anne Mallon (76), a Catholic civilian, was shot dead by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) at her relatives home, Cullenramer Road, Greystone, near Dungannon, County Tyrone. (Yes, 76 years old.)

    17 May 1994 – Eamon Fox (42) and Gary Convie (24), both Catholic civilians, were shot dead by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) at a building site on North Queen Street, in the Tiger Bay area of Belfast.

    18 May 1994 – Gavin McShane (17) and Shane McArdle (17), both Catholic civilians, were killed when the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) carried out a gun attack on people in a taxi depot on Lower English Street, Armagh.

    1 June 1994 – Hugh Smyth of PUP-UVF elected Lord Mayor of Belfast.

    9 June 1994 – The body of Maurice O’Kane (50) Catholic civilian, was found shot at his workplace, Harland and Wolff shipyard, Harbour Estate, Belfast. The Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) claimed responsibility for the killing.

    17 June 1994 – Gerald Brady (27), a Catholic civilian, was shot dead by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF). Brady was a taxi driver and was found shot in his car, Blackthorn Park, Sunnylands, Carrickfergus, County Antrim. Cecil Dougherty (30), a Protestant civilian, was shot dead by the UVF) during a gun attack on a workers hut, Rushpark, off Shore Road, Newtownabbey, County Antrim. He was assumed to have been a Catholic. In the same attack William Corrigan (32), a Protestant civilian, was also shot and mortally wounded. He died 10 July 1994. Corrigan was also assumed to have been a Catholic.

    18 June 1994 – The Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) killed six Catholic men and wounded five others in a gun attack on a bar in Loughlinisland, County Down.

    So, what you actually mean is you don’t have a problem with the UVF biffing the odd random taig, is it Tony? Or even the odd Prod who gets caught up by mistake?

    as this party supported a member of S/F IRA to become Lord Mayor of Belfast.

    Ummm, in 2002, after the beginning of a process of decommissioning which has now been successfully completed… and for largely the same reason the UUP supported Martin McGuinness to become Minister of Education and the DUP more or less agreed to do the same in November 2004. If you can’t see the difference between that and supporting the PUP when their campaign was at its height then you can’t see a difference that even Jeffrey Donaldson, Nigel Dodds and Peter Robinson can.

    And all of this is a long way from accepting the leader of the political wing of the UVF into your Assembly party.

    On the other hand, maybe you just think the UVF isn’t that bad? Well, getting into bed with Ervine is a bad decision – for the UUP tactically, yes, insofar as that matters these days. But more importantly because it says that it’s OK to be a hooding, robbing, drug-dealing, pipe-bombing gangster. That’s bad for everybody, and worst of all for people living in Loyalist areas.

  • shaz

    I live in a loyalist area and i can see whats going on, but i think the move by the UUP is a very positive one. As it shows the people from where i come from that the UUP our working at bringing the loyalist/unionist community along with them. And i must point out that i have never seen anyone from the Alliance party in my area so i feel there comments about ERVINE joining the UUP assembly group quite concerning as they dont seem interested in people like me.

  • knowledge

    “Because no one from the UUP actually did approach him, they did approach two people before Berry but I assure you one of them was not Paul Berry!”

    I hear from reliable sources that he was approached by a very senior member of the UUP. I think McFarland might be forced to eat his words at some stage.

    Its not impossible however that even the Tank Commander doesn’t know what the other members of the ‘leadership’ of this fine Party have been getting up to.

    Maybe they just sent him on H&M to be the fall-guy.

  • Bilbo

    Not sure what the little twerp is up to but no one from the UUP approached him. Maybe he thinks if he lies for the DUP, they’ll let him back in, it is completely fabricated. The truth will come out in the end that Berry is a desperate lying little toerag.

  • knowledge

    Bilbo
    “no one from the UUP approached him.”

    I wouldn’t just be so definiate about that. There is one prominent member of the UUP who shares a constituency with him.

  • Bilbo

    yeah, funnily enough I am aware the UUP have an MLA in Newry and Armagh and I am telling you now that that MLA did not approach Berry.

  • Tony Clifton

    Young Fogey

    Despite what you say and list (which is all reprehensable by the way). I still dont have a problem with both the DUP and UUP supporting Hugh Smyth for Lord Mayor (and deputy) all those years ago. I do believe that the PUP are having a positive influence, I dont think they are geniuses and I dont think they are miracle workers either. I do think that Ervine is a hugely positive influence. I believe that if he could have stopped anything on your list he would have.

    My original comment had nothing to do with Ervine, so your query about what I might get from ‘Ervine’s mates’ is silly all I was saying was that both the DUP and UUP supported a PUP candidate way back so it would be hypocritical for any of them to be taking a different stance now (DUP)

    Bilbo and knowledge

    Berry was definately not approached…..the closer you get to Berry’s constituency the less likely you would be to find someone in the UUP wanting to approach him.

    The two other people approached were Mark Robinson and Seamus Close.

  • ted

    I’m with knowledge on this one, I heard from a very reliable source that Berry and another DUP member were approached, but both declined.

  • Bilbo

    Tony

    Not sure where you get your info from but Close was definitely not approached!

  • Tony Clifton

    Just an observation, the original topic of this post was the alliance party, the fact that they have rarely been mentioned is fairly representative of their ability/influence. The fact that the independents and the loners (PUP and BOB) are making more of a spash than them is humerous.

  • Tony Clifton

    Bilbo

    I wouldnt be so sure, mine is reliable but it doesnt really matter now, he is clearly not movable, at least we are agreed on the fact that either way it was’nt Berry

  • Young Fogey

    I still dont have a problem with both the DUP and UUP supporting Hugh Smyth for Lord Mayor (and deputy) all those years ago.

    Would you have had a problem with the SDLP and Alliance supporting Alex Maskey for Lord Mayor all those years ago?

    the fact that they have rarely been mentioned is fairly representative of their ability/influence

    When you hang around on Slugger long enough, you find a number of Single Transferrable Threads.

    One is – Alliance are rubbish because nobody talks about them.

    Another is – look at how many people rush to attack Alliance when they are mentioned. They proves they’re rubbish!

  • Young Fogey

    Young Fogey

    I am not a sinn fein fan, but maskey isnt as harsh a person as is made out, actually I had no problem with maskey being lord mayor and looking at it objectively, he did a decent job, better than most actually. Now I wouldnt have voted for him, but I also wouldnt have objected if it was Nationalism turn to have the position. I would far rather someone like Maskey than a wet lettuce dull SDLP cllr.

    I have no doubt about you single transferable thread point you make, I read slugger quite a lot (its my daily punishment for my sins lol) rarely post. However I do think that alliance are a bit weak in all aspects. I am not a supporter ofany of the parties but I recognise that some have people of ability.

    McGuinness, Maskey, Adams, de Brun
    Robinson (although not at all likable)
    Ervine
    Durkan
    Empey, Cobain

    all have abilty to the job they are elected for but very few others do and in my view non of the alliance MLA’s deserve to have their positions, but they are by no means alone.

  • Tony Clifton

    POINT OF ORDER!!!!! THE ABOVE POST WAS ACTUALLY MADE BT MYSELF TONY CLIFTON SORRY YOUNG FOGEY IT WAS ADDRESSED TO YOU NOT WRITTEN BY YOU.

    apologies