Young Unionist Chairman selected for East Antrim

East Antrim UUP have selected UYUC Chairman Mark Dunn to fight the March Assembly election together with incumbent Members Roy Beggs and Ken Robinson.

  • Chris Donnelly


    Why 3 candidates? Wild optimism or strategic thinking?

    Also, what is his link to the constituency? I know Robinson and Beggs’ background, but is Dunn a councillor in the area, or perhaps a future Super councillor?

  • Michael Shilliday

    Mark is Deputy Mayor of Larne this year.

  • BeardyBoy

    he, Mark Dunn, is not as bad as some – he attended am opening of an Irish nursery in Carnlough – probably a kiss of death saying it here

  • Michael Shilliday

    East Antrim UUP have historically selected on geography, Robinson has always been the N’abbey man, Beggs Carrick and May Steele, Roy McCune and now Mark Dunn from Larne. People like voting for people from their town.

  • Correct me if I am worng, but doesn’t Mark live in the Donegall Pass area of South Belfast.
    Will the fact that he doesn’t live in the area not hamper his election bid. Higher profile candidates can get away with this, I doubt if Mark can.

  • BeardyBoy

    I thought Beggs was frae Raloo or thereaboots?

  • Bruce101

    Two would have been the right call for the UUP in East Antrim. The DUP are sure to field three and win three. SF SDLP and Alliance will now share two seats. The UUP need to come to terms with their new downsized role.

  • Elvis Parker

    More candidates – esp if well geographically spread increases your vote but does it increase your chances of winning seats?

  • BeardyBoy

    I forecast DUP 3, UUP 1, All 1

    Danny O’Connor is soiled goods due to his past UDR membership and his very open support of their role and so has alienated the votes he needs to bypass Alliance

  • Michael Shilliday

    So if the SDLP aren’t going to win the last seat who is? You’ve just forcast a 5 seat election.

  • BeardyBoy

    Ooops – there is not a SDLP seat here, if Danny wins it is a fluke of the day – DUP can scoop the forth seat if they manage the candidates right, Fulton is keeping his own consel here according to the Larne Times and the boul Jack McKee, unsurpringly considering his latest outbursts, has anounced he is not for standing.

    From a larne Council perspective :-
    I say wee Sammy will lead the charge, Winston will be next, the fat guy from around Glenoe will probably stand which covers the South of the borough and the Town, someone from the North – and I do not think that Rachel Rea will want to stand, (unfortunately as she is an honourable lady), would definitely be a hard team to beat. I therefore would say that the extra seat will be fought by Jack’s brother Bobby.
    By the way the fat boy is called Gregg McKeen and he is from Millbrook – apologies to Gleno (AKA – the village from Hell)

    Who will stand for the UUP – who knows – who cares – one seat for them.

    The nice people in Alliance have a choice between Gerardine Mulvenna, (I have heard, but may be wrong, that she has a cousin in Sinn Fein which is surely a black mark)in the North, then in the South they have sitting councillor for Larne Town, John Matthews and then that nice girl Alene Ceves or something – keeps getting her name and pic in the Larne Times but is totally forgetable.

  • Michael Shilliday

    The rest of us are talking about the 2007 Assembly election, you appear to be talking about an election to a Council that will never be elected to again!

  • BeardyBoy

    No just talking about it from a Larne perspective

  • Pete

    It’s a shame we can’t deselect Larne.

  • Crataegus

    I would see this as no change, the DUP don’t have enough for 4 seats unless there is a real drop in the UUP vote, but I don’t see that happening. There are two UUP seats and the Alliance seat should be safe, they should be well ahead of the SDLP.

  • William M

    BeardyBoy is wrong about the identity of the two UUP Cllrs who attended an event at an Irish language pre school in Carnlough (it was not Mark Dunn)

    BTW There is also no way on earth that the DUP hierarchy will allow a Larne DUP Cllr to stand. They vetoed it in 2002/3 and will do so again. It would probably suit them to have a couple of the backwoodsmen clear off in protest.

    Alliance have selected Carrick duo Neeson and his sidekick Dickson for the umpteenth year in a row.

    And Big Danny has told Mark durkan that he will be standing as the SDLP candidiate no matter what anyone lese says or wants

    As for Sin…. o who cares?

  • Carson’s Cat

    The only question here really will be whether the DUP should run three or four candidates….

    They should have the 3 seats sewn up – there is one safe UUP seat, one safe Alliance seat. If the DUP dont run 4 then the UUP will probably get a second. There is not a full nationalist quota and it would only be a real fluke for the SDLP to win that seat ever again (like it was the first time).

  • Observer

    East Antrim is going to become the DUP’s new North Antrim and more recently – Strangford.

    Previous results don’t rule in the UUP’s favour:

    *Roy Beggs Jr (UUP) 5175 (16.7%)
    #Sammy Wilson (DUP) 4544 (14.7%)
    George Dawson (DUP) 3163 (10.2%)
    *David Hilditch (DUP) 2856 (9.2%)
    *Daniel O’Connor (SDLP) 2428 (7.8%)
    *Sean Neeson (Alliance) 2180 (7.0%)
    *Ken Robinson (UUP) 2062 (6.7%)
    Roy McCune (UUP) 1646 (5.3%)
    Jack McKee (Ind) 1449 (4.7%)
    Stewart Dickson (Alliance) 1192 (3.9%)
    *Roger Hutchinson (Ind) 1011 (3.3 %)
    Oliver McMullan (SF) 768 (2.5%)
    Tom Robinson (UKUP) 564 (1.8%)
    Carolyn Howarth (PUP) 534 (1.7%)
    Robert Mason (Ind) 364 (1.2%)
    John Anderson (Ind) 348 (1.1%)
    Anne Monaghan (NIWC) 307 (1.0%)
    Alan Greer (Cons) 196 (0.6%)
    Andrew Frew (Green) 165 (0.5%)

    DUP 10,563 (34.1%, +11.9%) 3 seats
    UUP 8,883 (28.7%, -0.9%) 2 seats
    Alliance 3,372 (10.9%, -9.2%) 1 seat Best result for Alliance in Northern Ireland

    Inds 3,172 (10.2%)
    SDLP 2,428 (7.8%, +1.9%)
    SF 768 (2.5%, +0.4%)
    UKUP 564 (1.8%, -6.2%)
    PUP 534 (1.7%, -2.3%)
    NIWC 307 (1.0%)
    Con 196 (0.6%, -0.1%)
    Green 165 (0.5%)

    The combined UUP vote stood at 28.7% (a fall of only 0.9% from 1998) compared to the DUP’s 34.1% (an increase of 11.9% from 1998).

    In the 2005 Local Government election the combined UUP vote stood at 22.7% (fall of 6% from 2003), while the DUP vote stood at 40% (an increase of 5.9%).

    The DUP are likely to make major inroads here; even if there is Unionist dissent. The DUP profile has significantly increased in East Antrim since 2003 and this is likely to affect the UUP vote. People will not vote for the UUP to spite the DUP – why would they? Empey is an ineffective voice and Beggs et al were Trimbles closest supporters. I’m not sure where Cllr Dunn stood in relation to the Belfast Agreement; however he was probably only just out of nappies.

    Three candidates is political suicide for the UUP; the same for them in Lagan Valley and South Belfast (probably other places too). Ken Robinson was last in, in 2003 with 6.7% of the vote he will find is difficult to retain his seat.

    Beggs is likely to hold his own ground – but not sure what affect his fathers fall from Westminster is likely to have on him – he is however probably the UUP’s no. one candidate. Robinson is under serious threat – so where does that leave Mark Dunn? He will have to make inroads on his colleagues vote if he stands any luck of getting in, or even staying in the race.

    I wouldn’t rule out a 4th DUP seat.

    However Sillyday probably thinks the UUP will be returned as the main Unionist Party – that goes in line with UUP HQ thinking.

    I suspect that by the UUP selecting 3 candidates in most constituencies will seriously backfire on them. Making a difficult job even more difficult. It will lead to bad voter management.

    Shilliday should try posting a good news story.

  • Gardian

    As Cllr Dunn would have been 17 when the 98 referendum took place then yes, I dare say that it would be difficult to know whether he would have voted for or against the Belfast Agreement.

    But as the DUP is now clearly an officially pro Agreement party (as their leader in Larne says, the St Andrew’s Agreement is just the GFA in a kilt) then I don’t really know what your point is.

    BTW I hear the wife of a farmer who likes to bury ‘things’ in his silo has put her name in for DUP selection. Could get messy

  • Observer

    I suppose it would Gardian.

    Doesn’t mean he doesn’t have an opinion, though.

    Its windy up round the Antrim plateau though, isn’t it? Things blow around with the wind there … and I’m not just talking about plastic bags.

  • Sammy Morse

    Why 3 candidates? Wild optimism or strategic thinking?

    I think the real question is inability to understand how STV works or inability to come to terms with the decline of the DUP.

    Oh, and if I were the DUP I would be running four although maybe giving myself a 1 in 5 chance of actually pulling it off. But if you’re not in you can’t win and I bet they wish they had three up in North Belfast last time around…

  • Crataegus


    Ken Robinson was last in, in 2003 with 6.7% of the vote he will find is difficult to retain his seat.

    Ken Robinson has been very active on the ground and is one of the more capable, I keep running into him quite often in opposite camps, I think he will get elected. Shame if not, a fair energetic and capable man.

  • carnmoney


    Robinson may or may not be “energetic and capable”. He also has an interesting voting record in Newtownabbey Council, often leaving the meeting before a crunch vote on the sort of issues where some UU members support the DUP and others don’t.

    Ideal as next leader of the party after Sir Reg with a record like that.

  • Crataegus


    He also has an interesting voting record in Newtownabbey Council, often leaving the meeting before a crunch vote on the sort of issues where some UU members support the DUP and others don’t.

    You mean the more sectarian issues? He goes up further in my esteem. I tell you he is doing a lot of work and represents the interests of Newtownabbey well.

    No I am not a member of the UUP and they would not be my first preference but they guy seems to me to be doing his level best. Ohh he is not a relation either.

  • Mark

    @BeardyBoy – Young Beggs is from Ballyvernstown.