PUP will struggle without Ervine…

Martina Purdy reckons that the PUP was sustained through all the ups and downs of the last ten years largely on the charisma of its leader, David Ervine. Aside from the singular Bob McCartney, the PUP is the last of that plethora of unionist parties that came into the original Assembly in 1998.

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  • Yokel

    I think she’s right, which has wider issues for the loyalists affiliated with it and their attitudes. The demise of the UDP affected the Wombles somewhat at the time.

    It will be interesting to see that, assuming we have an election, whether they can hold on to the East Belfast seat. If they did, i’d be willing to bet it would be the last electon where they’d manage it.

  • I Wonder

    In the twisted lexicon of the UKUP, isn’t use of the word “singular” defamatory? 😉

  • Crataegus

    We can always rely on Martina for deep analysis and penetrating journalism.

    Yokel

    PUP holding seat in East Belfast NO CHANCE NOW.

  • J Kelly

    Will they move Billy Hutch over to east Belfast.

  • Percival

    Kelly

    Doubtful. I would expect Dawn Purvis to be the candidate. She’ll probably poll around 2000 votes. David Ervine was facing an uphill battle in East Belfast this time around, but I cant see Purvis defeating Copeland for the 5th Unionist seat.

    East Belfast will almost certainly return 3 DUP, 2 UUP and 1 Alliance MLA.

  • Yokel

    Crataegus

    I’d be inclined to agree hence the ‘if they did’ line. My only proviso would an emotional vote could, in theory, get them in but only once.

    J Kelly. No idea, not sure he’d do any better than anyone else they’d put up. Maybe its indecent haste at the moment but the only person that I can think of with even a ghost of a chance would be Purvis.

  • Hutchie has said that he is done with done with politics. He won’t even be staning in North Belfast, nevermind East Belfast.
    Dawn Purvis will take up the mantle, but I doubt if she can hold the seat.
    Even with Ervine at the helm the PUP were expecting to lose East Belfast. My understanding is that they are focusing their energies on council seats on the new super-councils.
    Two in Belfast are a defintie possibilty, as maybe are a further two on the new Inner-East banana shaped council. It’s from this which they are hoping to build.

  • pinkpanther

    Do you think they will bother holding a by election for his seat?

  • ian

    “Do you think they will bother holding a by election for his seat?”

    Bizarrely, he would still be entitled to a vote in the transitional Assembly (just like Michael Ferguson who died last year but who went on to vote against a Unionist bigotmotion), only he doesn’t have any party colleagues in the Assembly to declare which way he’d vote!

  • pinkpanther

    “only he doesn’t have any party colleagues in the Assembly to declare which way he’d vote! ”

    Well, technically the UUP are his part colleagues…how does the speakers ruling effect this?

  • Percival

    pink

    there is nothing in standing orders. therefore the current assembly has 107 members.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    ‘PUP will struggle without Ervine’

    Isn’t the reality that they struggled even with him?

  • Ian

    “there is nothing in standing orders. therefore the current assembly has 107 members.”

    106 and two ‘ghost members’ (Ervine and SF’s Michael Ferguson). And if that isn’t a “constitutional nonsense”, then I don’t know what is!

  • Valenciano

    “Do you think they will bother holding a by election for his seat?”

    Generally they don’t have by-elections any more – members are co-opted. They wouldn’t have had one anyway as there wouldnt be time to organise it before March.

  • Bruce101

    Purvis was not even able to get close to a council seat she will poll very poorly. The DUP were sure to increase to three seats – they will not repeat the vote management fiasco of 2003. Alliance are sure of a seat and the UUP though falling in support are closer to getting two seats than the PUP would be to getting one.

  • observer

    Pat Lewsley is being replaced by her substitute next week (BBC radio report). Michael Ferguson has not been replaced because no sub was available who wanted the job.

    Therefore, the Ervine seat goes to his sub list. In the real world there would be a by-election if no sub available, but in the Hain transitional world there is no by-election (and nobody can cast the Ervine vote unless Sir Reg asks Speaker to change her mind, please).

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Not possible. The UUP/PUP alliance was declared out of order, so Reg can’t ask for Ervine’s vote.

    …although it’s a bit of a moot point.

    Oh, and there’s no council by-election, from what I can remember.