Why three candidates wont hurt the UUP

Way back in the early days of 2005 Mick asked me to contribute a UUP perspective on Slugger for the 2005 Westminster elections. I got rather a lot wrong – but then Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams used to tell my Grandfather that he would be in a united Ireland by now.The 2007 Assembly elections will be interesting for my Party. Fair_Deal’s analysis here seems to indicate that he thinks the UUP will return something between 20-25 seats. If the election were held tomorrow, I’d agree, but an election campaign changes things just as goals change football matches. I have nothing but confidence in the party leader that the lessons of the past have been learned, and that we will not be complacent enough to pick a number that seems likely or desirable and pray. I would not make that statement without having evidence in my own mind.

There has been criticism on this blog and elsewhere at South Belfast, East Antrim, Strangford, North Down, Upper Bann and my own Association of Lagan Valley taking the decision to run three candidates where two appears in conventional wisdom to be the better decision. Initially I have to admit that I shared this opinion, and came close to voting against it, however have come to the decision that it is worth the perceived risk.

I have looked at some heavily or completely unionist DEAs to see what effect the UUP running too many candidates has. Whilst I looked at random and by no means conclusively at the 2005 results, I only found one instance, in Castlereagh, where standing two candidates instead of three might have returned two seats (although I would have to look at the full results sheet to see conclusively).

On the converse I saw Coleraine East where 1.4 quotas amongst three candidates returned two seats, Lisburn Town North where 2.5 quotas amongst 5 candidates returned three seats. In Lisburn South three candidates splitting a poll of slightly more than a quota did not affect election of one UUP Councillor, and likely wouldn’t have done had the DUP run 5 candidates.

Even more interesting was Coleraine Central where 2.6 quotas returned all three candidates. The Party on 1st preferences in Balmoral had no claim whatever to the last seat, yet lost out by less than one vote.

The UUP can rely on transfers much better than the DUP can to get candidates elected. I often hear people remark about candidates being hauled in on the 13th count as if this is something to be ashamed about. They all count.

With dissident republicans, anti St Andrews unionists, anti water charges candidates, the Conservative-and-sort-of-pro-union-in-a-friendly-kind-of-way Party, Greens and other such distractions likely to be standing in all constituencies, transfers are definitely what this election is going to be about. North Down in 2003 could be replicated across Ulster in 2007. I don’t see this as any major threat to any of the four big parties, as I would be fairly confident that more than half of this renegade vote will be new voters, providing new lower order opportunities for the UUP to pick up extra seats east of the Bann.

Secondly it is self evident that pitching high allows for any upturn in UUP support. The St Andrews deal was appalling for Unionism and not great for the general governance of Northern Ireland. The working classes and leaders of business and industry will be united in their opposition to the Irish language act, if for differing reasons. The DUP message has been unravelling as the party begins to split asunder over power sharing, with Jeffrey Donaldson and Ian Paisley claiming it will happen in 2007, and Gregory Campbell deciding that King Herod will open a childcare facility first.

The UUP can generate two rhetorical questions from this. Why would our existing voters (around the 120,000 mark) ditch the UUP for DUP in this circumstance? Second, is Bob McCartney in a position to take what could amount to 10 Assembly seats from this situation? If he is, do we care?

The UUP has nothing to fear from this election. We fought a verifiably dreadful campaign in 2005, and still 117,000 people cast their votes in our direction. Those thousands of people understand what I understand to be the best interests of Northern Ireland. The BBC Poll late last year seems to confirm that this is our core support.

McCartney will I believe pull a lot of new voters out who are intent on stopping Paisley doing a deal. The rest of his vote will be 95% old DUP. The dissident Republicans can expect a conversely similar support profile on their side of the community. On top of losing votes to renegades the DUP and SF also need to be wary of those who will simply stay at home – those voters are likely to be exclusively voters who switched from the UUP and SDLP since 1997. How big this group is could be critical to the dynamics of this election and its aftermath.

The DUP has dealt unionism such a stinking mess of a deal, that it has written into it a bolt hole for itself that it will no doubt use to try to avert this situation. The First Minister is now to be from the largest party, not the candidate who can get the most cross community support of the Assembly.

Unionism is a movement of people who cannot stand the sight of each other. In truth it is amazing that my Party remained the united voice of Unionism for so long before Paisley split the movement. Unionism will never be united again – that’s just the kind of people we are. Therefore it is truly incredible that the DUP has had the rules of Government in Northern Ireland changed to make sure that only the largest Party takes First Minister. An Assembly Election could return 100 independent Unionists, but for so long as the remaining eight were designated as Sinn Fein, not one of them would ever be First Minister. And if McCartney, took enough seats off the DUP to force them behind the UUP, and if we held our ground, Sinn Fein nominate the First Minister even if Nationalism is in the minority. To ensure its own survival the DUP has changed the processes of government. Any tyrannical despot the world has ever produced would be truly proud.

Notwithstanding the DUP’s cynical, dangerous and morally criminal tinkering with the rules of election of First Minister, which hopefully can still be changed, Reg Empey could see himself returned to Stormont as the leader of the largest party of the largest designation on 24 seats. I’ll be going to the doorsteps on the basis that I want people to cast a vote for Reg Empey as First Minister, and while it’s not exactly likely, goals change football matches, election campaigns change results. Being in for three seats wont hurt our chances of securing two in most if not all cases east of the Bann, and even if it does, I reckon the risk is worth it.

  • Rebecca Black

    Just to clarify, there has been no final decision made on whether or not Strangford will run 3 candidates. They may run two.

  • Alan

    Serious question, Michael – what about that 15% drop in registrations? Too many people that I know are saying they are simply not going to vote. They are “tired of it”, “browned off with the politicians” or “feel insulted by them.” Do you expect that kind of apathy to spread evenly across the parties?

  • Michael Shilliday

    It’s hard to tell. Like I say, I reckon there will be a drop in turnout in the people who voted UUP and SDLP prior to 1997 and switched to the DUP and SF, but clearly there are voters for all parties who will stay at home.

  • Frustrated Democrat

    I fear the UUP will make little headway until they reduce the average age of their candidates by about 15-20 years and start to rebuild the party.

    I know they seem have one or two younger candidiates, but have they a realistic chance of being elected?

    It is time for UUP HQ to pension some of the older ones off who decided not follow the example of those, like Dermot Nesbitt, who had the sense to retire gracefully.

    I think no one should be allowed stand for election after their 65 birthday. It would be interesting across the parties to see how many this would rule out.

  • You just don’t get it, do you Michael?

    Running more candidates that you can hope to get elected is inherently inefficient. Transfers are never 100% efficient. Some people don’t understand the electoral system and just mark one ‘X’ – you lose their votes when they fail to transfer. Teams of candidates who know one of them is guaranteed to lose out inevitably start bickering, that feeds through to the electorate, transfer efficiency suffers and bang goes your at risk seat.

    Your strategy in Strangford of having three candidates from the fringes of the constituency and declaring the main population centre to be a place where they ‘co-operate’ is pretty much guaranteed to make sure they end up canvassing against one another. It happens time and time again and still people don’t learn (South Antrim for the SDLP last time, anyone). Three gets you ten the three Ulster Unionist candidates will be ripping one another to bits on the streets of Newtownards come about March 1st. Especially when one of them is called McNarry.

    I note you carefully trawl through the results to find a few cases where overnomination didn’t damage you in the last council elections, but the record shows plenty of other cases where political parties have lost seats through this sort of silly strategy.

    In Strangford, the DUP had a difficult task of trying to balance four candidates, one of whom is called ‘Robinson’ ahead of your two, which gives your candidates maximum time to pick up stray transfers from other candidates. By running three you make it considerably easier for the DUP to keep four in the race until your weakest runner drops out and sprays lots of lose transfers in their direction. Silly. But, hey, the Ulster Unionist Party has never really got the hang of this STV stuff and as I can’t stand the UUP, why do I care?

    By the way, what does North Down have to do with it? The DUP balanced two perfectly and kept them both in long enough to benefit from stray transfers even as a transfer-repellant party. You didn’t balance well enough and Diane Peacocke lost out even though she was much more transfer-friendly. Alliance got lots of transfers from people you’d expect Alliance to get lots of transfers from in North Down and Bob McCartney scraped in sub-quota despite not getting that many transfers from anybody.

    How does that imply transfers will provide the story of the next election, even less that they will somehow disproportionately benefit the UUP.

  • TWH

    Any news on the Fermanagh/South Tyrone UUP selection?

    I hear it involves a parachute, map, compass and someone from Crossmaglen…

  • PS – your examples are all bad Michael.

    Lisburn Town North – DUP undernomination – DUP nominate 3 for about 3.6 quotas, Alliance almost exactly on one quota and the nationalists on just over half a quota. DUP transfers are going to elect you ahead of the SDLP (duh). Even if the DUP run four you would have had Green and nationalist transfers to pull you ahead, although the chronic overnomination wouldn’t help and it would have been very tight.

    Coleraine East – there’s a mistake in Nick Whyte’s figures, quota should actually be 665 if those candidate figures are right. UUP acutally poll over 1.7 quotas with almost a quota’s worth of non-unionist transfers, which given the geometry are unlikely to win the SDLP a seat but can help the UUP further down the ticket. The DUP undernominate (again) with 3 candidates for 3.5 seats – although SDLP and Alliance transfers would probably keep them from taking a fourth seat – and their surplus has nowhere else to go but carry the UUP’s second runner massively over quota. The UUP are guaranteed a second seat here unless you think the DUP are going to transfer en bloc to the SDLP?

    Coleraine Central – you were defending three seats off 3.1 quotas from the time before, so no reason not to run three candidates. And running 3 candidates for 2.6 quotas is not overnomination anyway. It’s entirely sensible nomination. Running 3 candidates for 1.5 quotas, like in Strangford, is overnomination. You start the count ahead of the DUP in first preferences and their third candidate is stranded in no man’s land with less than 0.2 quotas. And you have Alliance transfers and whatever Nat surplus might arise later to come. What are you trying to point out by mentioning this one? That you don’t actually understand STV?

    I don’t mean to be bitchy, but you haven’t even come close to making the case you’re trying to make.

  • Julian Robertson

    The more I read Michael’s and Sammy’s pieces the more I like first past the post!

    It will be interesting to see hpow the UUP do with this stratgey – either a clever plan master stroke or a dreadful mistake. Do they have the expertise in good vote management to make it work?

  • TWH

    “Do they have the expertise in good vote management to make it work?”



  • Crataegus

    PD’s in Galway west (2002) would be the one worth considering.

  • Sammy,

    Note Rebecca’s caveat on Strangford.

  • Balmoral – another daft example. You are running two candidates defending two seats having obtained comfortably over 2 quotas in 2001. That’s actually a very conservative strategy, although given the political context a very sensible one.

    All four unionist candidates are short of a quota on the first count, but crucially the UUP’s conservative nomination strategy and excellent balance leaves Esmond Birnie only 5 votes shy of Ruth Patterson on the first count. UPRG transfers favour the DUP, but although the SDLP have both Alliance and SF candidates in the race to transfer too Birnie picks up enough stray votes in the SDLP elimination and surplus stages to come within a vote of overhauling Patterson because, and only because the UUP did exacltly the opposite of what you suggest.

    And again, running 2 candidates for 1.4 quotas is not overnomination, it’s entirely sensible, there’s a chance things can break from there are your hardly putting your one safe seat at risk. This is not analogous to what the UUP are doing in the Assembly elections.

    Hey, it beats working on a Friday afternoon.

  • The more I read Michael’s and Sammy’s pieces the more I like first past the post!

    I like it too – guarantees we won’t be seeing too many NI Tories being elected! 😛

    Note Rebecca’s caveat on Strangford.

    The same logic applies to South Belfast, Lagan Valley and East Antrim, Mick, and although it’s not an immediate act of hari-kiri in South Antrim or Upper Bann, if the UUP vote falls further it may come back to bite them in the bum.

  • TWH


    “UPRG transfers favour the DUP”

    The UPRG didn’t contest Balmoral, and do they still exist?

    Regardless of losing out by one vote on a seat, it is unlikely that the UUP will regain a second seat in this DEA in the near future. The DUP are certainly starting to work South Belfast very well, and Balmoral is an example of how the DUP are beginning to gain middle-class Unionist votes on a significant scale.

    This will likely be further advanced come the possible assembly election.

    It is interesting to note that should Esmond Birnie lose his assembly seat, which looks likely, he will no longer any public office.

  • The UPRG didn’t contest Balmoral, and do they still exist?

    Wasn’t the ‘Independent’ candidate UPRG, or at least paramilitary linked?

    Regardless of losing out by one vote on a seat, it is unlikely that the UUP will regain a second seat in this DEA in the near future.

    I agree entirely, although political trends can change rapidly in unstable times. Remember, the Shinners thought their rapidly growing middle-class vote would easily see Stiofan Long home in a boat last time but the cookie didn’t quite crumble that way. On the other hand, the SDLP is well organised in South Belfast, if with a tendency to bicker, which is about as opposite to the South Belfast UUP as you can get.

  • TWH


    After refering to ARK there was an independent who got about 200 votes. I had never even hear of him, but it would be interesting to analyse his transfers.

    South Belfast is an interesting constituency to watch, but the rise of the DUP is not matched by that of Sinn Fein. Maskey and Long havn’t been making the inroads some had forcast them to make.

  • Observer

    Less people will vote UUP in this election.


    1. An increasingly ageing population vote UUP.

    2. More young Unionists are voting DUP.

    3.People have no reason to vote UUP – there are few credible candidates and Empey offers no vision or worthly alternative – all those people who would have replaced ‘old’ UUP faces are now in the DUP. This is for several reasons not necessarily relating to the ‘Trimble’ years but poor party structure and organisation.

    4. Unionism is now represented by a ‘pragmatic’ and modern voice, in the DUP. The DUP may be seen in historical terms of being lead by a ‘Dr NO’, but I think within the DUP now many young, fresh-faced and forward thinking people run the show (these fresh-faced people would have historically joined the UUP).

    5. Less people are interested in politics, following a UK-wide theme. This will affect smaller party’s.

    The UUPs fortunes may turn, but how will initiate that turn?

    The UUP offer an ineffective voice and do have potential to make change in their favour. But just look at the hype and childish games put up by the UUP. What did the UUP do during St. Andrew’s – made a blog/website where they ‘leaked’ information into the public domain. Why did they do this? Because they felt left out and decided to throw their rattle and toys out of their pram. Also, look at the hype over this policing and justice letter from Peter Hain? Outcome – utter nonsense.

    Start to get serious guys; stop playing stupid games, stop the slanging match and start talking serious politics. Contary to what Sillyday suggests – the UUP is not leading Unionism anymore and have yet to come to terms with it – deal with it.

  • TWH

    I hear it involves a parachute, map, compass and someone from Crossmaglen…

    Is Kenny Donaldson standing in FST?

    I would have thought South Down was the obvious option as he stood there in the last local elections.

    Kenny isn’t a bad skin all the same

  • cityspires

    Kenny is a community worker in Tyrone so its an area he knows as well as his own. At least he injects a bit of energy and enthusiasm into proceedings unlike most candidates.

  • TWH


    Well that is what I was told by a friend of mine in the YUs. I believe the selection meeting was on Wednesday night, so a press release is probably coming soon.

    Perhaps if Fermanagh Young Unionist is on he could confirm the selection.

    Whether or not Kenny is “not a bad skin” is irrelevant. I doubt if he even knows most of the town names in Fermanagh/South Tyrone, never mind any issues affecting the electorate.

    It slaps of arrogance that the UUP think they can just parachute someone in from outside the constituency and expect people to vote for them purely because of their party tag. Furthermore, it doesn’t say much for the UUP’s councillors in Fermanagh and Dungannon to get overlooked, and I am lead to believe some of them arn’t at all happy.

    He certainly won’t be getting my number one preference vote, but I will think about a transfer.

  • TWH


    “At least he injects a bit of energy and enthusiasm into proceedings unlike most candidates.”

    I know that Tom Elliott man is a very droll character.

  • darth rumsfeld

    … perhaps a Donaldson will yet lead the UUP!

    Sammy Morse has sadly shot Michael’s fox more full of holes than Arnold Schwarzenegger in full terminator mode, without even needing to comment on the indisputable fact that the UUP still has the stench of death hanging around it, and there just isn’t a Cameron (Ugh BTW) emerging to breath life into the rotting cadaver.It’s throwing money it hasn’t got into a last ditch attempt to reverse inexorable decline.

    And i admire Michael’s enthusiasm for knocking doors, but he’s one of about 10 UUP people in NI who will be doing so, outside candidates and family memebrs on the payroll. There just aren’t enough young members to push the bathchairs of the UUC delegates round the doors. Perhaps the Mormon strategy of baptising dead ancestors into the church offers the best hope for the UUP’s electoral fortunes

  • exuup

    Michael you say The St Andrews deal was appalling for Unionism , so will you and the UUP be campaigning against it, its assembly , its ministers etc in the election, triple lock of devolved policing, its accountability, its proposed finacial package and last, but not least, the need for SF to swear an oath to support the police courts and rule of law..???

  • Is Kenny Donaldson standing in FST?

    Yup. He was successful at gaining the FST members support. The selection meeting was on Wednesday night and over 420 FST party members were in attendance! Needless to say Kenny got a standing ovation.


    That friend of yours told me exactly what he said…

    and I am lead to believe some of them arn’t at all happy.

    Lies never were your strong point. If some are unhappy then they could have either stood for selection/voiced their opposition. They did neither. Actually come to think of it they were some of the first to congratulate both candidates.

  • The UU’s could do a lot worse than stand Kenny, who at least has some semblence of personality and is not bigoted at all.

    It will be funny though when he goes to the doors and tells the would-be-voters that he is from Crossmaglen in South Armagh.

  • TWH


    How did Kenny get to this selection meeting? Did he have to get a lift or did someone give him directions? lol

    The point is that Kenny, while I’m sure he has many strong points, knows nothing about the constituency. Obviously the UUP know they are only going to win one seat, but parachuting a complete unknown candidate in from Newry/Armagh will hardly help the situation.

    I honestly thought this was a wind up when I first heard it but clearly Fermanagh/South Tyrone UUP are more desperate than I thought.

  • TWH


    I think you are just glad to get him out of your area!

  • Not at all TWH, he’s a good bloke but he will never be elected in my area.

    In Slive Gullion the SDLP are lucky to get 1 councillor elected never mind a Unionist.

    He is Danny’s natural successor but old Danny isn’t going just yet.

  • The point is that Kenny, while I’m sure he has many strong points, knows nothing about the constituency

    As already noted he is a community worker in Tyrone.

    Obviously the UUP know they are only going to win one seat, but parachuting a complete unknown candidate in from Newry/Armagh will hardly help the situation

    Complete unknown? Well he has a very high profile within the party rank and file, especially for such a young age. As Michael noted in the thread, election campaigns determine the outcome.

    And also as he is such an asset to the Party he took the decision himself to stand in FST for, through no fault of his own, the option is not there to represent Newry and Armagh in the Assembly, as Chris has said.

  • TWH


    You are missing the point. Whether or not he has a high profile within the party is irrelevant. The F/ST UUP membership cannot elect an MLA by themselves, or any party’s members for that matter. It simply won’t was with voters that the UUP are so arrogant as to parachute someone in purely because they can’t get elected in their own area.

    What part of Tyrone is it that he works in? Just because someone works in an area doesn’t give them the profile required to run there. Tom Elliott works at Stormont, but he’s hardly going to run in East Belfast! lol

  • wee ulsterman

    They didn’t ‘parachute’ him in, he’s been working there as a community worker for a fair while now and knows the area well.

    He also topped the poll at the last officers election – and I’m sure he will prove a very energetic asset to the Fermanagh / South Tyrone campaign.

  • TWH


    Interesting how a new pseudo name enters the discussion.

    No one has yet clarified where in the constituency this work is.

    If this is true, he can hardly have been there too long and can hardly be dressed up as somehow giving him a profile in the area.

    As for internal party positions, votes or standing ovations they don’t count for a thing. It will be the real vote that matters and things arn’t looking great for him.

  • Tyroneman

    My goodness, this fella Kenny Donaldson is creating quite a stir on here already. I hope he comes on here to engage in the debate but to be honest, if he’s got any wit he’s probably best pushing the flesh in Fermanagh and South Tyrone.

    It’s interesting to see that even Chris Gaskin respects him. If Mr Donaldson has been able to rise within Ulster Unionism whilst not being seen as a supremacist, bigot by people from Mr Gaskin’s background then he must be doing something right.

    I think why people within unionism will have difficulty with the type of politics he promotes is because; he’s not a fenian hater. Infact I’ve read a number of speeches on the UUP Website and he constantly uses a phrase, “New Northern Ireland.”

    Mr Donaldson is more dangerous to Nationalism’s/Republicanism’s objectives than any hard-line prod bigot. His politics seem to be about a shared North and he seems to recognize quite astutely in my view that the medium-long term future of this place depends upon the ability of nationalism/unionism to win over the hearts and minds of its’ opponents or sections of.

    I wish that the SDLP had someone in F & ST with fresh ideas.

    Just a pity the fella was born a Prod!

  • It’s interesting to see that even Chris Gaskin respects him

    It’s very simple really, he has manners.

    He was the first member of a Unionist party, not the last, that I met who actually spoke to Republicans like they were human beings. He would have a craic and debate in a mature manner.

    I suspect that him being from Cross had something to do with this as he would have known Republicans all his life.

    Plus he’s from South Armagh, that’s worth a few points on its own.

  • fair_deal


    I once spent two hours trying to explain to an aspiring Unionist candidate in a tight constituency that he would not get elected. He gave me at least a dozen different reasons of why he was going to succeed and get a vote of thousands and thus elected. He got hammered. The thread gave me serious flashbacks to that frustrating evening.

  • eddie

    mmmm…tyroneman, strikes me as the candidate himself in disguise.

  • Interesting how a new pseudo name enters the discussion.

    Ha, you are the last person who should be saying that!

    What part of Tyrone is it that he works in?

    Well I thought you would have gathered that from the title Community Worker, his work brings him throughout the county and even NI. He works with various organisations for victims and the elderly etc.

    Anywho Thomas this is still a pretty decent thread, lets not wreck it with all this Fermanagh talk. I might even get round to unblocking you sometime on msn but until then you have my email…

    He didn’t know this thread existed an hour ago…

  • Porlock

    One really does have to admire Mr Shilliday’s optimism—misplaced though it is. I’m sure a full-time job awaits him in HQ sometime soon.

    Mr. Donaldson is Lord Maginnis’ glove puppet and the good Lord never tires of telling people that Kenny will be the “next leader but one.”

    Kenny was elected an officer by people who saw him as fresh blood who favoured change; but then they thought the same of Basil McCrea and Johnny Andrews. Fairly quickly, though, they fell into line and became as bad as the previous holders.

    The UUP remains a shambles. No-one with talent wants to be a candidate and the party has now ended up with a bunch of coffin-dodgers, Del Boys and political nobodies.

    If Mr. Shilliday would like to place a wager on the likelihood of his party getting more than 20 seats, I would be glad to come to some arrangement.


  • Ziznivy

    On the age issue, I really would like to see Robert Coulter stand down and give a couple of younger candidates a decent chance in North Antrim.

  • the sparrow

    It would seem that some people are getting a bit carried away with their praise for Kenny on here.

    Let’s just remember some of the reasons why he was selected.

    -No other candidates of any substance in Fermanagh/South Tyrone from councillors, Lords or others.

    -The UUP have retracted on their aspirations to challenge the DUP for the second Unionist seat in Newry/Armagh.

    -With realistically only 1 seat up for grabs nobody else wanted to face the humiliation of losing the “safe UUP seat” which Arlene Foster “stole”. haha

    Sorry to burst your bubble guys but the poor chap doesn’t have a hope.

    More interesting will be the response he gets when he returns to Newry/Armagh, tail between his legs, looking for their votes.

  • Have the UU’s selected someone yet for South Down yet? If not that would have seemed like the smarter option.

  • Wilbur

    Not if you were intending that Tom Elliot would get the nomination for MEP at the next round. Perhaps Kenny’s position on the reserve list for FST is now automatic and he would therefore step into a safe seat?

    Maybe that would explain the number of candidates putting themselves forward in other places.

  • slug

    With the death -quite literally- of the UUP assembly voting alliance with the PUP, perhaps Peter Bowles might be tempted back to the UUP for South Down? Or has he burnt his bridges?

  • Alan

    Good question Chris but correct me if I’m wrong; was it not Crotlieve where he ran in South Down where there wasn’t even a unionist quota?

    Is it likely that he wouldn’t be that well known in the Eastern part of the constituency which could hold the majority of South Down delegates votes?

    Maybe someone with an insight into the South Down situation could update us on when their selection is taking place?

    If as has been said already, he’s employed in the community sector in the Tyrone area perhaps he weighed up likelihood of success in getting selected or maybe he’s a glutton for punishment and likes a challenge?

    I think I read on another thread that he worked for Joan Carson who was was a formmer MLA for the constituerncy so he’s bound to have a fair knowledge of the area through his time working for her, is he not?

    How long was he a Party Officer prior to the May ’05 Council elections? Did he have a good profile prior to those elections within the Party? If he did, strikes me that the guy could’ve taken an easier path and could’ve negotiated internally for a safe seat.

    The fact he has taken the course which he has would intimate to me anyway that this fella likes a fight. Whether he can strike a knockout blow on either Arlene or Maurice Morrow, assuming they get selected is the 64,000 dollar question.

  • Alan

    Peter Bowles – tempted back to South Down? (Chuckles)

    Bowles has shown his Tory colours, he committed political suicide lasy year. If I was a UU in South Down, I wouldn’t touch him with a 40 foot barge pole.

    I hope for the UUP’s sake they have someone useful to run in South Down because it’s not impossible that the DUP could seek to eliminate Nesbitt’s old seat and grab a second.

  • the sparrow

    “I think I read on another thread that he worked for Joan Carson who was was a formmer MLA for the constituerncy so he’s bound to have a fair knowledge of the area through his time working for her, is he not?”

    Does Joan Carson know much about the constituency, never mind any of her former employees? She was one of the worst public representatives the constituency has ever had.

    It would be interesting to find out how many people were in for UUP selection.

  • eddie is right

    I agree with eddie’s Jan 12, 2007 @ 10:27 PM post.

    From reading some of Kenny Donaldson’s written work, the following stand out to the reader.

    The frequent and mostly inappropriate use of commas and semicolons. The occasional forward slash. A sprinkling of exclamation marks.

    If Tyroneman is Kenny; he has, quite a high/modest opinion of himslef!!!!!!!!

  • TWH


    It is interesting how Tyroneman initiated the conversation and talked of “youth” and “energy” bla bla bla.

    If it is Kenny I would advise you to try and boost your non-existant profile in the constituency as opposed to wasting your time on here. Never worry though, I will give you my 3rd preference vote.

  • Alan

    Can any of you more regular contributors speak to contacts in South Down area? I’d appreciate some clarity on the position in that area given that I live there.

    Laughed at the last two posts, I’m not saying it’s not Kenny Donaldson under an alias but come on guys, he wouldn’t be the first to use a semi-colon in an inappropriate place. The guy isn’t selling himself as an English lecturer, is he?

    And trust me when you have had representatives like Mick Murphy, Kenny Donaldson’s comprehension of grammar is A1 in comparison, lol

  • Alan


    I cant comment on how good or bad Mrs Carson was as a public representative for Fermanagh and South Tyrone because I dont live there but I’m at pains to understand your linkage that Kenny Donaldson will know the constituency any less better because you happen to rate his former employer poorly. Let’s stay on track. Does anyone know what’s happening in South Down?

    I have to go out, hope some of you guys can get some info on here and I’ll pop back in later to check it out.

  • the sparrow


    Joan Carson was useless and did no work- therefore her employee would not have gained as much experience and knowledge of the constituency.

    RE: South Down, Jim Wells is standing and let’s hope it’s another poll topping performance.

  • insider

    UUP haven’t selected their candidate from south down yet

  • BonarLaw

    What about East Londonderry and the young Munce? Surely he must be tiring of Jim Nicholson by now?

  • Yossarian

    “If Mr Donaldson has been able to rise within Ulster Unionism whilst not being seen as a supremacist, bigot by people from Mr Gaskin’s background then he must be doing something right.”

    Or wrong….

    I envision his election slogan now: ‘Donaldson, the Unionist that Republicans prefer’

  • Insider

    Kenny Donaldson always grabbed me as the sort of fella that’s read one too many books on leadership/communication/management. All of his written work is infested in that dreadful voluntary sector phraseology that we have all come to despise.

    Fermanagh and South Tyrone election result?

    2 DUP
    1 UUP
    2 SF
    1 SDLP

    £100 to a charity of Kenny’s choice if I’m wrong.

  • Alan

    There are clearly two Alans posting on this thread. I claim only the first post under that name – my knowledge of Crotlieve is non existent.

  • PeterBrown

    The UUP candidate selection used to be as amny as you have +1 which is not the most stable or secure foundation on which to build an election strategy and in 2005 cost seats by a failure to recognise that the Party’s share of the vote had collapsed. However rather than learning from that mistake it appears that the intention is to repeat it.
    There is currently just about 1 quota in North Antrim based on the Westminster result last year but no doubt two will be selected giving rise to the possibility, however remote, 2 nationalists could be elecyted at the expense of the UUP. this however requires SDLP/SF transfers rather than DUP/UUP which judging by the other threads here is not likely!!
    The UUP election machine has gradually been dragged kicking and screaming into the twentieth century but it still lags way behind everyone else in Northern Ireland and although the party’s main problems are with its policies and candidates the campaigns only make a bad problem worse….

  • Michael Shilliday

    Is your name in the ring for NA selection Peter?

  • ballyalbanagh


    ‘The UUP election machine has gradually been dragged kicking and screaming into the twentieth century…’

    lol. we are still a century behind!

  • PeterBrown

    Eh no you have to be a Party member to be selected although I could try the traditional UUP trick of joining at the selection meeting – titter ye not non UUP members I have witnessed it personally on more than one occasion! Anyway having been an applicant in 2003 I have decided that as someone who always tried to play by the rules my chances of succeeding now must be less than they were then. It would also break one of my new resolutions – not to have anything to do with organisations which maintain links with unreconstructed terrorists which reminds me that I must write to UYUC and ask them to cancel my Life Membership judging by the UYUC blog….

    Ballyalbanagh that was a deliberate mistake – as a member of the UUP 1998 Campaign Training team with vivid memories of the audible gasp when the possibility of telephone canvassing was introduced to the UUP intelligensia and the small but faithful band of volunteers who rang rings around the full time Party machine and tied one hand behind the Leader’s back on a shoe string at UUCs between 1998 and 2003 I think that i may have underestimated the gap bewteen the UUP and the other parties – I forgot about the Simply British and Decent People vote Ulster Unionist fiascos. Presumably the post mortem into the 10 UUP seats in 2005 predictions are still going on as the election machinery in Cunningham House is still predicting that result….

  • PeterBrown

    On second thoughts and having slept on it Michael I have decided to run in Lagan Valley as if I am unsuccessful I can run as an independent without fear of any consequences – if i am elected i will quickly be readmitted to the party and if I am not elected I will quickly be readmitted to the Party. In North Antrim where we still do things other than election campaigning the old fashioned way I’d be expected to resign as a member of the UUP (if I hadn’t already done so) before running as an Independent and anyone in the Party who supported me for example by nominating or endorsing me would also face the music – what starnge country ways we still have without city status???

  • Frustrated Democrat

    Peter Brown

    Are you in the UUP or not? Your posts read as though you are still a member,

    ‘In North Antrim where we still do things other than election campaigning the old fashioned way’

    while you seem to say you are not.

    Anyway you still seem to have a very keen interest in what is going on up in the mountains.

    Who will be the 2 NA candidates that you forecast?

  • PeterBrown


    The North Antrim we was general not specific to UUPI have not been a member of the UUP since the arrival of Ervine in mid 2006 (I made it clear at a meeting on HQ that I intended to resign and I did so at a North Antrim Management Committee meeting which had already been called for 2/6/06)

    As for who will be selected it depends on who applies…all will be revealed in the next few weeks as I understand it as applications are already closed.

  • the sparrow

    ballyalbanagh is Mark Dunn.

  • ballyalbanagh

    cutting insight………

  • the sparrow


    Perhaps, but I wouldn’t want to boost your ego anymore by making you think you actually were anybody. Your not.

  • Milo

    Are you somebody sparrow? Since you already known the identity of Mark Dunn won’t you be polite and tell us who you are?

  • darth rumsfeld

    “What about East Londonderry and the young Munce? Surely he must be tiring of Jim Nicholson by now?

    Posted by BonarLaw on Jan 13, 2007 @ 04:18 PM”

    now really BL, you just don’t seem to see the attraction of working in a job with no real pressure or accountability for a boss whose death wouldn’t be noticed for a few months.

    Look at Jim’s diary for 2007-

    January 1st-December 31st
    -junket, junket, free trip, holiday, junket, dinner
    December 29th- put out statement about farming
    April 1st-end hibernation
    July 11th- answer constituent’s letter
    September 30th- resume hibernation.
    Er… that’s it