No show for Sylvia…

LADY Sylvia Hermon has announced that she won’t stand for election to the Assembly. Good news for Alliance?

  • Observer

    The UUP will get hammered in North Down, and they deserve it too. However Cree deserves respect. As for McFarland, he backed the PUP link.

    Alliance will not regain their seat. Farry is a weak opponent.

    Where’s Peacock?

  • AvalonSunset

    Good news for everybody – not just the Alliance. What has she ever done for anybody.

  • And it portends even better news for speccy come the general.

  • Crataegus

    Alliance should hold seat though Farry is very weak. The fortunes of the Conservatives and Greens also improve. Looks like two non Unionist seats are on the cards.

  • Belfast Gonzo


    In answer to your question, I’d say the hairdresser’s is a safe bet.

    If you seriously think Peacock is more of a political heavyweight than Farry, then you need to take off the fur coat and put on new glasses.

    In the choice between thick-rimmed glasses and thick, I know what I’d vote for.

  • The UUP will get hammered in North Down

    Alliance will not regain their seat. Farry is a weak opponent.

    So, the UUP are going to get hammered, and so are Alliance. But McCartney isn’t. Sounds like a DUP fantasy to me…

    Who do you think are going to win North Down’s six seats then?

  • Crataegus


    In the choice between thick-rimmed glasses and thick, I know what I’d vote for.

    And I bet you are not the only one.

    Peacock is definitely not a good candidate. Is this all there is to the UUP in N Down?

  • Michael Shilliday

    No. She isn’t standing, Marion Smith is. North Down selected weeks ago, this isn’t a new story.

  • slug

    The Conservatives have a good candidate, who should appeal to Lady Sylvia’s voters (despite her Labour tendencies). if Dave were to makes a couple of trips to North Down – and he surely will – I think that the Conservatives would be in with a good chance.

  • Truth and Justice


  • Yes, it is good news for Alliance.

    Someone obviously has a bit of scandal out there. Any more hints?

  • Paul

    Diana didn’t stand for selection, Marion Smith did, she was selected with the backing of Sylvia Hermon.

  • Realist

    Two safe DUP seats? er, does anyone actually know who the second DUP MLA in North Down actually is?

    McCartney is safe after the fuss he made about the rates issue, two UUP are safe. Two DUP and then a scramble between the Alliance, Tories, Greens, third UUP and third DUP candidate for the last seat. Could be interesting but the Alliance will probably hold on if they have a good campaign in the area.

  • Doreen

    The two DUP Members are Peter Weir and Alex Easton.

  • slug

    Has McCartney declared if he’s standing?

  • Inspector Clouseau

    Why no mention of James Leslie? Is he still standing for the Tories?

  • slug

    IC – that is the person to whom my earlier remarks in comment 9 referred.

  • Porlock

    This story appeared in the County Down Spectator on January 4th, followed, a week later, by the news that McFarland, Cree and Smith had been selected. So why is it a story in today’s Belfast Telegraph; apart from the fact that it is a crap paper.

    Peacock “for personal reasons” was “advised” not to stand.

    Kiss of death for “speccy” if Karl Rove is giving him the nod (post 3). Karl, after all, played a useful role in getting both Trimble and Empey elected to the leadership of the UUP. And having lumbered us with them, he does nothing but whinge. One of life’s little curiosities is how the soi-disant intellectuals of the UUP allowed themselves to be outmanoeuvred by Trimble’s tossers and Empey’s balloons.

    To the best of my knowledge Bob has already been selected by the UKUP to contest the seat. Mind you, he is so pissed off by the failure of the 12 Apostles of the DUP and the assorted Horsemen of Barking to rally to his banner that he is having a serious re-think. I hear that Maureen would like to retreat permanently to the South of France.

    I agree that there are 2 DUP and 2UUP seats. After that, it’s anyone’s guess. Farry should make it, just.

    Happily for me, work is taking me to New York and Washington for the next six weeks, so I will be spared the lamentable parade of political nobodies heading up my garden path in Lagan Valley.


  • notnorthdown

    Who is speccy?

  • Observer

    Why wouldn’t Hermon back Peacock? Why didn’t Peacock stand?

    Will McCartney hold his seat? Is he even standing?I heard he was re-thinking his position.

    I wouldn’t rule out a third DUP. The UUP will slide here. Afterall McFarland broke with from Sylvia over the PUP-link.

    McCartney’s anti-agreement campaign is not taking up much speed. Those supporters will either not vote, vote for a perceived DUP anti-agreement candidate i.e McCrea (not UUP Basil, he more liberal than the Alliance party, but Willy), Dodds and co. or if they don’t live one of those constituencies they’ll just vote DUP whatever their colour.

    Also don’t rule out those middle-class UUP Sylvia voters voting DUP for ‘peace and prosperity’.

    There is no effective opposition to the DUP. People are left with no other choice. People will vote DUP for a deal on Unionisms terms no matter how far the DUP have pulled the rug from beyond the peoples feet.

    Mind you, North Down is a funny constituency.

  • Crataegus


    Mind you, North Down is a funny constituency.

    Very true.

    2 safe DUP seats and 1 safe UUP seat and beyond that is anyone’s guess.

    I just can’t see the DUP voters rushing out in droves to endorse an agreement that is simply a face saving exercise. The UUP are weak and in decline which under normal circumstances would favour Alliance but then Farry! Bob will struggle to get re-elected.

    Potentially there could be a lot of floating voters but there could just as easily be a low turnout.

  • AvalonSunset

    I think that it is a risk for the DUPers to suggest that there is any such thing as a safe seat. Given the revalations of pre signed resignation letters and the row over central imposition of candidates in several constituencies, the DUP acronym possibly stands for Dictatorial Unionist Party. There is definitely nothing democratic about how Peter is running this show at present. The DUP might find that there normal support base as well as those who had a change of conscience at the last elections, may determine that no vote is better than the limited options available. Two key issues will determine whether Peter gets his wishlist of 40 MLAs: Getting a manifesto that the party can unite behind, and counteracting the growing empathy in their supporters. The first component i.e. the manifesto, will be ratified following the Executive meeting tomorrownight, but I don’t fancy their chances with the second.

  • Observer

    I think that 40 seats is unrealistic.

    38 seats tops (maybe slightly optimistic).

    Possible DUP gains:

    South Belfast: 1 gain;
    North Belfast: possibily 1 gain;
    Newry and Armagh: 1 gain;
    Upper Bann: 1 gain;
    East Londonderry: 1 gain;
    North Down: possibily 1 gain, on transfers.

    Anywhere else?

  • Inspector Clouseau

    In Upper Bann the DUp’s David Simpson and Co are already having a hardtime with the likes of Mrs Peoples (wife of pipe bombing Pastor) campaiging in the letters pages of provincial papers against DUP power sharing with SF ever. Have the UUP selected a replacement for Trimble yet?

  • Percival


    Goerge Savage, Sammy Gardiner and Arnoldo Hatch.

  • Percival

    Inspiring ticket aint it?…………

  • Percival


    1 gain in East Belfast

    don’t know about Newry though? Maybe you mean Upper Bann

  • darth rumsfeld

    sparrow, I deplore your snide character assassination. If you have any evidence, take it to the Nolan Show

  • Crataegus

    Looks to me that this is going to be the election of discontent.

    Virtually all parties have large bodies of malcontents. Does this indicate a low turnout or some strange results as voters punish their original parties of preference.

  • darth rumsfeld

    … and if the DUP stay at 33 seats that will be some achievement, given that the UUP is flatlining and not seriously challenging it, even in Newry & Armagh where the DUPers are in disarray.
    I hear the NIO pollsters find high levels of disillusionment in DUP voters, and even their executive only backed continuing with the deal 9-7 this week.Even in Mid Ulster, home of the most unthinking strand of bourbon Unionism, Bob got 70+ at a private meeting last week, including some Free Ps, and a popular local candidate will eat into Baby Mccrea’s vote.

  • BonarLaw


    “bourbon Unionism”

    refreshments served with sweet tea in the Orange Hall after the meeting or a headless political philosophy?

  • AvalonSunset


    You have no idea how disillusioned Mid Ulster DUPers are … even potential candidates. It will be interesting to see if they run 2 candidates in Mid Ulster and risk losing both.

  • Observer


    U don’t think the DUP will regain there?

    How does Berry’s personal vote add up?

  • Observer

    In Newry & Armagh I mean? No DUP gain?

    I think apathy is more likely to affect the middle-ground ie, UUP, Alliance and yes, its always Prods!

  • darth rumsfeld

    avalon- only 1 candidate selected.Says it all.

    I hear that there will be a “Let’s Talk” type debate in a local school soon, with McCrea pere, McGuinness, McGlone… and, er Billy the Potato. Let’s hope it will be televised for anoraks hoping for a repeat of “that Cecil Walker moment”

    bonarlaw-both :0)

  • AvalonSunset


    Word on the street is that one is selected (baby McCrea) but that central will impose another and run two. BTW it is interesting that central also imposed baby McCrea rather than being selected by the local branch.

  • ballymena anorak

    Seems the DUP were enchanted with the UUP’s selection of Robin Swann in North Antrim, so much so they have now decided that it was safe to add another candidate and run 4.

    They have now selected the 4th candidate, a female I believe.

    The UUP have some kind of masochistic death wish by going for complete unknowns and has beens.

  • Intelligence Insider

    Sparrow, Is it also true that acertain DUP Mla who has been selected and used to be UUP was very worried when the Paul Berry story came out?
    Berry’s are not the only fruit you know!

  • First 9/11, now Porlock vists NYC & DC. Haven’t they suffered enough? Meanwhile, what’s up with the Gimp production line? Years ago, reputable UUP scientists had worked out that by their rate of exponential expansion, by 2007 there ought to be at least 98 members of the McGimpsey family standing as UUP candidates. What went wrong?

  • darth rumsfeld

    LOL turdblossom- I hear the Gimp clones were overly susceptible to the deadly virus Unionistus voterus anti-terroristicus- strange, though, that none of them was called “Damian”

  • I can’t see the DUP winning less than 35 seats and in a real wet dream of a year could win up to 45. I’m not saying it’s likely, but it’s just about possible and I’m not even including some of observer’s improbable putative gains. I make it: EB 3, NB 3, SB 2, WB 0-1, EA 3-4, ED 2-3, FST 2, Foy 1, LV 3-4, MU 1-2, N&A 1, NA 3-4, ND 2, SA 2-3, SD 1-2, Str 3-4, UB 2-3, WT 1.

    Of course, mass abstentionism or a genuine threat from the right would put paid to that, but we haven’t seen any signs of that actually emerging yet. We’ll see when nominations close on Tuesday.

  • East Antrim

    There are only three candidates for DUP in East Antrim so it would be tricky for them to win three seats there!

  • cultchie

    “Even in Mid Ulster, home of the most unthinking strand of bourbon Unionism, Bob got 70+ at a private meeting last week, including some Free Ps, and a popular local candidate will eat into Baby Mccrea’s vote. ”

    I heard baby McCrea didn’t get selected and Daddy McCrea will thus return to Mid Ulster…any truth in that?

  • Crataegus


    she’s been a victim of hypocritical puritanism

    I agree and some people must live exceeding boring lives. What is better someone with healthy interests or someone who drools over others healthy interests?

  • There are only three candidates for DUP in East Antrim so it would be tricky for them to win three seats there!

    Thanks for letting me know. I will update my record. This will result in a very boring count.

  • AvalonSunset


    No truth in that at all. Apparently when he defected to SA Willie was told he could not stand in both constituences. To the best of my knowledge Willie has already been selected in SA. In MU the DUP centre are handling the selection rather than the local party and they have selected baby McCrea, and will add another to the ticket at the exec meeting tomorrow night.

  • Mick Fealty

    I’ve just had to remove a fairly vile personal attack on a public figure. I know there is an election, and that some of our public figures are not above indulging in a spot of ad hominem, but that was way wya out of line.

    The poster concerned does not seem to have been a regular, and I note the positive response it has drawn from other commenters here. To the person concerned just note, that if there is the faintest repetition, I’ll consider taking the matter much further than a simple banning!

    This comment zone is for the discussion of politics and culture, not for expressing personal animus, or personal grudges!!!

  • BonarLaw

    Regardless of who is (or is not) running for the UUP, North Down will have at least one well known independent. According to The Tele Brian Rowan is entering the race.

    Odds on Barney getting to Stormont anyone?

  • BonorLaw

    The Tele


  • darth rumsfeld

    yawn- another politics spectator thinks he can do better than those on the pitch.And comes up with what- “Let’s all join in a powersharing loveathon because crime’s bad, the weather’s bad, Steve Staunton’s bad- but most of all our politicians are bad”
    Make’s you wonder how he kept his reports free of political opinions, no matter how subconscious, which is probably unfair, but why run the risk of damaging your legacy for less than 100 votes?

  • Not to be a cynic or anything, but ‘why risk?’ Wild guess: the pay’s better at Stormont than under “Sir” Tony. And I’m guessing here, but as Fleet Street’s finest aren’t knocking themselves over to sign up Rowan, what’s he got to lose?