Bob can’t play pass the Assembly seat…

BOB McCartney (QC) won’t be happy to find out that if he wins more than one seat in the Assembly election, he won’t be able to just pass the extra ones on to those on his substitute bench. He can hold the seats if he wins them, but according to the Irish Times, the NIO says “should he decide to resign one of his seats if elected on March 7 it would trigger a by-election instead of going to one of his party colleagues”. My Valentine’s Day is now complete.Hat-tip to the Shankill Moaner.

  • fair_deal

    Just when you think our electoral system can’t get more fucked up….

  • kokane

    Anyone know MultiBob’s website address ?

  • Aaron McDaid

    Hold on Gonzo,
    I think it’s more complex again. The precise words from the Irish Times are

    “[if] Mr McCartney chooses to resign more than one of his seats it would not be filled by one of his substitutes. It would lead instead to a by-election…” [my emphasis]

    So maybe he can transfer one of his seats? i.e. If he wins two he can keep one and transfer the other. Any subsequent seats have to go to by-election?

  • slug

    The BBC report is suggesting that Bob could be entitled to have a vote for each seat he wins.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Bob’s objective is to obstruct things and mess them up. Having a whole load of by elections will mess things up nicely.

    What a git.

  • Henry94

    If he holds six seats will he draw six salaries?

  • Yoda

    …picture…hypnoti…Goooo Bob!!

  • Queens Unionist

    Look into my eyes the yes not around the eyes just the eyes, you’re under.
    vote for me vote for me, no other parties just for me. You are anti st Andrews and you will only vote for me.
    And awake.

  • bpower

    lol, nice one QU! That’s some funny shit 🙂

  • Crataegus

    With any luck he won’t win any seats.

    I’m still wondering if you can nominate yourself twice in the same constituency and if Bob is elected several times what are his expenses and salary? Also if some such person won enough seats would they be entitled to a ministerial post?

    Always said the whole thing was a mess.

  • the sparrow

    “If he holds six seats will he draw six salaries?”

    When he can afford to lose 5/6 election deposits then he clearly doesn’t need any salary!

  • BeardyBoy

    Gentlemen – you are breaking your shins on a stool that is not in your way – Bob will be lucky to get in in N Down

  • MÓG

    I don’t think he needs to worry. His ego is unsurpassable. Who would vote for someone who is standing in another five constituencies? Absolutely stupid!

  • Valenciano

    The rules are here

    The important bit seems to be section 6(c)

    6. – (1) The Chief Electoral Officer (“the Officer”) shall act in accordance with this article where –

    (a) he has been notified by –

    (i) an election court or the High Court under section 144 or 146 of the 1983 Act, as applied by article 3 of, and Schedule 1 to, this Order, or

    (ii) the presiding officer of the Assembly under section 35(3) of the 1998 Act,

    that a vacancy exists in the seat of a member of the Assembly,

    (b) that member had given a notice under rule 8A of the elections rules (” the relevant notice”), and

    (c) the vacancy has arisen otherwise than as a result of the resignation of a person who has been returned as a member for more than one constituency.


    Standing in more than one constituency has normally been the preserve of ‘joke candidates’ or those representing, shall we say, eccentric or minority interests such as a Mr William Boaks who stood in numerous British seats in the 70s and 80s as “air,road,public safety, white resident” (and ironically ended up getting knocked down and killed) Mr Keen who ran on a grand coalition of everyone but Labour and Howard Marks on a legalise cannabis ticket in 1997. It tends to give the impression that the candidate can’t find anyone else to stand either because they’re too personally obnoxious or their views are a bit too ‘out there.’ Bob never seems sure which of those two categories he fits in!

  • Wilde Rover

    If he wins more than one seat will he transform into MEGAMLA, with cool special powers?

  • BonarLaw

    I think we are all missing the point. Bob is just highlighting the crappy system that passes for “democracy” at provincial level here. Remember he opposed it tooth and nail- perhaps some questions should be asked of those who actually approved of the system Bob is now taking advantage of.

    What is worse a living candidate in six constituencies or a dead MLA still voting?

    This emperor has no clothes!

  • TKmaxx

    Bob is on good territory – the unionists can’t complain about his multiple seat strategy when they have used a similiar tactic in the past – back in the days when they went as far to get people to change their names so could run ‘Peter Barry’ in four constituencies in 1986.

  • Slartibuckfast

    Thanks for the link!

  • BonarLaw


    I’m not sure what your point is – each “Peter Barry” was a different person.

  • middle-class taig

    Quite why, I’m not sure, but I feel a sense of responsibility to defend BOB here. While I personally am all for the election, subsequent devolution and for us all to live happily ever after, democrats amongst us can’t, if we’re honest, be all that enthusiastic for the series of stitch-ups which has led us to this point.

    In that context, the unionist nay-sayers (and the republican nay-sayers) need to be heard. The republican dissenters seem fairly well catered for – McGeogh is a good advocate, if a little weird, and McGlinchey etc will be seen within that portion of society as worth voting for. They will be able to credibly offer those who dissent from the SF position a respectable home for their votes.

    However, with the exception of Bob, the random collection of far right unionist crazies that are beyond the DUP do not offer a credible alternative to the DUP. I would struggle to name 5 of them, and I’m a bit of a geek on this stuff. If Multi-BOB can offer the hardline unionist electorate a credible, electable no-to-devolution platform, then why not – he’s legally entitled to do it.

    I think this election should be about letting us know where we stand and how people feel. Multi-BOB helps make that picture clearer. Let’s lay off him.

    However, if I can find a bookie to offer me decent odds on him being returned in none of the six seats he’s standing for, I’ll bite their hand off.

  • Ian

    Bob McCartney is using the DUP’s own past tactics and logic against them.

    During the 2003 general election the DUP ran anti-Agreement candidates in all consitituencies (except FST where an independent anti-Agreement candidate ran).

    The UUP accused the DUP of allowing SF to win seats where a single Unionist candidate would keep SF out. The DUP argued that it was more important that the Unionist electorate had an anti-Agreement candidate to vote for than whether or not Unionist seats were put in jeopardy.

    The DUP cannot therefore credibly use the UUP’s argument from last time round against the UKUP, especially since this is a PR-based vote so the risk of splitting the Unionist vote is less than under first-past-the-post.

    Incidentally, am I missing something or has Bob missed out East Belfast, where there doesn’t seem to be a Unionist anti-StAA candidate (all other constituencies either have Bob or one of his minions, or else Willie Fraser or another anti- independent standing)?

  • Ian

    “During the 2003 general election the DUP ran anti-Agreement candidates in all consitituencies (except FST where an independent anti-Agreement candidate ran”

    I should add, and North Down where Bob himself ran for the UKUP. But the principle behind the DUP tactis was the same – all unionist voters had the option of voting for a candidate opposed to the Agreement of the day.

    Looking again at the current list of candidates it seems that both East and West Belfast have been omitted from Bob’s list (anti-Agreement Unionist in West Belfast are hardly likely to vote for anti-Agreement hardline Republican candidates!) So it could be argued that Bob hasn’t gone far enough and should be standing in seven or eight constituencies, according to the logic of his (and the DUP’s previous) strategy!!!

  • Crataegus


    This emperor has no clothes!

    You are right, it isn’t Bobs fault, but the fault of those that drew up the structures. In fact he has gone up in my esteem for what he has done by highlighting some of the nonsense and poorly thought out legislation.

    Quite a few people raised numerous objections to the ‘structures’ when they were being discussed and much of that objection was set aside when we were asked to vote for the agreement. Many including myself thought give it a fools pardon and let us move on. We know it is rubbish, but let us get 10-15 years of the Assembly under our belt and perhaps then with a bit more trust some revisions could be considered. Many years later and guess who was right.

    The structures are a perversion, they are an obscenity, they institutionalise sectarianism and all the problems that we are now having were predicted, but nobody took a blind bit of notice and the SDLP in particular were so stuck on their idea of parity of esteem they couldn’t see the dam thing just did not work.

    We invented a system where ALL major parties were in government, a system with no guarantee of an effective opposition.

    Let me take another example. Imagine the Conservatives, Greens or possibly even Alliance (anyone!) stood in all or nearly all constituencies, and let us assume that they got an average of 2000 votes per constituency. They could have 36,000 votes and no representation. Yet someone could be elected with say 3000 votes and some transfers in one constituency.

    The 3000 votes are worth more than 12 times the 36000 votes. This is plain wrong.

  • Slartibuckfast

    ‘him being returned in none of the six seats he’s standing for’

    That would be too funny.

  • Ian

    A couple of other points – McCartney seems to imply that if the Unionist vote splits and McGuinness ends up as First Minister, then that will make the Assembly and power-sharing unviable. If that’s the case, and considering that the difference between FM and DFM is purely symbolic, then what does that say about Unionist attitudes to power-sharing?

    Also, the DUP are being a bit cheeky complaining about McCartney extolling the virtues of such an outcome, considering it was they who insisted on the change of rules for electing FM/DFM that allows for the potential for it to happen!

  • Slartibuckfast

    Does the FM not have to come from the largest tribal designation? If he/she does then I can’t see McGuinness having a chance of taking that post no matter if SF get most seats.

    The most interesting election I can remember anyway (but then again I’m only 27.

  • Wilde Rover

    Given his maverick track record it is possible that if elected in more than one constituency he might end up falling out with himself, and ultimately voting against himself on a point of principle.

  • Slartibuckfast

    ‘Given his maverick track record it is possible that if elected in more than one constituency he might end up falling out with himself, and ultimately voting against himself on a point of principle.’

    Ha ha, aye, how long before a split occurs between Bob McCartney and Bob McCartney?

  • Mike

    “Does the FM not have to come from the largest tribal designation? If he/she does then I can’t see McGuinness having a chance of taking that post no matter if SF get most seats.”

    That’s what it says in the St Andrews Agreement – the First Minister comes from the largest party from the largest designation, and the Deputy First Minister comes from the largest party in the second largest designation.

    However, the subsequent legislation, the Northern Ireland (St Andrews Agreement) Act, changed this – the above applies unless the largest party overall isn’t from the largest designation, in which case the First Minister comes from the largest party and the Deputy First Minister comes from the largest party in the largest designation.

  • Hokey-pokey

    Bob has made himself look very foolish by running in six constituencies. He’s given the DUP and the UUP, and, well, just about everyone in North Down – the one seat where he has a chance – such an abvious line of attack.

    Bob: The UUP/DUP/everyone and anyone who refuses to debate with me is running away.

    UUP/DUP/Anyone: Yeah, well at least we aren’t running away from North Down!

    If Bob loses out in North Down he will only have himself to blame. Sad in a way.

  • Ian

    “That’s what it says in the St Andrews Agreement”

    You mean the Good Friday Agreement?

    It stems from the change of rules agreed at St Andrew’s – the DUP couldn’t find within them the guts to vote for McGuinness as DFM on a joint FM/DFM ticket as voted for by cross-community consent, so the Government changed the rules at the request of the DUP so that each designation elects their half of the leadership.

  • I Wonder

    “The structures are a perversion, they are an obscenity, they institutionalise sectarianism”

    ..are they killing anyone?

  • Slartibuckfast

    Thanks for that, Mike.

  • Jamie Gargoyle

    Is there any realistic chance of Sideshow Bob winning any of the seats?

  • I Wonder


    His best chance is in North Down. I suggest that his record of work for anyone there will mean that he loses all 6 deposits. In all honesty, knowing as much or as little about the man as people do, would you not go to ANYONE else rather than him to get anything done? People cross the street to avoid.

  • BonarLaw

    I Wonder

    “..are they killing anyone?”

    Just because a terrorist campaign has been halted/ paused the danegeld can’t be criticised?

    If it is a halt rather than a pause why not scrutinise the sectarian and anti democratic structures used to buy of the killers?

  • T.Ruth

    Both reasons are valid. Bob cannot even consider any view that is different from those he holds and with his views being so far out he disagrees with all but a very tiny minority of people.
    When opposed in argument he becomes quite obnoxious and cannot debate without resorting to aggressive rhetoric and certainly could not agree to differ in any kind of polite and rational way-tending to spout invective and insult to those who may have engaged him in argument.
    His cloned entry in the election shows a contempt for the democratic process and I am sure the electorate will pass judgement on that.Bob is annoyed because the DUP have created a position where Unionists will control the political agenda and have succeeded without his help. He has no alternative strategy for securing the Union. the cost of six entries will be small beer for Bob especially as he will be able to see his posters in six constituencies. It is time Bob acknowledged that to be a strong political leader one needs followers.Unionist are aware that a vote for small independent parties or eccentric people or the UUP will be damaging to the future prospects of the Unionist people.

  • BonarLaw


    “His cloned entry in the election shows a contempt for the democratic process”

    No, it shows a comtempt for this electoral system…

  • I Wonder


    Were you aware, from perhaps yuour early 20th century incarnation, that the “killers” (by which I presume you mean only the IRA), were engaged in their killing to destroy the state of Northern Ireland and an internal solution and as such their particpation in said government marks something of a change? Oh and they have a mandate as well. Still…

  • I Wonder

    “When opposed in argument he becomes quite obnoxious and cannot debate without resorting to aggressive rhetoric”

    Its not just the rhetoric which is aggressive according to a UUP source…

  • Frustrated Democrat

    T Truth

    And the difference between the Mr McCartney you describe and the DUP leadership from the 1970’s to 2003 prior to their Volte-Face is what exactly……………….?

    Mr McCartney is the new RIP!!!!!!

  • I Wonder

    The difference is that the DUP contains some capacity for rational thought and the politics of the possible.

    Look at the UKUP at any stage of its history and spot any rationality or political talent. Even the DUP’s most avowed opponent could see talent in Robinson and Dodds.

  • I Wonder

    From Wee Jeffrey:

    “Bob McCartney has already admitted that his chief aim in this election is to aid and abet Sinn Fein’s desire to top the poll and become the largest political party in Northern Ireland.”

    Now, if that isnt true, let Bob sue….

  • Crataegus

    I wonder

    The difference is that the DUP contains some capacity for rational thought and the politics of the possible.,

    I take it you are in jest. Always struck me as the party of the impossible, no never never no! And now what do we have now? Will the DUP dine to cooperate with SF? Please do let us know!

    What was wrong with Sunningdale, 30 years on what has the DUP achieved?


    If it is a halt rather than a pause why not scrutinise the sectarian and anti democratic structures used to buy of the killers?

    I agree why not. Perhaps time to sit down and have a proper review and not just some face saving exercise between two parties that we recently experienced.

  • I Wonder


    Who will do the sitting down? Who will determine a “proper” review?

    A: Who the people vote for.

  • gram

    “No, it shows a comtempt for this electoral system…”

    And Peter Robinson holding simultaneous positions as MLA, MP and in Local govt shows respect for the electoral system? I’m no fan of sideshow Bob but the DUP can hardly complain.

  • Crataegus

    I wonder

    Who will determine a “proper” review? Who the people vote for.

    Not necessarily and perhaps only in part as they have made a right horlicks of it. One has to ask are they the right people to do it as they have all such vested interests and those very narrow self interests often conflict with democracy.

    Still interested in your reply to What was wrong with Sunningdale, 30 years on what has the DUP achieved?

    I’ll give you till the next election to ponder.


    Nice one.

  • I Wonder

    Not a DUP-er here, I don’t defend them, or their history, just commenting on their political talent vis a vis UKUP.

    At least they shopw signs of acknowledging the legitimacy of politically expressing Irish nationalism, unlike the integrationists. When you get older, you sometimes get a little wiser. I’m sure though that Peter R. regrets posing with that Armalite… 🙂

  • Crataegus

    I Wonder

    Sorry I thought you were trying to put in a valiant defense for the DUP.

    We all make mistakes in our youth, well some of us never stop making them, but with age they are so much better thought out.

    Sunningdale failing was disastrous in the light of what followed. The current offering is deeply flawed and unfortunately will probably continue to give rise to unnecessary problems.

    Changing the rules regarding appointment of First and Deputy Minister was just silly and highlights the depth of the problem. In all likelyhood we are going nowhere.

    Post election the DUP will come under considerable pressure and it will be interesting to see how they fair.

  • Truth and Justice

    I think McCartney has lost the plot to run in six areas shows his lack of support in tghose areas, even in North Down he is in trouble

  • Crataegus

    T & J

    His vote is definitely on the slide. I think he could be in with about 2000 – 2500 first preference votes this time. In below the Greens! He will be hoping for Unionist transfers. UUP won’t have surplus and the DUP he has been attacking recently.

    Does he have any sort of local election machine? The second UUP seat is likely to be weak and he will be hoping to get ahead of them, but if the UUP vote splits fairly evenly he is probably out.

  • T.Ruth

    There was a lot wrong with Sunningdale and it failed because of Nationalists demands for an Irish dimension unnacceptable to Unionists. Now the DUP is on the verge of the most major victory and achievement for the Unionist/majority community.
    Since 1972 it has been downhill all the way for Unionists-betrayed by inept leaders in the UUP and by successive Prime Ministers and Secretaries of State. The problem has always been the Irish dimension.The Assembly fell at the UWC strike because of the Nationalist/Republican insistence on an Irish dimension that was anathema to Unionists and all subsequent agreements etc failed because Unionists resented the hostile interference of a foreign stste in their affairs.

    Unionists are not opposed to power sharing though they are opposed to mandatory coalition with terrorists in the Executive level of government. That we must accept that position for a period before real democracy can develop will forever be a stain on the character of successive governments.We realise however that we cannot live in the past.The St Andrews proposals are acceptable to Unionists because they enable our elected representatives to control unnaccountable Ministers,North/Southery and the devolution of Policing and Justice. At last the majority community can control the political agenda and secure the future of Northern Ireland within the United Kingdom.That is the great achievement by the DUP which will be overwhelmingly endorsed by the Unionist electorate in the forthcoming election.It is also the basis of a peace that will be sustainable if we can all unite after March 7 and demand an economic package that will empower this community to create the better future to which we are all entitled. The DUP and its supporters await delivery by Republicans on the essentials in relation to genuine support for the police and the rule of law.We have confidence to move forward-and it is up to Republicans to accept reality and set aside dreams of a United Marxist Republican nineteenth century Ireland.Lets accept that our children and grandchildren deserve a better future.
    We can not even start to give comfort to the families of those who have been bombed and murdered over the past forty years, but we owe it to them to create a Northern Ireland in which we are all able to celebrate diversity,share space and live at peace with our neighbours N/S and E/W.

  • Frustrated Democrat

    T Ruth

    Seems it took 40 years for RIP to decide he couldn’t live in the past. Pity he didn’t find out 10 years ago when he was 70 and he would have saved us all a lot of lost years.

    Your post is nauseating – ‘demand an economic package that will empower this community to create the better future to which we are all entitled.’ What right have the people in NI to demand anything when we already have a massive subvention – maybe Harold Wison was right about the people of NI we have the best of everything and we should demand more. Is this the great DUP policy?

    Such attitudes are unbecoming – why don’t we all kiss the politicians asses in Westminster to persuade them to dole out more alms to the mopes in NI? – I want nothing to do with this rubbish.

  • T.Ruth

    I have paid taxes for fifty years. I feel I am entitled to live where the government has made reasonable infrastructural provision.If they used the money to pay security bills I can honestly say I did not bomb or destroy any part of the country.I resent having to sell my family home to pay for exorbitant rates and extra water and sewerage taxes. I think we cannot have a better future if the economic conditions are not supportive.The provision of the correct support will create thousands of jobs and help businesses develop .The government will benefit hugely in terms of value for money tax returns if it invests in Northern Ireland to stimulate the economy.Do you think the Celtic Tiger could have developed without the intervention of the EEC to which the UK was a net contributor?.

  • Crataegus

    T Ruth

    Are you trying to tell me there is no Irish dimension in the current agreement?

    Specifically what economic measures do you expect?

  • John Farrell

    If McCartney actually gets two seats or three or whatever and actually gets into Stormont as “three” people, there is always the consolation that he would split with himself before six months.

    Good tactic though (if substitutes were allowed). Effectively its the “List system of voting”. If Adams, Paisley, Ford, Durkan and Empey stood in eighteen constituencies……the overall number of people voting would prolly go up.

  • T.Ruth

    There is every reason why Northern Ireland should have positive relations with the Republic and DUPers have no problem with that provided the cooperation is genuine,mutually beneficial and not driven by a desire to advance the Republican project.There is even more reason why links between the other parts of the British isles should be extended and developed. The St.A.Agreement gives Unionists control of the N/S relationship,the devolution of Policing and Justice powers,a veto on activity not beneficial to Unionists,effective control of the political agenda and the ability to secure the position of Northern Ireland within the UK. This is a significant advance for the Unionist community and puts us on the road to the restoration of democratic government here.
    It is time for the Republic of Ireland government and people to declare that they haveno strategic or selfish interest in their relationship with NI and will acknowledge the equal right of the Unionist community to be British and act accordingly towards them.

  • Billy

    T Ruth

    The DUP are demanding a greater economic package from the UK govt.

    Given that NI costs the UK taxpayer over 1.5 billion a year already and more than 70% of income in NI is generated via the public sector, that’s a joke.

    There’s no doubt about it – Harold Wilson was right about the “spongers”.

  • Ian

    I Wonder:

    “At least they [DUP] show signs of acknowledging the legitimacy of politically expressing Irish nationalism..”

    How does that contention square with the following DUP policy statement? (from their ‘North South East West’ document):

    “First on the list seems to be constitutional certainty, a “cast iron guarantee” that there will be no change in the status of Northern Ireland and that the first opportunity for any referendum on the status of Northern Ireland “will be in 30 years time”.

    Naturally, any parties wishing to be involved in government in Northern Ireland should sign this “solemn constitutional contract”.”

  • I Wonder


    They will share power with nationalists and republicans.

    There are those within the DUP and outside it who believe that by virtue of their opposition to the state, neither nationalists nor republicans should have any power. The cast iron status is all in the mind. Did the status of NI change with the dismantling of the watchtower in Crossmaglen this week? Of course not.

  • Truth and Justice

    McCartney has just made a big mistake he will be lucky to hold his seat in north Down.