Fermanagh Council By-election

A by-election will be called in Enniskillen DEA of Fermanagh Council, following an objection from UUP Councillor Bertie Kerr to a DUP co-option to replace the recently deceased DUP Cllr Joe Dodds (father of Nigel Dodds). It appears it was not a UUP group decision to object. Two previous co-options to the Council (1 DUP and 1 SF) had gone through unopposed. The Enniskillen DEA is the only one in Fermanagh where the DUP outpolled the UUP in 2005. However, it is not just a tight fight between the DUP and UUP – 28.2% to 20.2% – but also between Unionism and Nationalism – 49% to 46.4% (excluding Socialist candidate). Will the UUP run as it seemed supportive of a co-option? Will the TUV run when a further split in votes would almost certainly directly benefit SF? Fermanagh Unionism is known for its conservatism so will the nature of the vacancy, the death of a well-known local councillor, lead to a backlash at the forcing of a by-election? Whatever the answers, it will be the first electoral test for a DUP led by Peter Robinson.

  • Emmanuel Goldstein

    Mike c,
    I think the bigger question is whether or not the unionist parties will retain two seats

  • Michael Shilliday

    Actually, so long as people like you transfer to other Unionists.

  • Mike C

    Emmanuel

    If that is the case I believe the UUP have a lot to fear.

  • Emmanuel Goldstein

    Mike C,

    All unionists have a lot to fear in the upcoming European elections, lets hope those fears are groundless.

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    Red card to Snooper – multiple offences
    Yellow card to Sam Flanaghan
    Warning to Michael Shilliday

  • Sam Flanagan

    A big LOL to Admin for your sense of humour and tolerance

  • Sam Flanagan

    DUP voter;
    Why are you so concerned about shinners winning the seat. Your party elites have asured the Unionist community on quite a number of occasions;

    1. Republicans are no longer Republicans.
    2. They support the police.
    3. They have taken an oath of office.
    4. The Union is safe.
    5. McCrae even went so far as to suggest Unionists should be celebrating a great victory!
    6. They have decommisioned all their weapons, no photos of it alas.

    If all this is true, surely it cannot be such a bad thing if a shinner picks up an extra seat here or there?

    Why did they get rid of Paisley anyway?

    When will they get rid of Peter? will he even last until the Euro massacre?

  • picador

    Why would unionists not retain two seats in the Euro elections?

  • ronnie

    Where are ‘loyal ulster unionist’ and ‘fermanagh young unionist’ when you want a bit of clarification on the UUP position here?

    Lads, come on, clear up the confusion – it will only take a few minutes:

    1. Was it a solo run by Bertie Kerr?
    2. Will the UUP run a candidate?
    3. If yes to no. 2, who of the candidates previously touted (Raymond Ferguson, Basil Johnston, Alan Dourish, Peter Bradshaw) will be the man to put SF in the driving seat in the race?

    3 simple questions. Lets have some answers.

  • Tinkerbell

    Ref: Whether or not candidates would make a good councillor.

    I have lived in Fermanagh all my life. I can honestly say that there are cllrs in all the main parties who are never heard of between elections.

    Not one newspaper photo, never attending any community events/meetings. Yes I understand that most of them have 9-5 jobs etc and families and other committments.

    But people in Fermanagh want and deserve something from their councillors. I am not saying that I think 20 is a great age to become a councillor, although I have no problem with it either. But I would definately say that some of the Fermanagh cllrs. are TOO old.

  • interested

    Nice to see that the thread plumbed new depths in my absence!

    BTW Michael Shilliday – I never once believed that you were Smithsonian… Apologies if you thought I was hinting that.

    Smithsonian
    “Oh and although there is always the possibility of losing the seat to others, it won’t change the balance of power on the council, and it is just possible that the SF vote will be split too. “

    At least we have an admission that the seat is in danger of falling into nationalist hands. Its entirely a matter for your own conscience to wrangle with if you believe that lessening the unionist representation in Enniskillen and across Fermanagh as a whole is a good thing.

    Sam Flanagan,
    Republicans supporting the police and thereby fundamentally weakening years of republican ‘theology’ are all to be celebrated. The union is in the hands of unionists – but none of that excuses potentially handing a unionist seat to any shade of nationalism.

    Its interesting you mention republicans and policing etc in the context of a Fermanagh discussion where SF seem to be terribly careless at the moment at the rate they’re losing disgruntled Cllrs… BTW maybe you can give us some comments on the disgruntlement within the TUV and the walkout over Allister’s refusal to state he’d never share power with SF…..

    All this discussion seems to be producing is a seemingly endless list of excuses from UUP/TUV supporters as to why handing a unionist seat over to Sinn Fein actually isn’t that bad a thing.

    And apparently its the DUP who are the lundies….

  • DUP Voter

    ” Its entirely a matter for your own conscience to wrangle with if you believe that lessening the unionist representation in Enniskillen and across Fermanagh as a whole is a good thing. ”

    Thats something we DUP supporters can never be accused of. In 2001 we stood aside and supported Jim Dixon but Lundy UUP splitters stood as well and gave Michelle Gildernew the seat.

  • Traditional_Unionist

    I find it ironic and absolutely hilarious to see the DUP and its supporters accuse the UUP of possibly costing unionism a seat by doing what they have, and with the unionist vote being so split at the minute.

    Since when did the DUP care about this? when they saw the UUP were struggling they went for the kill and put candidates up against them everywhere despite it possibly going to cause a big split and give SF/IRA the seat.

    The DUP are the last party who should be lecturing people about spliting a vote.

    The fact of all this is they are scared of the electorate and rightly so. They are scared of being humilated again by another unionist candidate. They don’t care one bit about SF/IRA getting the seat or not. They didnt in the past, so why would they now all of a sudden?

    Bring on the election where it will be the TUV or UUP getting the seat as both parties supporters will transfer to eachother in my opinion

  • interested

    Traditional Unionist
    “Bring on the election where it will be the TUV or UUP getting the seat as both parties supporters will transfer to eachother in my opinion”

    Hmm…. who was it that talked of “unholy alliances”?

    Is it just me who finds the morphing/merging of Reg Empey and Jim Allister a little disturbing? They don’t bother with policies, but just use each other’s mutual hatred of the DUP as their sole reason for being.

  • James

    Just thought i had to re respond to the traditional unionist as a former supporter for a breif second i want to know where you stand on Jim Alastair’s view that you will go into govenrment with Sinn fien, doesn’t this prove that

    1. The DUP are the only real Unionist Voice.
    2. That the Irish Language Act would have came in if it was down to the TUV way of thinking, which was and be honest continued direct and Republic of ireland rule.
    3. The orange order would not have got increased funding which the DUP made sure happened.
    4. Ulster Scots Culture recognised.
    5. A Unionist Veto in the Assembly on all issues.

    I must give my utmost thanks to Jim as I’ll be voting the DUP as they act on the above issues which apeal to me and my fellow unionists.

  • Traditional_Unionist

    Interested,

    I think the fact that alot of TUV voters would transfer to the UUP is that they want to be sure that if they don’t get the seat another unionist gets their vote to prevent SF/IRA getting it.

    I do not support some of what the UUP policys are however the reason the UUP would get the transfers instead of the DUP from TUV is in my opinion because at least the UUP were honest to the electorate in the last election, unlike the DUP who lied through their teeth and totally mislead the voters

  • Traditional_Unionist

    James,

    I am not aware of exactly what Jim Allister has said however if he simply refused to rule out being in government at some point with SF/IRA then unfortunate as it may be, he is simply stating a fact.

    We will never get SF/IRA out of government now if we ever want devolved government here. however what we can do is force them to deliver on the outstanding issues, and get them to fully support law and order. This does not mean they say they support the police one day but then the next go to an IRA terror event. Full support for law and order is just that. FULL support.

    Does it not say something that SF/IRA want to be in stormont? they could have brought down the assembly but decided not to as they know they are in their best position at the minute against a weak DUP. If SF/IRA gained more from direct rule as the DUP claim then surely SF/IRA would have collapsed the assembly when they had the chance?

    The DUP said they were fighting for a fair deal before the last election and would not go in with SF/IRA under mandatory collison or until they proved they were fit for government. The DUP failed on both counts, and this will ultimately be to their downfall

  • interested

    Trad Unionist
    “I think the fact that alot of TUV voters would transfer to the UUP is that they want to be sure that if they don’t get the seat another unionist gets their vote to prevent SF/IRA getting it.”

    If they really want to be sure that the seat won’t go to a nationalist then they’d transfer to the UUP and the DUP….. and to any other unionist in the field. That’s the only way to do that.

    However, you clearly and obviously deliberately didn’t say that – you simply mentioned transferring to the UUP, as happened in Dromore. This is clearly about the UUP and TUV’s mutual dislike of the DUP and absolutely nothing to do with the promotion of any kind of unionist unity or frankly anything to do with the Union.

    Clearly from your voting advice then the TUV’s preferred order of parties is, 1)TUV 2)UUP 3)Sinn Fein 4)Anyone other than the DUP 5)DUP

    You can bluff and bluster all you want about the UUP and their ‘honesty’. Maybe we should look at Jim Allister’s record, past and present! What exactly is his stance on SF in Government? Unless the TUV gets its own house in order on that one then Robin Sterling won’t be the last TUV resignation thanks to his disillusionment with Jim Allister.

  • Traditional_Unionist

    interested,

    I was simply pointing out how most TUV voters would transfer to the UUP. Therefore gaining them a seat in my opinion if TUV dont get enough votes. as I very much doubt that the DUP would have much of a chance of being ahead of both parties on soley their own vote.

    however yes I would put the DUP on the ballot and I think most other unionist would. ie. 1)TUV 2) UUP 3) DUP

    Unionist people should always vote for unionist parties, even if they fully disagree and detest what a party like the DUP have done, then put them 3rd as I would, as it gaurantees that you have done everything to ensure SF/IRA wouldnt gain from the voter not puting all unionist parties on their ballot

  • Mike C

    Traditional_unionist

    You appear to confuse SF being in Government here and the damage that would be caused to Unionism by direct rule. You should not conflate the issue. SF being selfish have a lot to gain in their own heads by being in Government in NI as this is meant to show the electorate in the Republic that they are fit for Government. Direct Rule would increase the current and future Dublin Governments involvement in NI affairs. They are two separate points.

    SF is not the Dublin administration. At least with SF in Government in NI Unionists have control over decision making….with Direct Rule and greater Dublin role Unionists have none.

  • interested

    Trad Unionist
    You seem a little confused and I think you’re now conveniently rowing back on your previous stated position which would clearly hand SF a seat.

    Even Bertie Kerr managed to realise that unless all unionists transferred then there was no chance the seat would be won by a unionist. Mind you – how he thinks that will happen after him preveting a unionist co-option is another matter.

    Just on a side note – what kind of support do you think the TUV has in Fermanagh and who would/should the candidate be?

  • Traditional_Unionist

    interested,

    I am not confused at all, was simply clearing up my position. which admittedly I should have been clearer in the first place.

    as for who the candidate should be….I am not sure to be honest. Mr Morrison could be a good choice. The support is gradually growing for TUV, however with every political party who has not long been formed, it will take time for the support to grow around the country.

    I think the unionist voters are beginning to get fed up with the DUP though and their broken promises. And the lies that got the DUP told to get into their current position is still fresh in the memory aswell. Unionism has gained nothing through stormont and the DUP deal. People are beginning to realise that the DUP are an extremely weak party

  • Sam Flanagan

    Traditional_Unionist;

    People are beginning to realise the DUP are an extremely weak party.

    I think you mean; People are beginning to realise the DUP are an extremely weak AND AN EXTREMELY CORRUPT party.

    Their alternative name could be “rent-a-wife” or “greed is good, greed is very good.”

  • interested

    Trad U
    Fair enough, at least you’ve admitted you were more than a little unclear. I’m still suspicious that your actual motivation was simply to deny the DUP a seat at any costs, but I’ll take your clarification at face value.

    Your newfound love of the UUP seems to be that they were “straight” with the electorate and at least they were honest about their treachery. Of course I’d have thought that you’d still have opposed them, but if all it would have taken for the TUV to support SF in Government (as the UUP enthusiastically do) was to have had an open promise of then that’s an interesting policy position.

    Mind you, it also ignores the fact that the UUP were far from honest with the electorate – but you seek to disregard that, either because lies told 3 years ago are less bad than alleged lies told 1 year ago, or that your hatred for the DUP is currently worse than any dislike for the UUP. None of that though explains to me why there seems to be such a cozy alliance between the UUP and the TUV at the minute.

    “Unionism has gained nothing through stormont and the DUP deal.”

    Ok – Apparently unionists don’t pay rates. Apparently unionists actually wanted an ILA etc etc.

    But to put it back to you – leaving aside SF in Gov’t etc etc, what do you actually want from devolution. I’m talking specifics here, not some notion of “democracy” etc etc which is just Willie Ross code for not having the SDLP, never mind SF about the place.

    What actual policies coming from Government Departments do you want that are not already there, or cannot be delivered by the current arrangements within the Assembly?

  • james

    Traditional unionist?

    Your latest statement is as clear as MUD, you say support is growing for the tuv well then why have i and many others i know already disserted you and now an Ex TUV councillor in Ballymena others to follow i hear in the grapevine.

    and you never answered anything i said the only thing you said really was how weak you think DUP are. Are you not weak by not acknowledging their good work for the unionist people.

    i will state again what i said earlier

    As the tuv are speaking up their chances of government with Sinn fien i now believe as an ex tuv way of thinking that the DUP where right all along and that

    1. The DUP are the only real Unionist Voice.
    2. That the Irish Language Act would have came in if it was down to the TUV way of thinking, which was and be honest continued direct and Republic of ireland rule.
    3. The orange order would not have got increased funding which the DUP made sure happened.
    4. Ulster Scots Culture recognised.
    5. A Unionist Veto in the Assembly on all issues.

  • real world inhabitant

    The voters in Fermanagh that stuck with the UUP so far are its core. Comparing the 2005 Westminster and 2007 Assembley their vote went up around 500 in FST, with Fermanagh clearly their better end.

    How solid is the DUP support?

    That is an interesting question, for them to lose just 700 votes to TUV could be enough to put the UUP as the largest unionist party. Of course that’s on a 2005 turnout. Although people in the west of ni like to vote, and I expect a high one.

    If the DUP lose the seat who’s fault is it?

  • fair_deal

    To the socket puppet on this thread – stick to one identity or you will be carded