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.