A Sylvia problem?

Liam Clarke claims that the UUP’s sole sitting MP Sylvia Hermon has:

“… made it crystal clear that she will neither take the Tory whip nor stand aside for another candidate.”

He argues that the UUP/Tory talks on marriage/f*ck buddies/good friends must be in serious trouble if Sir Reg Empey says:

“…some people thought the Ulster Unionist Party was left at the side of the road for dead. Well we are not dead and we have these talks going on. If they work, they work, if they don’t, they don’t,”

He believes Sylvia’s seat is safe regardless of developments given North Down’s independent streak but that the Tory link may be important to keeping the Ulster Unionist MEP seat.
UPDATE: Chekov’s full thoughts on the Liam Clarke article.

  • PeaceandJustice

    Sylvia should leave the UUP and join the Labour Party. That would let the rest of the UUP merge with the Conservatives. Normal politics needs to return to Northern Ireland and Sylvia can’t be allowed to block that.

  • Alan

    Sylvia always has been a fairly independent thinker but I imagine on this issue the UUs will take a broader view and she will not have a veto. Ironic that it is their North Down MP who is trying to put the brakes on union with the Tories!

  • Whilst I sympathise with some of those inclined toward genuine socialism, who might not be comfortable with the link-up, being smitten with New Labour is a much less principled position. Anyone holding up a deal from that standpoint should either fall into rank or sling their hook. If they wish to maintain loyalty to Labour then they should be standing as a Labour representative.

  • Tory

    I won’t comment on most of these matters as they internal affairs for the UUP to discuss and decide upon as they see fit.

    However, taking off my Tory hat and putting on my psephological one, the article quoted is well wide off the mark in stating that Mrs Hermon would win the seat as an independent. A great deal of her vote is a party vote, which would split with a Conservative & Unionist opposing candidate. Moreover, would the good people really endorse a de-facto Labour MP in this political climate? Methinks not.

    In addition, the DUP are coming up here all the time, comfortably topping the Poll in 2007 and in fact beat the UUP by a far bigger margin than in south Belfast.

    With absolute confidence, I predict that Sylvia would not be returned as an independent here.

  • Dec

    With absolute confidence, I predict that Sylvia would not be returned as an independent here.

    Am I alone in yearning for an election just so the local tories, after their habitual trouncing, fuck off back under their stone for a year or so?

  • autocue

    Tory is right. Hermon would not get elected as an independent I don’t think.

    The DUP have polled consistently around 35% of the vote for the last two or three elections in North Down.

    In the last Westminster Hermon polled 55% against 25% for the UUP in the council. Therefore we can deducae that roughly 60% of the votes cast for Hermon are personal as opposed to a vote for a party.

    Ergo, if Hermon ran as an independent I would predict something along these lines:

    DUP: 35-37%
    Hermon: 25-32%
    UUP: approx. 20%

    Of course I may be talking out of my hat – but good fun nonetheless!

    The one way Hermon could guarantee a stonking huge majority would be to join the DUP! LOL!!

  • truth and justice

    If Hermon was clever she would join the DUP if not I would predict that either Easton or Weir could beat her in a Westminster Election especially if the UUP run a seperate candidate, she is already under presure from Easton but I undertsand he is not interested thus it would probally be Weir.

  • If she were to join the Labour Party they would not let her stand here as an official Labour candidate. Interesting question whether they would let her stand as an Independent.

  • perry

    Interesting sums “autocue”

    Alliance/Greens took 1/3 of the MLA seats in North Down.

    How do you think she’d get on as an Alliance (Liberal Democrat) candidate?

  • You can’t be serious!

    What is Truth and Justice on? Sylvia Hermon is guaranteed the North Down seat for life if she wants it. She presses all the right buttons and doesn’t have to run to the press to publicise what she does. Is Truth and Justice a family member or worker of the Easton clan? He would not stand a chance against Lady Sylvia. She would chew him up and spit him out.He is punching away above his weight as it is and come the next Assembly election he might be in for a disappointment. He is well known for his publicity machine but has no substance either intellectually or politically and is certainly only a support act for his DUP colleague. Peter Weir is being groomed by his party for stardom and is making his mark where it counts. He will without doubt be given one more crack at the North Down seat. No matter what happens he is still on track for future leadership opportunities in the DUP.

  • jj

    I think lady saliva could take the seat as an indy without too much difs. In terms of her closest challenger I wouldn’t go too much on the last assembly election result! Easton is a harmless, or is that gormless, sort of fella, but I couldn’t see him on the green benches at westminster. Weir by far outperforms easton at council and at stormont, although easton does have better hair…marginally!

  • DC

    I would like to see her stand as a New Labour candidate, it is unfortunate that Labour isn’t into standing here.

    So Tony Blair took the people into the Centre, so what, he at least made no mistake in hiding it!

    I think there is still something durable with New Labour, after all: because Britain deserves better.

  • PeaceandJustice

    Jenny – “If she were to join the Labour Party they would not let her stand here as an official Labour candidate.”

    According to Alan Johnson, “an unstoppable momentum is building up which will see party members here, in the not too distant future, being able to contest elections”.

  • truth and justice

    You cant be serious

    Fair points however Easton has qualitys that Weir does not, he is married, he works hard on the ground and is well liked In the local community, his colleague Weir lacks those three key points however Weir is better in a Stormont debate but you have to look at the last Two NI Assembly elections and question why Weirs vote is so poor with all his so called experience, I am also not a family member I have heard Easton speak at community events and he comes across as caring person and speaks well, it is Hermon that has meantioned her fear of Easton and that speaks volumes but never of Weir.As for Weir being a potential leader you must be off your rocker the guy smells and looks dirty he must sleap in hat suit of his.

  • interested

    “Easton has qualitys that Weir does not, he is married”.

    And this makes him better because? Is he not only recently married anyhow, does that mean he was on a par with all those unmarried until this year?

  • Alex Easton

    Guys

    I am not really interested in who is best to take on Hermon both my colleague and I work hard for North Down, he has his good points as do I, the best thing for all concerned is to work together for the good of all in North Down and I would rather not be the puppet for who is best or not!

  • you can’t be serious

    Alex Easton

    Welcome to Slugger. Its nice to see an MLA taking the time out of their busy life up at the big house to not only read Slugger but to make a contribution.

    Truth and Justice.

    You tell us that Easton is married, works hard on the ground and is well liked in the local community. you tell us that Weir has none of these qualities. That tells me that either you are extremely adept with the crystal ball or that you are very close to both men to have made these quite astute observations. You concede that Weir is better in debate and you quote the relative positions in the assembly polls. Again quite astute or you are close to both men. You must get around quite a number of community events if you can make the observation that Mr Easton comes across as a caring person and speaks well. That would not be a judgement made after one hearing I wouldn’t think. So you must be close to Mr Easton’s speaking engagements. You must also be close to Lady Sylvia or one of her followers to know that she is expressing fears about Easton but none about Weir. Finally you must be very close to Peter Weir to be able to share with us that he smells, looks dirty and sleeps in his suit. Not many people would know that! Would the real Alex Easton please stand up? The DUP is keen to get to the bottom of who is bad mouthing, Peter Weir,one of their up and coming stars who works as hard on the ground, if not harder, as any MLA in North Down.

  • truth and justice

    You cant be serious

    You tell us Peter Weir is being groomed by his party for stardom and is making his mark where it counts.That tells me that either you are extremely adept with the crystal ball or that you are very close to Mr Weir to have made these quite astute observations.
    You tell us He will without doubt be given one more crack at the North Down seat. No matter what happens he is still on track for future leadership opportunities in the DUP.
    Again quite astute or you are close to Mr Weir to know this. You must get around quite a number of events if you can make the observation about Mr Weir.You tell us Weir by far outperforms Easton at council and at stormont. So you must be close to Mr Weir & Mr Easton to know this. Finally you must be very close to Alex Easton to be able to share with us that he is well known for his publicity machine but has no substance either intellectually or politically and is certainly only a support act for his DUP colleague Mr Weir.
    Not many people would know that! Would the real Peter Weir please stand up? The DUP is keen to get to the bottom of who is bad mouthing, Alex Easton,one of their up and coming stars who works as hard on the ground, if not harder, as any MLA in North Down.