UUP/UCUNF members, elected representatives and commentators have recently been praising the work of Jim Nicholson in the European Parliament. This is obviously a reaction in the run up to the election on June 4th and in the selection of prominant DUP Councillor Diane Dodds as their candidate. Cheerleaders fail to tell us what he has actually achieved in Europe, apart from being returned since 1999 – with a declining vote.
The link up with the Tories may gain some votes or retain their current base from 2004 however it will not improve much, if any.
It is clear that this election is an important one in a head-to-head fight between the DUP candidate Diane Dodds and Sinn Feins Barbara De Brun (going by the 2004, 2005 and 2007 election results which clearly indicate a fight betwen the DUP and Sinn Fein).
Jim Nicholson will trail both candidates, as the UUP has done since 1979. Independent Jim Allister will follow, along with the SDLP’s Maginnis, Alliance’s Parsley and Greens Agnew.