Sir Reg to slip off to South Antrim?

Antrim Guardian are reporting that UUP Leader Sir Reg Empey has been speculated to fall into the South Antrim Assembly seat (held by David Burnside) in a bid for the Westminster poll, due to be held no later than May next year.

Local members suggest that they would welcome him with ‘open arms’.

However the battle appears to be between Antrim Councillor’s, Adrian Watson and Danny Kinahan.

  • If that happens and Sir Reg does stand, he will have to resign as an MLA. He would be taking the Conservative whip and would be away from his senior colleagues at Stormont where all the action was. If he then remained leader of the UUP, it could significantly alter the dynamic of the relationship between the two parties and make a merger look more likely.

    Thats a lot of iffing, of course.

  • Carson’s Cat

    “Sir Reg has always been a popular figure in the sprawling constituency – he has been known to visit the Antrim Show”

    What a piece of fantastically crap journalism….

    I’ve been known to visit London, but it doesn’t mean that the people of London will be calling out for me to replace Boris as Mayor…

    If of course, on the other hand, its actually true that Reg is very well liked in South Antrim to the extent that the UUP think he could win the Westminster seat there it doesn’t say much for his popularity in the area he’s represented for more than a decade in the Assembly and for 20 years in Belfast City Council. He’s clearly sufficiently unpopular enough in East Belfast for him not to even be in with a sniff of winning that seat….

    The story really does give a great laugh…. is the journalist actually a UUP member??

    Later in the story
    “has broad appeal, like fellow newcomer Duncan Shipley-Dalton “

    I’m sorry, DSD had many attributes, but a broad appeal was hardly one….

    At least they gave some insight into the mighty battle which is surely in the offing as we witness a blood and guts battle to win a UUP Assembly seat. Apparently bald men will actually fight over a comb.

  • It’s pretty clear the Antrim Guardian view Adrian Watson as the most likely contender to replace David Burnside. I don’t think the journalist could have written a more pro-Watson piece if he tried!

  • DUP Voter

    The UUP. I must hate them

    I haven’t bothered to read this story but I am confident that the aforementioned party is wrong

  • o’paque

    The good people of South Antrim must be the most welcoming constituents in the North. They have taken in any manner of waifs and strays over the years. Sammy Wilson, Mitchel McLaughlin, the late Martin Meehan and now Sir Reg. Any others, I’ve forgotten?

  • Democrat

    Let Reg come to South Antrim. We the people of South Antrim know that the only person who is doing any work in the area is the DUP. With three full time offices, and seven members of staff, they are the ones that are representing the area.

    Burnside was never there, and the Antrim Guardian would carry the story as it is UUP to the backbone.

    It sometimes look like Adrian Watson has shares in it.

    Where does this leave Danny Kinahan now?

    Bowled out I presume.

  • politico

    everyone knows that Adie Watson writes the headlines for the Guardian each week. He is just stirring the pot. Sad to say that with the arrests of suspects for the murder of the two Sappers the paper couldn’t drag itself away from this nonsense.

  • politico

    surely the journo’s could leave the office for a while and get a real story rather than wait on Adie’s phone call or maybe he could give the journo’s something decent

  • Democrat,

    How many DUP staff in South Antrim are related to Willie McCrea?

  • politico


    did I really say that about the Guardian !!!!!

  • Silverline

    Reg is to scared to take Lady Hermon on and replace herin North Down

  • Mack

    Does it matter how many work for willie mccrea the reality is that he is the best MLA and MP in South Antrim. Adrian Watson is a mouthpiece that would be no better than Burnside.

  • democrat


    It doesn’t matter how many there is, the work on the ground is being done, and that galls the uup.

    With burnside now going, does that mean mr watson will lose his revenue, as maybe the new mla, ever who that is, may not want to use the office in antrim.

    what will mr watson do then?

    between the two i would prefer kinahan, but that’s only because watson is a mouth.

    Does mr watson believe that if reggie comes to south antrim, he will fair any better than what burnie did?

    the uup in south antrim must be deseperate. burnie now gone, only 1 mla seat, with a no hoper, and a toffy nose chasing it, and then an idiot coming in, who:

    east belfast didn’t want
    south antrim definitely don’t want

    maybe david cameron will give him a lords position, to keep him on board.

  • 2007 Assembly result redistributed on to new boundaries according to Nicholas Whyte:

    DUP 36.2%
    UUP 21.0%
    SF 15.4%
    All 12.8%
    SDLP 10.2%
    f’UKUP 2.4%
    Oth 1.9%

    It doesn’t really matter if UCUNF run the Archangel Gabriel here, McCrea will still win. But if Reg wants to end his leadership by a bizarre parachute bid gone wrong, let him.

  • Democrat,

    How many was that again? Must have missed your answer amongst the nonsense.

    South Antrim will be intriguing to say the least. UUP forced into bringing fresh blood into the Assembly and Westminster, and the McCrea being hounded by the TUV who appear to have a real base in the constituency.

    Its definitely not black and white.

  • ABC


    Further proof of the Unholy Alliance emerging between Allister and the UUP. Enemey of my enemy? The best the UUP can hope for is Allister candidate (likely to be Mel Lucas) can peel off a few votes and help them. No confidence in their own ability to actually win back voters who left them or try and get new supporters. Just hoping they can leap frog off a split in Unionism. Very constructive. Without Burnside the UUP is nowhere in Antrim South and you know it.

  • Carson’s Cat

    Aren’t you employed by the UUP in South Antrim? Perhaps a declaration of your interest might shed some light on your comments…..

  • Inspector Morse

    Sammy Morse,
    How many seats do you think Alliance will get? None or 0?

  • ABC


    I think it will be close to zero or diddly – the same territory as UCUNF.

  • is this some crazy idea to resurrect the UUpCP thing….



  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    Carsons cat,

    Well I had a broad enough appeal to get elected so it can’t have been that bad. I think the writer means broad in the sense of reaching beyond the traditional unionist base, which I think I did have actually but I never really got to test it. Amongst the more traditional supporter not so much it would seem.

    On the wider story I really doubt it is accurate. Adrian Watson will not be the MLA though of that I am certain.