Hermon: I can’t see myself standing under a Conservative ticket…

Well, it looks like the Tory UU link up has suffered its first major set back… Lady Hermon has, in the local jargon, thrown the head up and said no… North Down looks like it may be heading back to it’s accustomed status of ‘Maverick constituency’, though her statement on Evening Extra this evening made it sound as though the party was genuinely leaving her. Some of her party colleagues are convinced they can stand against her and win on a Tory ticket… I don’t agree. If Lady Hermon stands again, it is her seat almost against all comers. If she steps down, it will be a fight to the death between the UUs and the DUP. I’d be putting wee something on the latter, despite their historically poor record in North Down, they’ve chosen well in matching their two MLAs with a moderate, middle class constituency.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty