By election for Ballymoney?

The BBC are carrying the news that there may be a council by election in Ballymoney. DUP councillor Roy Wilson has apparently resigned and Jim Allister has suggested that he may force a by election. Cllr Wilson was a DUP councillor for the Bann Valley electoral area. At the last election the breakdown of votes was: DUP: 2,250 (43.3%), 3 seats
SF: 1,751 (33.7%), 2 seats
UUP: 646 (12.4%)
SDLP: 550 (10.6%), 1 seat

As such there seems to be a modest but clear unionist majority.

Clearly this is a different proposition from Dromore which had a rock solid unionist majority; however, it is also different from the Enniskillen by election where there was no definite unionist majority. Hence, Allister probably feels that it would be safe to fight this seat knowing that its falling to Sinn Fein is fairly unlikely (though not completely impossible). Also of course Ballymoney and North Antrim, unlike Dromore (a pretty median unionist town), are the heartlands of hard line unionism. As such the TUV must fancy their chances if an election does occur. A highly significant additional factor is that North Antrim is the constituency in which Jim Allister intends to stand at the next election. In view of that a preliminary skirmish in North Antrim before the Westminster election show down between Allister and most likely a Paisley (one or the other) would be very useful for testing the water.

  • “most likely a Paisley”

    Are you confident about that prediction, Turgon?

  • joeCanuck

    How can Allister force a bye election? Is there a TUV member already on the council?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Joe,

    Yes, the TUV have one council, and I believe substitution only occurs when there is unanimous agreement to do so.

  • cut the bull

    why did Roy Wilson resign?

  • Why do people use terms like bye-election?

  • He said Mr Wilson had stood down from the local authority in “principled opposition” to the DUP’s politics and added he looked forward to testing the waters in the North Antrim constituency.

    Mr Allister was the DUP’s Member of the European Parliament but quit the party in 2007 over Stormont power-sharing with Sinn Fein. …

    DUP head of council at Ballymoney Evelyne Robinson said: “My awareness is that he (Mr Allister**) is still a member of the party.” BT source

    **Shurely shome mustake

  • Seceder

    Evelyne Robinson – part of that other DUP Robinson dynasty – I believe she is the mother of Mark Robinson former DUP member for South Belfast?

    As for the TUV chances in Ballymoney this is the heartland of the true believers – they believed Paisley and they feel betrayed by Paisley.

    Allister would be accused of running away were he not to take this opportunity

  • The one TUV Councillor on Ballymoney Council is Audrey Patterson who was elected from the Bann Valley ward where the by-election will be held if she opposes a co-option.

    Bann Valley is a mainly rural ward which takes in a very small part of Ballymoney town but its main settlements are Cloughmills, Rasharkin, Dunloy and Bendooragh. Whilst not being in a position to gauge the ‘staunchness’ of the Unionist vote here one of the important issues for some unionists locally would include parades in the mainly nationalist/republican villages of Rasharkin and Dunloy.

  • Different Drummer

    Thank You for those reports from inside Jim-Ulster-Allister’s pocket which when they see the light of day are softened by false disinterest

  • Marcus

    If the DUP vote was split in two with the TUV then Sinn Fein would look very likely to get the seat.

  • Marcus

    well perhaps not very likely but a possibility. at dromore the tuv did not transfer to the DUP and if their transfers went UUP Sinn Fein could still be ahead if their vote holds up.

  • [i]If the DUP vote was split in two with the TUV then Sinn Fein would look very likely to get the seat. [/i]

    Ultimately isn’t that what Allister wants i.e. for SF to grow in strength as the DUP disintegrates?

  • “If the DUP vote was split in two with the TUV then Sinn Fein would look very likely to get the seat.”

    In different circumstances maybe, in this case the DUP-TUV fight will ensure a healthier turnout for unionists than might normally be expected in a by-election.

  • Different Drummer

    Justin Comments:

    “In this case the DUP-TUV fight will ensure a healthier turnout for unionists than might normally be expected in a by-election.”

    Yes just we need more Loyalists Ultras

  • If the DUP vote was split in two with the TUV then Sinn Fein would look very likely to get the seat.

    Is this the unveiling of the DUP campaign slogan?

  • loki

    CUs to take seat on transfers

  • Drumlins Rock

    think at council level it is still UUP, but a good candidate would stand chance on transfers

  • Zoon Politikon

    Hopefully The Rt Hon Cllr. Jeffrey Mea Culpa Donaldson, PC, MP, MLA will be election officer again for the DUP thus ensuring their downfall and the CU’s win.

  • zip it

    x;klfgnwsepfn

    whatr bunbin nonsense