Conservatives will stand in all 18 constituencies…

Jeff Peel’s been at the Tory party conference and yesterday came across Owen Paterson… who reassured him that the South Belfast Unionist Association would not block Conservative plans to stand candidates in all 18 Northern Ireland constituencies…

Yesterday I had a conversation with Owen Paterson MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, and asked him what the Party position was on South Belfast. His words were very reassuring. He repeated a line he has used very often. “We will run Conservative candidates in every seat in the United Kingdom – including South Belfast.” Indeed, Owen went on to make clear that if the UUP in South Belfast didn’t want to play ball – no problem. The Conservatives have already short-listed a candidate for the seat – Peter McCann. Peter is ideally positioned to take votes from across the constituency and all “community Backgrounds” – and could well take the seat from the SDLP. Peter will give the voters of South Belfast the opportunity to vote Conservative. Hopefully he will expose the sitting MP as one who rarely shows-up at Westminster, rarely votes and is rather expensive to maintain. In that respect he’s very like DUP MPs.

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  • DR

    Owen has just stated to the conference plaform they will fight all 18 seats, that was always the bottom line of the deal and the UUP letter writers in South Belfast knew that.
    Unfortunately Owen also stated Jim Nics got the highest Unionist poll, close but not quite this time, oops.
    Anyone know have the NI conservatives pick their choice for F&ST; yet?

  • Anyone know have the NI conservatives pick their choice for F&ST; yet?

    Well, they have their women, their Catholics, and even (according to Paterson) a Catholic Woman. So now, I guess all that’s left is an ethnic minority candidate and their rainbow is complete.

    What are the odds on an asian Tory candidate in FST or elsewhere in NI?

  • fair_deal

    The euro result was a double-edged sword for UCUNF.

    Yes DUP Westminster seats look vulnerable based on the result but the vulnerability created another problem. Before the Euro elections sharing out seats was less of an issue because of the lower expectations of winning any but when a win looks possible suddenly people aren’t so willing to share.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    There is a low hissing sound coming out of the big blue hot air baloon that we could all see clearly for months and had the words “we have it in the bag” emblazoned in bold lettering on its side. The unfortunate and embarrasing sound is a combination of multiple small punctures (of which the fissure above is an example) and one big puncture called Europe all caused by coming into contact with the truly dreadful reality of terra firma.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    What exactly is Peel on? Or more precisely, can I in any way exploit it, by say a bet, and make money out of this sap? The local Tories have negligible manpower and risible support. *Every* election here demonstrates this. Whereas, both the UUP and the DUP have boots on the ground, albeit in the former’s case, ever more elderly boots, and both have a proven ability to get out a substantial vote. Something Peel’s erstwhile crew has never been able to do: not once, not anywhere, save for dear old Laurence (a great man, and unlike Peel, more than happy to call himself a Unionist). Were the the UCUNF-if-you-want-to deal to implode, this fact of life would be demonstrated yet again. So what’s the point in Peel spoofing that somehow all is changed, changed utterly? It hasn’t, there’s not a poll in existence that shows that a stand-alone NI Tory slate would even come close to either of the other two established Unionist parties. Indeed, were it to have to go it alone, I’ve no doubt that they’d be bested, and by some margin, by the TUV. And the Greens. And Eamon Ego. And spoilt ballots. Thus while I, unlike Peel, *don’t* want the link-up to fail, if it does, and if there are stand-alone local Tories, here and now, how much will Peel bet me that they won’t, in those circumstances, get less than any of the DUP, UUP or TUV?

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Tell you what Slabbery, when you hit terra firma you can lecture the rest of us on how hard it is. [Hint: on terra firma, tP&J *wasn’t* transferred there the better part of two years ago, Sinn Five, because it wasn’t, haven’t walked out the executive and ‘pulled the institutions’ down, and, McMurderous, despite jibber-jabbering to the contrary almost as spacerishly as yourself, has turned turtle and obediently sucked up the Unionist veto, granted and exercised, on any Payroll Republican holding the P&J post, as and when the Punt’s iron whim sees it established].

  • URQUHART

    A theory….

    There’s a way through here for both UNCUNF and DUP.

    UNCUNF let this Tory non-entity (no offence intended) run in South Belfast and run Elliot run on ‘joint ticket’ in FST.

    Then the DUP announce that there is ‘no deal’ but ‘an understanding’ between the parties. They run Spratt in SB, but don’t run at all in FST.

    Both run a below-the-line campaign in each constituency with unionist votes going to Spratt and Elliot in each.

    McCann campaign then disappears, both seats are recaptured for the Union and UCUNF can say they ran in every constituency.

    OK, it might sound a bit far-fetched, but surely this is the only possible rationale for running McCann in SB? No one, in their wildest wettest dreams think that McCann could challenge McDonnell?

  • grannie trixi

    So much for the “party of change” rhetoric – according to cover story in New Statesman (5 Oct 2005) the Conservative Party “is a team of “mostly male,millionaire,privately educated Oxbridge graduates,with multiple jobs and extensive financial interests”. Should fit in well with the Unionists, not to mention NI. Not.

  • DR

    Interesting proposal URQ, the UUP would have to be seen to give full support to Mr. McCann and I think he would still pull in a good vote, eating into McDonalds vote even possibly, maybe not a non-entity afterall but would pull votes from all sorts of places rather than just a UUP-DUP fight over a reduced protestant headcount.
    As for F&ST;, it is going to be a tough win even with a single unionist candidate, but possible, the mythical Catholic Unionist may just exist in enough numbers there to swing things if the Tory link up is played right. It also is the area where SFs internal difficulties may effect voters on the ground. But will the local DUP and Arlene play ball?

  • DR

    Trixi, how did you end up reading a 4 year old copy of the New Statesman?

  • Hidden Agenda

    Can someone please show us what this alleged SB UU Association letter actually says? Devenport doesn’t quote directly but mentions a ‘leaked letter’. WTF does it actually say, and who is it from.
    SREmpey in Sam McBride’s piece in the News letter says he hasn’t received it, and no one suggested a single candidate for SB , or talks with the DUP at the UU party Exec on Saturday.

    Someone is pulling someone’s chain on this.

  • granni trixie

    DR: well spotted typo (article ought to have been dated 2009) – but come to think of it,it could have been written in 2005 as the Tories generally tend to be posh/well heeled/male.

  • alan56

    Yes the mystery letter. Would love to read it and see who sent it. Perhaps it doesn’t exist! One wonders who gains from the publication of the letter. A wannabe MP or a wannabe Leader?

  • DR

    Could have been written in 2005, 1905, 1805 even, the Torys have always attracted that sort of support, and unfortunately they still have too much sway.

  • Mick Fealty

    HA,

    I’ave not seen the ‘leaked’ letter. If I had, you would have seen it too, since I’d have uploaded to the site.

    But my understanding is that it VERY MUCH EXISTS; whether Reg has seen it or not.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    let’s just put this to bed: no matter how incompetent the Leader’s Office is for us in the UUP, ‘the letter’ only communicated to Reg what he already knows about a.) the mood of the association &, far more crucially, b.) the facts. And thems is still: we *can’t* have what we want. We can’t just reach out and take the seats we want. If we could, we’d do just that. As it is, we can have one of SB or FST, and if we’re to have either, we need to agree on gracefully waving goodbye to the other. We can’t even guarnatee we’re going to hold onto ND. And who landed us in this unpaltable situation where, unlike the DUP, we’re so bereft of congenial, convenient political choices? Step forward a ginger whinger currently on crutches.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Incidentally, for all you keen-eared Kremlinologists out there, in Cameron’s speech today, he, unlike Woodentop earlier, takes *very* great care to say that, thanks to the UUP link-up, ‘we’re’ going to be the only party standing in ‘every part of the UK’. That’s ‘part’, you meddling kids will note, not, for instance, ‘every seat‘. A telling turn of pharse indeed . . .

  • Mick Fealty

    IIRC, he said ‘every constituency’ in his Cameron Direct event in Belfast… That would be a roll back, if it were as you say L(T)U…

  • The Hacker

    Following on from the more than likely demise of McDonnell in South Belfast will the SDLP do a re shuffle and put him into West Belfast? The Attwood Twins seem determined to leave no sdlp voter pissed off so maybe McDonnell coming in would at least give him the cover of going into the west and trying to pick up the bits left over from the Attwood twins reign and holding some sort of West Belfast sdlp vote. He, McDonnell can step out of certain defeat in south into going down with all guns blazing in the west for the good of the party.
    Is it true what they say the shinners are having difficulty keeping all of there people in line now that all the jobs and “pensions “have been handed out to those who did time for the cause. What do you hear. I also hear there are some Sdlp people becoming restless at those who are expecting to run. Convery in North belfast wants to up his profile before the 2011 assembly election by running for Westminster but Al bran fresh from his euro battle will sit on him, although they as yet have no doubt no candidate applications for West Tyrone after Durkan’s’ master stroke of three candidates chasing one quota in 2007 and of course we will wait to see “yer” woman “Farrell” re- appearing for lagan valley ( when will Heading get the message , he is not liked, too left wing and will speak his mind, something John Hume would never allow)Perhaps the new leader McDonnell will exercise some authority and slip in one of his own clones into all the doubtful seats and at least showing some courage at fighting back-not.

  • Reader

    Grannie Trixie: according to cover story in New Statesman (5 Oct 2005) the Conservative Party “is a team of “mostly male,millionaire,privately educated Oxbridge graduates,with multiple jobs and extensive financial interests
    So, with most of 290,000 members, that’s an awful lot of male, privately educated, millionaire, oxbridge graduates. I must be sure to point my daughter in their direction.
    But are you sure the New Statesman can be trusted on this claim? Or is it just partisan wibble and spin?

  • Driftwood

    Maybe ‘The Spectator’ is better placed to comment on Conservative thinking…

    http://www.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/5405828/camerons-revolutionary-speech.thtml

    The social agenda which will be mapped out in the Tory party manifesto, which will apply here, may help to bring in intelligent nationalists who like to think outside the sectarian box and vote on REAL issues.
    The thickos will stick with SF/SDLP petty bigotry.

  • Black man voter

    HACKER has a point one wonders if McD will double job with westminster and the assembly when he bcomes leader

    mayb caramel will stand?

    as for heading he is a fit man but green white and gold

  • andrew white

    The social agenda which will be mapped out in the Tory party manifesto,………..

    The tories have already quietly binned the CSJ welfare to work report as it costs 4 billion pounds a year!

  • frustrated democrat

    AW

    Far from being binned it will be used a a model for the next manifesto. It did not give policies it gave opinions and guidance that will not all be implemented however many will.

  • bob wilson

    LTU clutching at straws there. I suspect Cameron said every part because he is a leader of a major politcal party talking about a big vision.
    He takes it for granted it will be every seat as he would never entertain sectarian deals with the DUP

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Just like, Bawb, the way *you* said you would never entertain deals with the ‘sectarian’ UUP? Ho, ho, ho. Four local Tory legs bad, two UUP legs so much better, eh Bawb?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Whereas, both the UUP and the DUP have boots on the ground, albeit in the former’s case, ever more elderly boots, and both have a proven ability to get out a substantial vote.

    Hmm, yes and no.

    When the UUP were top dog a few years ago, they didn’t win elections because of their campaigning skills; they won because there were no credible challengers within unionism. The DUP lacked the confidence, until around 2001 or so, to actually challenge them for fear of being accused of splitting the vote. As such, the UUP do not know how to campaign, because they have never actually had to fight an election until very recently.

    Canvassing is not just about getting your vote out, it’s about identifying down to street level where your support actually is and to see how well your strategies and policies are paying off. It’s a two-way thing. I’ve been canvassed several times by UUP types and they’ve done nothing except thrust a leaflet at me and ask for my support. They kept no records of my response, so how can they possibly know where their vote is likely to come out ? To record all this information and analyze it you need technology. Computer programs exist that will do this for you, but that requires expense, and investment in training.

    The Conservatives, on the other hand, will understand this well, and they do know how to fight an election right. But they don’t, like you said, have an organization on the ground.

    This is where the lightbulb moment at Cunningplan House evidently came in. So the idea is, on top of that small matter of a half a million quid in red ink on the books, that the Conservative’s well-oiled election fighting machine will be married to the UUP’s ground level organization to create a formidable election-winning entity. On paper that sounds great, but in practice, I just can’t see all those UUP types (who will have local knowledge that doesn’t show up on the electoral register – like familiarity with the boxes) saying “yes sir” to these clean-shaven young men in nice suits sent over from Central Office to show the plebs how it’s done.

  • Comrade Stalin

    He takes it for granted it will be every seat as he would never entertain sectarian deals with the DUP

    What, like the very one the UUP are proposing in South Belfast ?

    I’d almost love to see the DUP have the balance of power in Westminster, and watch Cameron jettison you guys like a sack of shit.

  • The Hacker

    The Dup will sweating on a hung parliament.
    If they can hold out on the policing issue then they might get anice government depending on Dup votes. First item on the agenda ! No bloody Shinner will get the new job. Sinn Fein now fail to deliver on Transfer test, irish Language act and now policing. Martin can smile all he wants but the deal ain’t done yet.

  • frustrated democrat

    CS

    Chip and shoulder come to mind, as Alliance start to disappear under the waves. Seems at least one of your members saw the future and changed ships.

    Why not spend more time concentrating on you holed ship and stop being fixated with the CU’s? Or better still join your friend on a safe ship.

    Remember the CU’s will run in all 18 seats not the Conservatives or UUP.

  • Comrade Stalin

    fd, nice of you to completely fail to debate anything substantive. Just like your dear leader.

    Chip and shoulder come to mind, as Alliance start to disappear under the waves.

    What waves ? UCUNF election victories ?

    Seems at least one of your members saw the future and changed ships.

    I wouldn’t be so rude about Ian as to suggest that he is a fair-weather friend, in the way that you just have. With friends like you he doesn’t need enemies.

    Why not spend more time concentrating on you holed ship and stop being fixated with the CU’s?

    You better start getting used to it. Everyone is going to be fixated with the UCUNF project when you guys kick off on your impending civil war you’re about to have over candidate selection.

    Or better still join your friend on a safe ship.

    The Tories are signed up with bigots and homophobes in Europe, and they’re allied with a party whose leader is an Orangeman back here. As a person with a moderately progressive, liberal approach, with certain sympathies towards Irish nationalism, the Conservative Party has made it clear that it sees people like me as the enemy.

    mark me : the UUP will block the nomination of any candidate who is a Catholic in any non-nationalist majority constituency. This chap Peter has no chance.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    FD,

    havent hear from you in ages – everything ok? You know that deadful, repeating nightmare youve been having about the local(Norn Iron) sectarian wing of UCUNF not accepting the mainland-Tory-ill-thought-out-jibber-jabber – well quesss what? It was not a nightmare after all its that big awful, dreadful thing called REALITY.

  • frustrated democrat

    CS – Sammy

    What is to debate, the CU’s will run in 18 seats.

    The 18 candidates will come from all communities and genders including fresh faces and younger candidates.

    They will get more than 20% of the vote.

    They will have more than 1 MP.

    They will run the best campaign.

    Alliance will have no MP’s

    SF many as well not have any since they don’t take their seats.

    CS nice to see you finally admit that the weather is not fair for Alliance and they are lost at sea. It is also not fair for the DUP nor SDLP so don’t feel too bad about it.

  • Comrade Stalin

    The 18 candidates will come from all communities and genders including fresh faces and younger candidates.

    I bet you won’t run a Catholic or a woman in any seat that you are targetting to win.

    CS nice to see you finally admit that the weather is not fair for Alliance and they are lost at sea.

    I didn’t admit any such thing, I merely highlighted your contention. Alliance’s vote has doubled. According to your own senior party members, like Michael McGimpsey, UCUNF will lose votes due to the alliance with the Conservatives.