Battle for the Robinson succession in Strangford…

Jim Wells will be among the DUP candidates throwing his hat in the ring to replace Iris Robinson as Strangford MP. Mrs Robinson made it known over Christmas she is quitting public life on health grounds. Now the jockeying for the Strangford seat at Westminster starts. Iris Robinson put in place one of the most ruthless party machines in any constituency and returned four members to the Northern Ireland Assembly.

It is expected that a sizeable field of runners will attempt to gain the nomination for the Strangford seat. Apart from Jim Wells it is being speculated that veteran DUP man Jim Shannon who currently sits in the Assembly, and his colleague Simon Hamilton will both let their names go forward.Mr Wells replaced Iris Robinson as chairperson of the Assembly’s health committee. He is highly articulate and is one of the few back bench members who can jump to his feet and flawlessly articulate his point of view. He has raised his profile in recent months by dint of holding the health committee post.

Simon Hamilton is deemed a rising star in the DUP who has proven himself regularly capable of thinking on his feet in the Assembly.

The Ulster Unionist and Conservative coalition is unlikely to mobilise enough support in Strangford to rob the DUP of the Westminster seat. Reg Empey may reckon that the Robinsons’ current crisis is his opportunity. The outworking of that theory will only become apparent when the full extent of The Robinson saga plays itself out.

Iris Robinson’s son Gareth may have notions of taking his mum’s seat in the Assembly. The new culture and opposition to the emergence of dynasties in the DUP might militate against such a development. These dynasties are a singular feature of DUP politics. There are the Paisleys, the Mc Creaghs, The Dodds and the Robinsons.

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  • interested

    Jim Shannon must fancy his chances, a very hard working MLA, Jim Wells seems good but will lack support in the Strangford DUP to get selected and Simon Hamilton will alos face this problem.

  • iluvni

    I’ve yet to read whether this ‘withdrawal from public life’ involves her stepping down with immediate effect or whether it means MP wages and expenses will still be claimed, and outrageously may continue to be claimed for another 5 months without a journalist asking the DUP to clarify their position.

  • scruff

    I don’t understand the use of ” alleged health grounds ” here.

  • David Watson

    Nor do I, Eamonn. Could you explain the word “alleged” in this context please?

  • Turgon

    Another reason Jim Wells may be very interested in moving is that his assembly seat is under grave threat in the next assembly elections. His current South Down MLA seat is one the TUV would have amongst the highest on its target list.

    Strangford will be a very interesting seat come Westminster. It must be remembered that Iris made it amongst (if not THE) safest DUP seat in the province and utterly demolished the UUP last time. In addition there has not been a very big TUV presence there though the recent addition of two Strangford councillors has changed that a bit.

    I think it is a difficult seat to call. Losing Iris might remove some sitting MP advantage but to be honest she was so controversial it might also help. In a three way split any of the parties could win though I suspect the DUP are favourites.

  • Paul

    think it is a difficult seat to call. Losing Iris might remove some sitting MP advantage but to be honest she was so controversial it might also help. In a three way split any of the parties could win though I suspect the DUP are favourites.
    Posted by Turgon on Jan 03, 2010 @ 11:00 AM

    Well first of all Turgon I am no fan of the DUP however I am a political realist something the TUV will never be.And my attitude with regards the TUV is nothing but contempt no future no alternative only attacking other pro UK parties and its people with the tUV pathatic rantings you are living in fantasy world when you say because of two TUV councillors one of which stood for the UKUP and his vote collasped its a three way split LMAO.Dont tell me you in the TUV are going to stand you will be thrashed out of sight.perhaps cedric wilson will be the TUV candidate LMAO

  • RepublicanStones

    Pass the popcorn, this is shaping up to be interesting….

  • Turgon

    Paul,
    I said above I do not think the TUV will take Strangfod and although they will predominantly take votes off the DUP rather than the UUP, I still think it will be a DUP hold.

    As to will we stand: of course we will since we have said we would stand. I will leave it to the voters to decide. I see to remember a very senior unionist politician predicting that the TUV would get less than 30,000 votes.

    However, as a political realist I also think Jim Wells would be very wise to find a way out of South Down as I think his power base around Kilkeel is very likely to desert him.

  • Turgon

    RS,
    posts crossed. Yes I think all the unionist seats will be interesting this time out. I tried looking at all of them a few months ago and may try again but to be honest none of them look terribly predictable.

    Even in the republican safe seats the unionist vote will be interesting as it will be a bit of a gauge as to what will happen at the next assembly election. As an example it will be interesting to see which unionist party is ahead in West Tyrone. Incidentally off topic but surely SF will dump Doherty there?

  • Paul

    Heres the results from the strangford consituency asembly elections with Turgon claims that this westminster seat could go to any party.LMAO the list of all elected pro Unionists(assembly members elected see below note the vote folks of the great man himself yes you got it folks the one and only cedric wilson and the current great man himself you got it again folks who defected from the DUP to the dinasaurs no hopers TUV and the real reason MR george ennis threw his dummy out of his pram is because he was deselected as a DUP candidate for the assembly elections. and first when he stood as a UKUP candidate below polling a mere 872 votes Ennis then went Independent then he joined the TUV.I bet all the candidates in strangford are quaking in there boots at the thought of any TUV candidate standing against them.LMAO all details below folks enjoy

    Iris Robinson DUP 5917 16.4 Elected MLA
    Jim Shannon DUP 4788 13.3 Elected MLA

    Simon Hamilton DUP 3889 10.8 Elected MLA
    David McNarry UUP 3709 10.3 Elected MLA
    Michelle McIlveen DUP 3468 9.6 Elected MLA

    Angus Carson UUP 2128 5.9

    George Ennis UKUP 872 2.4
    Stephanie Sim Green Party 860 2.4
    Michael Henderson UUP 675 1.9
    David Gregg IND 650 1.8
    Bob Little UUP 508 1.4
    Cedric Wilson IND 305 0.8

  • RepublicanStones

    Turgon there is only one person the Shinners should defintely dump, he does wear glasses, but he isn’t clean shaven.

    Btw, what age is the young Robinson?

  • Paul

    ncidentally off topic but surely SF will dump Doherty there?
    Posted by Turgon on Jan 03, 2010 @ 11:46 AM

    Docherty has already being selected to stand the sinners have already confirmed it.

  • Turgon

    Paul,
    Thanks for that. I think it was a bad move; they will almost certainly still take the seat but I think they should be thinking about a new candidate. Docherty (sorry for spelling wrong before) has done very little in that seat; and seems to be regarded as absent not only from Westminster but also from West Tyrone.

    On your list of votes. That was before the DUP entered government. I think the DUP will still take the seat but it will be a lot tighter than last time. I do not know who the TUV will put up so I cannot comment but if you think the result will be the same sort percentage wise as the last assembly I think you are very sorely mistaken.

    Still all is speculation (both mine and yours so we will wait and see).

    Incidentally any thoughts on South Down?

    RS,
    Do not know about young Robinson’s age must be late twenties/ early thirties I suspect.

  • Paul

    However, as a political realist I also think Jim Wells would be very wise to find a way out of South Down as I think his power base around Kilkeel is very likely to desert him.
    Posted by Turgon on Jan 03, 2010 @ 11:43 AM

    The TUV are a one man pressure group with no elected representatives and thats a fact you have no candidates elected and i predict you will have no candidtes elected at next years westminster election you are destrctive and counter productive and quite reckless and nobody with any sense should give you the time of day.just like the sinners you can spin hype all you want it wont do you any good the tUV have nothing to offer unionists only doom and gloom and a return to english direct rule minsters flying in one day a week to tell us all what to do with dublin rule mixed in NO THANK YOU.

  • Paul

    ncidentally any thoughts on South Down?

    RS,
    Do not know about young Robinson’s age must be late twenties/ early thirties I suspect.
    Posted by Turgon on Jan 03, 2010 @ 12:05 PM

    If jim wells stands again i am a realist he will thrash any TUV candidate as far as i am concerned the TUV dinasaurs can stand where they like you are hell bound of damaging the pro union cause and helping elect republicans and nationalists making sinn fein the largest party given whats happened most recently thats disgracful you should be ashamed. so you might as well get on with it and destroy our country you already started to might as well finish the job..

  • Shannon is pretty much favourite within Strangford DUP but the Robinson Mafia will do anything to ensure it is anybody but Shannon selected. The Robinsons detest him, an open secret in the constituency, going as far as to canvas against him in recent elections (ie requesting people vote Robinson, Hamilton, McIlveen and conveniently forgetting Shannon).

    The DUPes will be hard hit here by the TUV, the 2007 Assembly results posted by Paul were before what many now view as the DUP treason. Anyone present at the Euro election count when boxes from Strangford where opened will know the DUPes could be in real trouble here as they were only picking up at most a third of their previous vote. IMHO, the C&U’s have a real chance of coming through the middle here to regain the seat.

  • Paul

    The DUPes will be hard hit here by the TUV, the 2007 Assembly results posted by Paul were before what many now view as the DUP treason. Anyone present at the Euro election count when boxes from Strangford where opened will know the DUPes could be in real trouble here as they were only picking up at most a third of their previous vote. IMHO, the C&U’s have a real chance of coming through the middle here to regain the seat.
    Posted by Intelligence Insider on Jan 03, 2010 @ 12:18 PM

    Utter clap trap treason typical TUV lies and properganga inits never ending hate campaign against the DUP.you are still hooked up on jim allisters personal euro vote and the MPs expenses saga had a mix in it.There was alow turn out just 42 percent up to another quarter of a million voters will probaby turn out at the gen elections.i predict that 66 000 votes allistr got up to forrty thousand of that vote will swing back behind sitting MPs the TUV will be drowned at the gen election it has no policies no alternative nothing only doom and gloom TUV=NI version of the http://www.omrlp.co.uk thats who the TUV motley crew of dinasaurs are jim allisters you tube video is still on his website its like watching an angry traffic warden ranting and raving with his arms flying all over the place pathatic.The TUV have no candidates one of the TUV members has let his mask slip oh yes folks setting up a petition campaigning for the release of a ruthless sectarian killer torens knight who help masscare Innoncent catholics.this unholy bunch of TUV no hopers should be confined to the waste paper basket with all the other rubbish.

  • Paul

    C&U’s have a real chance of coming through the middle here to regain the seat.
    Posted by Intelligence Insider on Jan 03, 2010 @ 12:18 PM

    lMAO what a load of meaningless drivel yet again TUV diansaur nonesense you dont know what you are talking about Ian paisley used to have a massive vote in euro elections in the strangford consituency and we all knew come the gen election where that vote went it went and swung back to sitting UUP MPs not just in strangford but right across the province and thats a statement of fact check the figures.You need to get real

  • Comrade Stalin

    Turgon,

    However, as a political realist I also think Jim Wells would be very wise to find a way out of South Down as I think his power base around Kilkeel is very likely to desert him.

    Three parties standing for two unionist seats, the second of which was elected in 2007 on the 12th count. It would be very silly to make predictions about how that will go on election day.

  • Paul, firstly I am no TUV supporter, I support the Conservative & Unionist Party.
    Secondly, have you ever considered a basic adult literacy course? It would make your posts much more readable, though I doubt it would make them any more sensible.

  • Paul

    #

    Paul, firstly I am no TUV supporter, I support the Conservative & Unionist Party.
    Secondly, have you ever considered a basic adult literacy course? It would make your posts much more readable, though I doubt it would make them any more sensible.
    Posted by Intelligence Insider on Jan 03, 2010 @ 01:15 PM

    Well when you get into attacking me personally and my intergity.I know that i have hit a nerve and defeated you.A tory hey I am sure your Tory blue boy politics will go down a real treat my uncle lives in the strangford consituency.He voted for allister last time not a chance this time likes lots of others wont.UCUNF havnt a cat in hells chance you will be defeated quite comfortably

  • Paul

    to all slugger readers and posters from strangford because its the strangford westminster seat we are talking is evidence below of one of jim allisters motley crew TUV members.petitioning for the release of a ruthless killer and jim allister and the TUV folks refused to take any action against this TUV member how appalling is that folks.The tUV member even said the killer was a good young man.

    TUV man defends killer’s petition
    Premium Article !

    TUV member Trevor Collins has defended his decision to organise a petition calling for the release of convicted Greysteel murderer Torrens Knight.
    Knight’s early release licence was been suspended after he was convicted of assaulting two sisters in Coleraine.

    He had been released early under the Good Friday Agreement after serving seven years for taking part in the Greysteel massacre in 1993 and for killing four workmen in Castlerock earlier the same year.

    Mr Collins, 61, a Garvagh businessman, said he believed Torrens was a “decent young man”.

  • Paul, I haven’t attacked you personally and have absolutely no idea what your “intergity” is.

    Given you are “no fan of the DUP” as stated at 1035hrs this morning and have used your last few posts to besmirch both the C&U’s and TUV, could you maybe give us a clue as to where your political allegiances lie? Or would it be closer to the mark if I asked you to admit you were lying at 1035hrs and are actually a DUPed muppet?

    In retrospect I think I may have been wrong to advise on an adult literacy course, you’re obviously far too young. Does school start back again on Monday, Paul?

  • Paul

    Three parties standing for two unionist seats, the second of which was elected in 2007 on the 12th count. It would be very silly to make predictions about how that will go on election day.
    Posted by Comrade Stalin on Jan 03, 2010 @ 01:14 PM

    The UUP and DUP will return MLAs in south down of the two pro union seats available

  • Paul

    In retrospect I think I may have been wrong to advise on an adult literacy course, you’re obviously far too young. Does school start back again on Monday, Paul?
    Posted by Intelligence Insider on Jan 03, 2010 @ 01:51 PM

    nope I am no DUP muppet be very careful who you call a liar. I have voted n the past for the UUP DUP and alliance and the SDLP.So again seems you have got your facts wrong no change there then.As for school on monday nope leave that to you UCUNF lot oh by the way did they think up that name UCUNF when the join committee were in a pub and someone had had a few too many drinks and wrote the name UCUNF on the back off a beer mat.LMAO

  • Paul, I too have voted for the UUP, DUP, Alliance and SDLP. That’s what elections held using the STV system are all about, you have done nothing to change my mind about either your DUP allegiance or your intellectual capabilities.

  • David Watson

    I notice that the word “alleged” has been removed from Eamonn’s intro, where it had preceded “health grounds”. Glad to see it is gone, after two of us queried its initial appearance.

  • David Watson,
    I could see the point in using “alleged” as it was what Iris alleged was the reason for her standing down. Some (see Daily Telegraph) have said that other motives may have been behind the decision such as her outrageous expenses claims, the political dynasty problems, etc.
    I have no doubt that she has serious mental health problems but remain unconvinced that they solely led to the decision.

  • LabourNIman

    I think the DUP vote will hold – Iris would have taken a hit due to expenses and the anti gay rantings (a friend from the gay community told me that a movement was being created to damage her at the next election. Guess we will never know now).

    UUP have no chance, the only hope UCUNF have of making an impact is for a Tory party candidate which will appeal to the non committed voters

  • LabourNIman, as you well know, I imagine, there will not be a UUP candidate. One Conservative & Unionist candidate will stand for the constituency.

    Out of interest, any word on Labour candidates fighting any elections here yet?

  • LNIM,

    “(a friend from the gay community told me that a movement was being created to damage her at the next election. Guess we will never know now).”

    Are Iris’s views not fairly representative of most of the party members in the DUP?

  • pinni

    Next week’s Craigavon by-election (Jan 13) should give a good indication as to the strength of the TUV is a solid unionist area. I predict a very poor performance by the TUV.

  • LabourNIman

    ‘LabourNIman, as you well know, I imagine, there will not be a UUP candidate. One Conservative & Unionist candidate will stand for the constituency.’

    correct but either side are free to state what party the candidate is from as they have been doing with the current selection process.

    ‘Out of interest, any word on Labour candidates fighting any elections here yet?’

    Like I have said previously, and as stated on our website – 2011 council elections.

    ‘Are Iris’s views not fairly representative of most of the party members in the DUP’

    They are, however she was dumb enough to say them out loud and hence give them someone to fight. I have to say I was looking forward to it, but iris made the right choice by making her health her priority.

  • abc123

    LabourNIman – “Like I have said previously, and as stated on our website – [Labour candidates will be standing in the] 2011 council elections.”

    Why not test the water this year at the General Election by putting up one candidate i.e. Sylvia Hermon in North Down

  • Zanu-LabourNiman, I take it you went to the Alastair Campbell School of political thinking with your “Don’t be dumb enough to say your political opinion out loud” train of thought?

  • abc123

    Sylvia has again stated her opposition to the Conservatives. Come on Labour – have the guts to talk with her and get her to stand for the Labour Party in North Down. It’s the only sensible solution.

  • Paul

    #

    Paul, I too have voted for the UUP, DUP, Alliance and SDLP. That’s what elections held using the STV system are all about, you have done nothing to change my mind about either your DUP allegiance or your intellectual capabilities.
    Posted by Intelligence Insider on Jan 03, 2010 @ 02:58 PM

    Wrong again Mr clever clogs I voted for the alliance party at the last gen election and they were my first choice at the assembly elections so wrong again.seems you have a habit of being wrong no change thee then just because my veiws on the P and J are probably in line with the DUP ie that it should be devolved when the times right.Dosnt mean I am DUP which I certainly am not.I was quite a strong supporter of the UUP until they linked up with the tories in this pantomine project called UCUNF gimmick of a name.I coudnt care less what you think or beieive in strangford UCUNF have not got a cat i hells chance even with the margin of error the seat will be comfortably held by the DUP.Oh and by the way you refer to your gimmick Name as Conservative and unionists its its ulster conservatives and unionists new force and as we all know theres no such thing as an ulster conservative.

  • Paul

    LabourNIman, as you well know, I imagine, there will not be a UUP candidate. One Conservative & Unionist candidate will stand for the constituency.

    Out of interest, any word on Labour candidates fighting any elections here yet?
    Posted by Intelligence Insider on Jan 03, 2010 @ 09:22

    The candidate will be a joint candidate standing in strangford under the gimmick of the Name UCUNF whats the slogan going to be so the voters of strangford.Can get so excited they will be running out of there houses to vote UCUNF lmao.Dont tell us its going to be good old fish and chips or is it only decent people vote UCUNF.you know after the UUP had that slogan only decent people vote UUP.What with the north down saga the whole things a farce.

  • Paul

    UUP have no chance, the only hope UCUNF have of making an impact is for a Tory party candidate which will appeal to the non committed voters
    Posted by LabourNIman on Jan 03, 2010 @ 09:12 PM

    good post.

  • I see school’s out! lol

  • Paul

    #

    I see school’s out! lol
    Posted by Intelligence Insider on Jan 04, 2010 @ 03:56 PM

    with a handle name like Intelligence insider something you are not given the daft and flawed nature of your posts.still school tommorrow for likes of you we are debating strangford a bit to difficult for you to grasp it seems no change there then.lol

  • Garza

    “I was quite a strong supporter of the UUP until they linked up with the tories in this pantomine project called UCUNF gimmick of a name.”

    Paul. you were a srong UUP supporter but voted alliance in the last two elections? This was before the link up with the Tories.

    So you don’t like the tories eh? So you a socialist? Liberal?

    ———————————–

    I don’t think U&C has a hope at gaining Strangford. Easy DUP hold.

  • LabourNIman

    abc123 – our party has approached Hermon but she isn’t committing to anything (not even running). We would welcome her with open arms, the only thing stopping it is sylvia

  • Mason Powell

    Paul,

    Since we now seem to have established that you are either an Alliance member or supporter, can I ask why the supporter of a “moderate” party seems to enjoy such immoderate assaults on other parties?