Council By-Election to Replace Iris Robinson in Castlereagh

There is to be a by-election in Castlereagh Borough to fill the council seat left vacant by the resignation of Iris Robinson. According to the BBC report, “Two objections were made to the DUP’s preferred candidate.” One of the objections seems to have been from Alliance Party Councillor Geraldine Rice – “the public must have their say on the Iris Robinson issue”.

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  • Garza

    2005 Castlereagh East Local election

    DUP: 4,568 (59.2%), 5 seats
    UUP: 1,461 (18.9%), 1 seat
    Alliance: 957 (12.4%), 1 seat
    Ind: 551 (7.1%)
    PUP: 181 (2.3%)

    It would take one hell of a swing for the DUP to lose this, even counting in the TUV vote. When is the election likely to be?

  • Garza

    EamonnMallie: Hazel Legge will fight Castlereagh by election for the Ulster Unionists.The vacancy flows from the decision of Iris Robinson to resign.

  • slug

    Hazel, to judge by her facebook, is well signed up for the UCUNF partnership.

  • slug

    …and socially liberal, being a facebook fan of gay marriage. Good!

  • scarecrow

    When is it to be?

  • joeCanuck

    Who is looking after Iris’ interests? Isn’t there a public advocate who does that for the mentally ill? She could not have been competent to resign any of her posts if we are to belive that she is in a facility under 24 hour suicide watch.

  • scarecrow

    She doesn’t have to resign under those circumstances, she can be resigned/removed. Peter ought to have done it as leader of the party.

  • Marcionite

    can the concept of a by election really work in a multi seat ward/constituency? Eg take a 6 seater, party A wins 50% of vote and takes 3 seats. Party B wins 33% of the vote and takes 2 seats party X wins the 6th seat by fairly winning the quota of 17%. However, the encumbant for Party X dies and it’s decided not to coopt but to hold a bye election to fill the seat

    what if the same parties win the same percentages of the votes, Party A would win the seat previously held by Party X

    Surely this goes against the spirit of PR? what if every member of parties that were not the biggest party died one at a time and their seats filled by a bye election would lead to the legislature in theory comprising ONLY members of Party A?
    So lets put all the seats in the ward/constituency up for election but this could lead to a constituency being given unfair influence and even blackmail to the government/council.

    The only fair thing to do is to coopt. But how does one coopt if a member is independant of party affiliation?

    perhaps leaving the seat vacant is the least unfair thing to do

  • union mack

    hypocritical of Rice to force a 25k by-election when one of her party’s favourite rabbiting lines is that taxpayer’s money is wasted by duplication of services. surely she could have tholed a DUPer for the next while, she should be used to it by now. then again, they are a hypocritical bunch of arsewipes. the self-styled unofficial opposition who at the same time are trying everything they can to become part of the government, despite not being democratically entitled to any such position. anyway rant over. the twaditional unionist was always going to force it

  • Driftwood

    25K for a bye-election. Pocket money for the Robinsons. fits easily into a brown envelope as well.
    Still some greenbelt land available at Lisnabreeny if any property developer is interested in politics, Castlereagh style.

  • Marcionite

    Perhaps they want to see how well the TUV perform?

  • Iris Robinson was not a DUP member at the time of her resignation so I’m befuddled that the DUP bothered to even nominate.

    The cost is of course a concerning issue. £20,000-£30,000 is a lot of money. You could nearly open a small restaurant with that much.

  • iluvni

    20-30k…think of the amount of food that would buy in London as well.

  • Stephen Ferguson

    It could even buy 15 King Size luxury beds from John Lewis…

  • FitzjamesHorse

    In issues of co-option versus election, there is always a certain amount of hypocrisy.
    The DUP in this case complain about the cost because of course they want co-opted DUP person.

    But this would be the same DUP who would be pressing for an election if a SDLP, SF-IRA or UUP person had to resign a seat or even died.

    Accross the board we could save some money by having agreed co-option or even just leaving a seat vacant.
    Its not as if councils are important.

  • Marcionite

    bomb in Newry tonight. Breaking news

  • Driftwood

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/olympic_games/vancouver_2010/skeleton/8526516.stm

    Let’s co-opt Amy Williams. [Play the ball – edited moderator]

  • Driftwood

    or even just leaving a seat vacant.

    The seat has been vacant for most of the past few years.

    No new planning permission requests that cannot be dealt with by her son or Husband. Why bother?

  • Rory Carr

    Maybe young McCandless should stand. He’d get the Desperate Housewives vote for sure.

  • We’ve come to a pretty pass when even convinced democrats (as I would imply from his previous postings) like Driftwood @ 12:23 AM are asking “Why bother?” about the electoral process.

    Time to despair?

    In view of the shenanigans in and around Castlereagh Borough, of course it is only proper to consult the voters. Nor should anyone predict their judgment, and deny their franchise on the basis of such assumptions.

    Geraldine Rice deserves credit for her sub-Churchillian moment:

    Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.

    In a Commons speech, as Leader of the Opposition, 11th Nov 1947 — since you didn’t ask.