“not as independent as many think…”

UTV’s Ken Reid makes an interesting point regarding the independently minded MP for North Down, Lady Hermon, and her positioning against the party she, currently, belongs to. But that’s politics… From Ken’s blog.

Almost certainly Lady Sylvia’s name will be on the ballot paper with an independent label. But not as independent as many think. The DUP is unlikely to field a candidate which will make the sitting MP the hot favourite to retain her seat. It was noticeable, the cordial relationship between the DUP MPs and the sole remaining Ulster Unionist MP at Westminster on Monday night.

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  • Isn’t that nice.

    Are we sure the DUP shan’t field a candidate?

    It would be a strange message to send out to voters that they’re willing to stand aside to hurt the UUP, but wouldn’t do the same to damage nationalist parties.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Conquistador
    A point no doubt the new communications officer for the UUP will be working into a press release any time soon…

    This also increases the likelihood of Sinn Fein topping the overall share of the vote poll as well, with the DUP’s 11,000 plus votes in North Down in 2005 representing over 1% of the total electorate in the north- a big chunk out of their overall vote.

  • Pete Baker

    Conquistador

    “Are we sure the DUP shan’t field a candidate?”

    No, we’re not sure.

    But we will find out.

  • It would be very refreshing to see Unionists collaborating on principle rather than for tribal reasons and what better principle than to shut out the anti-agreement UCUNF in favour of the pro-agreement Sylv. Gwan ye Girl.

    Surely Ulster’s parliamentary highlight of the last few years which saw the entire parliamentary UU party nodding approval as the DUP pointed out the tribalist and anti-agreement posturing of the UUP – a simply unthinkable scenario but a few years ago.

    Protocol warning: Please adjust your mindset
    For those of a particulalry tribal and/or sensitive disposition and those unable to judge an arguement on it’s merits please be aware that the term Unionist in my name is not an accurate reflection of my political views though it should also be noted that my paternal grandfather was a keen supporter of the Union and I am invoking the FIFA grandparent rule and am opting to call myself so. (I’m sure he would have approved.)

  • Justin Case…

    This is a strange move

    1) It will help Hermon
    2) It will help the TUV as they will be seen as the only ‘prod’ party running
    3) I would have seen North Down as a possible gain for the DUP next time if they put enough effort into it.

    It also goes to show Sylvia will lend herself to whoever she can get to be elected.

    I bet wee Peter Weir must be fuming. Once again the DUP leadership have completely shafted him. Does anyone know what he a spokesman for? Has he ever held ministerial office, even the joke junior ofmdfm job? I wonder why he puts up with it, probably because the UUP would not have him back.

  • Pete
    “Are we sure the DUP shan’t field a candidate?”

    No, we’re not sure.

    But we will find out.

    Unless the world ends between now and the close of nominations. When is that by the way?

    Moderate Unionist
    please be aware that the term Unionist in my name is not an accurate reflection of my political views

    That’s probably why you’re so oft ignored.

  • Pete Baker

    Conquistador

    “Unless the world ends between now and the close of nominations. When is that by the way?”

    We won’t know until the election is actually called.

    Obviously.

  • Indeed, I could lie and pretend that had already occurred to me.

    But I’ll be honest and rephrase. How long before polling day must nomination papers be handed in?

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Hermon will win the seat as an independent, leaving the UUP with zero MPs and the UCUNF project in utter turmoil. That is a pretty big prize for the DUP – and with the prospects of a hung parliament high, it won’t take Cameron too long to dump Reg and come sniffing round Robbo.

    If the DUP were prepared to stand aside in FST or S Belfast, this should not really come as a big surprise.

  • Garza

    That would be great oh great gonzo.

    Except the only thing that blocks “unionist unity” is the fact that the DUP and the UUP have different visions of NI in the UK. So how can they ally together if they have different visions???

  • Mr E Mann

    >the term Unionist in my name is not an
    >accurate reflection of my political views

    I’m changing my username to “Jesus Christ”

  • Dewi

    “…nd with the prospects of a hung parliament high, it won’t take Cameron too long to dump Reg and come sniffing round Robbo.”

    I suspect hell will freeze over before Cameron decides to have dealngs with Unionist politicians again.

  • Niccolo

    I think Belfast Gonzo has the most realistic take on this.

    Whether you like them or loathe them you have to admit the DUP are not stupid. They know how to win.

    Almost certainly Hermon will win the seat if Peter Weir stands aside. Hermon then stays for one more parliament, steps down, and the DUP take the seat at the following election.

    I’m sure Peter Weir’s a pretty big boy and won’t be doing a ‘Jim Allister’ over this….lol.

    I still think the DUP will withdraw from FST. Mrs Foster will give Tom Elliot a clear run. He may be the only UUP MP when the dust settles. The DUP should take South Belfast come what may given the partisan mindset of the local UUP branch and how close they came last time.

    The weakest DUP seat is South Antrim, however the UUP/CONs are currently gifting it back to Willie McCrea courtesy of their candidate selection fiasco.

    By the way, if anyone is under the illusion that, in the event of a hung parliament, David Cameron will not consider approaching the DUP for their support – I suggest you look up the meaning of the word ‘politics’ in the dictionary.

  • Comrade Stalin

    It also goes to show Sylvia will lend herself to whoever she can get to be elected.

    What part of that doesn’t apply to the UCUNF candidate, who is pretending to be as pro-UUP as possible, to the point of opposing his own party policy, while refusing to join that party ?

    On the other points, the DUP put forward their offer to stand aside in FST knowing that the UCUNF could not accept, due to the need to follow orders from Central Office about standing in all the constituencies. Canny politicking.

    As Gonzo says, the prime objective for the DUP is the same as it has been for the past ten years; to squish the UUP and dominate unionism. It has pretty much already achieved that at Westminster and sealing up the deal in North Down is an important move. I still can’t see Sylvia standing under a DUP banner, so perhaps the DUP move is likely to be restricted, for now, into an announcement that they will be stepping aside. This is not surprising, as they used exactly the same strategy in 1995 when they provided clandestine support for Bob McCartney (even while he was calling Ian Paisley a bigot in the media!).

    I still think the DUP will withdraw from FST.

    They won’t because they can make more political capital by blaming the UUP for refusing to participate in a pact.

    By the way, if anyone is under the illusion that, in the event of a hung parliament, David Cameron will not consider approaching the DUP for their support – I suggest you look up the meaning of the word ‘politics’ in the dictionary.

    Parliament is not be a vacuum. The Conservatives will gain Labour marginals but may yet lose a few seats to the UKIP. Labour will lose seats to the nationalists. The SNP, Plaid and Lib Dems working as a bloc will have a lot more influence than a handful of unionists.

    But yes, if the day comes and Cameron needs the DUP to become Prime Minister, you’re damn right he’ll do the deal.

  • Drumlins Rock

    So the former Miss Paisley will become a DUP proxy, how sweet.
    I thought her behaviour in the Commons was petty and childish, she is still a UUP MP as she keeps reminding us, therefore she should respect party policy, even if she is not happy with the Tory link it has nothing to do with the P&J vote. If she is going to leave the party do so now and show some decency, wrecking from within is definately not Lady like behaviour.

  • What next? Will Lady Sylvia revert to her maiden name: “Paisley”?

  • Drumlins Rock

    And of course Cameron will talk to the DUP if he needs their support, he already has had talks with them, remember Hatfield?

  • iluvni

    Given her performance in the Commons, she should have been expelled from UUP the next morning.

  • iluvni

    Given her performance in the Commons, she should have been expelled from UUP the next morning.

  • Expelled for agreeing with one half of UCUNF and with the entire UCUNF (Tory) parliamentary party?

    Protocol warning: Please adjust your mindset
    For those of a particulalry tribal and/or sensitive disposition and those unable to judge an arguement on it’s merits please be aware that the term Unionist in my name is not an accurate reflection of my political views though it should also be noted that my paternal grandfather was a keen supporter of the Union and I am invoking the FIFA grandparent rule and am opting to call myself so. (I’m sure he would have approved.)

  • Framer

    James Kilfedder (a Tory in Westminster) relied on not-so-covert DUP support to get elected as a ‘popular’ Unionist thus denying the UUP that seat.

  • iluvni

    Are those 4 MOD sites part of the £800 million package promised for the devolution of policing and justice?
    If so, why was Peter Robinson seeking reassurances this morning that they were to be handed over to the Executive…and that reassurance wasnt 100% forthcoming from Goggins.

    Have the DUP been sold a pup?

  • Driftwood

    iluvni
    One of the ‘sidedeals’ from the Hillsborough ‘staging post’ ‘agreement’ was the scaling down of the Army garrison here to a fraction of what it is now.

    Robinson doesn’t mention that so much but by 2012 there will be even more vacant properties.

    A very nice area by the sea close to Tyrella beach being one .

  • LabourNIman

    I just look forward to the day this site stops pimping the ‘independently minded MP’ line every time they mention Hermons name.