DUP still living in hope of a unionist unity candidate in South Belfast…

DUP Time clock to nomination closeA few weeks back Bobballs reported a rumour to the effect that the DUP would pull out of South Belfast. That rumour is still doing the rounds.

It seems there are people talking between the two parties for some kind of a deal on a similar basis to the one just concluded in Fermanagh South Tyrone: ie for an independent candidate… But even people in the constituency, who might have been expected a few months back to support a unity candidate believe that it is too late to change now that the official Ulster Unionist candidate is now out in the field to switch to a compromise candidate now… But hey, as the DUP remind us>, there is still eleven days to go

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  • slug

    Paula Bradshaw is a great candidate. Alistair McDonald is also a great candidate. It should be between these two.

  • Free State Barsteward

    I agree Slug, both are great candidates but after FST, surely the odds are shortened for some Unionist unity in SB.

    I would think the option of a unity candidate is out of the question judging by the Tories insistence that FST is an “exceptional case”. Therefore, the question has to be “Will the DUP step aside?”

  • slug

    FSB

    The chances of the DUP stepping aside to give the seat to the UCUs is surely zero. They would rather keep the UCUs down.

    PS. The people of South Belfast are getting good quality representation, as Alistair McDonald sits at Westminster. He sits on the Labour benches so there is a clear choice of government program here when selecting between Bradshaw and McDonald.

  • Cynic2

    Slug

    I had a lot of time for him until his recent sectarian comments after Hatfield. Now I just see him as down in the gutter like the Developers Unionist Party.

    I believe the best option is for the DUPs to stand aside and leave it to Paula Bradshaw to see him and the SDLP off.

  • aquifer

    The DUP will need all their energy to hold onto their other seats with TUV nibbling at their vitals.

  • Framer

    His name is McDonnell and he rarely attends Westminster,

    For example he was not present to vote for or against the renowned gay guest house issue.

  • unionistvoter

    anyone in the DUP understand the symbolism of the CU’s taking down their candidate posters in SB.

    Of course they do that’s why they will keep up the pressure knowing its not an option.

    Paula is a fantastic candidate who has earned the right to seek election to represent the people of SB.

  • slug

    I would agree that McDonnel (sorry for the misspell last time) is not as good an attender as Mark Durkan. Mark is also a better contributer in the debates too-he is respected and listened to.

  • Michaelhenry

    there is no such thing has a unionist unity candidate,the one in fermanagh south tyrone will have to take the tory whip if elected so he can not be a free agent, the same story for any one like wise who is selected to run for the unionist camp in south belfast, for all there shouting the d.u.p have sold out to the torys.

  • Harry J

    there is no such thing has a unionist unity candidate,the one in fermanagh south tyrone will have to take the tory whip if elected so he can not be a free agent, …

    no he wont.

    I think people need to listen VERY CAREFULLY to what mr connor said, he said he will take the whip except in matters that relate to F/S/T – which covers just about everything from the budget to defense.

  • Harry J

    regaring Mr Connor and the Tory whip:Mr Connor said that he is prepared to accept the Conservative whip, but, on matters concerning Northern Ireland, he will vote on basis of what he believes is in the best interests of his constituents.

    as sammy morse said on another thread:
    “Similarly, Rodney Connor has reserved his right to not follow the Tory whip on issues that affect Northern Ireland. Even taking the narrowest possible reading of what that means, it implies he doesn’t have to follow the Tory whip on the budget, welfare policy, defence and foreign affairs, national security, parades (significant in FST), Europe or aviation policy. Which isn’t quite what the Tories said, but then again entering into grubby little sectarian deals wasn’t quite what the Tories said when they decided to shack up with the UUP either. “

  • Harry J

    first quote above was on BBC website

  • The Raven

    God, Harry, the DUPs really could take a real kicking this time round, couldn’t they…?

  • Michaelhenry

    there are now two unionists partys that support the torys now, the u.u.p and the d.u.p, and if we take into account that the t.u.v is not to run in fermanagh south tyrone thats 3 tory unionist partys, david cameron has just scored a hatrick in ulster politics.

  • alan56

    Rodney Connor is no doubt a decent and well intentioned chap. I just wonder if he is ready for the cut and thrust of party politics and how he will maintain an impartial position when the flack starts to fly between DUP and UUP/Conservatives. Worth watching. The real loser here is surely Tom Elliot as it appears he is more concerned with protecting his MLA status and didn’t really want to risk all for Westminister.

  • Harry J

    there are now two unionists partys that support the torys now, the u.u.p and the d.u.p, …..

    no i think youll find the Tories now support the DUP.

    The UUP are still running around trying to work out what happened

  • alan56

    In BBc interview today Rodney referred to his constituency as Fermanagh and West Tyrone! Seems like Arlene and Tom are content with sitting in Assembly.

  • Harry J

    #

    God, Harry, the DUPs really could take a real kicking this time round, couldn’t they…?
    Posted by The Raven on Apr 09, 2010 @ 11:43 PM

    Nope. they will hold their seats and hopefully pick up S Belfast.

    Reg will disappear, Ucunf will fold the UUP will fade

  • alan56

    Wondering what Rodney Connors posters will look like… is he going to be independent or independent unionist, or independent unionist and conservative… voters might be confused. Fergal McKinney could benefit from tactical voting

  • Michaelhenry

    no harry j look at the facts, there are now 3 tory unionist partys in ulster politcs, who could have predicted this, carson is turning in his grave.

  • alan56

    The greatest sign of stability in NI as we move towards this election is that many potential candidates seem to be putting their position as assembly members first… and reluctant to get involved in the westminister race. This might be an advantage to those candidates who are not MLAs?

  • slug

    Fergal would be a great MP.

    Alan I think Rodney was clear today he is standing as independent and he didin’t want to even say unionist. I imagine he will need to say something on his literature so he may need to refer to his basic values background and approach.

    I don’t know if he will emblazon his posters with unionist colours or keep it neutral. Will be interesting to see!

  • Ulick

    Erm excuse me for asking but what makes Bradshaw a good candidate? I’ve been living in south Belfast for ten years and have never heard or much less seen her before.

  • alan56

    slug
    I agree. Fergal would be a good MP and all about him suggests he is not a ‘green nationalist’. He is well liked in Fermanagh and I think he will poll strongly. If unionists don’t see Connor as a strong unionist he may fall between two stools. This is certainly no ideal situation for unionists even though it at first glance gets Arlene and Tom off the hook. It is really hard to call. Last time this strategy was mooted it was felt that the agreed candidate would be a strong independent unionist. Remember many years ago there were posters ‘West out..Kells in’. Connor at the moment does not look like that sort of a candidate. He is in a very difficult position?

  • slug

    “Erm excuse me for asking but what makes Bradshaw a good candidate? I’ve been living in south Belfast for ten years and have never heard or much less seen her before. ”

    Really? She first came to my attention some years ago when interviewed on TV about her community work in the Village area of South Belfast. She is articulate and has good values.

  • The Raven

    Och but Harry….really…when you add it all up…sweeneygate, Irisgate, stripoflandgate, being the-largest-Unionist-party-and-still-getting nothing-done-gate, nipped at the heels by Jim and Reg and David, despised by all but the most Boer-ish of the electorate….I mean…really….

  • alan56

    Ulick
    All I can say if you have been politically aware and active in SB and never heard of her you must have been sleeping. She has been active in the constituency both in South Belfast Partnership Board and latterly Greater Village Regeneration Trust. She works there with disadvantaged communities and has a vision for the improvement for the area. To me that sounds like an excellent candidate.

  • slug

    alan

    I like what I see of Rodney Connor. That is really just his interviews today-I thought he was very in control of his message and wanted to be a nonpartisan anti-asbtentionist candidate independent fighting for all the people, with a conservative bent.

    I think Connor will win. For me if I was in FST I might be tempted by McKinney though. I am somewhat Labour leaning in this election. But more than that its that I think McKinney has good values.

  • alan56

    Slug
    Don’t know Rodney Conner well but have no reason to doubt his motives. He may well win. Fergal I do know and he is a decent person who has Fermanagh at heart, even above party politics. That might come through and he will certainly pick up some ‘soft’ SF votes and depending on how Connor’s campaign developes might also get some soft unonist votes. He will certainly pick up young people votes. Very tricky to call.

  • slug

    alan I suspect you are right and that he will pick up votes in many ways. He is a very strong candidate. He does have quite a large hill to climb there in terms of building up SDLP votes. Its an important job and I really hope he is in it for the long haul, for more than this election.

  • alan56

    slug
    I think he entered this race originally not in the hope of winning Westminister but ratther to build his name for next assembly election. Tommy gallagher may want to retire. But now I cannot help wondering if he has a real chance. Depends on how local DUP and UUP relate to Connors. Difficult to call

  • alan56

    Get the feeling that the call for Unionist unity was stronger from DUP than UUP. That being the case votes could wander… and to where. If Fergal plays his cards right..then who knows

  • Driftwood

    South Belfast is a Bradshaw cert. Most of the elctorate are literate and educated (ruling out Spratt). In a choice between Bradshaw and McDonell, not forgetting Lo, the vaguely Unionist electorate will go for Bradshaw.
    Slightly different in East Belfast where its 50/50 between Ringland and Long. Possible outside chance of Peter Robinson sneaking in between.

  • The Original Sam Maguire

    re: McKinney – “He will certainly pick up young people votes.”

    He’d be the first SDLPer to do so in nearly 20 years Alan – what makes him so different to your stereotypical SDLP candidate? I know nothing about the man except that every time I see him on TV I think ‘silver fox’!

  • Harry J

    no harry j look at the facts, there are now 3 tory unionist partys in ulster politcs, who could have predicted this, carson is turning in his grave.
    ]

    no the facts are simple. The Tories said they would run in all 18 constituencies and lied,

    The DUP pushed for an independent candidate and got one.

    Conor says he will only take the TOry whip on matters not relating to NI, so very few then

  • Harry J

    South Belfast is a Bradshaw cert.

    lol apart from Ian Parsley no one has heard of her. she will sink without a trace.

    In a choice between Bradshaw and McDonell, not forgetting Lo, the vaguely Unionist electorate will go for Bradshaw. ……..

    yeah just like they all went for McGimpsey last time

    Jimmy Spratt. MP for Belfast SOuth

  • Michaelhenry

    harr j admit defeat, both the d.u.p and t.u.v have joined the love affair with the torys the same has the u.u.p, all peas from the same pot.

  • abc123

    Harry J, you are one big bore … !

  • british citizen

    “South Belfast is a Bradshaw cert. Most of the elctorate are literate and educated (ruling out Spratt). In a choice between Bradshaw and McDonell, not forgetting Lo, the vaguely Unionist electorate will go for Bradshaw.
    Slightly different in East Belfast where its 50/50 between Ringland and Long. Possible outside chance of Peter Robinson sneaking in between.”

    Posted by Driftwood on Apr 10, 2010 @ 12:54 AM

    I’d have to disagree with you Driftwood.

    South Belfast is split between middle class areas and working class areas. Almost all the middle class areas would be majority nationalist (Malone, Rosetta, Ormeau) and the large working class areas would be Unionist (Belvoir, Taughmonagh, Donegall Road, Woodstock Road). As much as I like Paula I think Spratt will win comfortably.

    As for anyone but Captain Robbo winning in the East – not a chance. It’s the safest seat in the country behind Gerry.

  • The Raven

    If he grinds you down, abc123, he’s won. 🙂

    He’s way off the mark though, in thinking this is going to be a whitewash.

    Word in “north” North Antrim is the traditional vote isn’t moving anywhere – it simply isn’t going to turn out. East Londonderry has Gregory sweating too. Might be a real surprise who takes that in the end. Not as safe as the minions would have you believe. “Gregory who?” is the catchphrase in Coleraine.

  • Dexter

    Even the talk of a single unionist candidate in SB gives the lie to any suggestion that a pact in FST is because of a perceived lack of representation by an abstentionist MP.

    McDonnell attends Westminster and, as far as I can see, represents those of Donegall Pass in the same way he represents those of Lower Ormeau.

    Further, the lies re candidacy in 18 constituencies by the ‘New’ Tories have allowed Dave’s mask to slip/. Either these people believe in the first past the post system or they should introduce PR or STV for Westminster. Democracy on their terms only

  • watcher

    Bradshaw is a Unity candidate – she has united unionists not to vote for her. How could you thrust the judgment of anyone marrying the Poisoned Parsley?

    see: http://atangledweb.squarespace.com/httpatangledwebsquarespace/mr-transparency.html

  • Quincey

    Paula Bradshaw strikes me as a bit of a Martina Anderson figure. Very much pre-packaged and designed for long term effect.

    In Fermanagh South Tyrone there was a Unity candidate because on the ground the people wanted it and major pressure was applied via local UUP to ‘GHQ’. Headquarters certainly didnt want it. And Ken Maguiness also looks like a total twat as well after his black and white statement. But the local UUP held the day. Good. I give them full creidt, not the DUP.

    BUT…. given Reg’s public arrogant anti-unity utterances, and the incredile unlikelyhood of a unity candidate in South Belfast, is the seat not likely to swing towards the DUP? Will the people on the ground not decide who is more worthy of their vote to regain the seat? On the surface i would suggest that via soundbites and media the DUP would be regarded by many as the most worthy. It will take an incredibly small swing to give the DUP that seat. In addition, with Anna Lo running can the SDLP be assures of the few thousand alliance voters they got the last time??

    As it sits i feel the DUP have a chance at South Belfast at least equal to the SDLP.

  • Driftwood

    Quincey
    Is the DUP candidate from the area? Every time I see him on TV ranting on about how his Prison Officers’ Association are the bees knees and its all the fault of managers at Maghaberry I really cringe. Can you actually see that man speaking in the Commons?

  • Quincey

    Fair enough point. But wouldnt be the first time we had someone elected that couldnt talk!!

    My comments arent from a party political viewpoint on this occasion, just trying to weigh up the facts.

    Is Paula not an East Belfast woman?? Ive been lucky enough to meet Paula at a mini-seminar and she is without doubt a nice person and capable.

    Where i have concerns as a Unionist is that i see Paula as another Lady Sylvia and Mike Nesbitt- Unionists but we are all at an absolute loss as too what sort of Unionists they are? Sylvia and Mike seem to avoid like hell issues like parades (like it or not an emotive one and an important one for large swathes of Unionism), security response to dissidents and even (amazingly for Mike) a clear view on what is a victim in Northern Ireland.

  • Quincey

    All of those three issues are vote winners/ losers within Unionism, substantially in some areas.

  • Driftwood

    Spratt reminds me of that DUP legend Johnny McQuade. Is that the sort of articulate mindset the people of South Belfast want to represent them?
    Oh well….
    Are parades really an issue in North Down or Strangford? Or even South Belfast?

  • Harry J

    harr j admit defeat, both the d.u.p and t.u.v have joined the love affair with the torys the same has the u.u.p, all peas from the same pot.
    Posted by Michaelhenry on Apr 10, 2010 @ 01:47 AM

    Micheal check out both the UUP and DUP websites. THe UUP have nothing on this whatsoever while the DUP are crowing about it

    The UUP have been bounced into this by the DUP, Connor is no CUNF

  • Cynic2

    Private Eye once published “The Collected Speeches of Johnny McQuade taken from Hansard at Stormont. Among them was:

    “Hear hear”

    “No Surrender”

    and perhaps the most articulate

    “Some members of this house have been making allegations behind my back and when I find the alligators I will deal with them”

    I fear that may be beyond Jimmy

  • Michaelhenry

    the d.u.p have been bounced out of fermanagh south tyrone harry j in favour of the torys, turn that willie mcrea record down and listen to the news.

  • Cynic2

    Its great to see so many commentators on here whose sole idea of politics is what flag the candidate is wrapped in and who have such a low opinion of the electorate

  • Michaelhenry

    candidates vote has well cynic2.

  • dwatch

    [i]Bradshaw is a Unity candidate – she has united unionists not to vote for her. How could you thrust the judgment of anyone marrying the Poisoned Parsley?[/i] see: http://atangledweb.squarespace.com/httpatangledwebsquarespace/mr-transparency.html

    Interesting watcher, the difference between SB and FST is that Foster DUP and Elliot UCUNF were prepared to sacrifice their candidacy to find a unity candidate. Whereas in SB only Spratt DUP is prepared to sacrifice his candidacy. Bradshaw UCUNF is already out sticking up posters, she has no intention of sacrificing her candidacy for a unity candidate. The Unionists electorate will notice this and indeed vote for Spratt DUP to win the seat.

  • Driftwood

    dwatch
    Catch yerself on. Anytime Finlay Spratt comes on TV, like Raymond Kennedy of the IFA, I visibly wince listening to him. His whinging is embarrassing. I’m surprised the Prison Officers actually voted him as their rep given his lack of communication skills.
    I suppose that applies to most public sector union reps but they’re not standing for the National Parliament.

  • GavBelfast

    Just lightening the mood that Cynic started, you missed out the best McQuade-ism of all:

    “Republicanism is like an octopus spreading its testicles across Northern Irelamd”.

    They don’t make them like that any-more.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Bradshaw UCUNF is already out sticking up posters, she has no intention of sacrificing her candidacy for a unity candidate.

    That’s exactly what I would do if I expected that my party were going to try to shaft me in favour of a unity candidate.

  • dwatch

    dwatch [i]Catch yerself on. Anytime Finlay Spratt comes on TV, like Raymond Kennedy of the IFA, I visibly wince listening to him. His whinging is embarrassing. I’m surprised the Prison Officers actually voted him as their rep given his lack of communication skills[/i]

    Driftwood, maybe you might do some research about the candidates selected for South Belfast 2010 before make a fool of yourself again. Its Jimmy Spratt not Finlay Scott

    http://www.dup.org.uk/MyProfile.asp?MemberID=31

  • Driftwood

    dwatch
    Who is Finlay Scott? I mentioned Finlay Spratt.

    My point is, why are the DUP putting up a ‘lightweight’ who can hardly string a sentence together. I assume ‘Jimmy’ Spratt is of the same quality as his brother Finlay, ie an ex public sector union rep with the same academic qualifications as the Reverend ‘Doctor’ Willie McCrea (PhD).
    Religious bigoted loonies, the lot of them.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Driftwood, if you keep going on like that, and with this idea you have that someone who isn’t a smooth talker can’t win elections, I might be forced to mention Martin Smyth and his stellar “record” as the UUP MP.

  • Driftwood

    Comrade
    The ‘old’ UUP including Smyth, Walker et al were a crap bunch of politicians. Rigor mortis had set in. I wouldn’t have voted for any of them.
    But there are a new set of candidates who hardly fit that bill. Some are relatively new to politics but that’s ok. I suspect you have a bit of admiration for Trevor Ringland, but since Naomi is the jewel in your crown, cannot admit it. (I would rather see Naomi win than Robinson).
    Aside from that you see the Upper Bann candidate for the Tories as a ‘joke’ because ??????
    Do you see Lesley Macaulay as a bigot? If so-why?
    Similarly Ringland etc.
    Politics is changing in NI. Just because Alliance are not leading the way shouldn’t cloud your view. I think Naomi would be a great MP, not as good as Trevor, but why do you loathe Harrison so much in Upper Bann? Is he as bigoted as Trevor Ringland?