One of the biggest surprises of the European election in 2009 was just how well the Green’s Stephen Agnew and the then Alliance Ian Parsley did. Both polled so far beyond expectations they were in the running for the Slugger Awards ‘up and coming politician’ gong (is it a ‘gong’?).
A lot of water has passed under Parsley’s bridge since then – a jump to the Conservatives and subsequent failed run for Westminster beneath the UCUNF banner. With The UCUNF brand all but dead his political ambitions seem to be facing an early end and that frustration rings out in recent blogs.
The setting of Parsley’s star would seem to leave the field open for Agnew to easily retain Brian Wilson’s Assembly seat, something his European candidature was surely about profiling. Wilson’s vote was built on personal reputation that came to the Green’s with his defection from Alliance (I’ve heard his campaigning for years consisted of hundreds of hand written letters to supporters retained in the databank of his head – this could be myth but would be exceptional old school parish-pump politics) – unfortunately for Agnew he doesn’t have that background.
However, Mark Devenport notes developing rumours that Wilson’s wife, Anne, could join the fray as a 2nd Alliance candidate – with a constituency so strange could she pinch the Green seat and deliver the first Alliance two representative constituency? Or would she be a potential threat to Stephen Farry he would work to keep off the ticket? The undoing of Green ambitions via familial politics?
Don’t you just love North Down.