DUP announce Assembly candidates, including a new face in East Belfast and two double-jobbers

Political parties have been slowly announcing their council and Assembly candidates ahead of May’s elections. This morning, the DUP are announcing their full slate of Assembly candidates, which includes two MPs.

There will be interest in the three man DUP line up for East Belfast. The party’s council candidates attracted attention a couple of weeks ago as Orangeman and Belfast County Grand Master Tom Haire displaced an irate David Rodway in the Victoria ward.

The East Belfast Assembly candidates are:

  • Peter Robinson
  • Robin Newton
  • Sammy Douglas

Lord Wallace Browne isn’t standing this time, having previously indicated that he was standing down from Belfast City Council in May – double jobbing no more – and instead the third place on the Assembly ticket has switched to local community worker and activist Sammy Douglas.

Sammy DouglasDescribed in a 1995 New York Times article about Protestants and Paranoia as a “cheerful man”, Sammy has spent the last 25 years working in loyalist communities and has a strong record in reconciliation (a founder member of the Belfast Interface Group). He was awarded an MBE for services to the community in 2003.

Sammy currently sits on the board of East Belfast Partnership and works with East Belfast Community Development Agency. He was appointed to the Ashdown Strategic Review of Parading in 2007 and is on the board of Skainos, the £20m urban regeneration project on the Lower Newtownards Road (often referred to as “Inner East”) coming out of East Belfast Mission.

Originally from Sandy Row, it’s perhaps understandable that Sammy is a life long Linfield supporter – that’ll stick in the craw of Glens men! He has previously worked as a special adviser for Peter Robinson. He was appointed by current Presbyterian Moderator Rev Dr Norman Hamilton as his “community chaplain” for the year, and is also a dab hand with a pair of bongo drums!

 

Both the DUP and UUP have been criticized for relying on working class loyalist votes but doing little to address the deprivation and educational underachievement in areas like Inner East. So switching out a Lord for a community worker is a smart move.

If the DUP do actually fear that Alliance will continue to eat into their past pool of loyal voters, it is sensible that they look to bolster support elsewhere. Running Sammy Douglas will put pressure on other unionist candidates like the PUP’s Brian Ervine and independent Dawn Purvis (to whom I spoke a fortnight ago).

Given his very public defeat last May – never mind Gerry Adams’ success in Louth – there will be a temptation for the DUP to make sure that Peter Robinson tops the poll in East Belfast. In a tight and over-crowded field, crass vote management could damage their chances of returning all three MLAs.

 

Bringing new faces into the DUP line-up in East Belfast (and also people like Brenda Hale in Lagan Valley – whose husband died in 2009 while serving with the 2 Rifles in Afghanistan) could point to a lack of internal voter-friendly talent within the DUP. Or it could be seen as their ability to learn from UCUNF (and the SDLP) in persuading people at the fringes of the party to harness skills honed in the outside world for the democratic good under the banner of the DUP manifesto and principles.

DUP candidates for the Assembly election in other constituencies are listed below. MPs Gregory Campbell and Sammy Wilson are both on the list. But the first constituency elections for a long time without a Paisley on the ballot paper.

Lagan Valley
Edwin Poots
Brenda Hale
Jonathan Craig
Paul Givan

East Belfast
Peter Robinson
Robin Newton
Sammy Douglas

North Belfast
Nelson McCausland
William Humphrey
Paula Bradley

West Belfast
Brian Kingston

South Belfast
Jimmy Spratt
Ruth Patterson

South Antrim
Pam Lewis
Trevor Clarke
Paul Girvan

North Antrim
Paul Frew
Mervyn Storey
Evelyne Robinson
David McIlveen

East Londonderry
Gregory Campbell
Adrian McQuillan
George Robinson

Foyle
William Hay

West Tyrone
Tom Buchanan
Allan Bresland

Fermanagh & South Tyrone
Arlene Foster
Maurice Morrow

Newry & Armagh
William Irwin

South Down
Jim Wells

Strangford
Jonathan Bell
Michelle McIlveen
Simon Hamilton
William Walker

North Down
Peter Weir
Gordon Dunne
Alex Easton

Upper Bann
Stephen Moutray
Sydney Anderson

East Antrim
Gordon Lyons
Alastair Ross
David Hilditch
Sammy Wilson

Mid Ulster
Ian McCrea

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  • Drumlins Rock

    Any word on the council candidates? Lord Morrow is a Triple Jobber at the minute, just wondering would he at least give up one role?

  • In general I agree with the number of candidates per constituency; four in East Antrim is ambitious but probably worth a shot. The only thing that surprises me is that there is no third DUP candidate in Upper Bann, where they had over two quotas last time; the UUP were lucky to get a second seat then and have probably over-nominated with three candidates this year, so I’d have thought squeezing them for the fourth Unionist seat should be a distinct possibility.

  • Drumlins Rock

    What happened to the talk of only 3 candidates in Strangford?

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Strangford.is there a reason why Simpson Gibson (who replaced Jim Shannon) is not on the ticket?
    The inclusion of William Walker presumably makes it easier for the three current MLAs to hold on as they now have a distinct advantage over Walker.
    On Upper Bann….I think that two DUP candidates makes sense. I see it in the context of Dr Weir not being selected.

    First of all they are unlikely to actually increase their numbers. So its a defensive strategy.
    Three UUP (too many) candidates have been selected)
    The Alliance CAN actually win a seat thru fast tracked Harry Hamilton (although they have a fig leaf to traditional AP voters in Ms McQuaid…..destined perhaps for other things)..Hamilton is likely to pick up Ms McQuaids “Catholic” transfers but the bulk of his own vote will be “Protestant” thus making a unionist seat vulnerable than a nationalist one..

    Of course I must emphasise that these calculations play no part in Alliance Party thinking. It will just work that way.

    The unionist field is already over-crowded therefore. The DUP are weaker without Weir. And both DUP men are Craigavon” based. A “Banbridge” DUP runner might boost the DUP vote but Id suggest that it would only serve to weaken Mr Anderson.
    Mr Andersons best chance of holding on is two rather than three candidates. With Hamilton in the field, the DUP are playing defensively and feel that the he might take a UUP seat.

    Sammy Douglas. Strange new departure for DUP. And I suspect a defensive move. Wallace Brown moves on to new things which helps Robinson & Newton and Douglas inclusion while unlikely to appeal to the Belmont Bowling Club or Free Presbyterians is giving DUP an intro into the “community politics” which Dawn Purvis represents.
    The impression that Peter “I will attend a Mass” Robinson gives is of a man intent on reforming his party and profile.

    But there is a curiousity. For decades Liberals, lefties and commentators have been complaining about DUP or SF intransigence.
    When SF “changes” ……its the liberals, lefties and commentators who get angry about it.
    Likewise when DUP does the same thing.

  • Mark McGregor

    Alan,

    Your pen-portrait of Sammy Douglas neglects to mention his role as advisor to Peter Robinson. It ends up sounding like he is new to DUP circles.

  • Mark – No one who ends up on a poster is a complete newcomer. But while Sammy was an adviser, he wasn’t a member of the party.

  • vanhelsing

    Sammy looks like a good bloke [not his picture]. I think re-connection with working class prods is a necessity for the DUP. It was forgotten and it looks now that they are rectifying the error.

    fitzjameshorse1745 gets it about right on the other issues. I thought I saw on a thread somewhere here that the Flashman was high maintenance, anyone comment on this one?

  • YelloSmurf

    Sammy Douglas makes East Belfast very interesting as we could end up with four candidates (Ervine, Purvis, one DUP and one Alliance) fighting for the last two seats. I don’t think that Ervine is in with much of a chance, but that still means that one of the other 3 will lose out.

    I’m surprised by David McIlveen in North Antrim. Presumably that is an attempt to retain and strengthen the Free P vote now that Paisley Snr has stood down.

  • The Raven

    “Meet the new boss – the same as the old boss”.

  • Comrade Stalin

    It was disappointing to hear Robinson doing the usual sabre rattling thing, what with all that talk of “stopping the SF all-Ireland agenda”. There is no prospect whatsoever of SF’s all-Ireland agenda being advanced any further for at least another ten years.

  • The Raven

    Oh and PS…have I read this right? 7 women candidates out of a total of 44? Nice…

  • RyanA

    In May2010, talliers for both DUP and Alliance reported Long (alliance) was in some boxes outpolling Robinson 2:1 in some working class areas, So the motive for Douglas is clear – take back the working class votes, and stop alliance taking a seat away from them.

  • Drumlins Rock

    May was special, will be very hard to guess where Long’s vote will go this time, will prob drift a bit in every direction.

    What I would like to know is how many are “old School” DUP and how many are “blow-ins”.

  • 2 frys 2 teas

    the double jobbing thing is wearing a bit thin now….

  • Drumlins Rock

    It hasnt gone away you know…..

    2 frys, the issue was partly dealt with and promises made, the DUP has once again failed to keep their promise to remove double jobbers, particularly in the case of Campbell with no justifiable reason, and Lord Morrows triple jobbing looks set to continue as well.

  • granni trixie

    I knew that in recent years Sammy Douglas had worked closely with DUP Councillors but have to say that I am floored by his decision to join the DUP. What next …what equivalent will stand for SF?

    FJH: if you had ever come into contact with Sheila McQuaid you would not regard her as anybody’s fig leaf – she is formidable! BTW, I sat on a committee with her and didn’t realise she was a Catholic, thanks for that.

  • It was disappointing to hear Robinson doing the usual sabre rattling thing, what with all that talk of “stopping the SF all-Ireland agenda”. There is no prospect whatsoever of SF’s all-Ireland agenda being advanced any further for at least another ten years.” …. Comrade Stalin 28 February 2011 at 7:30 pm

    It is all one can expect from bankrupt parochial intellectualism, Comrade. He’s just following stupid orders and he’s found his place and is quite comfortable there, but it aint either leadership or even good public service.

    Any advance on self-service being the reason for most everyone’s jobbing.

    And Gregory’s lamentable performance on the Nolan Show this morning, trying to defend the indefensible and spin his way out of a promise that the DUP made to the electorate, suggests that there are any number of intellectual bankruptcies chancing their arm in the politics game in the province. Such charlatans are not what is needed.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Granni Trixie,
    I have indeed met Ms McQuaid on several occasions….well ok about four occasions. Always struck me as rather pleasant.
    In the event of her possible non election to the Assembly in May, she should have no trouble being returned at Council level.
    I wonder if David Ford might recommend her later this year for an honour such as MBE for services to …

  • granni trixie

    Would be very surprised if DF recommended anyone for “honours” – would be a first (may be wrong, but my understanding is that he is “Republican” and doesnt believe in the system).

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    ……so he wont be in the House of Lords when he retires. Noted.

  • granni trixie

    I would be amazed if DF went to the Lords. Actually, I know quite a few people who do not ‘approve’ of the Honours system,many of them within APNI. Yes, FJH, I know it goes against your assumptions but it is my experience.

  • pauluk

    Mars and Stalin, you shouldn’t believe everything you read in the Belfast Telegraph. Your ‘quote’, CS, is a fake. Read what Robbo actually said before condemning him!

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    granni trixie…I dont think I made any assumptions. Ms McQuaid is a highly respected councillor as indeed was her hubby who I believe might have even chaired Banbridge Council. Youd know better.
    But it has often been the case that long serving councillors are awarded honours on the basis of “their contribution to local government” or quangos.
    While many within Alliance Party do not hold with such flummery, many do. A look at the AP website or council profiles might reveal the names.
    While David Ford might well be a republican at heart…..I dont think he would allow his personal beliefs to stand in the way of any party member who actually valued such nonsense.
    And if he was aware that any long standing or retiring AP member actually valued such nonsense and he could as a Party leader recommend an honour to the Cabinet Office…I am sure it would be accepted.
    Patronage is of course an advantage to a Party Leader and I heartily commend David Ford for not being the sort of leader who would dangle potential baubles at party members as a quid pro pro.
    With Ms McQuaid on the ticket for Upper Bann……but now being joined by Harry Hamilton…..she is I suspect unlikely t be the winner in which is now a winnable seat.
    I will be much interested in her career after May.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    I should of course declare my interest in the Honours system….I dont have one. Perhaps next time.

  • Drumlins Rock

    FJH, maybe you have one from the Jacobite System your not telling us about!

    BTW. if Mallies rumours about Lord Reg are right is Morrow the only double jobbing Lord left? sorry meant triple jobbing.

  • Mars and Stalin, you shouldn’t believe everything you read in the Belfast Telegraph.” ….. pauluk 1 March 2011 at 10:34 pm

    Hi, pauluk 1,

    The wiser and wisest of men would probably do best not believing anything which can be read in papers, for the picture they paint is past and it is old news that they share, and it is the future which matters.

    And newspaper owners always have a subjective political agenda which dictates what they they share, and how they share it. Or are they completely different from everybody else?

    I don’t think so, …… ergo are they the best of fish supper wrappings. If you want future news and innovative views, here in virtual space is where IT’s all at, and where all the big hitters hang out for the craic and the zerodays to exploit.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Drumlins Rock……alas I am persona non grata in “modern” (sic) Jacobite circles (they havent gone away you know)…….due to my satanic republican practices I am hellbound.
    Francis II continues to completely ignore me. (as indeed many other people do). This is due to

    1……….his majestic, indeed serene discretion in all matters pertaining to his legitimacy
    OR
    2 ……..he has formed the opinion that “modern” (sic) Jacobites are not entirely sane and he should at all times avoid eye contact.

    Due to my own majestic and serene discretion, I cannot comment further. But I have been in a room with about 40 of them on a few occasions.

  • Drumlins Rock

    FJH, I bet you Dan Brown is using them as the basis for his next book !

    Its actually an area I would love to look into more ie. Irish Jacobites, purely historical ones of course!

  • dwatch

    Lord Wallace Brown concern over double jobbing must have inspired Lord Reg Empey to likewise leave the assembly and withdraw his name from the UUP MLA candidate list in East Belfast. The 2nd UUP candidate for east Belfast Tim Lemon has withdrawn as well. He is moving to London.

    “Lord Empey set to leave Assembly”

    Read more: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/lord-empey-set-to-leave-assembly-15100867.html#ixzz1FQKdjUtG

  • Rocketeer

    Apparently the UUP will run Phillip Robinson in East Belfast instead of Reg Empey – I wonder if this is a cunning plan to confuse voters to put an x next to Phillip and not Peter Robinson! LOL!

  • Drumlins Rock

    So long as Iris dosn’t get confused…

    I understand Philip remains a “civil servant” be it a politically appointed one, and would have to resign, hence the delay in Reg’s standing down. Well that’s what Mr. Mallie is saying.

    BTW Rocket, if the name confusion didn’t help Ian Parsley much I cant see it making much difference here.