#AE Open thread: Mid Ulster (#mul11)…

There’s a profile of Mid Ulster in today’s Irish News, which takes the view that of all the candidates of the established parties in the field it is the Ulster Unionist candidate Sandra Overend who is most likely to miss out in a squeeze for four seats by Sinn Fein.

In truth, everyone else is either playing it cool or outright defensively. By my imperfect calculations, Sinn Fein would need slightly better than a perfect storm here to do the trick neatly enough to give Ian Milne that fourth seat…

Ms Overend is the daughter of outgoing Ulster Unionist MLA Billy Armstrong, is taking the novel root of actually seeking her own mandate rather than doing what is becoming fashionable these days, ie, letting the incumbent run and then seeking a convenient co-option afterwards.

Others in the field are Walter Millar (TUV); Michael McDonald (Alliance); Harry Hutchinson (People before Profit). What do you think?

Sammy Morse’s 2007 Assembly profile….

– And Splintered Sunrise’s (‘Deliverance’) profile from last year’s Westminster election…

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  • john

    No way will SF get 4 seats this time it would take some serious Unionist apathy or crazy reductions at the garden centre to happen. SDLP will hold their quota, as mentioned on another thread they seemed to have stopped the rot.
    So no change this time but SF will get their 4th seat next time.
    P.s just read on the telegraph that Mcleans bookies messed up the odds and were offering 5/1 and not 1/5 on 3SF 1SDLP 1UUP 1DUP. Wish I had seen that and put all my savings on it!

  • PaddyReilly

    Don’t see this at all. Last time the UUP were 3000 votes ahead of the second SDLP candidate. The boundaries remain unchanged. Not a likely gain for SF or SDLP, unless SF takes one from SDLP. No particular reason to suppose TUV are on a winner either, so no change.

  • PaddyReilly

    The Irish news piece has apparently been written by a person who doesn’t understand STV.

    The DUP man will be elected first go; the UUP woman will be short of a quota. Walter Millar (TUV) will be eliminated, his transfers will go to the UUP woman, who will be elected. There will be about a quarter of a quota of Unionist votes with no obvious recipient: perhaps some will go to keep the SDLP candidate afloat in his battle against SF.

  • Mark McGregor

    If SF get four we will all have to raise Simon Cunningham on our shoulders and praise him as the presceint journalist of his age.

    Somehow I doubt Simon will be lauded – I’m filing his constituency profile under N – naive.

  • oak leaf in north Belfast

    Although it’s very highly unlikely if Millar can beat Overend with 1st preference’s Sinn Fein has a slight chance for the 4.

    McCrea won’t get elected on the 1st count either.

  • There are four seats west of the Bann (plus South Dow and Upper Bann) where further greening is inevitable….but not yet.
    To some extent Sinn Féins advance over the past decade has been stopped. Two factors …SDLP vote has bottomed out and there will be no real movement on boundaries or demographics.

  • fairdeal4all

    Overend is a safe bet for the seat. The only problem she might have is a backlash from those electors not happy with the “keep it in the family” notion and from those who are not happy with the way she got the nomination. It is an open seceret that she was selected simply because the UUP wanted a woman to stand and the party forced her male opponent to step down “in the best interests of the party”

  • separatesix

    Walter Miller probably won’t be elected, but he’s in with the best chance ever, after a series of recent sectarian attacks on protestants and the flaunting of republican symbols in Mid Ulster the TUV could outpoll other unionist parties. Unionists in this largely Sinn Fein dominated constituency feel let down by the McCrea “dynasty’s” U-turn on everything they claimed to stand for, unionists backs are against the wall TUV is the only party to go for in the assembly election in Mid Ulster despite the DUP already having an established base.

  • separatesix

    will assembly seats will be reduced in number?

  • Mark McGregor

    TUV supporter in shock TUV have a chance prediction!

    Things are just getting silly now.

  • separatesix

    Sandra Overend seems a little nervous during tv appearances, and P.E.B’s, however being in the assembly might improve that. Some foolish unionist farmers will vote UUP no matter what. The TUV were ahead of the UUP and DUP in Mid Ulster in the 2010 Westminster election which proves Walter Miller and council candidates are the only genuine unionists standing.

  • separatesix

    I’m UKIP actually Mark plus I support a Flemish homeland.

  • john

    One of the few times I find myself agreeing with you separatesix. On the PEB Overend looks like a rabbit dazzled by the headlights of an oncoming truck!

  • Mark McGregor

    separatesix,

    Both Nigel and Gawain have bought me drinks in the past. Top party the aul UKIP 😉

    You too should feel free to buy me drinks.

  • separatesix

    I’ve viewed people on slugger from all parties talking up their chances. I’m not Turgon I’m not supporting any particular party I’m just getting the sense that TUV will be more successful than others think, despite their lack of funds.

  • separatesix

    Anytime Mark!

  • separatesix

    Overend came across badly on the UTV women in politics debate she would be transformed with public speaking lessons.

  • drumcairnharp

    Millar has little chance. McCrea will top the Unionist side with Overend 2nd. Agreed Overend was very poor on womens debate even to the point of having briefing notes on her knees but will still get in.There is a hard core of UUP voters who will vote for as she describes herself “a wife of a crazy pig farmer”.

  • There are two unionist seats.
    McCrea (DUP) is safe.
    Millar is a better candidate than Overend.
    Overend will get more first preferences. The transfers from McCrea probably wont make a real difference.

  • separatesix

    Drumcairnharp you are mistaken! McCrea may have been an assembly member and have all the party resources but It’s four years since the last assembly election. Things have changed, I’ve heard Junior McCrea being branded a sell-out. TUV are the largest unionist part in Mid-Ulster and the Westminster election proved it. Miller to gain at McCreas expense.

  • separatesix

    I stand corrected McCrea was leading unionist there at Westminster.
    Fact remains DUP is in free fall.
    Westminster 2010
    Ian Paisley JR down -10.4%
    Jeffrey Donaldson down -8.5%
    Gregory Campbell down -6.3%
    David Simpson down -3.8%
    Nigel Dodds down -2.9%
    The DUP”s vote went down in all constituences not gaining anywhere.

  • separatesix

    Strangford Jim Shannon down -8.8%, surely if they are “the party for Northern Ireland” they ought to have gained votes between elections not lost them as they did.

  • quality

    I wouldn’t read too much into any DUP drop in the Westminster elections, it was on the back of anti-Robinson feeling – emphasised by east Belfast, but also the drop in the Strangford vote you alluded to. Then Allister was always going to cut into the Paisley vote, but the number of seats they returned speaks for itself.

    If there is a decline of sorts, and I can’t see that there is, you would imagine the upcoming Stormont elections would arrest that – particularly given that the UUs are in absolute free fall.

  • drumcairnharp

    Separatesix. I agree with u about the drop in the DUP vote but its not transferring to any other party. Millar would make a good MLA but the “keep it in the family” candidates will probably succeed. It is interesting I was canvass today by Ms Overend who was only promoting herself. It was not until I pushed her did she mention the council candidate Kelly(who ironicaly was with her). When I queried her on this her answer was that the councillors were not supporting her. So much for the UUP pulling together.

  • youngpolitico

    Separatesix I disagree that this is Walter Millar’s best chance yet. One minute he is DUP, next he is demanding Ulster’s Independence from the Union then running with Bob McCartney in UKUP and now he’s on the political bandwagon with the TUV. It is hard to know what he will stand for if actually elected though he will get the old man vote – you know the old men who sit around talking about operation motorman and how it should have went ahead. As for Sandra Overend well it’s not much better… she got the family ticket and hasn’t shaken off the “I’m only here because of who I’m related to” jibes yet but well upon her election (let’s face it ladies and gents it is pretty much a cert) she will hopefully shake off that label and prove herself a worthy candidate, though I’m not holding my breath. Ian McCrea… well he is MCCREA so that’s him elected.

    All in all we here in Mid Ulster have sweet F A to choose from on the unionist side of things and in reality there is no point in voting.

  • separatesix

    Interesting comment youngpolitico! I always laugh when I hear Overend talk about her reasons for joining the UUP. Probably because her father was in the party rather than her own political conviction. Don’t be discouraged go out and vote.

  • Backbencher

    ‘When I queried her on this her answer was that the councillors were not supporting her’

    If this comment is correct then Mid Ulster may yet throw up a surprise. I had this area down as a ‘No Change’ but Millar may have an outside chance of upsetting the odds. If he can add an extra 1000 votes to his 2010 figure he could be in play. He only needs to outlast Overend to be favourite to take the last seat. If their is some dissatisfaction in the local UUP over her selection she is unlikely to poll as well as 2010. The unhappy UUP voters may well vote for Millar before McCrea. All said the first count will tell the tale.

  • fairdeal4all

    Backbencher. Dont think there will be any change. The unhappy UUP members will pobably stay at home rather than vote DUP or TUV. Overend is only there cause the Armstrongs rule Mid Ulster but its a safe seat for them Will be interesting to see how Overend handles the press. A telling factor is the UUP have never had her on debating politics. The only time she was on was after Bradshaw resigned and she stated that UUP candidates were selected only on merit(joke of the year) and last week when she talked about womans issues. On both occassions she needed briefing notes but then again she is an Elliott babe.

  • separatesix

    TUV is the party of choice among younger unionists, Mid-Ulster is no exception, TUV stands apart from the other established parties which have been tainted by the out-going provo-inclusive executive, TUV opposed to student fees. 18-24 year olds from unionist backgrounds more likely to vote TUV than DUP or UUP.

  • youngpolitico

    Separatesix I’m 21 and for myself, my friends and my family the TUV is viewed more as being an old man’s party… which helps explain the parties abject failure in this election.

    If so many young people are in support of the party why all the old balding men running as candidates?