Slugger presents the East Belfast Hustings….

The East Belfast seat is one of the most contested in Northern Ireland.

Come and watch Gavin Robinson and Naomi Long debate the key issues for the upcoming Westminster Election.

Sam McBride from the Newsletter, Allison Morris from the Irish News and columnist Alex Kane will also be in attendance to pose questions to the candidates.

This event is brought to you by and our partners Chambré Public Affairs & Lucid Talk.

Tickets are free but you do need to book. We will not admit anyone without a ticket.

Tickets are now sold out but click here to put your name on the reserve list…


Explantory Note:

This is a non-selective hustings. The organisers have sought to create a short and focussed hustings in East Belfast. It would have been impractical to run a short hustings event with all the candidates present as the time allocated to each candidate would have been so short. Instead criteria have been applied to shrink the field of candidates invited to participate tonight.

  • We have invited candidates from parties that had a significant share of the vote (10% or more) in the constituency at the 2010 Westminster election, while taking into account more recent elections (2011 Assembly and 2014 Local Government in case there was evidence of a significant shift in support
  • Three parties qualify: Alliance, DUP and UUP. The UUP are not running a candidate. The two candidates invited have a much greater local prominence than any of the other candidates standing in 2015 and occupy distinct and different areas of the political spectrum found in East Belfast.

The organisers and chair of the hustings have no links to the parties running in the constituency.

The invited candidates will be given equal time to answer questions and reasonable opportunity within the overall hustings to respond to points made against them by other candidates. After opening statements by the invited candidates, they will be asked questions by our panel who work and write across the full range of Belfast daily newspapers. Finally the candidates will have an equal time to question each other.

As well as listening to the invited candidates, the audience will be informed about the other candidates and parties contesting the election in East Belfast.

  • Brian O’Neill

    Care to elaborate?

  • In another place, John comments:

    Whats the point of a supporter of another Party attending when their candidate is banned by Slugger. Absolute disgrace. Shame on Slugger O’Toole.

  • John might equally ask what’s the point of anyone who thinks they know how they’ll vote for attending.

    There are at least two other longer duration East Belfast hustings that I understand are inviting ‘all’ candidates (though if lots of independents stand they’ll have to make a call too on how many are practical).

    Remember that this particular hustings is shorter in duration (probably half the length of the others). The explanation is above at the bottom of the post.

  • Ross Brown

    “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum….”

  • Think of it as us keeping a couple of candidates off the streets and giving you longer to leaflet and canvass! There will be other hustings too … and I’m sure your voice will be heard.

  • Séamus

    Patronising nonsense.

  • Ben De Hellenbacque

    And we might equally ask for the meaning of “who thinks know who they’ll vote for attending (sic)”. Was this an open invitation to being shamed on slugger?

  • Reader

    John Mooney: The Green Party, SDLP and Sinn Féin wont be winning East Belfast in May….but all have the potential to affect the result.
    Well, at least the/a Green Party will be debating Cameron, which neither the DUP nor Alliance will get to do. I expect that will make more *actual* difference. And maybe the highly-evolved Ross Brown can stand in for Natalie Bennett tomorrow night; which might help even more.

  • eireanne

    For anyone who’s interested here’s the link to John’s blog

    And talking about links to blogs you might enjoy this one about East, East, East Belfast – Long before the DUP/UUP Pact and Slugger’s Big Night Out, rightly or wrongly, it focussed on Naomi and our Gav

  • Catcher in the Rye

    Notably there is no Party on the platform that opposes Tory Cuts

    Alliance and the DUP both oppose the cuts and voted against them at Westminster.

  • Catcher in the Rye

    They have no choice.

  • Gingray


  • Gingray

    This event you claim is a ‘non-selective hustings.’

    Except it’s not. Slugger has applied criteria to select who will be invited.

    This looks like a simple way to prop up the alliance candidate, as having the greens sdlp and sinn fein on the same stage may give voters a chance to see its not just a 2 horse race where you support the candidate you dislike least.


  • Catcher in the Rye

    There are limitations to the powers of politicians, and when they lie about what is possible they only damage themselves and the political process in general.

    As Greece and Iceland show, not even sovereign states have control over their own economies.

  • Turgon

    In this case I think John Mooney and Ross Brown’s views are spot on. This seems a deliberate attempt by certain leading sluggerite or sluggerites (I suspect not Mick himself) to help Alliance.

    If it were not for the relative unimportance of this event it would be an unfair attempt to subvert the democratic process.

  • Cue Bono

    These are people who are used to debating amongst themselves. I think it goes back to when the Provo prisoners were sitting in the Maze with nothing better to do than debate with each other about how great they were. Coming along to places like Slugger, where unionists are starting to get a voice, comes as a nasty shock to them.