The burden of incumbency and being at the fullest logistical stretch clearly leads to some awkward solutions. It seems that Sinn Fein is not the only party with what Tony Benn used to call ‘ishoos’ west of the Bann.
Belfast’s hardest working pol hack Sam McBride reports…
Last month the DUP announced that it was standing two candidates in the constituency – despite the fact that in last year’s general election its vote was less than the quota required for one MLA.
Sources have since indicated that the local association deselected the sitting MLA, Ian McCrea, in favour of Keith Buchanan. The DUP leadership then reintroduced Mr McCrea as a candidate but did not remove Mr Buchanan.
Now posters have appeared across the constituency which contains a tiny image of DUP leader Arlene Foster. But, unlike DUP posters in other parts of the Province, they do not contain the candidates’ names, photographs or advice on which should receive first preference votes.
If anything, the posters appear to undermine the standing of the outgoing MLA, stating: “Vote DUP I,2 in order of YOUR choice”.
This oddball solution should lean to the incumbent’s favour. But a retiring MLA Ian McCrea not getting selected would suggest that he has some serious internal stakeholder management ishoos of his own to attend to.
Once is bad luck…
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty