Belfast East, County Antrim
MP: Naomi Long (Alliance)
Here are some figures from the 2010 General Election
2010 Votes 2010 Share
Alliance 12,839 37.23%
DUP 11,306 32.78%
UCUNF 7,305 21.18% (now UUP)
OTH 1,856 5.38% (TUV, Greens etc)
SF 817 2.37%
SDLP 365 1.06%
Alliance Majority 1,533 4.45%
Comment: The low percentages for SF and the SDLP probably come from the Short Strand, a tiny Nationalist/Republican enclave in East Belfast.
2015 Favourite – Naomi Long (Alliance). The incumbent (sitting MP) is usually the favourite
2015 Second favourite – Gavin Robinson (DUP)
Will Ms Long hold the seat? That’s the burning question
East Belfast or Belfast East as it’s now known, was long considered a Loyalist/Unionist stronghold.
It is undoubtedly a Unionist stronghold.
Ms Long’s election cast doubts on whether it is a Loyalist stronghold.
The Belfast Telegraph analysed the constituency last week, concluding that the DUP had a 6% advantage.
So will East, East, East Belfast vote DUP and return to being a Loyalist stronghold?
Or will the seat stay won for Alliance?
Let’s look at the pros and cons for each candidate
Ms Long (born 1971) – comes from East Belfast and has won the reputation of being a good, hard-working MP
2001: she was elected to Belfast City Council for Victoria Ward, East Belfast.
2003: she was elected as an MLA for East Belfast
2009: she became the second female Lord Mayor of Belfast (2009-2010)
By profession she is a civil engineer.
Neither she, nor her party, has any links with paramilitary groups like the UDA and UVF
What does she say about the Alliance party?
“The Alliance Party of Northern Ireland is Northern Ireland’s cross-community party, dedicated to providing non-sectarian politics to the people of Northern Ireland”.
As an Alliance MP she has transformed the image of her constitutents into a more tolerant, modern, forward-looking electorate.
Her majority is small
She may have won because of disappointment Peter Robinson’s leadership of the DUP and the scandals with his wife Iris. If public opinion has changed she may not hold the seat
Gavin Robinson (born 1985)
2010 He was co-opted to replace Sammy Wilson as Belfast City Councillor for Pottinger, East Belfast.
2011 He was elected Councillor
He was the 57th Lord Mayor of Belfast (2012-2013)
He works as a barrister
He stated on twitter “I’m a Belfast Orangeman”
And here’s a wee pic to prove it,
He’s standing next to Twadell’s Civil Rights Camp hardliner, George Chittick, Belfast County Grand Master
Query: Where’s Belfast County?
Comment: So no non-sectarian politics for Our Gav!
What does he say about the DUP?
He would do “all in my power to make sure the voice of East Belfast in Westminster is a unionist voice“.
Query: Does “a unionist voice” mean “an Orange voice”?
On the other hand
Another Robinson MP for East Belfast ?
When Peter Robinson lost East Belfast, it became personal.
DUP/Orange Order want it back – it was theirs for 30-odd years
Comment: In 1979 Peter Robinson originally won East Belfast by only 64 votes , standing against William Craig for the UUP and Oliver Napier for Alliance
When DUP embraced Loyalism in their campaigns over designated days for the Union Flag and Orange Order parades it handed East Belfast over to paramilitaries and hard line Loyalism.
Queries: Does Peter Robinson trust Our Gav to go to the shops for him?
What does Our Gav think about gay cakes and blood donations?
Will Our Gav censure plays and shows he doesn’t like?
Comments: 1) The East Belfast electorate has to decide if it wants to be represented by non-sectarian politics or hardline fundamentalism
2)Tactical voting by Nationalists, Republicans and some others might swing the seat for Alliance if enough voters come out. Will their parties encourage them to, as they won’t win anyway?
3) If the DUP does not re-gain Belfast East and loses North Belfast to Gerry Kelly SF, there will be no hard-line Unionist/Orange Order MPs returned from Belfast to Westminster.
Orange/Loyalist Unionism could lose its capital!