East, East, East Belfast – Naomi vs Our Gav

Belfast East,  County Antrim

naomi long

MP: Naomi Long (Alliance)

Here are some figures from the 2010 General Election

Electorate: 59,007
Turnout:    58.45%

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

gavin robinson

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

naomi long

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

long LM

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.

on other hand 2

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

DUP candidate

gr lord mayor

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

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!

belfast cranes








5 thoughts on “East, East, East Belfast – Naomi vs Our Gav

  1. One of three that are too close to call.
    She won it in 2010 in a perfect storm. …I dont think too much depends on nationalist votes in the area.
    There is a hard core that would not vote A,liance in a fit.
    And the softer nationalists will support Naomi Long. The 2010 figures suggest there is nothing left for Naomi. She is going to get all the nationalist votes, she is going to get.
    Alliance has since polarised people min East Belfast. There is a sympathy vote for their “bravery” but loyalists are more hostile because of Flegs.
    I dont of course like Alliance. They try to be all things to all people.
    They DO have a tie-in with the Liberal Democrats. But Ms Long sits on the Opposition benches.
    Her fellow East Belfast Alliance (still?) John Alderdice has a Government position in the “House of Lords”.
    Occasional Alliance member Paula Bradshaw was on the Tory-Unionist ticket in 2010. What benches would she sit on. There is a gap in Alliance defences here. Exploitable in East Belfast and certainly South Belfast.

    UUP has to run. For them, its about 2016. They cannot stand aside (unless they get a big price) but softer UUP and TUV voters are definitely in play.
    Dont under-estimate the Green vote…especially in terms of Welfare Cuts. I actually think Greens could do well here in 2016 and get left leaning votes (especially if Greens have a good showing in English opinion polls).
    The Greens have the potential to damage Alliance in the same way Womens Coalition a decade ago.
    Anything can happen in next twelve weeks.
    But at this stage Id say its a DUP win.


  2. Thanks for your comment with all that extra information and details of the risks of a moderate Unionist vote being fragmented into several small parties.
    Your forecast of a DUP win could well be accurate but I really hope it doesn’t come true!!
    apart from anything else the electorate of east. east, east belfast deserve some sort of chance to move beyond the usual slogans. They did it once – let’s hope they do it again!
    PS have you seen the latest New Statesman article? the DUP are offering to go into a Westminster coalition with Labour! http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2015/02/dup-could-do-deal-labour-says-partys-westminster-leader
    Labour! the question is of course whether British Labour wants to go into a coalition with them!


  3. Pingback: Unionist Pact and the Orange Order – Power at all costs | the mirror@wordpress.com

    • Thanks for your comment Trea – Totally agree
      but more importantly – it’s time the Orange Order and Loyalist paramilitary organizations went bye-bye!!!
      Let’s hope the ordinary decent people of East Belfast vote for Naomi once again – if only to hold onto their image of showing there’s a majority of tolerant non-sectarian people in that constituency.


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