Unionist Unity or Sectarian Headcount?

So the two Unionist parties or to be more specific the DUP and their UUP lackeys have decided upon a "unity" candidate for the Mid Ulster by Election.

Nigel Lutton, whose father was an RUC man killed by the IRA, is the compromise candidate.

Francie Molloy is the Sinn Fein candidate to replace Martin McGuinness in Mid Ulster and looking at the figures it would seem that his election is almost assured.

In the 2011 Assembly Elections Sinn Fein took 49.2% of the vote and the combined Unionist vote was only 31.9%. If we go back further to the 2010 Westminster election Sinn Fein took 52% of the vote and the combined Unionist vote was only 32.7%.

So, I feel comfortable in saying that there isn't a pups chance this Unionist candidate will defeat Francie Molloy.

The real losers here are actually going to be the SDLP and the UUP. In the last two elections the SDLP took in and around 14.5% of the vote. With only one Unionist candidate being fielded there is no doubt that a lot of these vote will flock to Francie and Patsy McGloane will be left as an irrelevance along with his party.

For me this would seem to be a monumental mistake by Nesbitt, a decision that has cost him two MLA's already. John McAllister and Basil McCrea have resigned from the UUP as a result of this decision.

I've met Basil on a few occasions. I remember talking to him at the Sinn Fein stall at the QUB Fresher’s Bazaar a few years ago and for a member of the UUP he seemed somewhat reasonable. A man you could have a laugh and a joke with and someone interested in engaging on real issues.

The "liberal" wing of the UUP seems to be almost extinct and if Nesbitt keep this up he will have finally destroyed the UUP.

It seems a very weird policy for the Unionists to be advancing because the only real winner that I can see in any of the outcomes is Sinn Fein.

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