18/03/2015

DUP And UUP Agree Election Pact

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) have agreed a pact involving four Parliamentary constituencies.

DUP Leader Peter Robinson said: "Those who support the Union will recognise the significance of this pact. This is the most comprehensive electoral agreement between our two parties in the last 29 years. Indeed, it is the product of discussions lasting six months.

"I want to see unionists cooperating. Too often divisions are manufactured to create difference. Grassroots unionists want to see us working together to maximise the unionist vote. Such an approach is not just desirable, but it has been proven to be effective in increasing turnout amongst unionists.

"I commend the constituency associations from both parties who have considered the bigger picture and accepted they should stand aside in the greater interests of unionism. Their sacrifice and efforts to strengthen unionism will undoubtedly be recognised in subsequent elections.

"With a predicted hung parliament, I am calling on all unionists to unite behind these agreed candidates and maximise the pro-union voice in the House of Commons. Sinn Fein MPs fail to take their seats. They leave their constituents without a voice in Parliament.
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"Others do not represent unionism. All shades of unionism can lend their vote to these agreed candidates in the knowledge that their action could increase the number of unionists in the House of Commons and reduce the number of non-unionists returned."

The arrangement for the General Election on 7 May 2015 is:

• In East Belfast, both parties will encourage support for Alderman Gavin Robinson

• In Fermanagh & South Tyrone, both parties will encourage support for Tom Elliott

• In North Belfast, both parties will encourage support for Rt. Hon. Nigel Dodds MP

• In Newry & Armagh, both parties will encourage support for Danny Kennedy MLA.

UUP Leader, Mike Nesbitt, said: "The Ulster Unionist Party and the DUP have reached an understanding regarding the General Election. The Ulster Unionist Party will have the support of the DUP for Tom Elliott in Fermanagh & South Tyrone and Danny Kennedy in Newry & Armagh. In return the Ulster Unionist Party will support Nigel Dodds in North Belfast and Gavin Robinson in East Belfast.

"We began these discussions in October proposing an anti-abstentionist arrangement for Fermanagh & South Tyrone and North Belfast. Since then it has become clear that there is potentially a once in a lifetime opportunity to take back Newry & Armagh, albeit this will be extremely difficult to achieve. Our support for the DUP in East Belfast should ensure an additional pro-Union MP for the City of Belfast in the next mandate."

(CD/JP)

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