Naomi Long: Alliance Best Placed To Take Third NI Seat

The leader of Northern Ireland's Alliance Party, Naomi Long MLA, has said her party is in the best position to take the third local seat in the European Elections next week.

Voters will take to the polls again on Thursday 23 May, only weeks after the centrist party saw a surge in its vote in the local government elections.

The DUP and Sinn Fein are expected to retain two of their MEP's, Diane Dodds and Martina Anderson. The third seat was previously held by Ulster Unionist Jim Nicholson who announced his retirement from the European Parliament.

Also running for election is the SDLP's Column Eastwood, TUV's Jim Allister, Green Party leader Clare Bailey, Conservative party candidate Amandeep Singh Bhogal, UUP's Danny Kennedy and UKIP's Robert Hill. Independents Jane Morrice and Neil McCann will also contest for an MEP seat.
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Launching her party's manifesto for Europe, Mrs Long said she is in prime position to take the third seat following the local vote, adding that the upcoming poll is not about unionism versus nationalism.

"Brexit has not happened yet but already it has brought increased chaos and division to our politics and across Northern Ireland," the east Belfast MLA said.

"It has paralysed our politics, placed jobs at risk and endangering the stability of our community, while threatening our place in Europe and the wider world. The EU is not perfect but it works in breaking down barriers and showing we are better together.

"The recent Council election results, in addition with a number of polls and surveys, show Alliance is in prime position to not only substantially increase our number of first preference votes but also gain the required transfers from others to take the third seat and show the EU, and indeed the world, Northern Ireland wants to remain.

"Brexit is not an orange or green issue and I am not an orange or green politician. In 2016, people right across our community came together to vote Remain. I believe we can achieve better together and show that same spirit again on May 23."


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