Splitting the unionist vote will result in handing more seats to nationalists.
That’s the message from Mid-Ulster DUP MLA Ian McCrea who has voiced his concerns at the smaller unionist parties who intend contesting seats in the new council.
Mr McCrea said whilst he supports democracy and the right for anyone to put themselves forward for election, he is disappointed that representatives from smaller unionist parties who have done nothing for the community will only split the vote.
He said he believes that these smaller parties and their candidates should seriously reflect on the damage that splits are doing to the unionist cause and work closer together, especially in this area where nationalists hold the majority.
“If smaller unionists learnt nothing from the previous council elections then look at what happened in Magherafelt where the TUV fielded a candidate in Magherafelt Town, whose mission was to take a seat of the DUP whatever the cost,” he said. “The cost of that action was a split unionist vote handing Sinn Fein the seat that gave them control of Magherafelt Council, the only council in Northern Ireland under their total control.”
Mr McCrea said the DUP is always in favour of greater cooperation between unionist parties and having spent over 12 years as a councillor on a nationalist controlled council, the MLA said he knows better that most the need to work with unionist parties to benefit the unionist electorate.
“These elections to the new Mid Ulster Council are important and I cannot emphasise enough, the importance of people getting out to vote,” he said.
The politician pointed out that apathy is rife within the unionist community.
“It is important that we give unionist voters a clear message that will encourage them to unite behind a strong Democratic Unionist Party and not vote splitters,” he pointed out.