No unionist pact mentioned for Mid Ulster in Westminster election

Pacemaker Press 19/2/2013 The unionist unity candidate Nigel Lutton  in the Mid Ulster by-election Accompanied by the Ulster Unionist and DUP leaders Mike Nesbitt and Peter Robinson at The Ballymena Electoral office in Ballymena as submits the paper for the elction on the 7th of March Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 19/2/2013 The unionist unity candidate Nigel Lutton in the Mid Ulster by-election Accompanied by the Ulster Unionist and DUP leaders Mike Nesbitt and Peter Robinson at The Ballymena Electoral office in Ballymena as submits the paper for the elction on the 7th of March Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

The DUP and UUP have agreed to field one unity candidate in each of four general election constituencies, but not however in Mid Ulster, it appears.

East Belfast, North Belfast, and the border constituencies of Newry and Armagh and Fermanagh and South Tyrone will be covered, a joint statement from the parties revealed.

At the 2013 by-election in Mid Ulster for the seat vacated by Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness, unionists including the TUV came together to back an agreed candidate in Nigel Lutton.

In an interview with this week’s Mid Ulster Mail, the UUP’s Sandra Overend who is standing as a candidate in the May election, said she would welcome the DUP’s backing.

“If the DUP want to support me as a candidate I would be more than happy,” Mrs Overend told the Mail.

“It’s about representing our concerns on the floor of the House of Commons and if I was elected that is exactly where I would be. I would be taking my seat.

MLA Sandra Overend

MLA Sandra Overend

“In an election people need to know that people with my views are there... representing their concerns.

“First and foremost as an Ulster Unionist, I believe in the union of Northern Ireland with the rest of the United Kingdom,” she went on.

In 2013, Nigel Lutton received over 34 per cent of the vote, a slight increase of almost two per cent on the combined votes of the three unionists in the previous Westminster election.

Front page of this week's Mid Ulster Mail

Front page of this week's Mid Ulster Mail