Six candidates contesting Mid Ulster Westminster seat

Remember to cast your vote
Remember to cast your vote

Six Westminster hopefuls will be vying for your vote in Mid Ulster in next month’s General Election.

Nominations closed last Thursday and the Electoral Office has confirmed there will be 102 candidates fighting for 18 seats in what’s been daubed by some as the Brexit Election.

The runners in Mid Ulster are Mel Boyle, Alliance Party; Keith Buchanan, DUP; Denise Johnston, SDLP, Francie Molly, Sinn Féin; Conor Rafferty, Independent and Neil Richardson, UUP.

The outing going MP, Francie Molloy was one of the first to declare his intention to run in the election.

Mr Molloy, who has held the seat since 2013, polled 25,455 votes - a comfortable 12,890 majority over the DUP’s Keith Buchanan - in the 2017 snap General Election called by former Prime Minister Theresa May.

Traditionally there is a high turn out - two years ago it was 68 per cent - for elections in the constituency and December 12 shouldn’t be much different although any bad weather may keep numbers down.

However, Mr Molloy is expected to retain his seat with ease.

Mr Buchanan has described the election as important as it will set the direction for the future of Northern Ireland.

SDLP candidate Denise Johnston said local people deserve more than an empty seat while Brexit threatens jobs, businesses and communities at the border.

Ulster Unionist candidate Neil Richardson asked candidates not to erect posters in town centres as people should be allowed to enjoy Christmas. Alliance candidate Mel Boyle said the constituency needed a strong, articulate voice for remain. He said it was the most unpredictable election in recent times and every seat counted in the arithmetic of Westminster.