Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 April 2014

Basil McCrea may seek European nomination

Basil McCrea

Basil McCrea may stand against Jim Nicholson to be the UUP’s candidate in the 2014 European election.

The Lagan Valley MLA was responding to the news that his party was now i nviting nominations for the candidature.

Jim Nicholson, who has held the seat since 1989, confirmed he will definitely seek reselection.

The seat is seen as vulnerable. Last time unionists held two of the three Northern Ireland seats with 49% of the vote — with one each for the DUP and UUP, who were only marginally ahead of the SDLP. Any shift could result in a nationalist gain but there are also fears that a second DUP runner could knock out the UUP.

The unionist vote could be particularly volatile because the United Kingdom Independence Party has stated it will contest the seat.

“All I will say on my intentions is that I have not ruled it out,” Mr McCrea said.

It is understood that he will consult his supporters.

Mr McCrea added: “Lots of people will be considering it — it remains to be seen if any of us will go for it.”

There would be some support for Mr McCrea within the party, including from his opponents.

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