Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 25 May 2016

Did these politicians turn down TV debate in hope of appealing to the silent majority?

By Nuala McKeever

Published 05/03/2013

Two by-elections in the same country and such contrasting approaches.

Eastleigh and Mid Ulster. Both hotly contested and media-worthy events. Candidates eager to sell themselves and their policies to the voters, taking any and every opportunity to set out what makes them the best person for the job. Eh, well, not exactly. In Eastleigh, yes. All the big guns were out in force. Lib Dems swung it.

Mid Ulster – well, maybe we won't use the expression "big guns" in this context, let's let bygones be bygones eh? But really. They all are offered a chance of a TV debate and the Unionist Unity candidate turns it down because he'd rather go out and canvass?

How many candidates go out and canvass at 10.30pm? And because he wouldn't go on, then the Sinn Fein candidate says, "Well if everyone's not playin', then I'm not playin', so there!"

Not easy to do, but they manage to make Nigel Farrage of Ukip seem like a mature, sensible bloke...

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