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DUP voters between rock and hard place on transfers

Published 14/04/2016

With the DUP's Simon Hamilton yet again raising 'It's Arlene or Marty for First Minister', I have a simple question for Simon (or Arlene if she wishes to answer it).

In the likes of Upper Bann, where the DUP is only standing two candidates to replace its current two MLAs and where the real battle will be between Sinn Fein and the SDLP for the two nationalist seats, who should DUP voters transfer to? Clearly, Dolores Kelly is vulnerable and, should Ms Kelly lose to Sinn Fein, then the prospect of Marty as First Minister comes closer as Sinn Fein reaches the magical 30 number. So, who should the DUP voter transfer to after they endorse the two DUP candidates?

Please don't give the stock answer: "And then to other pro-Union candidates of your choice." Unionism will get four seats in Upper Bann. The question is: who will get the other two?

And take Foyle, for instance. After voting DUP, who should the unionists of Foyle transfer to? Should they vote tactically and shore up the SDLP? Or should they leave the nationalists to fight it out? Surely the only way to keep Marty as Deputy First Minister will be by maintaining the SDLP?

Clearly the 'vote for us to keep Marty out' is only one tactic - and a poor one at that. It virtually admits the DUP candidates aren't worth voting for in their own right. But since St Andrews rewrote the rules, the question is: will the DUP publicly support tactical voting to maintain its place as First Minister?

ULTONIAN

Portadown, Co Armagh

Belfast Telegraph

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