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RHI fallout, not Green versus Orange, was the real reason for Sinn Fein's increased Assembly vote

I would like to address Nelson McCausland's recent article, "Both unionist parties have a role to play in reversing the surge in Sinn Fein support" (Comment, March 9).

During this article, he made some fanciful declarations. Firstly, he claimed that the DUP had increased their vote. This may be "technically" true, when looking at the numbers, but he fails to mention that nearly 10% more people came out to vote in this election and the DUP's share of the vote was actually down.

He has no problem, however, in openly mentioning that the "higher turnout" was one of the reasons behind the increased vote for Sinn Fein. More importantly, when Nelson is discussing Sinn Fein's surge, he claims that one factor was undoubtedly Mike Nesbitt's announcement that he would transfer votes to the SDLP and also Alliance.

What Nelson is clearly forgetting to mention here is the RHI scandal, which lit a fire in the hearts and minds of the general public.

The sheer amount of money wasted - and Arlene Foster's arrogance in refusing to temporarily step aside and allow a proper investigation - was enough to put people off voting for the DUP.

In this day and age, I am sickened that our politics is still viewed as Green versus Orange.

As time passes and as more young people step into the voting sphere, I hope that we as a country can push forward and leave sectarian voting practices behind us.

Mike Nesbitt took a massive step in declaring his intention to transfer his votes to a nationalist party. I applaud this bold attempt to move our country forward.

Unfortunately, Mike was just a little bit ahead of his time.

OBSERVER

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