Belfast Telegraph

Robinson warns of voter apathy

Apathy will be the greatest opponent in May's Northern Ireland Assembly election, the DUP leader has said.

Every single vote will matter after the first full term for over 40 years, First Minister Peter Robinson said as his party held its campaign launch in Belfast.

Mr Robinson said: "I want to see a society where everyone has the opportunity to prosper and succeed regardless of their background and where we look after those in the greatest need. I want to see one where the divisions of the past are being eroded and our new society is taking root."

The DUP has 44 candidates running in the 18 constituencies.

Mr Robinson added: "Our greatest opponent is apathy. Every single vote in an election matters. Just four votes won a Westminster seat last May (Fermanagh and South Tyrone) and in the last local government election one candidate was elected by less than a single vote."

The Ulster Unionist Party has held a briefing on the economy, where it warned of the dangers of a DUP-controlled budget.

But Mr Robinson said the UUP supported Tory cuts to public expenditure in Northern Ireland.

The DUP promised more jobs; tougher crime sentences; low household rates and no water charges; a resolution to the school transfer test impasse; healthcare reforms; changes to governance arrangements at Stormont and to strengthen unionism.

Mr Robinson said: "The best way to promote the union is a stable administration at Stormont that can command widespread support.

"For the next five weeks we will take our message to the people of Northern Ireland, for this campaign is not just about the next election, it is about the next generation."

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