Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland Conservatives to contest four seats in General Election

The Conservative Party in Northern Ireland are running four candidates. (Ben Birchall/PA)
The Conservative Party in Northern Ireland are running four candidates. (Ben Birchall/PA)
Gareth Cross

By Gareth Cross

The Conservative Party in Northern Ireland will contest four seats in next month's General Election, the party has announced.

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Gary Hynds will contest Lagan Valley, Matthew Robinson will contest North Down, Grant Abraham will stand in Strangford and Aaron Rankin will seek election in East Antrim.

The party has stood in General Elections and Assembly elections in Northern Ireland on numerous occasions in the past but has failed to replicate it's success in Great Britain, with candidates typically polling in the hundreds of votes.

In the 2017 General Election the party stood seven candidates in Northern Ireland, winning a total of 3,895 voes and no seats.

Northern Ireland Conservative candidate Amandeep Singh Bhogal came in last place in the 2019 European Parliament election gaining 662 first preference votes.

The party has seen limited success in local government elections, losing their only councillor, Causeway Coast and Glens' David Harding in the 2019 elections.

Party Chairman Neil Johnson said that the candidates offered an alternative "to the embittered politics at Stormont".

He said that the election was only taking place because other parties had made the UK Parliament unworkable.

Mr Johnson said that the party membership had increased by 30% since March and that they were focusing on the next set of local elections.

"We will be fighting this election on the principles of getting Brexit done, offering an alternative to the stagnated politics of Northern Ireland and with a determination to deliver the benefits of Conservative representation that the rest of the United Kingdom experience," he said.

Conservative candidate Matthew Robinson
Conservative candidate Matthew Robinson
Conservative candidate Aaron Rankin
Conservative candidate Gary Hynds

"We are the only party in Northern Ireland with a plan for the way forward – with other parties preferring delay or blocking Brexit altogether. But Northern Ireland needs stability, with further uncertainty unthinkable for business and society alike.

"This is the reason the Conservative Party is standing candidates in Northern Ireland and asking for your vote. A vote for hope, aspiration and prosperity.”

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