In the frenzy of political activity over the past fortnight it has been rather overlooked. But today voters go to the polls in a council by-election in Craigavon. A ballot is required in the Lurgan ward after the TUV’s attempt to co-opt a replacement for its outgoing councillor, Mark Russell, was rejected by opponents.
It is a four way contest which does not include the DUP. So voters will not have an opportunity to deliver a bloody nose to that party just yet. The SDLP and Sinn Féin are each fielding candidates, but the likelihood is that either Jo-Anne Dobson from the Ulster Unionists, or David Calvert, whom the TUV wished originally to co-opt, will take the seat.
Despite inclement conditions, it seems that canvassing has been continuing apace in Lurgan. Daphne Timble reports a positive response to the UUP message from the doorsteps. Another by-election victory would boost morale in the run-up to the Westminster poll this spring.
Incidentally, although I should illustrate this story with a more up to date photograph, the combination of Jo-Anne, Eric Pickles and the Ballymena Showgrounds is too good to resist. Pity about the tractors and livestock on the pitch!