Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Nesbitt selection shows imagination.

Bobballs read the runes more than a week ago. The UUP has made a good positive choice for the Strangford constituency, selecting former television presenter, and current victims’ commissioner, Mike Nesbitt.

I’m sure there will be a few noses put out of joint by this decision. Mr Nesbitt’s entry into the race is rather late. But he does represent the type of articulate, high-profile candidate which the Conservatives and Unionists should aspire to field.

If politics are to remain relevant to voters, if they are to give the appearance of openness, then there has to be a route to the top which rewards excellent communication skills and achievement in other fields.

Naturally people who faithfully attend party meetings and work their way up through local councils don’t like to be leapfrogged. However, candidature for high office cannot be viewed as an award for time-serving. The right candidate is the best candidate and one who stands a chance of winning the seat.

Whilst Nesbitt’s lack of political background has the capacity to cause resentment, he is also easily the most imaginative Ulster Unionist selection, thus far. If he is endorsed by the Joint Committee, he stands an excellent chance of taking a seat which has been thrown wide open by Irisgate.

UCUNF has had a shaky period and it is badly in need of some brave leadership and exciting candidates. That means selecting figures like Nesbitt where they are available, and if rumours that Michael McGimpsey is set to belatedly re-enter the fray in South Belfast are true, saying ’thanks but no thanks’.


Timothy Belmont said...

Good luck to him. He was a few years above me at school; clever, ever articulate, motored in on his motor-bike, bushy hair, popular!

Anonymous said...

Will be very funny if McGimpsey tries to make a 'come back' - having failed to put his name in the ring for the selection process.
Given his misrepresentation of the Conservative and Unionist pact on Spotlight - he maintained that the alliance is simply a return to the situation where 'UUP' MPs vote Tory so long as Tory Party keeps UUP happy.
The Conservative and Unionist candidates will stand on a Conservative manifesto and be full members of the Parliamentary Conservative Party

Anonymous said...

First Reg and McGimpsey and other double jobbers (hopefully) scared off and now candidates like Nesbitt and apparently Ringland coming forward! Looks like the Conservatives might make the UUP electable at this rate!

Anonymous said...

It seems the CU slate of candidates will be very different from anything seen before, with more women and people like Nesbitt and Baxter who do not have an elected background.

The question is how many seats can they get? The possibles seem to be Upper Bann, Strangford, North Down, South Antrim and Fermanagh and South Tyrone with East Antrim, South Belfast and Lagan Valley as outside bets. North Antrim and North Belfast are probably lost causes.

It is probable that if they got 3 seats they would see it as a victory with anything above that as a major advance.

Strangford, South Antrim and Fermanagh are the ones to watch with the choice of a candidate in South Antrim who could take some Alliance and Nationalist votes to unseat McCrae being necessary.

Anonymous said...

Is Baxter a UCUNF candidate?