Number of candidates up as 10 in contest for NI’s three MEP seats

The European election will be held on May 22
The European election will be held on May 22

Ten candidates will contest the May 22 European election, it was last night confirmed.

As nominations closed, the Electoral Office published the names of the 10 candidates who will stand for Northern Ireland’s three MEP seats.

The number of candidates in the field is a significant increase from the last two European elections — in 2004 and 2009 — where seven candidates stood.

The three existing MEPs — Diane Dodds of the DUP, UUP veteran Jim Nicholson and Sinn Fein’s Martina Anderson — are all standing.

Former DUP MEP Jim Allister, who is now the TUV leader, is standing again, as is another MLA, Alliance’s Anna Lo.

Former SDLP minister Alex Attwood is attempting to win back the seat once held by party founder John Hume.

New pro-Union party NI21 is fielding Tina McKenzie — although instead of the party name on the Notice of Poll, the phrase “Aspire To Better” is written. UKIP councillor Henry Reilly is standing for the anti-EU party while the Greens are fielding Ross Brown and the NI Conservatives’ candidate is Mark Brotherston.

Council elections will also be held on May 22.