TUV leader Jim Allister has claimed that Peter Robinson is “spooked” by him after the DUP leader urged his supporters to transfer their votes to the UUP or UKIP but made no mention of the two other pro-Union parties – TUV and NI21.
Mr Robinson, whose party has been urging unionist unity, said that in next month’s European election the DUP sits “far ahead of any of the other unionist parties”.
He added: “Coming behind us, the UUP and UKIP are the two main parties likely to pick up votes. Jim Allister, certainly in the context of local government, won’t be doing too much. People squander and weaken their vote if they go outside the main parties who are standing.”
Mr Allister said the comments “reveal just how much TUV worries Mr Robinson and his party” and stressed that he believed unionists should vote “down the card for all the pro-Union candidates”.
Recalling the 2009 election, he said: “Considering in the last European election his candidate Mrs Dodds scrapped in sub quota, and was very glad of 25,000 TUV transfers to even get her elected to the third seat, Mr Robinson has no room to make demands on transfers ... it is essential for unionism that parties put their personal feelings behind them when talking about transfers.”
He added: “You cannot split the vote in a PR election unless, like the DUP, you call on your supporters to by-pass another pro-Union party.”