Lord Kilclooney: Unionists should vote all the way down candidate list

In PR, voting all the way down the ballot paper maximises the voter's influence
In PR, voting all the way down the ballot paper maximises the voter's influence

It is already clear that the result of the Assembly election is going to be very close.

As cabinet minister at Home Affairs I introduced proportional representation for local government elections.

This ensured unionist representation west of the Bann and nationalist representation in the east.

The election to the new Assembly of 90 MLAs is by PR and it is important that voters maximise the value of their vote.

If you only vote for one candidate then you are allowing other voters to decide who will win the remaining four seats in your constituency.

In PR, in order to influence who wins all constituency five seats, a voter should vote for all the candidates.

Of course giving your no 1 vote to the candidate you like best and giving your last preference to the candidate you like least.

For example a unionist should vote for all pro-UK parties in descending order and then also vote for united Ireland parties placing the one you dislike most at the very end of your preferences.

This would result in a unionist being elected and the more acceptable nationalist being elected rather than one who supported terrorism or violence.

In order to maximise your vote and ensure political stability in NI after the Assembly election it is more important than ever for unionists to vote by preference for all candidates and not just plump for the unionist candidate.

It is in the interests of stability in Northern Ireland that the majority pro-UK voters maximise their votes in this way.

It will guarantee a better future for Catholic and Protestant alike.

Lord Kilclooney, Co Armagh, Cross Bencher in House of Lords

This letter was sent by Lord Kilclooney before Mike Nesbitt’s comments on how he would transfer his vote preferences in the election