Election Diary: Dodds the least well known UK leader

DUP leader at Westminster Nigel Dodds
DUP leader at Westminster Nigel Dodds
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Nigel Dodds is the least well known Westminster leader, according to a poll.

The ComRes poll for lobbying companies Stratagem and PLMR found that just three in 10 British adults have heard of the DUP’s leader in the Commons.

Despite the possibility that Mr Dodds could decide who becomes Prime Minister after May 7, he is less well known than even Leanne Wood, the leader of the smaller Plaid Cymru. The poll of 2,057 adults was conducted before the ITV leaders’ debate almost two weeks ago.

Just two per cent of people had heard of Mr Dodds and knew “a lot” about him, while eight per cent knew a little about him. By contrast, 76 per cent of the British public have heard of Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s new first minister.

Elin Twigge of PLMR, a London-based firm, said: “Nigel Dodds is a name we should all get used to and fast; in less than a month he could be the most important person in Westminster.”

Let people decide on Agreement – Greens

A Green Party election candidate has called for a referendum on the Stormont House Agreement.

West Tyrone candidate Ciaran McClean accused the SDLP and Sinn Fein of “duplicity” in going along with the Agreement but then joining the unions in opposing the cuts necessary as part of the deal.

Mr McClean said that the Greens had “consistently” opposed the Stormont House Agreement but said that Sinn Fein “has now attempted to distance itself from the Agreement after having signed it, voted for it and defended it for months – it’s astounding”.

He added: “The [Agreement] should be put to a public vote, like the Good Friday Agreement, if it is to have any credibility with the people of Northern Ireland.”

DUP condemns ‘taig’ remark by supporter

The DUP has said that derogatory terms about Catholics “should not be used” after a woman who signed David Simpson’s nomination papers referred to “taigs”.

Roberta McNally, the organiser of Lurgan and Brownlow’s Poppy appeal, made the comment in a Facebook discussion before removing it.

A DUP spokesman told the Irish News that “such language should not be used”. But Gregory Campbell accused the newspaper of running a “pathetic” story.

Hustings events

East Belfast: Willowfield Parish Church, 13 April, 7.30pm (Organiser: Evangelical Alliance/CARE).

Is there a future for the Arts in Northern Ireland? Alliance, DUP, UUP, SDLP and Sinn Fein candidates on panel at The MAC, Belfast, 14 April, 6pm. Free tickets at themaclive.com.

Question Time leaders’ debate at Magee campus, Ulster University, 21 April, 7.30pm (U4D/Magee Students’ Union).

North Down: First Holywood Presbyterian Church, 23 April, 7.30pm. (Evangelical Alliance/CARE).

North Antrim: High Kirk Presbyterian Church, 28 April, 7.30pm (Evangelical Alliance/CARE).

South Belfast: Taughmonagh Social Club, 21 April. DUP, UUP and Ukip candidates invited, Pete Shirlow as chair (South Belfast UPRG).