Election Diary: Ukip cut back on posters and ‘hustling’ voters

David McNarry said polling station melees 'debases politics'
David McNarry said polling station melees 'debases politics'

Ukip has said that it is deliberately putting up fewer posters as part of an attempt not to “hustle” people into voting.

The party said that it would also refrain from distributing literature outside polling stations, as is customary on polling day.

The party’s Northern Ireland leader, David McNarry, said that the party wanted to reduce “poster proliferation all over the place and also to ease up on polling station hustling”.

He said that the party had reduced its original number of posters by 50 per cent because “with so many posters they run the risk of being eye-sores”.

“Regarding polling stations, we picked up last time that people are irritated with canvassers crowding outside polling stations, thrusting leaflets at them.  It’s a bit different in a PR list election but with an ‘X’ vote, people arriving to vote have made their mind up already. We believe a free-for-all melee outside the gates of a polling station debases politics.”

TUV urges DUP to end double-jobbing

The TUV has called on the DUP candidates who are MLAs to spell out whether they will double-job after the election.

North Down TUV candidate William Cudworth said: “With all the hype about a hung parliament, the need for full-time MPs is greater than ever. Turning up in Westminster on a Wednesday, after spending the first part of the week in Stormont won’t cut it in a Parliament with tight votes.

“Yet, to date, such has been the practice of Sammy Wilson, Gregory Campbell and Alistair McDonnell.

“In the case of the DUP MPs this is in spite of a solemn pledge in the DUP 2010 manifesto that all MPs, apart from the party leader, would end double jobbing ‘within weeks’.”

Tory’s Achilles heel is highlighted ... by herself

Candidates tend not to highlight their own weaknesses.

But one of the Conservative candidates in Northern Ireland has released two press statements since announcing her candidature – and both highlight that prior to her selection she had never been to the constituency which she hopes to represent.

Claire-Louise Leyland, a councillor in Camden who is standing for election in West Tyrone, issued a statement this week which said that local businesses were keen to see a cut in VAT.

The second sentence of the statement said: “Despite having visited the area for the first time just over a week ago, Claire-Louise Leyland has wasted no time in making her way across the constituency to hear what really matters locally.”

In her first statement last week, Cllr Leyland had said: “I’ve been very open about not having been to West Tyrone before. I don’t see this as a bad thing.”

Upcoming hustings

• Fermanagh and South Tyrone: Lough Erne Golf Resort, April 27, 7.45pm (focused on fracking).

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

• South Belfast: Windsor Baptist Church, April 30, 7.30pm (Evangelical Alliance/CARE).

If you are organising a public hustings event email sam.mcbride@newsletter.co.uk