NI21 results a disaster, admits party’s deputy leader

NI21 deputy leader John McCallister. 'Picture by: Arthur Allison.
NI21 deputy leader John McCallister. 'Picture by: Arthur Allison.

The deputy leader of NI21 has agreed that the results of the council election were a “disaster”.

John McCallister, speaking to the News Letter on Sunday night, added that it probably would not have been much better even if they had not “melted down” with polling day almost upon them.

Asked if it would be fair to describe the results which emerged at the weekend as a disaster, Mr McCallister said: “Oh aye, the result’s a disaster. Still, 11,500 voted in council elections for NI21.”

He said in September last year they had enjoyed a poll rating of 4.8 per cent.

This slid to three per cent before the election, and for the party to have then ended up with just 1.8 per cent of the vote “ain’t good”.

Asked how badly the turmoil in the days before the election hurt them, he added: “I don’t think our vote was going to be that particularly strong, because we were late out of the camp. We’re not well enough organised,” adding that their candidates should have been announced far earlier.

He also said he spoke to party leader Basil McCrea on Saturday and repeated his call for him to stand aside while an investigation is carried out into alleged sexual misconduct by Mr McCrea – something he staunchly denies.

Mr McCrea was telephoned on Sunday night, but did not respond.