Extra candidates will not split the unionist vote but rather boost it

A letter from Tom Ferguson (which was first printed on March 15):

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

I read Sammy Wilson’s statement after the TUV conference with some bemusement (‘TUV vote splitting and helping SF: MP,’ March 14).

So Sammy is worried that votes for the TUV will divide unionism and gift seats to Sinn Fein.

This he says will lead to increased calls for a border poll etc.

Without TUV candidates standing the unionist electorate is faced with a choice between his party, the DUP, a party that operated the Irish Sea border, voted for a republican as assembly speaker when a non republican was available and agreed to an Irish Language Act that will discriminate against non Irish speakers, who are overwhelmingly from the PUL community.

The other alternative, the UUP opposes the (very) belated action against the protocol taken by the DUP former first minister and recently refused to take perfectly legitimate means to veto the recent integrated education bill, despite admitting it was flawed.

While a vote for these unionist parties is better than a vote for the EU toadies of Alliance, SDLP and SF/IRA, can unionists trust them to stand firm for the Union given their record?

Again, it is the votes cast for unionist parties that will determine the possibility of a border poll, not the number of seats won by a particular party. I am aware of unionist voters who do not vote because they are disgusted by the DUP and UUP and without the TUV standing feel they have no one to vote for. So the presence of TUV candidates will actually increase the unionist turn out and decrease the possibility of a border poll.

The TUV have pledged to do their utmost to destroy the protocol and transform Stormont into a truly democratic system of governance for all.

Tom Ferguson, Ballymoney

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