TUV voters in fact saved unionist seats, not cost them

A letter from Dr Paul Kingsley:

By Letters
Friday, 13th May 2022, 6:54 am
Updated Friday, 13th May 2022, 7:58 am
Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

Terri Jackson (‘TUV is to blame for Sinn Fein victory’ May 12, see link below) believes that “The 65,000 votes for TUV gave Sinn Fein victory”. Let us look at the facts.

Firstly, Sinn Fein did not ‘win’ the election.

It got just 27 out of 90 seats, the same as in 2017.

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An analysis of the election results shows that, far from costing the DUP seats, TUV voters saved a number of DUP MLAs with transfers.

I have noted that when a TUV candidate was excluded under the STV system, his or her transfers immediately elected the following DUP candidates:

David Brooks (East Belfast), Brian Kingston (North Belfast), Alan Robinson (East Londonderry), Paul Frew (North Antrim), Pam Cameron (South Antrim), Diane Forsyth (South Down), and Jonathan Buckley (Upper Bann).

TUV transfers also got the UUP’s Tom Elliott (Fermanagh and South Tyrone) over the line.

Similar transfers helped Diane Dodds and Doug Beattie (Upper Bann) to save their seats within a couple of counts of the TUV candidate being excluded.

Without these transfers the number of unionist MLAs would have been much lower.

It would be disrespectful to the electorate to suggest that they should vote for parties who they believe have let them down or that the differences between unionist parties are not significant.

What policies would Terri Jackson’s one unionist party pursue?

There is currently no Sinn Fein first minister, and that situation will continue as long as unionist MLAs want it to.

Dr Paul Kingsley, Belfast BT4

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