Michael Copeland MLA (UUP) resigning from Assembly is interesting. The replacement will be more interestting as Copeland is unlikely to have jumped without having a good idea who his replacement might be. His wife, Sonia is an East Belfast councillor so she must be favourite.
There is really no point in speculating as the decision is already made…either in East Belfast or in Mike Nesbitt’s office.
I liked Michael Copeland. He spoke at a SDLP Youth Conference in Derry in 2013 and is a man who clearly wants to do his best for the disadvantaged in his East Belfast constituency. He spoke movingly about the sense of hopelessness that young people have.
If the decision is a genuine “East Belfast” decision then Sonia Copeland might be the successor. If Copeland has been eased out, then a UUP “advisor” might step up…a Nesbitt loyalist. And TV Mike might spring a surprise with a “unicorn” (Catholic unionist). Or he might well return to his Conservative roots by nominating a person associated with the failed NI Tory Party….one of the Hustons…Felicity, Brian or young Alex….Trevor Ringland?
It is a pity that Ian Parsley and Paula Bradshaw seem committed to the Alliance Party.