The Great East Belfast Alliance Party Selection Controversy

i cant say that I have seen much about the Alliance Party and East Belfast on Slugger O’Toole. And yet Naomi Long is their favourite politician.

interesting to note that Judith Cochrane MLA has decided not to seek re-selection. She has always looked a bit semi-detached from the Party and while it will be interesting to see what she does after the Assembly elections, it makes life easier for her occasional colleague, Chris Lyttle MLA.

Simply put, either Chris (a nice guy)and Ms Cochrane, (I have never met her) would lose their Assembly seat when Naomi Long, the former MP for East Belfast makes her regal return to local politics for the Assembly. With th Green Party nibbling at the so called “progressive” wing of Alliance, the Party needs Naomi.

And Naomi needs a sear.

Long, Lyttle and Cochrane….three into two wont go.  In this game of musical chairs, Judith Cochrane would have lost out and appears to be jumpingg before the Alliance Party or the East Belfast electorate pushed her.

And yet I cant see Naomi Long contenting herself with a back-bench role. She has become anonymous and seemingly being eclipsed by Claire Hanna (SDLP) as the most progresive female politican.

There is something strangely “old” about the Alliance Party. Five of their eight MLAs are even older than I am. And GOD knows …I am very old. Yet Trevor Lunn (Lagan Valley), kIeran McCarthy (Strangford), have been around so long that there is no ready made replacement.

I have long had a feeling that David Ford (who looks increasingly jaded) might call it a day and give up his South Antrim seat, the Alliance Leadership and the Ministry of Justice, where he has been a disaster. Naomi or Stephen Farry (North Down) to replace him?

Anna Lo in South Belfast will likely be replaced by Paula Bradshaw (ex UUP in South Belfast. ‘Nuff said. And Stewarr Dickson (East Antrim)….surely not Ian Parsley (ex-Alliance, ex-Conservative). ‘Niff said.

It seems surprising that the difficulties in Norn Irons leading letsgetalongerist Party have not been more scrutinised.

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4 Responses to The Great East Belfast Alliance Party Selection Controversy

  1. boondock says:

    ‘semi detached Judith’ lol. I always assumed she must have got lost looking for the DUP stall at freshers fair. 3 into 2 wont go but it is a good time to try 3. Granted Naomis excellent Westminster result was based on a huge squeezing of nationalist, green and moderate unionist votes but its worth a go. Naomii may keep a number of those borrowed votes and in fairness there doesnt seem to be too many big names on the Unionist side so that will help. The PUP may even take a seat this time.

    • I dont think Alliance would run three. The chances of Chris Lyttle or Naomi Long llosing out thru bad vote management are too high.
      There is a big disconnect between official aAlliance Party and their Ssembly Party….some very socially conservative people who are in no hurry to retire.

  2. Declan says:

    You have probably seen this but alliance have chosen Bradshaw and morrow for South Belfast, seems strange they’d run two there.

    • I didnt see it. But based on conversations with Alliance people (yes some talk to me!!!!). I am not surprised.
      The position for Alliance is that they have a safe seat (so do SDLP, DUP and Sinn Féin and likely UUP).
      The sixth seat is up for grabs (it always is) and could even include the Greens.
      Ask yourself a simple question.
      The most likely outcome for Alliance is still one seat…and if you were a committed Alliance member of many years standing in South Belfast, who would you prefer it to be?

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