Friday, February 09, 2007

Brian Rowan seeking to "secure" votes in North Down

At the risk of turning into an election blog—I promise it won’t—the Belfast Telegraph caught my eye tonight with the news that Brian Rowan, former BBC NI security correspondent and frequent (freelance) contributor for the Belfast Telegraph, will run as an independent candidate in North Down.

Rowan commented:

“As a journalist I have covered all the major developments of the peace process. I have seen the worst of this place, but I believe there now exists an opportunity to consolidate our peace. The process is at a stage now where it needs as many people as possible inside it acknowledging that it can work, it will work and must work ...

In terms of my experience, people will know what I have reported across 20 years. They will know, I hope, that I've managed to get the trust of all sides ...

I think there is a need to think outside the party political box and I think there is a need for new voices in that process that are prepared to say and talk about the very great progress that has been made.”

Eileen Bell, one of the existing North Down MLAs, is standing down at the March election, leaving a possible gap for Rowan as a cross-community candidate to fill if the Alliance Party can’t find a strong contender and if other local independents don’t stand. As a constituency, North Down has a long history of supporting “minority” candidates, including the Conservatives and Bob McCartney.

The other sitting MLAs in North Down are all unionist: Leslie Cree (UUP), Alex Easton (DUP), Robert McCartney (UKUP), Alan McFarland (UUP) and Peter Weir (DUP). In 2003, they polled as follows:
(c) BBC 2003

No comments: