Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, was in Coleraine canvassing support for the Conservatives campaigning for the Stormont election on 2nd March.
The visit comes ten days after Mr Brokenshire campaigned in North Down and Belfast East for the Conservative candidates. Increasingly confident in their chances of winning more votes in the upcoming snap election, the Conservatives are the only UK-wide party who fielded candidates across most areas in Northern Ireland. Over the past couple of years, the Conservative Party has enjoyed phenomenal electoral success in Scotland, Wales and England.
This morning, Mr Brokenshire, joined East Londonderry candidate Cllr David Harding in East Londonderry handing out leaflets and speaking to voters.
Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP said: “I am delighted to return to the campaign trail with fellow Conservatives who are working hard to ensure Conservative representation across the UK. I know there is much good work that goes on the ground in Northern Ireland by our local Conservative activists, and am confident they will maximise their vote in the upcoming Assembly Elections.”
Many voters have become increasingly disillusioned with the same old parties who have been running the Stormont Assembly. The recent collapse of the Government in Northern Ireland is pushing many people to consider voting for smaller parties.
Mr Harding, a former Mayor of Coleraine, said: “It is a pleasure to welcome the Secretary of State to the constituency. With ten days only until Election Day, voters have an opportunity to vote for change. The Conservatives have proven over the past seven years that we are the party of competency. Our record in office running the UK Government and public services speaks for itself. We also have something new to offer voters here in Coleraine and East Londonderry. After years of unreliable leadership in the Stormont Assembly, many local residents are telling us that they will be voting for the Conservatives as their first preference for the first time.”
“Unlike in Westminster elections, voting in the assembly election on 2nd March is proportional, based on the Single Transferable Vote. As a result, voters don’t have to worry about splitting the votes of the party they normally support.
“If voters want to see change in Stormont, they should vote for a Conservative candidate as their first choice and then vote for the party they normally support as their subsequent option. If the Conservative candidate is not elected, the vote will be transferred to other candidates in the same ranking that was set out on the ballot paper, so the voter will not reduce the chances of success of the party they usually support.”
The Conservatives have enjoyed unexpected success in recent elections. Not only did they win the 2015 UK General Election against the odds, but they also were the only party to increase the number of seats in Wales that year. In Scotland, the Conservatives have more than doubled the number of seats they hold and surpassed Labour as the second largest party.