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The Aftermath of Election – William McCandless

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William McCandless
BT Coleraine

Since the Assembly election result on Friday 3rd March there have been many commentaries and opinions on the outcome of the Result for Unionism as a whole.

Speaking to Causeway Coast Community this afternoon Councillor William McCandless said “Firstly I would like to thank all those people who took the time to vote for the UUP. I do not take it for granted and am sincerely grateful to you for voting for our Party.

Unfortunately I have heard comments on various radio shows yesterday from G. Campbell and Trevor Clarke former MLA that their failure to achieve 30 seats can be attributed to the UUP and referring to a comment from our former leader to vote for SDLP as 2nd choice.

I would like to advise the electorate of East Londonderry that I never advised anyone where to cast their vote after voting for UUP 1.

I credit the electorate with more intelligence than that and when asked I advised constituents to vote after UUP for candidates whom they felt best served their community, their constituency and their country.

It is readily apparent for anyone to determine when you study the 1st preference votes which were cast.
We had 4 Nationalist / Republican candidates who received 15327 1st preference votes, the DUP received 14040 votes and between Sugden, TUV, PUP and UUP there were 9649 votes.
When my votes were distributed after my elimination a total of 994 (32.3%) went to Sugden, a total of 1306 (42.4%) to the three DUP candidates – an overall total of 74.7% to Unionists and a total of 777 (25.3%) to SDLP.

These figures certainly refute the ridiculous allegations from DUP and others who suggest that I transferred my votes to the SDLP to assist with the elimination of Adrian McQuillan DUP. I have no say in where my transfers go – that is up to the electorate with their preferences.
Sugdens vote had more impact upon the DUP’s chance of a third seat than I had.

The maths are clearly there for all to see and especially for those who can understand.
The electorate in East Londonderry has an approximate 60/40 split in favour of Unionists, with 5 seats it came out as any sensible person would have predicted.

It would serve people well to read Edwin Poots’ comments in News Letter 6/3, he described the results as a ” Wake up call for Unionism “.
He went on to comment that ” We have managed to get Nationalists and Republicans angry and that has led to them winning more seats “.

So, if the DUP have lost seats I suggest you discuss it with their Party Leader instead of trying to shift the blame on to others.”

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