Sunday 13 December 2009

Death of Dungannon Councillor Norman Badger

The UUP (and so far, only them) are reporting the death of their Councillor, Norman Badger, who represents the Torrent DEA in Dungannon.

Badger, who has represented Torrent since 1993, was the only unionist councillor in Torrent, which is a largely nationalist area that includes Coalisland. The unionist share of the vote has been in constant decline in the DEA, dropping from 19.2% in 1993 when Badger was the only unionist candidate, to 14.4% in 2005 when he shared the vote with the DUP’s Robert McFarland.

A by-election, if one is held, will result in an almost inevitable Sinn Féin victory. In 2005 they received almost 61% of the vote in Torrent.

However, it is usual (though not universal) practice for all parties to agree to a co-option in the case of deaths of councillors, so it is unlikely that there will be a by-election. Sinn Féin, though they could profit from breaking the unwritten rule, rarely if ever fail to respect it, and there is no reason why any other party would seek a by-election that they could not win.

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