Tuesday 23 March 2010

Castlereagh East by-election on May 6

The BBC reports, though the Electoral Office does not yet, that the by-election to fill Iris Robinson's seat on Castlereagh Borough Council will take place on May 6.

Obviously the Electoral Office knows something that the rest of the world has not yet been told, because May 6 is a Thursday, and council by-elections are almost invariably on a Wednesday. But May 6 also happens to be the date on which most people expect the Westminster election to be held.

So it seems that the Electoral Office plans to kill two birds with one stone on that day. Poor Jim Allister, who was so keen to have the by-election as soon as possible in order to test the waters, will now have to hope that Gordon Brown delays his Westminster election until one of the four possible dates after May 6.


hoboroad said...


hoboroad said...

Mr. Alistair Carmichael (Orkney and Shetland) (LD): May I crave your indulgence for a minute, Mr. Deputy Speaker? I wish to place on record, as the hon. Member for North Shropshire (Mr. Paterson) did in relation to the report of the Saville inquiry, the fact that I, too, have received correspondence from the Secretary of State, subsequent to the written statement that he placed before the House. The arrangements that he outlined in that statement, and the reasons for making them, seem to me entirely sensible and legitimate. He certainly has the support of the Liberal Democrats in taking these matters forward in the way that he has outlined.

The hon. Member for North Shropshire did not avail himself of the opportunity to disown the comments of the Conservative candidate for North Down, which is unfortunate given the importance of this matter. I suspect that North Down must be an interesting place to be these days.

Lady Hermon: Very.

Mr. Carmichael: We have a Conservative who supports the Unionist position rather than that of his own Front Benchers, and we have a Unionist MP who apparently supports the position of the Conservative Front Benchers. I have only ever been a member of the Liberals or the Liberal Democrats, but if I were a member of the Ulster Unionists who had enjoyed the representation of the hon. Member for North Down (Lady Hermon) and I then found Mr. Parsley taking her place, I might feel a little short-changed. The hon. Lady has been a hard-working, effective and articulate representative for our community since 2001. I do not know what her future intentions are, but I think there is broad consensus across the House in wishing her well.