Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Never in the history of Northern Irish politics...Part 1

...has it taken the long to elect a DUP MEP.

But that is not a matter of length of time but number of stages.

In the first 1979 elections with a quota of 143,060, Ian Paisley secured 170,688 first preference votes and was elected after stage one.

In 1984 the quota was up to 171,330 but so too was Rev Paisley's vote he secured 230,251 and was elected on first stage.

In 1989 needing just 133,703 Paisley got 160,110 first preferences and was elected along with John Hume on 136,335.

In 1994 it was Paisley again who topped the poll with 163,246 a mere 1254 ahead of Hume when again both exceeded the quota of 139,967.

In 1999 and his last election to Europe Paisley secured 192,762 over Hume's 190,731 and well beyond the quota of 169,703.

2004 saw Jim Allister then of the DUP replace Paisley as the candidate but his 175,761 surpassed the quota of 137,320 as did Bairbre de Bruín of Sinn Féin with 144,451 first preference votes.

In 2009 Diane Dodds made her first appearance as the DUP candidate the quota was 121,144 but Mrs Dodds only managed 88,346 first preference votes. She was elected on the third count without reaching the quota as the surpluses of Bairbre de Bruín and Jim Nicholson UUP would not have been enough for Alban Maguinness to over take the 115,722 she had reached after the exclusion of the Green, Alliance and TUV candidates.

This year we know it took Mrs Dodds until stage 7 and the elimination of the TUV once again to be deemed elected, this time however she had acquired the quota.

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