Local DUP MP Gregory Campbell has called upon Unionist voters across Londonderry to think carefully about their vote at the Assembly elections.
“Unionists are perfectly entitled to their own opinions about politics here but there can be no entitlement to their own facts.
“Everyone knows there is one Unionist seat in the Foyle constituency and the facts in every recent election show there is only one party that can take that seat and it is the DUP,” he said.
The East Londonderry MP went on to reiterate his party’s warning that the DUP is the only unionist party that can secure the position of First Minister and that a split unionist vote could result in Martin McGuinness taking that role post May 5.
He explained: “Equally voters know that who is to be First Minister will be decided by which Party has sufficient MLAs, only one Unionist Party can do that on the electoral facts of recent years, and it is the DUP.”
The long-standing DUP representative has also warned that Foyle promises to be a highly competitive constituency on May 5 and has warned that without proper vote management among the unionist family in Londonderry unionism risks losing its only seat here.
“The decision by Sinn Féin to move Martin McGuinness from Mid Ulster to Foyle means there will be what is being described as the ‘Mother of all election Battles’ between Sinn Féin and the SDLP in the area.
“Local republicans are openly boasting that transferring not only between those two Parties but to People before Profit could ensure that as well as five seats going to the two Nationalist Parties, what has always been a Unionist seat is also taken as well,” he said.
Mr Campbell, who served on Derry City Council for many years and recently stood down from the Assembly, called for local unionists to give the DUP their number one and transfer to the other unionist candidates who are running.
“In the face of this election storm there is a very clear straightforward strategy for Unionists; Vote for the DUP’s Gary Middleton number one and continue voting for all other pro Union candidates.
“This way whatever tactical strategy is used by republicans will be defeated.
“That vote on May 5 helps ensure two things, a local Unionist voice is retained in the Assembly, and a Unionist First Minister is also retained in Northern Ireland,” he said.
Mr Middleton was also recently endorsed by William Hay, who is acting as his election agent.
Asking voters to support the DUP candidate in Foyle Lord Hay commented: “I’m asking people to vote for Gary Middleton, a young man with huge potential for many years to come.”