Parliamentary Private Secretary for Culture, Media & Sport is the latest senior UK politician to support the local Conservative candidates on the campaign trail for this week’s Stormont election
Conservative MP, Craig Whittaker, has been speaking with voters in Northern Ireland to canvass support for the local candidates. His visit comes after the Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, has been campaigning in recent days in North Down, Belfast East and East Londonderry with large teams of Conservative activists.
As many voters have become disillusioned with the same old parties who have been running the Stormont Assembly for years, Northern Ireland Conservatives are increasingly confident that they will win more votes on Thursday.
Embolden by their historic by-election gain in Cumbria last Thursday and their remarkable election success in Scotland, Wales and England over the past couple of years, the Conservatives are the only UK-wide national party who has fielded candidates across most areas in Northern Ireland.
At a campaign rally, Mr Whittaker commented: "I was delighted to meet our very committed and extremely hard-working Conservative candidates. We have such a fantastic team in Northern Ireland. It is clear from the response I have received on the doorstep that voters are looking for change. Many people have been telling us that on Thursday they will be casting their first preference vote for the Conservatives for the first time in their lives.”
Former Mayor of Coleraine and East Londonderry candidate Councillor David Harding added: "The Conservatives have proven over the past seven years that we are the party of competency. Our record in office running the UK Government and public services speaks for itself. We also have something new to offer voters in East Londonderry and across Northern Ireland.
"Unlike in Westminster elections, voting in the assembly election on 2nd March is proportional, based on the Single Transferable Vote. As a result, voters don’t have to worry about splitting the votes of the party they normally support.
“If voters want to see change in Stormont, they should vote for a Conservative candidate as their first choice and then vote for the party they normally support as their subsequent option. If the Conservative candidate is not elected, the vote will be transferred to other candidates in the same ranking that was set out on the ballot paper, so the voter will not reduce the chances of success of the party they usually support."