The Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, supports local Conservatives in their campaign to make a breakthrough in the Stormont election on 2nd March.

Increasingly confident in their chances of winning votes in the upcoming snap election, the Conservatives have fielded candidates across many areas in Northern Ireland.  This comes after the Conservative Party has enjoyed phenomenal electoral success in Scotland, Wales and England over the past couple of years.

Mr Brokenshire, who was appointed last summer by the Prime Minister Theresa May as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, joined local candidates Frank Shivers in North Down and Sheila Bodel in East Belfast handing out leaflets and speaking with voters on the door-step.

Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP said: “I am delighted to be here with fellow Conservatives who are working hard to ensure Conservative representation across the UK. I know there is much good work that goes on on the ground in Northern Ireland by local Conservatives, and am confident they will maximise their vote in the upcoming Assembly Elections.”  

Many voters have become increasingly disillusioned with the same old parties who have been running the Stormont Assembly.  The recent collapse of the Government in Northern Ireland is the straw that is pushing many people to consider voting for smaller parties who currently don’t have representatives.

The Conservative candidate in Belfast East, Sheila Bodel, commented: "I am delighted that I am standing for the Conservative Party in Belfast.  Our Party has a remarkable record competently and effectively running the UK Government and public services for the last seven years.  However, we also have something new to offer voters in Belfast.  Following years of unreliable leadership in the Stormont Assembly, many voters are telling us that they will be voting for the Conservatives as their 1st preference for the first time."

Frank Shivers, the Conservative candidate in North Down, explained how the proportional voting system in the assembly would make it easier for the Conservatives to win votes: "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 someone would like to see change in Stormont, they could 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 ranking that was set out on the ballot paper, so the voter would not reduce the chances of success of the party they usually support."

The Conservatives have enjoyed unexpected success in recent elections.  Not only did the party win the 2015 UK General Election against the odds, they were the only party to increase the number of seats in Wales that year.  In Scotland, the Conservatives have more than doubled the number of seats they hold and surpassed Labour as the second largest party.