Voter lends extra weight to ballot box

ONE voter in South Antrim staked perhaps slightly too much on her vote, by leaving her wedding ring in the ballot box.

Speculation that it was one of the candidate’s wives was rife as pundits at Newtownabbey wondered who may have needed the extra weight.

It remains unclear whether David Ford was phoning his wife to check her jewellery count as he made a none-too subtle call.

The Alliance Party leader was not backwards in coming forwards when making his prediction all too clear for anyone who cared to listen.

Standing in the middle of the press room he gleefully yelled into his mobile: “Norman Boyd is out, Burnside is not looking good but Willie Clyde and Paul Girvan are cleaning up the DUP vote.”

There has been another election this week which has slipped by unnoticed.

The girls of Sullivan Upper School in Holywood held their own vote to a mock Assembly - and what a result for the smaller parties.

The Green Party secured the biggest vote with 38%, with the Workers Party on a whopping 32%.

Mark Durkan’s SDLP secured 11%, the DUP had 8%, the Ulster Unionists were on 6% and Sinn Fein finished on 5%.

Apathy reigned at Sullivan Upper with only a 30% turnout.

As part of its citizenship education programme, students organised hustings all last week during their lunch breaks and volunteers stepped in to advocate the policies of the parties.

It may not quite be a case of Daniel entering the Lion’s Den, but for the DUP’s gospel singing minister, William McCrea, a trip to the count centre at Templemore in the mainly nationalist Cityside area of Derry was a trip into the unknown.

The former Mid-Ulster MLA said he had hoped his count would have been in a more unionist area.

“I certainly would have preferred it closer to home in Magherafelt in Ballymoney,” he said. Mr McCrea said the people at Templemore Leisure Centre had made him very welcome.

“The centre staff have been excellent and the election staff have been brilliant and absolute courtesy has been shown to me.”

Asked if he would be exchanging a pleasantries with fellow former Member of the Environment committee, Mitchel McLaughlin, who is standing in Foyl, he said: “They don’t talk to me and I don’t talk to them.”

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