Sinn Féin’s Westminster candidate, Catherine Seeley, is convinced she can win the Upper Bann seat next Thursday.
The prediction from the Deputy Lord Mayor of the new ABC Council comes ‘after much media coverage concerning Sinn Féin’s progress in the Upper Bann constituency.’
Predictions from the media and bookies suggest that Ms Seeley is part of a three-horse race in the poll, along with DUP’s David Simpson MP and UUP MLA Jo-Anne Dobson. Upper Bann has been a target seat of Sinn Féin for some time and the party believes that this could be their year.
“This is a real battle. Sinn Féin topped the poll in the Assembly election in 2011, being 29 votes ahead of the DUP - and this can happen again,” Miss Seeley said. “Sinn Féin can win in Upper Bann.
“This is a contest between equality and austerity. I stand against the Tory agenda of cuts to public services, attacks on the welfare system and the low paid. I believe in equality for all. Can David Simpson say the same?
“SDLP can’t make an impact on the outcome in Upper Bann. This leaves SDLP voters with a very stark reality - voting for the SDLP on May 7 is a waste of time. I am asking voters to give me the chance to provide positive leadership across Upper Bann. Sinn Féin is the only nationalist/republican party that can challenge David Simpson for this seat. “Increasing numbers of SDLP voters are realising this. I ask them to make the change - vote for Sinn Féin and give me the chance to ensure progressive, inclusive representation in Upper Bann.”
There are eight candidates but only three in the betting frame, demonstrating how the character of the constituency has changed since being formed in 1983, when the UUP won with 24,888 votes (57% of the poll).