- 28 May 19
"This can be the beginning of a new politics and a new future for all of us," Long says
We hate saying “we told you so” but well, we told you so!
As predicted by the Hot Press political pundits, Naomi Long has made history in the European elections by becoming the Alliance Party’s first MEP.
With Sinn Féin’s Martina Anderson and the DUP’s Diane Dodds both returned, it’s also the first time all three of Northern Ireland’s MEPs have been women.
Elected on the fifth count, Long received 105,928 first preference votes compared to Anderson’s 126,951 and Dodds’ 124,991.
"An amazing result for the Alliance Party and a watershed moment for NI politics," she says. "So grateful to everyone who voted to make the Alliance Surge a tsunami!
This can be the beginning of a new politics and a new future for all of us."
It was a frustrating night for SDLP leader Colum Eastwood who, despite an extremely high-profile campaign, got 78,589 first preference and TUV leader Jim Allister, the Hot Press’ ‘avoid at all costs’ pick, who managed just 62,021.
It was also a very bad election for the Ulster Unionist Party who not only lost their seat but also dropped to sixth, and Conservative candidate who was bottom of the pile with 662.
“Not afraid to take her critics on either in person or on Twitter, Long has tended to align herself in the past with Sinn Féin and the Greens, but rejects out of hand claims that she’s a closet Nationalist,” we said last week of Ms. Long. “Her being pro-gay marriage and in favour of women having 'access to free, safe, legal termination within strict gestational limits' explains why she’s become something of a DUP hate figure.
"With the Alliance Party upping their number of seats by 65% in the recent local council elections, and their leader’s no nonsense ‘I want a second referendum’ Brexit stance appealing to many a floating voter who fears for the future of the Good Friday Agreement, Long stands a very chance of joining Sinn Féin and DUP shoo-ins Martina Anderson and Dianne Dodds in Brussels. That alone would make it worth giving her your No.1.”
Yep, we told you so!