UK Politics

Mid Ulster by-election candidates list

The Mid Ulster by-election was triggered by the resignation of the sitting MP, Martin McGuinness.

Polling takes place on 7 March between 07:00 and 22:00 GMT. Here are the candidates:

Patsy McGlone - SDLP

Image caption Patsy McGlone - SDLP

Patsy McGlone is a former deputy leader of the SDLP who ran unsuccessfully for the party leadership in 2011.

He has been an MLA for Mid-Ulster since 2003. He was also a member of Cookstown District Council from 1993 to 2009 and was general secretary of the SDLP from 1986 to 1991.

He effectively forced a leadership contest in 2011 when he announced he would challenge the then leader Margaret Ritchie, but in the subsequent election he only came third behind Alistair McDonnell.

He is currently chair of the Assembly's Enterprise, Trade and Investment Committee.

In January, a package containing a bullet and a sympathy card intended for him was intercepted by postal workers.

Nigel Lutton - Unionist Unity

Image caption Nigel Lutton - Unionist Unity

Nigel Lutton was just eight years old when his father Eric, who had recently left the RUC Reserve, was murdered by the Provisional IRA.

He has long experience working in the victims' sector and was a member of the Interim Victims Forum.

Although not a member of any political party he was formerly a member of the Young Unionists and has worked for the DUP MP, David Simpson.

He is also a qualified counsellor and has worked with the Northern Ireland Police Fund as a liaison officer and helped soldiers deal with trauma after serving in conflicts.

He currently works with an undertakers' firm. He denies he is taking part in this by-election because Francie Molloy is involved. "It's not about his past or my past," he has said.

Francie Molloy - Sinn Fein

Image caption Francie Molloy - Sinn Fein

Francie Molloy is a veteran republican who has been a Sinn Fein member of the Assembly for Mid-Ulster since 1998.

He first stood for the party in 1982, a year after being director of elections for IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands. He was first elected to Dungannon District Council in 1985.

In 2005, he was temporarily suspended from Sinn Fein after publicly disagreeing with party policy over how many councils there should be as a result of the Review of Public Administration.

In 2007, a DUP MP using parliamentary privilege claimed he was a suspect in the 1979 murder of former RUC reservist Eric Lutton, whose son Nigel is the agreed unionist candidate in this by-election. Mr Molloy denies the allegation. He is currently the Assembly's principal deputy speaker.

Eric Bullick - Alliance

Image caption Eric Bullick - Alliance

Eric Bullick is a former teacher who has been a member of the Alliance Party for almost 40 years.

He is also a member of Omagh District Policing Partnership. He has been critical of the DUP and UUP for agreeing a joint candidate, and of Sinn Fein for refusing to take their seats at Westminster.

Eric Bullick has stood unsuccessfully as a council election candidate on a number of occasions. He was head teacher of Omagh Integrated Primary School from 1993 to 2009.

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