General Election

Green Party will not run any candidates in Belfast

Green leader Clare Bailey has said he party will not run candidates in any of Belfast's four constituencies. Picture by Hugh Russell

The Green Party has announced it will not be standing candidates in any of Belfast's four consitituencies in next month's general election.

After previously standing aside in south Belfast and backing the SLP's Claire Hanna, leader Clare Bailey said this morning that there will be no Green Party candidates in any of Belfast's other three constituencies.

“This election is all about returning as many pro-Remain MPs as possible," she said.

“These are extraordinary times and require an extraordinary response.

“The Green Party NI achieved our best ever vote across the city of Belfast in the local government election earlier this year.

“However, I’m prepared to put the need to have pro-Remain MPs returned ahead of party interest. 

The Green Party move is the latest in a series of announcements by parties lending support to rivals.

On Monday, Sinn Féin said it will not contest South Belfast, East Belfast and North Down in order to back other pro-Remain candidates.

The SDLP said it will not run candidates in North Belfast, East Belfast or North Down, and asked its supporters to vote for other pro-Remain candidates in the December 12 poll.

Meanwhile, unionists are also preparing to stand aside to support rivals.

DUP leader Arlene Foster announced that her party would not run in Fermanagh and South Tyrone, and would instead back former Ulster Unionist MP Tom Elliott in a bid to unseat Sinn Fein's Michelle Gildernew.

Mr Elliott has declined to say whether he intends to run.

Incoming UUP leader Steve Aiken had previously indicated that his party would stand in all 18 constituencies in the north.

But in a U-turn over the weekend. he announced that the UUP will not field a candidate in North Belfast, where DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds is expected to come under pressure from Sinn Féin candidate John Finucane.

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General Election