Unsuccessful TUV Lagan Valley candidate Samuel Morrison has described the outcome of the Assembly election as “a catastrophic result for unionism”.
Reflecting on the results of the Stormont poll, which saw Sinn Fein make huge gains across Northern Ireland, Mr Morrison commented: “2017 will be remembered as a dreadful year for unionism. Some genuinely good people lost seats and unionism is seriously weakened, particularly in republican areas of Northern Ireland.
“No sensible unionist will be gloating about these results regardless of their party allegiance. Unionists, having partnered republicans in government for years, need to reflect on the circumstances which lead to the election and the catastrophic result for unionism as a political philosophy. Any system which allows Sinn Fein to collapse the government as and when they choose is never going to provide stability for a state they do not want to exist.
“There are no easy answers for unionism and I fear that there are dark days ahead for our Province.”
Commenting on his personal performance, Mr Morrison added: “I would like to thank each of the 1,389 people who entrusted me with their first preference vote on Thursday as well of the many DUP and UUP voters who gave me their fourth and third preference votes. Sadly, from my perspective, my first preference vote simply wasn’t good enough for those transfers to come my way. I would also like to congratulate all the successful candidates.
“Standing in an election isn’t easy and only those who have done it will know the pressures it puts on family as well as the individual. Huge thanks to those who helped run a campaign I am proud of and my wife for her love and support.
“Locally, while I am pleased that the vast majority of my own votes transferred full value to other pro-union candidates I am disappointed that the SDLP took a unionist seat and wish those who missed out, Brenda Hale and Jenny Palmer, all the best for the future. As someone who works for an MLA I am also very mindful of the impact this will have on their staff and their families.”