The late MP’s son, Colin McCusker topped the poll with successful Lurgan by-election candidate, elected in February 2010, Jo-anne Dobson, coming second. Sitting MLA Samuel Gardiner came in third. The other sitting MLA, George Savage, came in fifth. The party is expected to stand three candidates and it is thought that Mr Savage will face deselection.
The fate of Westminster candidate, Harry Hamilton, is unsure as he came in fourth. Should the party over rule the decision of the association it could cause uproar.
The possible deselection of sitting MLA George Savage comes as David McClarty, Deputy Speaker and MLA for East Londonderry, faced a similar fate earlier in the week. He however remained victorious in today’s News letter arguing that there was a miscalculation in the points system.
The UUP have adopted a new system of selection based on scoring candidates as opposed to the more traditional system of one member, one vote. The new system saw Leadership candidate, Basil McCrea, romp home in Lagan Valley the week before last. It was rumoured that he could have faced deselection himself.