Friday, March 09, 2007

Fresh face

AP Photo/PA, Niall Carson; caption

The above is Anna Lo, subject of one of the quirkier results in yesterday's Assembly elections in Northern Ireland. Running for the non-aligned (in the nationalist/unionist sense) Alliance Party, the Hong Kong native won relatively easily a seat in the South Belfast constituency -- her years of community work in the area being enough to survive what overall was a squeeze on the smaller parties by the DUP and Sinn Fein. In fact, her constituency is unusual in that the main victims of that squeeze, the UUP and the SDLP, held on relatively well in it. So the result may say more about South Belfast than Northern Ireland as a whole.

UPDATE: Reader DF points out that it is not correct to describe Alliance as "non-aligned", at least in the context of the designations in the Northern Ireland Assembly. For convoluted reasons explained here, Alliance had reluctantly designated "Unionist" in the earlier assembly, but have decided to join a non-aligned group -- United Community -- in the new one.

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