Arlene Foster, the DUP MLA and Enterprise Minister, has been chosen as the DUP's candidate to contest the Fermanagh council by-election. Mrs Foster resigned from the same council a few months ago when she was the Environment Minister - a job whose remit includes local government. Now that she has no conflict of interest it appears she cannot bear to stay off the council. The UUP – having caused the by election by preventing a co-option – are now in a difficult position. If they stand Mrs Foster will certainly outpoll their candidate and they might spilt the unionist vote allowing Sinn Féin to take the seat.
Mrs Foster will be delighted to have the opportunity to raise her profile in one of the main towns in the Fermanagh and South Tyrone Westminster constituency. She is also expected to be the DUP’s candidate at the General Election when she will attempt to wrest the seat from her Ministerial colleague, Sinn Féin’s Michelle Gildernew.