DUP MP Ian Paisley officially launched his 2015 General Election campaign at Carnlea Orange Hall on Saturday evening at a dinner for North Antrim members and supporters.
The event, hosted by Chairman of the party’s Bannside Branch Councillor Sam Hanna, was attended by over 200 guests.
Mr Paisley spoke to his party colleagues about both his manifesto pledges and also how he believed the DUP could play a crucial role in the next Westminster government referring to a potential scenario that may emerge after the General Election where DUP members of the House of Commons could hold the balance of power for both the Labour and Conservative parties.
Mr Paisley stressed how splitting the unionist vote several ways, particularly in target seats such as East Belfast and Fermanagh and South Tyrone, could jeopardise this “once in a lifetime opportunity for Northern Ireland”.
Speaking after the launch Mr Paisley said: “I believe I have worked very hard for my entire constituency over the last five years, regardless of background, and the fact that my office have handled 25000 cases since my election should demonstrate that.
“As Unionists we share one common goal, to preserve the union and ensure the best possible future for the people of Northern Ireland. It cannot be stressed enough how important it is that unionists come out and vote on the 7th May.
“I am thoroughly looking forward to an exciting and competitive election campaign and look forward to answering the questions of my constituents as I greet them over the next seven weeks.”
“This election falls in the middle of an election cycle, with the European and local government elections last year and the Stormont Assembly elections occurring next year. This gives us a great opportunity to gauge where we stand as a party.
“I am very confident that our campaign team and support base will return yet another DUP victory for North Antrim,” he said.