As a mother of two who has lived and schooled in South Belfast since the age of three, Claire Hanna understands the issues her constituents face on a daily basis. A strong advocate for sustainability and fair wages, she brought the motion that led to Belfast becoming the first Living Wage council in Northern Ireland, restricting Zero hour contracts and ensuring a fair wage for all employees. You definitely want someone as principled as Claire representing you during these difficult times we find ourselves in.
The DUP won the seat in the 2017 election by 1,996 votes, unseating former SDLP leader. If just as little as 6% of those who support other political parties voted tactically in the 2017 election, it would have ensured that the SDLP kept their seat in South Belfast.
With university students accounting for over 15% of the population of Belfast, coupled with the area being a strongly remain, Claire is hoping that in this election, young people will mobilise and vote for her as the best candidate to impact the Brexit negotiations, fight a hard border and to defend the interest of those in South Belfast and Northern Ireland.
Team FFS: Hi Claire! Can you tell us why you think tactical voting is key in South Belfast?
Over 70% of people in this constituency voted to Remain. Yet we woke up in 2017 with a pro-Brexit MP. The previous MP was out of touch with the views and interests of the people. Not just on Brexit, because this is about about far more than simply whether we leave the EU. It’s about our progressive values, internationalist outlook, and protecting the institutions we cherish like the NHS. I know that most people in South Belfast share that vision, and by coming together on December 12th we can help get ourselves back on track.
Team FFS: Why do you back a final say referendum on any Brexit outcome?
In 1998, once politicians negotiated a deal, they put it to the people. A copy was posted to every household so could see the deal for themselves & decide their future. It was the most progressive political act in modern history and it gave political leaders a clear instruction and a strong political mandate to act. That wasn’t possible in 2016, and it’s why we’ve been in a perpetual political crisis ever since. I believe in the Final Say because I think it’s a democratic right. I also believe, seeing the damage it has already unleashed, that Leave would not win if we voted tomorrow.
Team FFS: Why do you think young people and students are so important in this election?
They are key everywhere! It’s their future and they will live with whatever happens the most. South Belfast is home to thousands of students at Queen’s University and it’s Northern Ireland’s most diverse constituency. One of the most amazing things in all the political turmoil not just here but around the world has been seeing young people standing up and saying “no, actually, we won’t just stand silently and watch you wreck our futures”. There is a huge power in that, and young people really could decide the outcome of this election, including groups like yours. Which is why I’m so honoured to have your endorsement and promise not to let you down if elected!