We are pleased to announce that former councillor Gordon Allison will be standing for the Unionist Party in Ardrossan & Arran ward. In the following Q&A interview, Gordon gives some insight into his values, what he will offer constituents, and why, having been involved in other parties in the past, he has decided to stand for the Unionist Party this May.
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I’ve lived in Ardrossan for forty years, and my wife Linda and I have eight children and eight grandchildren. I’m a plumber by trade, and worked in Scottish Water for around thirty years, during which time I also worked as a shop steward and safety representative. I was briefly chairman of Ardrossan Community Council, before resigning to serve as a Conservative councillor having won a by-election in what was then Ardrossan North ward. I also currently serve as chairman of the Ardrossan Ulster-Scots Historical and Cultural Society.
2. Why did you decide to stand for the Unionist Party?
I’ve always been a unionist. When standing for the Conserative & Unionist Party, I always put most emphasis on the ‘Unionist’ part. I’m really passionate about the Union and the United Kingdom. I believe the Conservatives are giving too much to the SNP through the devolution process; I campaigned against having a Scottish parliament when I was involved with the Conservatives back in 1997, but they’ve abandoned all the things they stood for then. Also, I was an active Leave campaigner in the EU referendum, and I think it is very important that Scottish Leave voters have a voice, because right now they are being ignored. With their anti-devolution and pro-Brexit values, the Unionist Party was the party for me.
3. What is your political background?
I first stood for the Conservatives in a by-election in 2004, when I was elected to serve as a councillor for Ardrossan North ward. It was a shock victory, and the SNP candidate who I pushed into second place was so angry he demanded a recount! I stood again in 2007 in the new and much bigger multi-member wards, and narrowly missed out on being re-elected. I became disillusioned with the Conservatives under David Cameron, and in particular the pro-EU stance of the Scottish Tories, so I joined UKIP and stood for them in the 2012 local elections. However, when I discovered the Unionist Party, I realised that they were the party I had been looking for.
4. What would you do for your constituents in the ward?
I would give them 100%; I’m retired so my duties as a councillor would be my full-time job. One particular issue I would put my full weight behind is the campaign to retain Ardrossan-Arran ferry services and stop plans to move them to Troon, which haven’t been completely ruled out yet. A lot of people rely on the service to commute to work and even to get their groceries, and it wouldn’t be fair to expect them to travel to Troon for the ferry. Locals also have a strong attachment to the service on both sides of the crossing, it’s been there all my life.
5. How confident are you about the election?
I wasn’t confident at all in 2004 and went on to win a shock victory, so that just shows you what can happen! There’s only two other candidates from unionist parties contesting the ward: one Labour and one Conservative, and that’s quite unusual. We don’t have to worry about splitting the vote at these elections when votes can be transferred to second and third choices, so that gives smaller parties more of a chance to make a breakthrough. Although the ward has been reduced to three seats, I think we could pick up a lot of votes and surprise a lot of people – I’ve done it before anyway!
If you would like to help out with Gordon's campaign, find out more about candidates in your area or even consider standing yourself, please get in touch with us through the 'Contact Us' section of this website.