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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 May, 2004, 14:25 GMT 15:25 UK
Independent candidate: John Gilliland
John Gilliland
John Gilliland: Independent
Background: John Gilliland is a former president of the Ulster Farmers' Union who is standing on a "no politics, just action" platform.

He says he is neutral on the Union and wants to switch the focus away from orange and green politics to bread and butter issues. Mr Gilliland is pro-Agreement.

He is backed by a rainbow coalition made up of the Alliance Party, the Worker's Party, Labour, and Tyrone hospital campaigner Dr Kieran Deeney, among others.

He is hoping to attract votes from across Northern Ireland. He recently confirmed he had an approach some months ago from some members of the Ulster Unionist Party, but declined to give details.

A farmer from Londonderry, his party label is Europe First and says he is a Euro-enthusiast. He is in favour of the euro in theory but is concerned that it shouldn't be introduced without meeting the five economic tests set by the chancellor.

He does not fit the traditional farming mould. Mr Gilliland cultivates land on both sides of the border, and his crop is willow which he burns for energy, a speciality which earned him an OBE for services to the environment.

Electoral record: This is his first election.

Key issues:

  • More control for Northern Ireland over its affairs in Europe
  • Building strategic alliances with other regions
  • Making it easier for businesses to compete
  • Improving the environment.

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