Rediscovering the Road Less Travelled: Lessons of Gerry Carroll's Election Victory


  • Sean Mitchell


Two roads diverged in a wood, and II took the one less travelled by, And that has made all the difference.

‘I am not a Nationalist or a Unionist; I Am a Socialist.' This was the plain and unadorned phrase that newly elected Belfast city councillor Gerry Carroll used to announce his arrival on the political scene. Its innate message was clear: the long and protracted isolation of the radical Left in Belfast is now over. On the 23rd of May, Carroll became the first socialist elected to Belfast City Council for decades when he took a seat in the Black Mountain ward of the city. Not only was Gerry elected, but he won the seat quite comfortably, placing third out of 7 candidates. He was elected on the second count, just a hundred votes shy of topping the poll.