With the General Election just over five weeks away there are now three confirmed candidates who will be standing in Fermanagh and South Tyrone on December 12.

Sinn Féin’s Michelle Gildernew currently holds the seat, which she won back from Ulster Unionist Tom Elliott in 2017.

She will be joined on the election trail by Alliance candidate Matthew Beaumont and SDLP Councillor Adam Gannon.

Following her selection as her party’s candidate, Mrs. Gildernew said this election will be sending out a message which will be heard not just in Fermanagh but across Europe.

“Two years ago, when the last Westminster election was called, our message was that the north needed to be protected, our all-Ireland economy needed to be protected, the Good Friday agreement needed to be protected.

“Since then, we have had nothing but chaos emanating out of London.

“Westminster has zero interest in the lives of citizens here.”

Mr. Beaumont said it was a “privilege” to be selected as the candidate for the Alliance Party.

“In the 2016 referendum, Fermanagh and South Tyrone voted resoundingly to remain in the EU. As a Border county, the negative impacts of Brexit will be felt much more here than in many other areas, so it will be vital to have a strong remain voice at Westminster.”

He went on to say that he will put the “best interests of the area forward” should he be elected.

“Fermanagh and South Tyrone is ready for change and by supporting me will be voting for a candidate who can represent the entire community.”

Adam Gannon, who won a seat in Erne West in the local elections in May, said he wanted to offer voters “something better”.

“We’ve had over 1,000 days of failure by the problem parties which has left our health service on the brink of collapse, our economy without guidance and our education system without the funding it desperately needs,” Councillor Gannon told The Impartial Reporter.

“We’ve also been left without a voice during one of the most important times in our history, with no one to speak up for us and defend us from a devastating Tory Brexit.

“I’m offering the people a choice and a chance to vote for someone who will not stand idly by but someone who’ll stand up and be counted. We don’t have a DUP MP here misrepresenting the people, but we do have an MP who won’t represent us.

The SDLP offer a positive vision for the North, one where we work together to make this place better for everyone and we desperately need this.

“People have told me that they want a new, fresh approach and I want this too.

“The arguments for leaving the EU have been completely debunked and Fermanagh and South Tyrone clearly wants to remain in the EU and I have no doubt a candidate who supports remaining within the EU will be elected. It’s up to the people to choose who.”

Mr. Elliott, who won the seat as a Unionist unity candidate in 2015 would not confirm whether he will run in December, however DUP leader Arlene Foster has pledged the support of her party if he does decide to run.

The Ulster Unionist Party are holding their selection convention tonight (Thursday).

Another politician considering standing on December 12 is Independent councillor John McCluskey.

The Erne East representative whose election success earlier this year resulted in Sinn Fein veteran Brian McCaffrey losing his long-held seat has said he is giving the prospect “serious consideration” and would not rule it out.

“There are two big issues that people want sorted out; the GP surgery in Rosslea and the huge volume of sex abuse allegations coming out week after week after week. It is a disgrace that so many people had to suffer.

“That’s what people are asking me to address and they are coming to me in their hundreds. They have suggested I think about standing in this election and, yes, I am thinking about it and at this moment I couldn’t rule it out,” he told The Impartial Reporter.

Caroline Wheeler, who stood as an independent in the local Council elections has also confirmed that she is considering submitting nomination papers before next week’s deadline.

She was endorsed by the Labour Party NI Executive Committee but would stand as an Independent as Labour is not registered with the Electoral Commission in Northern Ireland.