David Trimble, presumably refreshed from holidays, has fed a media hungry for ‘real’ stories with plenty of copy. He is categorically not quitting, according to Alan Erwin. And according to Chris Thornton:
“The heart seems to have gone out of the No struggle. Several of the most passionate anti-Agreement members have left for pastures oranger, joining the DUP. Many of those who remain prefer to be called Agreement sceptics rather than opponents. South Antrim MP David Burnside, so far the public face of this motion, has not shown signs of carrying opinion in the UUC. In March, he failed to convince the council they should elect him as a party officer.”
But he cautions:
“Experience has shown the UUP leader’s tendency to cut a deal with his internal opponents that makes waves for the bigger process. And suspicion says that Mr Trimble will be tempted to collapse Stormont before May and avoid the election.”
Martina Purdy believes that Trimble’s main strength within his party is that there is no visible alternative once, as most of his critics advocate, the party withdraws from the current process.