Still hope for Unionist unity in Fermanagh?

The Newsletter is still enthusiastically promoting the possibility that Unionists can do a deal in Fermanagh/South Tyrone, and impose the only likely hit Sinn Fein is likely to take in the Westminster elections, which are expected in early May.

  • ulsterman

    Even with a split Unionist vote a Unionist candidate can win the 59 votes required. Ken Maginness in 1992 polled 52% of the vote here.It is a Unionist constituency ever since the boundaries were redrawn.

    SF will deffinately lose.This will more than likely be a UUP gain.However the UUP after the election may soon decide to form some sort of UUUC as their plight will be so dire.

    The Unionists should have been more active generally over the last few years. In Fermanagh there are plenty of Protestant second homes and these Unionists should have been encouraged to register their vote here. Also I was aghast last year when SF called at my door to register me to vote. No Unionist did likewise.Needless to say I set the alsatian on him.

    May 5th will be a glorious victory. We have a great opportunity to kick ass.Lets get out and vote and defeat the pope.

    God Save The Queen.

  • Will

    While I dont disagree that the seat can be won – the seat is no longer 52% unionist. There have been further redrawing of the boundaries since then.

  • fair_deal

    “I am just making the point that if he had not stood then we would have a unionist MP. Why cant you just accept that?”

    Errr becasue i don’t accept yoiur oversimplistic reckoning perhaps?

  • Fermanagh Young Unionist


    But it seems 18,000 unionists thought otherwise last time.


    I dont see why the UU should be blackmailed by the DUP with such pathetic threats. The DUP showed their true colours here when they backed Dixon and it will be a long time before many people forget that, also are you claiming that if Dixon had not stood then the overall turnout would have been down nearly 7000 votes? not even 25 would have came out and voted unionist?


    Just look at the facts maybe !!

  • Ted


    You completely miss the point in my post. You’re not James Cooper in disguise are you?

    Fact: For the record, at the UUP selection meeting in January 2001 the result was as follows:

    Cooper – 178 (51.0%)

    Foster – 169 (48.4%)

    Oliver – 2 ( 0.6%)

    Total – 349
    (or around 400 in Lord Helpus speak!)

    Fact: Cooper, Trimble and co were deluded enough to think that they could force through their rather one-eyed brand of Unionism, in spite of such obvious opposition within the Constituency Association and totally discounting representations made to them by Jim Dixon et al. They completely understimated the significant number of voters, like Amarillo who would not have voted for Cooper if he had been the only candidate.

    Protection of the GFA was seen as more important than retention of a Westminster seat. Why don’t you take advantage of the time at your disposal over the school holidays and go ask Jim Dixon if he would have opposed Arlene Foster in 2001!

    On the other hand, Amarillo and at least 6,842 others were equally determined that they would sooner register their rejection of the GFA even if it meant that the seat was lost to Unionism.


    Can you answer the following question:

    Had JC deferred and allowed AF to run in 2001, would she have won the seat?

    And sorry to be picky, but had Cooper received 18,000 votes he would have won! Check the facts!

  • Fermanagh Young Unionist


    You have made good points and I dont disagree with most of them but how do explain Jim Dixon announcing that he may once again stand even if Arlene is standing??

  • Will

    I dont know whether Jim Dixon would have stood against Arlene Foster in 2001 – maybe he would and maybe he wouldnt.

    However, if Arlene had ran and Jim Dixon stood against her – she would have undoubtedly have won the seat. There were unionists who were quite prepared to go out and vote for someone who wouldnt win because they couldnt vote for Cooper.

    There may well have been some extreme pro-Agreement unionists who wouldnt have voted for Foster but I dont think there would have been as many as there were voted for Dixon.

  • Fermanagh Young Unionist


    Just after seeing these questions there now,

    1. She may have possibly won the seat, but this is what I personally think – she would have got elected on the back of the UUP but then once she actually had a bit of power she would have swoped join the DUP, you may all have different views but that is what I think. Many ordinary Unionists would have found it hard to vote for her and then if as you claim there are many anti-gfa people here then how come Arlene could not even recieve 5000 votes in 2003? Hmmmmmm wierd that isnt it….

    2.Ok i did not konw we had to be so precise here. Cooper got 17686 votes which is a hell of a lot more than Dixons 6843.

  • Fermanagh Young DEMOCRATIC Unionist


    Has anyone noticed that lately in the press when Fermanagh UUP decides to attack Arlene Foster before the election it’s never actually Tom Elliott doing the talking? Perhaps this shows just how spinless the cooper-ferguson Enniskillen gentry really are! Does it not speak volumes of the UUPs hopes for the Westminster election that James Cooper is himself to scared to face up to the challenge of Arlene Foster.
    Instead he pushes Tom Elliott forward and watches cowardly from his regal pass hide out. Lets see who will be doing the talking after the election when the DUP out poll the UUP! Cooper will be mysteriously quiet for once.
    How arrogant fot FYU to proclaim that all of Arlene’s assembly votes will go to Elliott of the UUP. Perhaps it is this blind arrogance that has got the UUP into the mess they are in today! I know unionists who voted for Tom Elliott believing that he was an anti-agreement, anti-trimble unionist and trying to maximise that vote in their area! Those voters will now be backing a candidate who is not affraid to stick by her principle through thick and thin; Arlen Foster.

    On the 6th of May the UUP will have a lot of Questions to answer!


  • Rethinking unionism

    Those voters will now be backing a candidate who is not affraid to stick by her principle through thick and thin; Arlen Foster.

    Eh surely some mistake here….You dont stand for one party and resign weeks after an election if you are sticking to principle. Arlene will be outvoted 2:1 by Elliott on the basis of previous elections. They dont much like the bigotry of the DUP in Fermanagh andf Arlene is myopic for having thought she could introduce a kinder gentler variety.

  • Jonathan McCullough

    I only hope that when the UUP vote is shown to be greater in both South Belfast and Fermanagh/South Tyrone that it is enough to win both seats. If the DUP are guilty again of gifting seats to sf/ira then they should all fall on their swords. Then again, that’s an honorable thing to do so it probably won’t happen.

  • Paul P

    Jonathan Mc

    Tell me what is honourable about supporting a political agreement which opens the prison doors early for terrorists?

    Please answer the question directly.

  • Jonathan McCullough

    Paul P,
    I have to admire your cheek in asking for a question to be answered directly! When was the last time that a member of the DUP ever answered a question directly? Like, has the “fair deal” sent those released back to jail? Has the “comprehensive agreement” supposedly written by the DUP not been reported by SF/IRA as being a great victory for the republican movement?
    The release of prisoners was a pre-requisite to any agreement that involved the representatives of both loyalist and republican prisoners. If the DUP had stayed on to help other unionists negotiate the GFA perhaps it would have been stronger on mechanisms regarding this, instead the DUP ran away.

  • Ted

    Rethinking Unionism (Vote SDLP?)

    Your rather nonsequitir argument begs the question:

    ‘Which past elections would these be?’

    You see, you appear to make the same fundamental mistake as the Royal Family in Regal Pass in identifying ‘Fermanagh’ as if it comprised the whole constituency. Hamstrung with this initial flawed premise, you go on to reach an unsupportable conclusion.

    There are just as many people down here who have no time for ‘uupity (sic) twats’ as ‘DUP bigots’.

    Unless you foresee a revival in UUP fortunes (this would necessitate a significant predilection for narcotics!) then ‘any rational analysis’ (copyright James Cooper – egh!) of the first preference votes in the 2003 Assembly elections indicates that Arlene only needs to retain 43% of her own first preference vote to outpoll the County Fermanagh Orange Order Grand Master! JC plays the Orange card and it’s trumped by his nemesis! (a woman to boot!) (What odd bedfellows, don’t you think, Cooper and Tom! Or maybe James has more in common with Orange plebs than he is prepared to concede! Doh …… it’s the election, stoopid!)

    BTW Tom, Arlene and Tommy Gallagher were at a forum this afternoon in Portora.

    The most remarkable statement of the day belonged to Tom Elliott, who claimed he is absolutely opposed to the Belfast Agreement and yet pro-Trimble. As you say “Eh surely some mistake here…..” And he hasn’t even got the nous to be embarrassed at this contradiction!

    So that’s the Road to Damascus and, apparently, an Epiphany, so far. Mind you, the wind was from a different direction today!

    Overall, I get the distinct impression that Tom wishes he wasn’t in this fight. But he won’t (be allowed to) stand aside for Arlene!

    The ABBA campaign must succeed at any cost!

    Jonathan McCullough

    The UUP have already been offered the solution to the problem in the two constituencies which you identify! Stop jabbering about it here. Go and tell the Purple Turtle, McGimski and Stupor-Cooper (Chairman of the ABBA campaign and chief puppeteer) to pull their fecking heads out of one another’s arses and do a deal to run 1 for 1 with the DUP. Honestly, just because they didn’t think of it first, nobody in the Unionist family will hold it against them, as long as they get there in the end!

    Hmm! ‘Tractor Tom’ or the leader-elect (hee-hee). I wonder?

    Problem is, your hierarchy’s detachment from the electorate, and the opprobrium directed by Regal Pass towards Arlene, may just mean that we’re faced with a little bit of history repeating itself (ask James Cooper for details as appropriate!) Let me know how you get on!

  • Jonathan McCullough


    Well done, a very well thought out argument which highlights your intelligence.

    Now read what I wrote again, think it over SLOWLY, now go back and try again Ted! NO, TED!!!! STOP!!! Ahh, forget it, get someone to read it out to you, obviously you can’t read.

  • cladycowboy

    Ah, Fermanagh and South Tyrone, where men are men and the sheep are nervous 😉

  • cladycowboy


  • Ted

    Sorry Jonathan if I appear illiterate!

    Try to get out of UUP mode and put it in easily digestible language which even I (and remember, barely able to stand upright let alone breathe unaided, they allow me to vote too) might understand.

    FST – Sinn Fein or UUP or DUP? – South Belfast – UUP or SDLP or DUP?

    What have I missed?

    P.S. What would be the point in replying to someone who couldn’t read?

    And let cladycowboy’s input be a lesson to all about the inherent danger of cousins marrying cousins!

  • Ted

    Sorry Cowboy

    Meant to sign off 😉

  • cladycowboy

    They were only 2nd cousins me maw and paw. I’m offended, i need a hug, come little sheep…

  • Ted


    I’m sure Dr Deeny will prescribe something for you!

    Unless, of course, Jonathan McCullough and Co can get their ‘independent’ ‘It’s Deeny’ ‘Oh No it’s not’, ‘Oh yes it is!’…………… repeat ad nausem (i.e. 2 minutes after meeting McGimski/Trimble/Cooper) elected!

    BTW McGimski say yes, Trimble say yes, Cooper say no! Tom believe all! What u say Jonathan (henceforth know as Obe Wan Kanobe).

  • Jonathan McCullough

    “What have I missed” – Doh!!! Perhaps you have missed the fact that both South Belfast and Fermanagh/South Tyrone have always had a majority of unionists voting UUP rather than DUP???? Show me evidence of a stronger DUP vote in either constituency if you would like to try and find it!
    If, by standing in these seats and splitting the unionist vote, they yet again gift seats to republicans it will go to prove that the DUP are more interested in themselves than the Union.

  • gary


  • Ted


    Sorry, fell asleep counting cladcowboys girlfriends/boyfriends!

    I’ve just seen your reply. So, your argument is based on ‘tradition.’ Well I’d never have guessed that.

    What both parties (and you personally) need to face up to is the fact that neither one can win either seat without the support of the other party.

    James Cooper couldn’t work that out in 2001, and I get the impression that it’s still beyond the compass of anyone in the UUP to work it out now.

    Today’s UUP is about the last 100 glorious years, oh, and ensuring that the same mistakes can be faultlessly replicated. That’s traditional.

    The fawning sycophants in Regal Pass have still not worked out that the reason the UUP is so deep in the brown stuff in because of the odious Trimble-Cooper leadership. But then, to misquote The Waco Kid “You’ve got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the traditional West. You know… morons.”

    In spite of this, if a deal could be done between the two parties, and Tom was the chosen one, I would hope that he succeed. However, he wants to go to somewhere called Westminister. Can’t find it on a map. Near Stormount I hear.

    PS You are clearly a graduate of the James Cooper Charm School.

    (No, it didn’t do him much good either.)

  • Chris Gaskin

    Hard luck boys

    It would appear that the seat held by Bobby Sands will still be held by a Republican when that important date of May 5th comes.

  • Ted


    Now, that’s the sort of argument that might get a deal done.

    Mind you, the UUP have not ruled out backing Tommy Gallagher! (Well if its good enough for elsewhere …………)

  • Mark

    Being from Dublin, I’m not quite up to scratch on the demographics, but i always thought that fermanagh would be a safe nationalist seat. For how long was it held by unionists?

  • Ted


    The seat is not ‘Fermanagh’ but ‘Fermanagh and South Tyrone’, taking in the Clogher Valley and Dungannon, where there is a sizeable Protestant community.

    Most recently the seat was held from 1983 – 2001 by Ken Maginnis (UU) now Lord Maginnis of Drumglass

    In 2001, Michelle Gildernew (SF)won the seat with a majority of just 58 votes over James Cooper(UU), whose vote was diminished by the presence in the field of an independent anti-Agreement unionist, Jim Dixon.

    Prior to that it was held by Owen Carron (Sinn Fein) and briefly in 1981 by the IRA hunger-striker, referred to above in Chris Gaskin’s post, Bobby Sands.

    But Nationalist does not translate directly as terrorist supporter, and the dichotomy between Sinn Fein and the SDLP makes it a winnable seat for Unionists.

    But, as 2001 showed,it takes an agreed Unionist candidate, and the UUP and DUP, as yet, are incapable of agreeing on anything except that it will be the other sides fault if Sinn Fein retains the seat.

    If you go to to all should be made clear.

  • Chris Gaskin


    I have spoken to a member of the sdlp’s elections committee and even they are conceding that the sdlp vote in FST will plummet in favor of Sinn Féin.

    Even with a pact I don’t believe Unionists would be able to take the seat.

    All the pact would achieve is the polarisation of the electorate and nationalists who would never vote Sinn Féin would do so to stop a Unionist canditate.

  • Ted


    I don’t for a minute expect a Unionist pact will happen.

    Interstingly, a number of friends who have voted Sinn Fein in recent elections have said to me that they won’t be voting Sinn Fein again, in the light of recent events.

    The elections of Sands and Carron happened in very different times. Gildernew just doesn’t come across as having any presence, political or otherwise. Still, they’ll be voting for her in the graveyard just the same!

    I’ll agree with you, though,that Tommy Gallagher is not going to win it!

  • Chris Gaskin


    Who do you honestly see winning FST?

    My moneys on Michelle

  • Alan2

    Possibly and a DUP gain in S. Belfast.

  • Ted


    I’m not a politician,so I couldn’t give you anything other than an honest opinion 😮

    With all parties in the race Gildernew would be the front runner. But, I have this feeling that it’s not going to be as straightforward as that.

    We’ll see!