Ulster Unionists and Tories: ill fated twins?

Ominous. The annonymous blgger at the Social Affairs Unit makes a comparison between the Tory’s fortunes and the UU’s ill starred campaign in Northern Ireland. Neither party has convincingly marked out its own battlegrounds.

The campaign’s ‘decency’ strapline is becoming a millstone around its neck for several reason, not least:

Now this may or may not be true, but in an electoral environment where, far from being hegemonic, and thus able to intimidate voters rhetorically, the UUP is on the back foot, already suffering from minority status, and desperately looking to win voters back, it was madness to insult lost and non-voters.

And whilst Michael Copeland may well be completely innocent, the decency strapline compounds the problem:

The man in question, Michael Copeland, is of course defiantly innocent, but even at the level of being laughed at (‘keep government clean: keep Trimble out’ being the level of humour from Republicans still smarting from their serried run-ins with the police) it’s cripplingly embarrassing.

And of course it’s hard not to believe that it couldn’t get worse. No doubt some minds are thinking back to the illfated Back to Basics strapline that so thwarted the last years of the Tory government. Eight years later and they still haven’t recovered from that one!

  • Alan2

    Interesting comment that the DUP may be the only Ulster party in Westminster should the SDLP and UUP be wiped out (not sure it will happen tho – the SDLP will get a couple and the UUP 1 or 2 ( Burnside and Hermon maybe )

  • Tom Griffin

    The key thing to understand about this election is that it is the first one where the sustained anti-Tory tactical voting of the last decade will unwind.

    Part of Howard’s problem this past week is the perception that his right-wing ‘dog-whistle’ campaign might be reminding Lib/Lab voters why they hate the Tories.
    If so, it could do as much to shore up anti-Tory tactical voting as to bring out the Tory vote in the middle England marginals.

  • peter

    The SDLP will emerge with three seats. Durkan will easily win Foyle and McGrady S.Down. McDonnell due only to the dire straight of Unionism will win S.Belfast. That leaves them with three seats. Newry/Armagh appears lost to SF but alot will depend where the 15000 Unionist vote goes.

    Fermanagh is way to close to call. Deeny if he gets his act together can still pull off a victory in Tyrone.