Unionists to vote for leader without Orange delegates

Chris Thornton notes that the absence of Orange delegates to the Ulster Unionist Council for the first time in its 100 year history, will make for a supremely unpredictable leadership contest. They normally account for 120 delegates. One spin on this is that it will strengthen the hand of the liberal candidates. So will we see the first non Orange leader of the UUs?

  • Traditional Unionist

    75% of delegates will be orangemen.

  • Chris

    I don’t see where all this uncertainty is coming from. Sir Reg Empey is obviously the next leader. He is/was an orangeman.

  • Tampico

    What on earth is all of this fascination with the UUP about? Who cares who their leader is? They are utterly irrelevant and no matter who takes on the role it will be a long, long time before they are even challenging the DUP never mind regaining Westminster seats.

    BTW, surely the lack of Orange delegates will harm David McNarry the most, him being such a senior Orangeman and all!

  • Alex

    “What on earth is all of this fascination with the UUP about? Who cares who their leader is?”

    Possibly because this site is about politics and current affairs, and the leadership race in the UUP is political and current?

  • fair_deal

    “David McNarry the most, him being such a senior Orangeman and all!”

    His seniority is not one the rest of the Institution necessarily concurs with. In general terms, the position of senior Orangeman gets bandied about and applied to a range of individuals (largely through media ignorance of Orangeism and how it works)

    However, the idea Orange delegates were a bloc was always a myth that developed new life during the agreement debates on the UUC. I used to be one and no one ever tried to tell me which way to vote.

  • Roger

    Tampico does have a point the UUP leadership race is reduced to pages 8 and 9 of the Newsletter a formely pro UUP paper.

    I see in todays Newletter Empey played the orange card by stating hes and orangeman and that he wants the parades commisson abolished.

    This can be right UUP delegates using the order when they want something such as Tom Elliott in FST, Trimble before he was UUP leader and now Empey durring the UUP contest. Trimble quickly ignored his loyalties to the OO and I’m sure Empey will do the same.