2/5 of DUP delegates would share power with Sinn Fein

PA has an interesting poll of DUP delegates taken at the weekend. It makes for interesting (and probably important) reading. A survey of 100 delegates attending yesterday`s DUP annual conference in Belfast revealed 39% of those questioned believed that, in the right context, the party should share power with Sinn Fein and other parties. The largest single opinion group believed that if the IRA ended criminality and destroyed every weapon that the party should share power with Sinn Fein.

However, 37% felt that even if the IRA ended its criminality and destroyed every weapon, direct rule by British ministers in Northern Ireland would be preferable while 24% had no opinion.

As the party prepared for a new round of talks tomorrow organised by the British and Irish governments to revive devolution, the opinion poll for the Sunday Times showed DUP delegates remained highly sceptical about claims last September that the IRA had destroyed its stockpile of weapons.

The results showed 93% did not believe decommissioning had been completed while only 4% were of the opinion that it had.

At first glance it seems at odds with the current hardline of the leadership – ie Ian Paisley. But it is faintly reflective of the party’s positive game before the robbery of the Northern Bank just before Christmas 2004.

  • Markkus

    The right context appears to be if the IRA ended its criminality and destroyed every weapon

    But how will they decide that all weapons have been destroyed? They don’t seem to believe any assessments by independent bodies, unless they conform to what they thought already. Let’s face it, Unionism sees no advantage in moving forward towards power sharing with SF. Until the alternative is made more unattractive, the intransigence will remain.

  • Ultonian Scottis American

    Markkus:

    Alternatively, SF can release photos of the weapons destructiion, end criminality, irrevocably disband IRA, join the policing board after purging the SF ranks of terrorists and criminals. In other words, become a “normal” political party.

    If they don’t, the onus and fault is “Theirs Alone”.

    If they do all these things, NI unionism, which has DUP in the cockpit for the foreseeble future, would have to put up or shut up.

  • 40% of The DUP leadership would share power also (despite the party ‘line’). Dodds and Robinson in particular.

  • DerryTerry

    USA, or they could just become good wee unionists, religious conversion optional, and join the DUP

  • Ultonian Scottis American

    Terry:

    LOL, and I don’t mean Loyal Orange Lodge.

    Although I’m sure Ian P. wouldn’t mind, I don’t think that the poll addressed that issue.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Should all those within the DUP who have a criminal record be expunged from the democratic process?
    Can we have full and frank disclosure of the contacts between the DUP and other unionist paramilitaries?
    What happened to the DUP/UR share of the AK47’s that were brought from Sth Africs by British soldier Brian Nelson?

    When the DUP start to seriously address their own history of anti-democratic actions then they just may (just) be in a position to be listened to.

  • barnshee

    1 Should all those within the DUP who have a criminal record be expunged from the democratic process? YES

    2 Can we have full and frank disclosure of the contacts between the DUP and other unionist paramilitaries? YES

    3 What happened to the DUP/UR share of the AK47’s that were brought from Sth Africs by British soldier Brian Nelson?
    Where there is proof that the DUP/UR have such weapons —YES

    The problems is as– the undead continually parrot– WHERES the proof??

  • D’Oracle

    Surely the frightening thing here is what must the other 61% of DUP people believe in !?

  • headmelter

    D’Oracle,
    I think you stole my thoughts.

  • Dodster

    Soooooo, 60% of DUPes say that they won’t share power with SF…ever. Under any circs. That’s the headline, that’s the tiresome no-hope reality – right ?

  • Ultonian Scottis American

    “However, 96% believed the DUP should share power with the Mark Durkan`s nationalist SDLP if that was an option.”

    Hardly a “no Fenians about the place” attitude.

    What has made SDLP, the party that was the architect of the GFA, unlinked to terrorism, criminality, or corruption, unacceptable to nationalists/republicans?

  • Pip

    2/5 eh? Does it strike anyone else that thats probably around the percentage of former Ulster Unionists in the DUP?

  • Mark

    “24% had no opinion.”

    It must be slightly worrying for the leadership if a quarter of their members have no opinion on the party’s main issue!

  • Brian Boru

    Maybe the influx of refugees from the UUP is partly responsible for this more moderate view that one would have expected?

  • piebald

    “However, 96% believed the DUP should share power with the Mark Durkan`s nationalist SDLP if that was an option.

    Hardly a “no Fenians about the place” attitude” USA

    It takes quite a stretch of your imagination to describe the SDLP as “Fenians”