DUP seeks talks with the UUP

The DUP have written to the UUP seeking wide-ranging talks to “maximise the Unionist vote at future elections” and UUP leader Sir Reg Empey is considering it. While Westminster seats, and talk of early elections is probably most prevalent in minds, the impression is the talks will be more wide-ranging. In a interview Peter Robinson mentioned the Assembly election results:

“The Assembly election results demonstrated that greater co-operation between unionist candidates could have increased the total number of unionists returned to the Assembly”

In Westminster terms there are two clear target seats for Unionism, South Belfast and Fermanagh and South Tyrone. Another potential target is South Down, where the nationalist split gives a sole Unionist candidate an outside chance under first past the post a la West Tyrone in 1997, (at the Assembly elections the combined Unionist percentage was 32% compared with 31% for the SDLP and SF respectively in South Down) . The YU’s website have recently been discussing the issue of pacts even if one has remarkably high expectations of UUP future performance.

In Assembly terms, greater co-operation could regain a number of seats in key ‘East of the Bann’ constituencies and maintain the existing levels of representation in ‘West of the Bann’ plus maximise representation in the new council structures. A pact for European elections would also secure the second European seat.

Other potenital issues of common concern could be voter registration, turnout for all elections and vote/transfer management in the PR elections.

  • Insider-

    “Will it ever happen again? – That’s the big question!!!

    No.

  • kensei

    “If the assembly is a moderate sucess (as it may well be) I still have a problem with the nature of the government (no opposition, lack of collective responsibility etc.) I still have a problem with SF being in government with the army council still extant.”

    Fair enough. My follow up would be that why is Direct Rule preferable? In terms of structures, it is less democratic and you lose your veto.

    “In terms of the secularisation of the UK, yes that is something I am not keen on but my view of fundamentalism is more about how the church should behave rather than the state and I still regard myself as British (please lets not start an Am I British or Irish debate, let alone an abortion one, I want to go to bed early tonight).”

    I don’t particularly want to start a debate on either of those issues; I would be fairly heavily anti-abortion myself anyway. Just interested in that there are many Christians (of all stripes) for whom abortion is the issue, and I am interested in separating values from identity a bit. While even the six counties have become more secular, I’d hazard that religion is still more more significant here, and probably much closer to the Republic (also increasingly secular, but Catholic attendance hasn’t fallen totally through the floor). So I just how these issues relate – without necessarily feeling more Irish, or anything like that – how does the increasing secularization of the UK and changing values effect your relationship with the rest of the UK?

  • jpeters

    wow, more nationalists complain about a unionist pact – MORE MOPERY

    Posted by observer on Sep 10, 2007 @ 05:23 PM

    Im not a nationalist! Why do you assume anyone disagrees with you is a nationalist?

    Perhaps unionism would be better served formulating some real policies, its clear that the union is secure and nationalists are happy to work within the institutions. No more sectarian head counts please

  • Pounder

    WHAT? Unionist actually defining policies which consist of more than “Vote for me, I’m a prod”. There is more chance of Rachel Stevens appearing at my front door and asking for a quickie.

    When this new assembly was forming I was very excited. Finally real politics, no more tribal bullshit. With the threat of water charges parties would have to put up or shut up. Instead thanks to clever manuvering by both Sinn Fein and DUP we have stagnation and are even furthern away from a return to real politics.

  • jpeters

    Pounder
    I know but i have always hoped. I just cant get my head around how any unionist would think that the proposed alliance would be good for the protestant community on day to day issues. Policy forming needs political difference and conflict as a stimulus. What is being suggested is a return to the bad old one party state days, I cant recall the Unionist administrations of the 20s 30s 40s 50s 60s being particulary noted for their economic policy brilliance or managing even to confer a relative prosperity or even engagment with the protestant working class.