Party manoeuvres

It seems Bertie Ahern wants Fianna Fail to head north to prepare to take on Sinn Fein in its electoral heartland with the absorption of/amalgamation with the SDLP possibly part of the long-term plan. On the Unionist side, the UUP have agreed to open talks with the DUP on an electoral pact and one of its MLAs, Billy Armstrong, has called for the DUP and UUP to amalgamate but his Mid-Ulster electoral maths is rather optimistic. Rumours of a new Unionist party continue to circulate. UPDATE An SDLP official comment does not reject the idea. UPDATE Yep FF are going to do it.