What would happen pact in a hung parliament..?

WRITING in today’s Tele, Conservative/Ulster Unionist Party working group member Johnny Andrews says that “Our objectives and values have converged with a reformed and newly invigorated Conservative Party now poised for power”. He goes on to argue that while the DUP engage in “little Ulster politics, it is up to us with new clear forward thinking policies to take on our historic mantle of moving Northern Ireland forward”. But with the prospect of a hung parliament now being taken seriously by senior civil servant mandarins, could the UUP/Tory pact face an early test if the Conservatives decided that DUP votes in Westminster were worth burying the hatchet with Peter Robinson?

  • pith

    How many hung parliaments have there been in the last 100 years? How many times have unionists held the balance of power in such situations?

  • … a hung parliament …

    The unionist wet dream. Sad and slightly pathetic, really, that unionists know that unless a very rare and unusual electoral arithmatic comes to pass they are irrelevant.

    Tipping a balnce of power one way or the other would be a dangerous ploy though. The ‘losing’ side would detest them for a long period, and the paltry gains to be made by helping the winner may be more than compensated by the later losses when the pendulum swings.

  • … Conservative/Ulster Unionist Party working group member Johnny Andrews says …

    I repeat my earlier question (on another thread): Was that Johnny Andrews on BBC’s Antiques Roadshow last night? Am I the only young fogey who watches that programme?

  • The unionist wet dream.


    If true, it’s one shared by the Scottish and Welsh nationalists, does that make them “pathetic” and “irrelevant” in your book too?

    If it were to happen, then there’s no reason why the DUPes MPs’ votes would not be any more valuable than those of the Lib Dems, SNP, Plaid Cymru- the particular and specific circumstances surrounding the 42 Day Vote shame shouldn’t mask that fact.

  • ulidia

    hitory tells us the real losers in a hung parliament are the minor partners –

    Minor partners are seen only 2 ways
    1. by the main partner as those irritants that have to be kept on board just until they can be ditched – normally viewed as political blackmailers

    2. by the party out of power the minor partners are seen as political hookers plying their trade to get a few tricks – they hate them because theyare keepingthem out of power.

    Overall not a good place to be.!

  • Rory Carr

    The Ulster Unionist Party has an “historic mantle of moving Northern Ireland forward”?

    I must have missed that.I feel like a cuckolded husband. How come I’m always the last to find these things out?

  • fair_deal

    “little Ulster politics,”

    IIRC the local Tories have used similar lines of attack on the UUP and DUP in the past with no discernible result. Why do they think repetition by UUP members will bear any greater fruits?

    Perhaps he better have a word with David Burnside who said the alliance would mean “more finance” under a Tory government.

    “could the UUP/Tory pact face an early test if the Conservatives decided that DUP votes in Westminster were worth burying the hatchet with Peter Robinson?”

    The nature of the alliance rather than formal merger gives the Tories such scope.


    1974 was the last hung parliament through a general election, 1951 and 1929 before that.

    It also occured in 1978 when by-election losses hurt Labour. Major was in a comparable situation in 1996 between by-election losses and whip withdrawals over Maastricht, an opportunity the UUP singularly failed to exploit. Hung parliaments aren’t the only opportunity as 42 days showed.

    The poll averages presently point to a hung parliament hence the heightened speculation (although this will underestimate the Lib Dem performance).

    Additionally there is a pro-Labour bias in the electoral system with the Tories needed to beat Labour by at least 5% to even eke out a small majority.

    While the scarcity of the occurrences mean it is not daily politics they are not fantasy politics.

  • darth rumsfeld

    Dictating to his butler in the west wing, Jonny wrote to the Tele -“the Union which is now more under threat than ever”…
    shurely shome mishtake?
    Did not the great UUP save the Union in Easter 1998, do all the heavy lifting, take risks for our wee childer etc etc (fill in the usual cliches-ed)?
    What was it all for if the Union still needs sturdy B specials standing in the Moyry Pass stretching their trigger fingers ready to loose off a few rounds at Ms Ruane’s ministerial car ?
    Does Jawn mean that his party destroyed itself and let those frightful DUP oiks take over Unionism for-eek- nothing???!!!

    oh- and I hear the deal has got bogged down(again). Perhaps Jawn could do us all a favour and have his butler tell us why Dave has got cold feet….

  • Rory Carr

    Still and all, in these days of corporate mergers (well recent yesterdays anyway) it does make sense for there to be a pact between the London Tories and the Ulster Unionists and it should prove to be much more socially economical at least for the ordinary NI unionist voter.

    Instead of the inefficiency of being shafted by the UUP at Stormont and then shafted again by the Tories at Westminster they can have a more user-friendly shafting experience as the end-user stakeholder by a single shafting provider. You know it makes sense.

  • Comrade Stalin

    As FD said, when we say “hung parliament”, we don’t mean a strict hung parliament (although I feel that it’s not unlikely) but a government with a very slim majority. The Scottish nationalists add an interesting dimension to this, but you can bet your bottom dollar that the unionists will lose it to gain leverage. I remember the latter days of the Major administration very well; squeezed on one side by Euro-sceptics and on the other by by-election losses, he had no choice but to rely on the unionists.

    None of this would be an issue if the SF MPs took their seats.

    So, strategically, it’s very very silly to say “yeah, it’ll never happen”. It’s a possibility we all need to be thinking about.

  • John K Lund

    Horseman et al.Your puerile hatred of The Coservative and Unionists is reminiscent of the invective and destructive nature that my father and mother witnessed in Germany in the mid 1920’s and throughout the 1930’s; where my father went to Salem and then received his tertiary education in textiles at Dresden and Kemnitz as well as selling yarn to the German State Railways Suppliers of moquette and velvet furnishing yarns.Your highly insular attitude frightens me- I find it disturbing.What wrongs have Johnny Andrews and his forebears done to you and presumably your antecedants; to upset you so much that you decline into such irrational rants; and what in God’s name has an oil painting’s value, quality, period, subject or value got to do with the political situation today. Grow up man and get a life.You all can find out my E-Mail address and I,m in the phone book. Empty vessels invariably make the most noise; and by the way start reading literature and nurture your brain instead of attempting a very poor imitation of VIZ.

  • T.Ruth

    I could not understand Cameron’s reaction to the U.Unionist party approach. I believed he would prefer to do business with the DUP which had the good sense to preserve its independence and the freedom that gives to form temporary and beneficial alliances.

    Of course the Conservative/UUP pact would enable Lord Trimble to become a cabinet minister in a future Conservative government. Trimble, in my view, would sacrifice any principle to enable his own advancement.He would remind many of Richard Rich in the Man for All Seasons play. That’s a fine coat you are wearing David. Strange how all those who sold Norhern Ireland short in the Belfast Agreement got paid off/rewarded with a LOrdship. Can anyone recall how many UUP Lords we have. Alas poor Sir Reg, deserted by the big house Unionists, has to be satisfied with his Knighthood.

  • Hopeless

    Why would any major party ask the DUP to enter into a formal coalition? Sure they’re never in Westminster (some turn up occasionally on a Wednesday, admittedly) for any of the important debates and votes on national issues like taxation, defence, foreign affairs, work and pensions. It would be like building a house out of quicksand.

  • frustrated democrat

    T. Ruth

    I take you are an embittered DUP supporter.

    That is probably why you cannot understand what the rest of the world thinks of your party, sectarian, homophobic, Ulster Nationalist all spring easily to mind.

    The Conservatives and DUP was never a starter and never will be.

    For your interest Trimble is not a member of the UUP he is now a Conservative so you comments about him are meaningless.

  • darth rumsfeld

    It’s often forgotten that Ted Heath was offered the Ulster Unionist voting bloc in 1974 by Jim Molyneaux and Harry West in return for scrapping Sunningdale. Now I yield to noone in my contempt for the grocer but this was a very courageous and principled decision on one level at least.Of course he may simply have been playing the long game and thought it was a good election to lose..

    But it does show that the hung parliament does not guarantee any leverage for Unionists. Arguably Molyneuax’s on/off poker game with Labour yielded more than he would have got from resuming the “special relationship”, if one assumes that power sharing was never going to be ditched.

    The cat in hell’s chance of a conviction Unionist leading the Tories is the only justification for a merger, and even Bonar Law lost interest after 1917
    Which is why a formal pact devalues NI votes, and if the DUP are needed on occasion to push through any legislative programme for either party, then deniable deals will continue to be done on an ad hoc basis.

    What sane Unionist would voluntarily throw that away? Ah- seem to have answered my own question there

  • autocue

    John K Lund

    Anyone who dislikes the Tories is guilty of a 1930s German mentality? Talk about disappearing up your own backside!!!

  • autocue


    And yet with all, 8 out of 9 DUP MPs have a better attendance record than the sole UUP MP in the House of Commons over the course of this Parliament!

    cue petulant whinging about Hermon’s private life…..

  • John K Lund

    If I could succeed in carrying out your suggestion I would be a better performer than the late M.Pouttermain and earn a lot of money. Was your education so limited that you are compelled to use the language of the gutter. By the by You wont upset me as I have frequently been insulted by professionals. Go and choose someone of your own level; they might be impressed by your weak imitation of Ross and Brand.

  • autocue

    John K Lund

    Further evidence of where you have chosen to place your head! I can criticse the Tories until the cows come home. It does not make me guilty of a 1930s mentality to do so. If Tories like you are so easily wounded I think you should consider knocking this politics thing on the head.

  • John K Lund

    You have a total right to criticise anyone you wish within the confines of the law; pas de probleme-rien du toute but do you have to descend into the gutter whilst doing so. Furthermore Johnny Andrews has a perfect right to his own opinions and the Belfast Telegraph has a perfect right to publish it. Debate the issue rationally in future please kind Sir, that is all I ask your politics are not nthe issue but your vulgar and uncouth approach.

  • InSoviet Russia

    Parliament hung you!