UPRG: a party that represents the apathetic and non voters?

Alex Kane takes note of the specific criticism being made of mainstream unionism for abandoning working class unionists/loyalists (which in many ways accounts for more of the nationalist/unionist turnout differential, than say those of the proverbial ‘Garden Centre Prod’). But as Kane retorts, neither the UPRG nor its predecessor organisation, the UDP, have made much of a fist of it either:

In East Londonderry the PUP and UDP took a combined vote of 753 in the 1998 Assembly election. Neither party fielded candidates in 2003 or 2007. In North Antrim the combined vote was 1041 in 1998 and only 230 when the PUP stood in 2003. In Foyle the PUP took 287 votes in 1998. In South Antrim the PUP got 1546 votes in 1998, but only 311 in 2003. And in East Antrim the combined vote was 2028 in 1998, plunging down to 534 in 2003.

In other words, while the UPRG may insist that mainstream unionism isn’t attracting loyalist working-class votes, it is also very clear that the specific political parties which have tried to tap into that vote (namely the Progressive Unionist Party and the Ulster Democratic Party) have also failed spectacularly.

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  • danielmoran

    mick…. i think that failure of loyalists to tap into that unionist vote might have something to do with the apathy factor. That is that, as long as protestants – in the staunchly unionist areas especially,- see no threat to the union, they don’t have much love or trust for their own politicians. So as robert mccartney [yes, that one]complained, they stay at home. And who could blame them for that

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Said it before, I’ll say it again… Loyalism is, if not wholly apolitical, politically apathetic — defending the status quo (or “defending the status quo,” if you prefer) takes no political manifesto or vision.

    Besides, who is gonna elect the sock-puppet of the local protection racketeer?

  • McGrath

    “mainstream unionism isn’t attracting loyalist working-class votes”

    It has always struck me that the loyalist community really do not have had anything to vote for. For instance, does the loyalist community really give a crap about the union or unionists for that matter, or are they only interested in living within their own community doing their own thing? Any aspiration to vote could bring about normality and change that status quo and there might be your explanation.

  • Different Drummer

    Mick Not Speaking to me Are You ?

    I think your attempts to sanitize Loyalism have become pretty feeble of late Why?

    You know very well that it is not voting for UDA/RHC/UVF/ that is the problem.

  • Different Drummer

    Well that was as answer of sorts Mick I got an ignoreal and you went on with your next article about orange ‘culture’ Come on Mick can’t you do better than?

  • Different Drummer

    Well that was as answer of sorts Mick I got an ignoreal and you went on with your next article about orange ‘culture’ Come on Mick can’t you do better than that?

  • loki

    Nothing new here. Mainstream unioism has always ignored the working classes, except when it wants to turn the mob out. IMHO, the unionist elite has also historically used the OO to control said working classes and to keep them in their place- ie poor and downtrodden. The unionist elite also used the same working class prods as a blunt instrument to beat Catholics into the ghettos.

  • Different Drummer

    Looking At Loki

    But my point of being persistent with this goes beyond mere not liking what the Orange stands for – it is the fact that discussion has changed since the inception of Slugger. The Watershed was the firebombing attacks on Orange Halls which were the ‘never again moment’ for after which our interlocutors very much less liberal when it came to those who oppose the Orange.

    Were previously posting was generally liberal in tone – (along the lines of Orangeism maybe not part of the GFA polity now it’s turn and turn about Organism or New Orangeism IS the new polity and the GFA is on the slide.