SWOTing the parties: Weaknesses of the DUP

Having had the DUP’s strengths, let’s move on to its weakness:

  • Wan

    *Irisgate – Posibility of backlash against due to financial misdeeds

    *Trying to be all things to all men – Trying to be a “devolution” party to appeal to the mainstream and still screwing over Sinn Féin at every opportunity to appeal to the more angry Unionists. Could lead to confusion of their message.

  • danielmoran

    – Scared witless of sunny jim and the westmister election.

    – No chance of unionist pact in time for assembly election, which should now be triggered by SF by weekend.

  • tacapall

    – Are stuck in a timewarp.

    – Incapable of understanding the meaning of the word Equality.

    – Have a superiority complex.

    – Religious fundamentalists with ideals.

  • tacapall

    – Religious fundamentalists with ideals …….?

    Come on Mick does that organisation that you deleted from my post, not also anti catholic, and are W.A.S.P. religious fundementalists.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    ultimately its an organisation within an organisation.
    The Free Presbyterian Church.
    In a sense Ian Paisley could be both a religious leader AND a political leader but nobody els can really bind the religious/political wings of the party.
    With around two thirds of its 35ish MLAs being members of FPC and the Church having just 12,000 members and the DUP having a lot of “godless” voters there is a circle that cant be squared.

    The DUP must be the only political party in the world where the majority of its elected representatives are “saved” and believe a good proportion of their own voters are going to Hell.

  • Carsons Cat

    2/3 of the DUP MLA group are members of the FPC?

    Really…. are you sure about that? I’d make it closer to 50/50. Granted whilst that figure isn’t representative of the unionist or even the Protestant community generally its not the kind of Free P mafia many people like to believe.

    Look at Robinson’s Ministerial team. The only Free P within it is Poots (as far as I can work out).

  • Carsons Cat


    *Hangover from expenses issue being seen to damage them more than other parties.

    *Simple inertia of being seen as the “government” party on the unionist side. Obvious target for a kicking when anything goes wrong.

    *Being caught in the middle between UUP & TUV. Those who want progress go with Empey and those who really want to put it up to SF go with the TUV.

    *Inability to complete the modernisation which has clearly been started within the Party but not quite completed. Kind of like the half-way house issue on policy but just manifested in the party itself.

    *The most credible threat electorally in anything other than the very short term would be the UUP – if the Tory link-up was solid and they were seen to have real influence and not just in it for some Ashcroft money.

    *It would be a threat were Robinson to decide for whatever reason that he couldn’t be bothered any more and were to walk away. Arguable whether the other personalities at the top could carry the necessary momentum to finalise the devolution issues the way he can.

  • Them r us

    orange order.

    anti catholic ranting.

    greg cambell & so & so & so & so & so & so an yer man.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Carsons Cat,
    Basically neither of us really know.
    If you are right at “closer to 50-50” then you think closer to 17-18.
    If I am right at “AROUND two thirds” (please note my qualification thats about 23/24.

    So we are kinda agreed on 17-24…..disproportionate to the numerical strength of FPC.
    There is a broader unionist community out there ranging thru FPC, other reformed mission hall types, elim pentecostalists like Robinson, Church of Ireland (Foster being the only one I know of in DUP) and of course the great unsaved godless majority.

    The image of a party within a party I think is valid.
    With the CofI having about 250,000 members and maybe just one DUP MLA.
    And FPC with 12,000 and having 17 to 24 DUP MLAs.
    With all my caveats about numbers….this does seem to validate my point that there is a weakness there.

  • Mick Fealty

    Strangely I thought people would have leapt on this one, let me repost some of the ones I closed from earlier:


    – Driven by circumstances and history into playing hardball.

    – Sectarian baggage.

    – Out of touch with the grassroots.

    – Condemned to forever look over their shoulders at the TUV.

    – Incapable of reaching out to the other side.

  • Kensei

    — Haven’t really prepared their electorate for necessary compromises

    — No real strategy in the event of collapse, unlike UUP

    — Blanket blocking of anything SF wants has soldified SF’s support rather than damaged them

    — Robinson fundamentally weakened by expenses and Iris scandals, even if he holds on to his position

    — Some occassional lapses of discipline and solo runs — a leadership fight might bring divisions to the fore

    — They are almost certain to lose seats in any forthcoming Assembly election

  • Kevsterino

    – designed and built for protest and permanent opposition
    – original zealotry diluted with influx of UUP dissidents
    – if they move to the left, lose voters to TUV
    – if they move to right, lose voters to UCUNF
    – between a rock and a hard place

  • fpveritas

    Any person like to list the FP MLA/S?

  • FitzjamesHorse

    13.Any person like to list the FP MLA/S?

    Nope…..the trend is a different thing than the individual choice.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    10.Strangely I thought people would have leapt on this one, let me repost some of the ones I closed from earlier:

    After we have done the four parties why not have a thread on strengths and weaknesses of local journalists.

  • joeCanuck

    Their electoral support is soft.
    In a new election SF will be the lead party (a lot of SDLP supporters will lend SF votes in order to stick it to a totally confused and split unionism) and the DUP might not even be the largest unionist party.

  • Weaknesses:

    .Over-reliance on Robinson’s abilities

    .Mono-culturalist/communal at a time when even in NI horizons are broadening

    .Too little involvement with mainland affairs, symptomatic of a Little Ulsterman mentality.

    .Lack of vision for the Union- they do defence very well but no ideas about increasing the pro-Union electorate

    .Arrogance- although post-expenses,Iris and EU election the feeling of untouchability is not quite as bad as it was

    …and lastly and kind of tongue-in-cheek their Press Office- too reactive, too panicky on occasions. Their job is to help their own party not to give their opponents the boost of knowing that they matter.



    .An increasingly constitutional-neutral segment of the electorate

    .TUV and whoever their next replacement on the ultra-wing when Jim inevitably does a “Lundy”
    There is a segment of the electorate that’ll never countance power-sharing full-stop (never mind with SF)

    . and if they finally get their act together and live up to the pre-publicity, the Conservatives and UUP.

  • danielmoran

    joe canuck msg 16.
    If, as you suggest [and i have also] some SDLP lend their votes to SF just to overtake unionists, i would think it will be the UUP as main unionist group and DUP will be deservedly planted back in the rightful place, as a small sectarian rump.

  • Church of Ireland (Foster being the only one I know of in DUP)

    According to facebook Alex Easton MLA lists his religious views as Church of Ireland.

    So how are we getting on with DUP free Ps?

    Well there’s obviously Ian and Son and Willie and Son and Poots.

    (Interesting out of the 5 off the top of my head 3 are called Ian, must be something in that name)

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Conquistador I dont actually see how one extra Cof I member makes much difference to the general thrust of my statement that the FPC is a small church which has either half or two thirds of the DUP MLAS as members.

    Personally I never thought of spending the evening trawling thru FB to have a look at religious affiliations of people. I was watching a rather splendid football match.

  • lol indeed FitzjamesHorse.

    I never expected you would spend your evening that way, but I thought another CoI DUP MLA may be of note to you.

    The Free P point is a good one, but I was wondering exactly which MLAs are free P, and not many people seem to actually know.
    I had thought the Robinsons were, but since Irisgate I’ve discovered they’re “Free Methodists”, whatever the hell that denomination is.

  • LabourNIman

    -family names no longer hold any weight. Unless Diane has a dramatic improvement theres a good chance she could be ousted by a strong ‘united unionist’ at the next election.

    -inherited a lot of glory hunters and jumpers from the UUP/NIUP/UKUP membership over the last 10 years. They’ll run from the DUP should it lose it’s biggest unionist party label.

    -unionist are more likely to vote for non-secterian parties (alliance and green) than nationalists. Mainly due to neither of the mentioned parties investing much time in nationalist areas.

    -they are paying too much attention to TUV. It’s a one man show which will unlikely be around in 10 years.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    LabourNIMan……..tend to agree that the DUP pays too much attention to Allister. I think in part because he knows their secrets having been an insider.
    If an election to Stormont was actually held now, Id be surprised if TUV got more than five seats. They need “names” to defect.

  • danielmoran

    LabourNIMan, msg 23. The reason the Duplicity party is right to fear Sunny Jim, is not because they think TUV will take seats of them, but the real threat that TUV will take votes off DUP but instead of having them for TUV will give them to the UUP, thus, putting DUP back where they were before 2003 and the hated UUP back as main unionist party at westminster and stormont.
    That is what eats away at the DUP confidence, the knowledge that their place in the sun which is but a fifth of their time in existence, is coming to a deserved end. the saying by an american president springs to mind, ‘You can fool some of the people all the time…..’ you know the rest.