Unionist difficulties…

THIS is more of an update to Pete’s post than anything – a report of Lady Hermon’s address last night to the SDLP North Down Constituency Association (via Jeff Peel). Hermon reportedly confirms she will stand as an independent, and – after the UUP talks with the DUP organised by the Orange Order – admits she doesn’t know which way Sir Reg Empey is leading his party. The depth of ill-feeling is self-evident, although even Sir Reg might now be having second thoughts about unionist unity.

On the news that Lady Hermon secured the unanimous support of her local constituency association, the SDLP reporter wrote: An experienced politician opined was that such a vote was “the kiss of death”.Despite the spin, the UCUNF project does appear to face real difficulties. As Davy Gordon writes:

There is a cold, old-fashioned logic to the calls for unionist pacts, and it is clearly a tempting prospect for some in the UUP.

Unionist unity would be likely to play well on the doorsteps, and could wrest Westminster seats from nationalists and the First Minister’s desk from Martin McGuinness.

But even showing an interest in such a direction calls the rhetoric of the Tory link-up into doubt.

How can you not take sides if you are thinking of moving towards a pan-unionist front with the Orange Order cheering you on?

Cameron should also be aware of the potential risks to him from the speculation of recent days. He has made much of moving his party to a socially liberal position.

Whatever old-guard views may still exist in his rank-and-file, the Conservative leader will not be hitting out at single mothers or pandering to homophobia. Those kinds of views would be toxic to his cause.

So would he be able to live with a three-in-the-bed scenario with the DUP? And what does all the unionist unity speculation do for the Westminster principle of bipartisanship on Northern Ireland?

Elsewhere, on a slightly related topic, Bobballs writes: I am hearing on good authority that the DUP has suspended all Westminster selections until further notice. This is as a result of ‘pact’ talks.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    “the Conservative leader will not be hitting out at single mothers”

    He already has.

  • joeCanuck

    So, Sir Reg says that the DUP is out to destroy the UUP. Is that really a surprise to him? Where on earth or elsewhere has he been this past many years? Sir Reg himself is blameless, of course.

  • Whether 2100 turns out to be a Unionist Annus horribilis, as our beloved monarch once remarked, remains to be seen, but it has got off to an absolute shocker with both the DUP and the UUP in disarray and confusion.

    With the Tories having to take a bashing over their links with Polish extremists in Europe it would seem a relationship, even if once removed with Northern Ireland extremists, in the shape of the DUP will not be welcomed back on the mainland with the possibility, particulalry if there is breakdown of Stormont, of Labour using it against them in the run up to an election.

    Probably best if they take a hit on Sylvia and throw their lot in with the Tories and leave the DUP to face the electorate on their own.

  • The DUP suspending Westminster selections may well have more to to do with their fear about what will break before an election. They don’t want these stories to appear, but know questions will be asked about why some existing M.P.’s are stepping down having already committed themselves to standing.

  • alan56

    II,

    Please tell us more!

  • Frustrated Democrat

    The Chairman of the Conservatives in NI has made it absolutely clear that the Conservatives will not be part of any pact that includes anyone apart from the UUP.

    There can only be ONE pact nothing else is on offer so there is no need for any speculation. If the UUP leadership continue to have discussions about Unionist unity there will obviously be an end to the deal.

  • Scaramoosh

    There are a number of paradoxes at work. North Down is, on paper, the most likely Tory place in N.Ireland. The Gold Coast could be lifted and placed in Surrey and there would not be too many demographic differences (not a black around the house; a huge number of BMWs; high earners; graduates; blah, blah, blah). North Down does however have a liberal underbelly and an independent streak.

    The Ulster Unionists, if there Tory alliance was to work, would have seen North Down as there most likely acquisition. It would have been the foundation upon which to build.

    Hermon has scuppered their plans. She is no Tory, but, most importantly, she is seen as being non-sectarian. She is seen to work on the part of Catholics in her community, and she is well liked by the tea sippers in the Alliance. Her credential are impeccable vis a vis her links with Jack Hermon. She is seen to work well on the part of her less fortunate constituents in Kilcooley etc…

    Parsley is not liked in North Down, because of his betrayal of the Alliance cause. Here is when still in the Alliance, castigating the Ulster Unionist/Tory link;

    http://url.ie/4tv6

    Hermon has effectively derailed Reg’s dream before it has begun. As for Parsley, is he really going to want to be part of a DUP?UUP alliance …unlikely.

  • I think Reg has a credibility problem now. First it was ‘non-sectarian’ Unionism with the Tories, now it’s secret talks with the DUP and OO which threaten to scupper the UCUNF project. And in the process the UUP has virtually lost its only MP. With leaders like that…

  • ardmaj55

    Int. Insider [4] Yes, one glaring absence is sticking out like a sore thumb, namely, the Almighty’s representative in Lagan Valley. Rumours abound, but injunctions also. Anyone see Nigel Dawds on the UTV News the other night with that raw redness around the lips, it looks a bit psychosomatic to me. All is not as it should be chez Duppers.

  • Frustrated Democrat,

    “If the UUP leadership continue to have discussions about Unionist unity there will obviously be an end to the deal.”

    It certainly should be, but if the DUP ‘unilaterally’ remove themselves from SB and FST the credibility of the UCUNF project will be shot to pieces as we will be asked to believe that the only selfless act of of politics in Northern Ireland history has just taken place.

    Would you accept that?

  • Stephen Ferguson

    Reg has been totally outmanoeuvred and manipulated by Peter Robinson here. If Unionist Unity doesn’t come off Peter can claim it’s Reg’s fault if Martin McG ends up as First Minister. If it does come off the DUP – as the biggest party – will be in charge and the UUP’s leading lights will become nobodies in the new party.

    While I thought the UUP-Conservative tie-up had potential it did come across as a bit confusing to the average Unionist in the street. These OO/DUP talks look like they might have put an end to that now too. Plus you have the party’s only MP opposing it (some might say rather selfishly) from the start. Was she not consulted fully before the plan was announced?

    If Reg doesn’t rescue the Tory pact soon – and I would support going all out as a new rebranded ‘Ulster Conservatives’ – then the DUP are going to be saved from the much anticipated defeat in the upcoming election/s. Unfortunately this may involve having to fight against Lady Hermon in North Down and potentially lose the seat for a term.

    No Conserative pact or a pact with the DUP will see a further lack of confidence in Sir Reg from moderate Unionism and we could be looking at a change of leadership.

    Is it Basil time yet???

  • ardmaj55

    S. Ferguson [11] If Unionist unity comes off, the Dup as the biggest party? Aren’t you going to wait for the voters to declare themselves? how can you secondguess which party would be the bigger in that case, if you don’t even claim that unity can happen. It’s possible that Reg Empty might end up with his westminster MPs back as if they’d never been away, and in spite of himself. The revelations of the Dup’s little foibles aren’t all out yet.

  • Comrade Stalin

    If Reg doesn’t rescue the Tory pact soon – and I would support going all out as a new rebranded ‘Ulster Conservatives’ – then the DUP are going to be saved from the much anticipated defeat in the upcoming election/s.

    It is sheer fantasy to pretend that UCUNF were ever some kind of serious threat to the DUP. The DUP’s problems are to do with Irisgate. The success or failure or UCUNF is spectacularly irrelevant in that context – they’re going to get hurt either way.

  • lamhdearg

    maybe peter has held the prospect of him supporting reg as mp for east belfast, when he steps down to concentrate on being first minister.

  • Bob Wilson

    A lot of people getting over excited claiming this has killed the Conservatives and Unionists pact. Anyone who believe Hermon would ever be on board knows nothing about her.
    I love the the spin about her being ‘Supported’ by the Assoc – its simply not true!
    I love the idea of her addressing the SDLP and boasting of her work for Catholics and overtures to Alliance.
    All this weeks after her own secret talks with the DUP!

  • [i]A lot of people getting over excited claiming this has killed the Conservatives and Unionists pact. Anyone who believe Hermon would ever be on board knows nothing about her.[/i]

    I don’t think anyone is suggesting that Sylvia Hermon has killed the UCUNF pact, everyone suspected she was against it from the very start. The OO/DUP talks are what could kill it.

  • The DUP’s problems are to do with Irisgate.

    CS

    I also don’t think the Conservatives and Unionists were ever likely to nab much of the DUP core vote but to put all their troubles down to Iris doesn’t explain the hit they took in the Europeans or, to a lesser extent, the various council by-elections. They were (before Robbo and his strategists pulled off their magic yet again) damaged goods.

  • Brian Walker

    Gonzo, this is a naive question but I know no fear. Any chance that a propect of unionist unity to dish Sinn Fein might persuade the DUP and socially conservative UUP members to move towards Cameron’s (strictly relative) “socially liberal position”? Homophobia is not much less prevalent among right wing constituency Tories than the DUP -just that they’re better at concealing it, with the scent of power in their nostrils. Just to be clear, the question isn’t rhetorical.

  • sigh

    I think I might have been the only person watching a lunchtime BBC News bulletin one day, before the creation? of UCUNF, but not long after Sir John Hermon’s death. Owen Paterson and Sir Reg. (what is Empey short for?) were being interviewed about the talks they had been having and the notion that the old alliance would be re-established.

    The interviewer asked what Lady Sylvia had said. Sir Reg. squirmed as Owen Paterson held forth about how “poor Sylvia” had been through a rough time and how she couldn’t be expected to understand, what with her brain having been rendered mush by the death of her husband and her being just a little woman and all. There were as many condescending and patronising cliches as I’ve ever heard squeezed into one speech. Alas his words were never broadcast again and I have the awful feeling that I really was the only person who heard apart from the woman herself.

    Of course being a lawyer type person Lady Sylvia is aware that direct retribution could get her into trouble, but doing what she is doing now is a perfect revenge.

    To this I say, “Good on you, Sylvia!”

  • Reader

    Brian Walker: Homophobia is not much less prevalent among right wing constituency Tories than the DUP -just that they’re better at concealing it, with the scent of power in their nostrils.
    Surely no-one is better at concealing homophobia than the left?

  • Stephen Ferguson

    “If Unionist unity comes off, the Dup as the biggest party? Aren’t you going to wait for the voters to declare themselves? how can you secondguess which party would be the bigger in that case, if you don’t even claim that unity can happen.”

    Posted by ardmaj55 on Jan 30, 2010 @ 08:29 PM

    Both the DUP and UUP have spoken of a pre-May 2010 election pact with both Peter Robinson and some Ulster Unionists talking of a single Unionist party. If this takes place before the May general election then obviously the DUP would be the bigger of the two Unionist parties entering the pact/merger.

    “It is sheer fantasy to pretend that UCUNF were ever some kind of serious threat to the DUP. The DUP’s problems are to do with Irisgate. The success or failure or UCUNF is spectacularly irrelevant in that context – they’re going to get hurt either way.”

    Posted by Comrade Stalin on Jan 30, 2010 @ 08:44 PM

    The DUP were looking at a spanking well before Irisgate and whatever else might fill the front pages of the Sundays in the next month or two.

    Don’t forget they were voted the biggest Unionist grouping on the basis they wouldn’t go into government with Sinn Fein while the UUP would. They then changed that position. So you’ll have UUP voters scared into voting DUP at the time and Unionist hardliners who oppose SF in government at all both planning to take their votes elsewhere this time.

    However a new, vibrant Ulster Conservative movement appealing to catholic Unionists, Alliance voters and usually non-voting moderate Unionists would do a lot more damage to the DUP than a UUP party which doesn’t know who it wants to be friends with or fails to consult senior members on what direction the party is taking. There’s still time for Reg to get the party back on track before the May election/s.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Oneil

    I think you understate it the seepage to the UUP/cons. Hence the madness for Empey to get caught up/showing his true colours with the DUP. Before the Robinson shenanigans there was potential for votes, after there was much to benefit from their and by default the DUP’s misfortune. Is that gone now?

    Perhaps I am looking at it from the wrong direction. Is there a chance that Empey’s actions were to undescore the Orange credentials of the UUP and all but ensure attracting some of the unreconstructed from the DUP. Who really knows, but if there is a smidgeon in there it seems wee Reg has caught a dose of the short-termism.

    I know you think Empey has been played like a kipper, but either way the new “third way” seems holed beneath the waterline if not already sunk.

    Where now for guys like you?

  • Reader

    Stephen Ferguson: Don’t forget they were voted the biggest Unionist grouping on the basis they wouldn’t go into government with Sinn Fein while the UUP would.
    Anyone who voted for them through holding that belief after St Andrews was very stupid indeed. While such a block of votes would take the DUP a long way, most of their voters would have realised that the DUP had made a deal and was planning to go into government. The voters might have hoped that the DUP would do something while they were there….

  • ardmaj55

    Belfast Gonzo. It must surely be depressing for Cameron, that the 12 years of Labour/New labour/continuity labour/Move over Labour/utterly LabourI can’t believe it’s not Labour/Provis…you know the rest, has not given him/Tories a new lease of life. and he finds himself where Ted Heath was after the first election in 1974. tut tut….[cue much licking of lips chez DUP], but wait……. have the duppers forgotten about the Liberal Democrats?

  • ardmaj55

    S. Ferguson. [21] Surely, they [DUP/UUP] in arranging the pact are preparing for a situation BEYOND the Westminster election and dealing with the arithmetic THEN, so the numbers for these parties on this side of that are erased, and there is a new unknown situation for them to deal with after that election. It’s not rocket science.

  • Stephen Ferguson

    The purpose of the pact is to make sure Martin McGuinness doesn’t become First Minister after the next Assembly elections (which could be May 6th if a P&J deal isn’t done). Therefore the merger needs to be done before that election is called and therefore the DUP will be the larger party when the pact/merger happens. It’s not rocket science.

  • [b]Whenever More of the Same is a Disaster, Something a Lot More than just a Little Different but still Relatively Familiar, is Much Better[/b]

    [quote]admits she doesn’t know which way Sir Reg Empey is leading his party.[/quote]

    Quite obviously Sir Reg Empey isn’t leading it at all, for if he was he wouldn’t be wanting to jump into bed with others to use and/or abuse the support.

    Another minnow with no greater vision is he. The province and Assembly is overflowing and beseiged and paralysed by the embarrassment of their riches and old waffle/pathetic rhetoric/making progress talks without the sexy accompanying walks.

    Lady Sylvia could always very easily consider, rather than just standing as an independent, leading as a champion in a Virtually Progressive Private Pirate Party for Lovers of Ladies in Order to Afford and Provide the Fairer Sex a Powerful Hands On Say in what the Future will See and Deliver.

    With SMART Virtualised IT Support is Command and Control for Media Programming and Instant Message Delivery and Feedback, an easily Provided and Learned Facility for Global Operating Device Sends, for it will most definitely be more than of just pedestrian local Interest …. a New Powering and Beautifully SurReal Force with Sweet and Sticky AI and Definite Vision in Public Private Service Supply.

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    Is there too little/much oxygen on Mars.

    Or maybe its us here on earth that have got the air recipe in the wrong combinations.

    Other men from mars may think that amanfromMars is a bastion of common sense.

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    Who wants to be the Orange Orders Pop Idol

    Is it

    a)The Dup

    b)The Ulster Unionists

    c)The Tuv

    d) The Conservative party (through recent association, but a trifle bashful)

    Which of the above really really wants to be the Orange Orders political party (puppet)

    Why they don’t just set up their own party is a mystery but they prefer to subcontract out as they see fit where they see fit.

  • PE

    I think you understate it the seepage to the UUP/cons.

    The main electoral test so far, the Europeans, saw disaffected DUP voters, by and large, defecting en masse to the TUV- the kind of inclusive, pan-UK Unionism promised by the Conservatives and Unionists just wouldn’t have found much of a market amongst their typical electorate.

    Before the Robinson shenanigans there was potential for votes, after there was much to benefit from their and by default the DUP’s misfortune. Is that gone now?

    The UUP may (or, at least, should) increase their own share but unless something dramatic changes, I don’t think now the overall pro-Union vote will increase at the next election.

    Perhaps I am looking at it from the wrong direction. Is there a chance that Empey’s actions were to undescore the Orange credentials of the UUP and all but ensure attracting some of the unreconstructed from the DUP.

    I’ve no idea, but there’s no real point in trying to be a DUP B Team, the TUV are the ones that’ll hoover up any disgruntled Orange vote.

    I know you think Empey has been played like a kipper, but either way the new “third way” seems holed beneath the waterline if not already sunk.
    Where now for guys like you?

    I wouldn’t write it off quite yet before the candidates have been even selected. The original ideas behind the link-up still make sense to me and the concept of an inclusive, civic, pan-UK Unionism hasn’t disappeared…so, as “resignation is or biggest enemy” just keep on plugging away, I guess!

  • [quote]Is there too little/much oxygen on Mars.

    Or maybe its us here on earth that have got the air recipe in the wrong combinations.

    Other men from mars may think that amanfromMars is a bastion of common sense. ……. Posted by Panic, these ones like it up em. on Jan 31, 2010 @ 07:20 AM [/quote]

    Real and/or SurReal men and women may think IT so easily so, Panic, these ones like it up em, and resolve to deliver it so easily so too, with the Enlightened Beta Use of Binary Technology and AIMethodology.

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    amanfromMars

    6.Is there too little/much oxygen on Mars.

    Or maybe its us here on earth that have got the air recipe in the wrong combinations.

    Other men from mars may think that amanfromMars is a bastion of common sense. ……. Posted by Panic, these ones like it up em. on Jan 31, 2010 @ 07:20 AM

    “Real and/or SurReal men and women may think IT so easily so, Panic, these ones like it up em, and resolve to deliver it so easily so too, with the Enlightened Beta Use of Binary Technology and AIMethodology”

    Thanks I can see clearly where you are coming from now.

  • Reader

    Panic: Why they don’t just set up their own party is a mystery but they prefer to subcontract out as they see fit where they see fit.
    The Orange Order see themselves as a Protestant/Unionist umbrella group. But because they set the lowest common denominator as their benchmark, they are very narrow minded and intolerant.
    For instance – (Q) what is the one thing that all Protestant denominations have in common? – (A) they are not Catholic.
    But a group that tried to cover the full breadth of Liberal, Traditional, Evangelical and Fundamentalist Protestant thought would look very different, and have very different rules.

  • ardmaj55

    I see what you mean, S. Ferguson, but I was thinking of the pact having a longer term use from the DUP point of view than just the aim of overtaking Marty, If that’s all they want it for, I take your point.

  • John K Lund / Lllamedos / Suchard

    Scaramouche I was educated in Surrey and I met no Presbyterians or Orange Men. The long and short of it is there is no comparison I.e. The close proximity of the capital and Continental Europe. Further more if the Surrey Conservatives had a sitting member as unloyal and unpredictable as North Down has; she would have had the whip withdrawn and would have had a celluloid cat in hell’s chance of any further political career in the Conservative Party.

  • Comrade Stalin

    oneill, I stand corrected. But I think it’s daft for other people to pretend that UCUNF was scaring the DUP. The DUP have been their own worst enemy.

    Stephen:

    Don’t forget they were voted the biggest Unionist grouping on the basis they wouldn’t go into government with Sinn Fein while the UUP would. They then changed that position. So you’ll have UUP voters scared into voting DUP at the time and Unionist hardliners who oppose SF in government at all both planning to take their votes elsewhere this time.

    You forget to mention that after the DUP changed their position, they secured their largest ever vote at the 2007 assembly elections. This was after St Andrews, and after Ian Paisley had stood up in the Assembly and listed the conditions that would have to be met for SF to be in government. As I have said here before, Robert McCartney offered himself as a very clear anti-agreement candidate, and unionists chose not to take him up on it.

    So the facts suggest that unionist voters are or were not afraid of power sharing with Sinn Fein. They were likely less enamoured with the ham-fisted way the UUP handled it and the somewhat confident and aggressive face the DUP presented in public. It’s time you guys got over being comprehensively outsmarted.

    However a new, vibrant Ulster Conservative movement appealing to catholic Unionists, Alliance voters and usually non-voting moderate Unionists would do a lot more damage to the DUP than a UUP party which doesn’t know who it wants to be friends with or fails to consult senior members on what direction the party is taking. There’s still time for Reg to get the party back on track before the May election/s.

    This was never, ever going to happen, and never is. Reg’s talks with the Orange Order have ruled that out conclusively. There is far too much bigotry in the UUP for this idea to be taken seriously. Besides, there is no evidence that there are many NI Catholic Tories about, otherwise they’d have voted Conservative in past years.

    The actions of the UUP leader recently, to me, betray a lack of certainty within the UUP. It shows that the party leadership was not confident that the UCUNF tieup and the appeal to non sectarian voting would deliver results, so they needed to fall back on the “Orange card”. Which underscores my view that the whole thing was a stunt all along, designed to make some people feel good in themselves about how nice they are to those “Roman Catholics” who aren’t all terrorist-lovers after all.

    The purpose of the pact is to make sure Martin McGuinness doesn’t become First Minister after the next Assembly elections (which could be May 6th if a P&J deal isn’t done).

    In other words, unionists are still allowing themselves to be frightened by the psychological element of not being in the front seat. If you take a step back you’ll see how silly this is.

    You seem to be a bit confused. If a P+J deal is done, there won’t be another assembly election until 2012. If a P+J deal is not done and McGuinness resigns, you’re looking at an assembly election in March. The May 6th thing is the Westminster election, which has nothing to do with who gets to be First Minister.

    Therefore the merger needs to be done before that election is called and therefore the DUP will be the larger party when the pact/merger happens. It’s not rocket science.

    Merger ? What merger ?

  • someone

    There is no DUP pact/merger/deal/whatever – all this speculation is so much DUP Onanism.

    Now can the UCUNFers please give us these 18 candidates. Quite looking forward to being able to vote on who the next PM is for the first time in my voting life!

  • Comrade Stalin

    someone, Labour are not running any candidates, just in case you didn’t notice.

  • Paddy Matthews

    Besides, there is no evidence that there are many NI Catholic Tories about, otherwise they’d have voted Conservative in past years.

    You could leave the word “Catholic” out and the sentence would still apply.

  • someone

    CS

    I don’t want to vote for labour! Anyway they have 9 DUPes as proxy representatives to be bought in tight votes (42 days?) and Sylvia who is zanuLabour through and through but just hasn’t bought the membership card yet. And of course the SDLP take the Labour whip and sit on their benches.

    In any case a vote for anyone other than ucunf is definately a vote against Cameron even if it is not a direct vote for Brown. So we still get a choice!

  • Comrade Stalin

    Paddy, well said.

    “someone”, nope. There’s no way Alliance would be backing Labour as a matter of course. Although things will get interesting if there is a hung parliament ..

  • someone

    Yes but CS there is also no chance of Alliance getting a Westminster seat unless perhaps there is a perfect storm in east Belfast but that is a long long shot.

    And in any case that’d be like voting for a libdem! Which is a protest vote rather than choosing your next PM.

  • UUP and DUP considerations on the issue of unity may well be focused on electoral maths in the future, with Stormont the bigger more pressing factor – http://www.thedissenter.co.uk/2010/01/unionist-spring/

  • Comrade Stalin

    Yes but CS there is also no chance of Alliance getting a Westminster seat unless perhaps there is a perfect storm in east Belfast

    What are the chances of the Conservatives getting a seat then ? I don’t believe there’s been any election in NI in recent memory where the Conservatives have won more votes than Alliance.

    but that is a long long shot.

    No, it’s a Long shot 🙂

    And in any case that’d be like voting for a libdem! Which is a protest vote rather than choosing your next PM.

    So the psychological warmth of being part of a large crowd is more important to you than voting for someone with the right principles ? Daft.

  • ardmaj55

    nineteensixtyseven [8]
    Well, Empey has completely lost the plot on this tory likn up in the first place, but knowing tory reasons for getting so involved over here, you’d think he would know that a pact to increase unionist seats with the duppers, totally throws their non sectarian claim overboard. Empty is obviously out of his depth here. So are the Tories, in fact.

  • doflan

    Why would anyone be suprised at the way Reg is ruining the UUP? He specialises in incompetency. One need only look at the shambles he has made of Further Education. BMC’S move to Titanic Quarter to fulfil Reg’s constituency needs, not to mention his desire to have this as his political legacy will like most other things he has been associated with,end in disaster. Unionists should realise that any association with the Conservative party from the Home Rule period to the present has never worked out the way that they thought it would.

  • slug

    The UUP did not have a lot of choice when selecting leader last time and to be fair the party is now stronger than when he took over.

    Though I agree he sends out some mixed messages.

  • Comrade Stalin

    The UUP did not have a lot of choice when selecting leader last time and to be fair the party is now stronger than when he took over.

    then why this whole flap over teaming up with the DUP and the Orange Order ? Doesn’t look like strength to me, it looks like a drowning man grasping for air.

  • Harry J

    Don’t forget they were voted the biggest Unionist grouping on the basis they wouldn’t go into government with Sinn Fein while the UUP would. They then changed that position………..

    not according to their 2007 manifesto , they made it very clear they would go into a government with the shinners

  • Harry J

    The main electoral test so far, the Europeans, saw disaffected DUP voters, by and large, defecting en masse to the TUV………..

    the CU vote at the Euro vote was lower than the combineded uup/conservative vote previously

  • slug

    CS – I don’t think they really needed to get in to that particualr flap, personally. Plus, I said stronger, not strong!