DUP plan to form coalition with the Tories – what about it Dave?

Forget the Leader’s Debate! The real story cancels out all that stuff from Peter about “Ucunf ” lobby fodder”. This was quite something to keep back from the voters tonight. Even if the Conservatives haven’t responded  it’s a neat way to neutralise the Ucunf challenge. What would it say about the Conservatives sincerity in joining up the UUs if they were prepared to throw them over for a  secret deal with the DUP before the election?

This may be an election stunt. If so, Cameron needs to lay it to rest- fast 

 The Daily Telegraph understands that the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) is willing to enter into a formal coalition with the Tories should Mr Cameron fail to win an overall majority.

 

The paper can disclose that the DUP has drawn up a “shopping list” of demands in return for its backing of Mr Cameron. The wish-list is likely to be more extensive depending on how much Mr Cameron needs to rely on their support. If the Conservatives win anything between 280 and 330 seats, the DUP believes it will have a very strong negotiating hand. Top of the list is a demand that Mr Cameron holds back on the £100million to £200million of cuts which — under the terms of the Barnett formula used to calculate expenditure in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland — would be Ulster’s share of the £6billion planned by the Tories this year.

One old hand seems unimpressed. Kenneth Clarke talks as if he doesn’t believe the story.  

Kenneth Clarke became the first shadow minister to talk openly about a possible deal.

“I think there’s a still a slim chance we can get an overall majority, which I would very much like to see,” the former chancellor said. “It is very difficult to read because the electoral geography is quite local and it is a complicated breakdown of voting which is taking place. But my hunch is we’re still in with a chance of getting a parliamentary majority.

“In the end you can always do a deal with an Ulsterman, but it’s not the way to run a modern, sophisticated society.”

It’s a nice offer Peter. But apart from Ken going sniffy, the polls suggest Cameron may need at least 14 friends and the projection as many as 52, with the Clegg bubble ahowing signs of sagging.

  • John Joe

    Sounds like DC is backing both horses in a two horse race. South Belfast apart, the DUP-UCUNF contest is merely about which articulation of unionism will take various seats, so the optics of this for the Tories are clear – as long as the returned MPs vote Dave (if needed), who cares what ship takes them over the line.
    Whether this will impact anywhere is unclear since so few seats are really in play.
    Oddly, though, there are several parallel dimensions to this story. In the (still plausible) event that the Tories are not in government after the election, which of Gordon Brown, Peter Robinson or Sir Reg will know where to look when at that first awkward reunion? Certainly Gordon will be saving up some humble pie to serve with the coffee. Similarly, in the (unlikely) event that the Tories get a push on and somehow straggle into the 330s or 340s, and if UCUNF fail to take South Antrim and SF hold FST, will the DUP be returned to the shop, unopened?

  • John Joe

    Forgot to add – this doesn’t look as damaging to the UUP as it should. Since they had already brokered a deal with the DUP over FST, and the broader unionist consensus that largely contains contests to seats where a cheeky nationalist won’t squeeze between split votes, the seeds of a DUP-Tory electoral agreement were already there.

  • Pete Baker

    “The Daily Telegraph understands that the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) is willing to enter into a formal coalition with the Tories..”

    Well, Brian, there’s your source right there.

    The DUP. Not the Tories

    Hardly a surprise that the DUP are pitching this to the media in the circumstances.

    “This may be an election stunt.”

    You reckon?!

  • Cynic

    I have it from a reliable source that the Tories are in league with Beelzebub and sacrifice babies in satanic rituals as they worship their god Margaret the Blessed. Indeed, this is all part of a dark plot to take over the word, clone Hitler and Stalin as new joint Commissars and usher in a new Dark Age for Humankind.

    Of course, it might not be true Brian …but I am sure you will pick it up and run with it

  • John East Belfast

    The issue of course is the DUP is well practiced at saying something in elections and election manifestos but then doing something totally opposite after – a party without principle focused entirely on power.

    It also has a habit of copying Ulster Unionist strategy.

    Therefore this would not be of any surprise in a couple of weeks time

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    ..meanwhile in other news the Ulster daily A great wee Country is reporting that in a dreadful act of betrayal on the eve of his wedding, a well to do English groom has declared his devotion for the love rival of his Ulster bride-to-be.

    Local people seemed unmoved by the tragic event claiming that “themmuns from the mainland often came across and talked all fancy before shafting the locals and fecking off back to their own country”.

  • Neil

    Another article in the Telegraph this morning. It’s all hypothetical but you can see the straightforward logic, it would be an easy answer to Call-Me-Dave’s immediate problems on how to achieve his highest ambitions.

    I’d be surprised that many people would think that the Tories in a tight spot will turn down the PM job because of Dave’s principles in regard to a party which the most recent (admittedly most likely inaccurate) poll shows them walking away with zero seats from this upcoming election. He’ll drop the UUs like hot shit if he thinks he can gain power by so doing. IMO.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/election-2010/7679038/General-Election-2010-How-Conservative-deal-with-DUP-might-work.html

  • Neil McNickle

    I very much doubt that anyone with real prospects of being in power would have anything to do with the rag tag bunch of money grabbing fundamentalists that are the DUP!
    Who in there right mind would work with this bunch of sleaze mungers.
    DC would have Wee Jeffrey and his mates trying to oust him for party leadership by weeks end.

  • Picture This

    There is no situation where the DUP 8 or nine seats will make any difference to a hung Parliment.

    If it gets so close that the DUP can make a difference then there will be another election.

    DUP are acting as if their seats can have any impact in Westminster – the simple truth is they are very small Spratts in a very big pond, no-one outside of NI even puts them on the radar.

    The Punt has got to wake up an understand that he now leads the Northern Ireland Independence Party – his (and his parties) Unionist credentials have been lost in his direct attacks on the first leader of a major UK party who wil not be neutral on the union.

    DUP have tried every dirty trick in the book, dodgy polls, spinning the truth to suit and even working with Scottish and Welsh Nationalists to save his own party.

    The voters may not move this time, but if Cameron gets into government (and it won’t happen with the involvement of the DUP) then voters will leave en masse for the Stormont election.

    A unionist party who fights against NI in the union is a strange beast

  • Neil

    The Telegraph article points out that 9 seats for them is 9 less for Labour and is equivalent to 18 seats, which if the election were close, (around about the way the polls have it) that difference of 18 would be enough to get Dave into number 10.

    DUP are acting as if their seats can have any impact in Westminster – the simple truth is they are very small Spratts in a very big pond, no-one outside of NI even puts them on the radar.

    Their votes have come in at a crucial time in the past for the 42 days detention, from which they screwed concessions.

    Unionist credentials have been lost in his direct attacks on the first leader of a major UK party who wil not be neutral on the union.

    You sound almost as if you’re saying that any Unionist party should just hang onto the coat tails of whichever Unionist is in power at the time. Personally I would have thought independence would allow them to get the best deal for us NI folk, whereas any Unionist PM (just like Thatcher for instance) will have the interests of the British at heart, by which primarily I mean the English.

    The idea that being part of the government and basically having to toe the party line come what may is no advantage.

    The voters may not move this time, but if Cameron gets into government (and it won’t happen with the involvement of the DUP) then voters will leave en masse for the Stormont election.

    I’m sure swathes of ex public servants and their families will be running to vote for the party that cut their jobs from the economy. All the folks losing out on front line services too, they’ll just love the Tories. You’ll be able to get plenty of canvassers anyway, what with all the unemployed.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Picture This,

    the Torygraph would beg to differ – and lets be honest as the Tory ‘house magazine’ they should know. They are suggesting that the DUP will hoisted on board ( with Wee Reggie presumably oxtered oot) even if he only has a small minority because he cant trust his own right wingers on Europe.

    The LibDems should be hammering the Tories on the Torygraph story (even if it were not true) that he wont go into government with the cuddly Lliberals but will with an extemist, intolerant, anti science, anti Catholic and anti gay party.

  • Neil McNickle

    Can the DUP still claim to be Unionist now they are the Northern Ireland Independance party? Change the name to DIP and you can at leat be honest about this Peter!
    Let Unionists vote for UUP and Northern Ireland Nationalists vote for DIP

  • pretty much it. Nice irrelevant wargaming from Walker as usual though…

  • didn’t bother reading the article then?

  • Actually they aren’t. They are reporting the DUP believe they can form a coalition.

    A lesson in self-aggrandisement from the DUP here. Ken Clarke called it correct.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Would that be the same Ken Clarke who calls the shots on Europe and compared the insurgencies in Ulster and Afghanistan on question time a few weeks back?

    A fair man might suggest that a clearly desperate Dave would, as the Tory ‘house magazine’ suggests, get into bed with the bigoted DUP as Davey can easily sell that to his party as the only want to avoid electoral reform by teaming up with the unbigoted LibDems.

    Of course as desperate Dave may well not need DUPs votes – because he will still not have enough anyway – the whole story has to be deniable – hence the Torygraph who are always there to help.