Will the DUP be invited to the new party?


Gordon Brown’s coup of an  offer to form a Labour -Lib Dem coalition and then quit reopens up the  possibility of  NI MPs holding a delicate balance of power.  A Lib Lab deal would be stronger because:

  •  it would be a coalition of  the like-minded  not a looser arrangement which is where the Cons-LD talks seemed to be heading.
  • Brown has repeated his clear offer of electoral reform which has emerged as a sticking point  on opposite sides with  both the Cons and LD rank and file.

Crucially it would be weaker because of the arithmetic:

  • Cons and LDs together are 363, a clear working majority, whereas Lab -LDs amount to only 315, well short and so in need of further backing.
  •  the coalition would be led from October by another Labour prime minister who has not presented him/herself to voters  in that role.  (But we elect MPs directly, nor prime ministers).
  •  If we take for granted ( should we?) 3 SDLP, I Alliance and one Independent  the Lab-LD  coalition tally rises to 320, 6 short.   
  • Contrary to what London metropolitan commentators seem to think, it would bizarre if Brown accepted Alex Salmond’s offer of an deal over electoral reform. The  SNP remain Labour’s deadly enemies.  The 3  Plaid Cymru members might be easier partners because that party is in coalition with Labour in Cardiff Bay. But the two nationalist parties  operate together in Westminster. Can Labour split them apart? The sole  Green MP is an ultra Keynsian. Her support can’t be assumed.

Dont forget Brown’s stated priorty is to agree a deficit reduction plan. This clashes directly with nationalist demands  to maintain  block grant levels? And yet the Nats will feel that Labour will wield the axe more gently than the Tories.

So let’s assume  this rainbow coalition can be put together. It amounts to 329, a clear if shaky majority.

Would the senior partners of the “progressive coalition” prefer to swap the 9  leftish Nats for the 8  right wing populist unionist  DUP?  On what terms? Can the pious call for all NI sitting MPs to act together become a reality that makes a difference?   That would  power sharing raised  to a new level to present as  example to the ranks in Stormont. 

Only if a Lab/LD coaltion becomes viable do the minor parties enter the lists. They may have  a couple of days to devise their terms – if the Conservatives don’t beat them to it first.

  • slug

    No. The PM described it as a PROGRESSIVE coalition so the DUP being the least progressive of parties couldn’t fit into that.

  • slug

    302 is only 3 short I think.

  • oneill

    “8 right wing populist unionist DUP”

    Certainly not right-wing in the economic sense.

    Their belief in throwing other peoples’ money down the public sector/social security black-hole and hoping for the best is more reminiscent of a traditional Labour outlook eg Tony Benn circa 1974. That kind of “Jam today, do a runner tomorrow” solution for the UK’s financial problems might be too Marxist for the 2010 version of the Labour Party.

  • joeCanuck

    Agree, Slug. Progressive they are not. What’s the opposite?

  • HarryJ

    it was the Tories and UCUCNF members that advised people to discriminate agianst gays not the DUP

  • slug

    Reactionary. That is the DUP to a t!

  • slug

    While that is true in the B&B issue, in the case of a potential candidate, it was IPJ who complained when a UUP advisor got married to his male partner, calling it vile.

    While I don’t agree in discriminating against gays at B&Bs in people homes, its a more uanced position than that of Iris Robinson and Ian “we don’t like gays” Paisley junior.

  • tacapall

    With Mandy involved anyone who can be bought will be there, the more the merrier, who cares if they have baggage. As long as the E.U’s interests are on track issues of integrity are as high on his list as is his sympathy for the poor folk who lost everything during this manufactured by people like him, world financial crisis.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    What a salutary lesson for Unionists that returning a party like the DUP which is so out of step with British political views and thoroughly backward in outlook will cost them serious political influence.

  • HarryJ

    Sorry Slug, ONLY the Tory/UUP/UCUNF have advocated the actual discrmination of gays…

  • Mark McGregor


    With SF not taking their seats does a majority not fall to 323?

    Lab + Lib + SDLP + Alliance + Green + Hermon = 321

    2 short by my reckoning unless I’m doing something very wrong.

    PC seem the much more likely and less demanding element to add.

  • Greenflag

    This election result and government formation is all about economic policy and electoral reform . The DUP could be included -I see no reason why not as long as they keep their hymn singing out of the chamber . Not the done thing at Westminster and would only increase English suspicions that these DUP’ers are not just an odd bunch of Micks but very very very odd indeed 😉

  • Free State Barsteward


    I saw a report today on the BBC that the Speaker and his deputies, four I think, don’t vote so the magic number is 321.

    Can’t find it on the website now, so not too sure if it was accurate.

  • Mark McGregor


    The speaker doesn’t have to take a 2nd term surely? And if being partisan would help him surely he would decline and allow the old man to take the role?

  • dundonald voter

    HarryJ says:10 May 2010 at 8:00 pmSorry Slug, ONLY the Tory/UUP/UCUNF have advocated the actual discrmination of gays
    is this guy for real? are you a real person harry? paisley’s save ulster from sodomy campaign was that a march for gay rights? was juniors remarks about them being vile not discriminatory/ was describing homosexuality as a abomination standing up for gay rights? and are you on drugs harry?

  • Diluted Orange

    Get real guys.

    I don’t speak for either but quite clearly if it’s a choice of DUP or SNP Labour and the Lib Dems (and the Tories for that matter) will pick the DUP all day long.

    The SNP have made a rod for their own backs. The English press are already going cock-a-hoop about the Barnett formula and Alex Salmond was particularly smug in the run-up to the election talking about making London “dance to a Scottish tune”. Well the reality is that the DUP have 8 seats and the SNP have 6.

    A lib/Lab coalition will already have 315 seats plus 3 SDLP, Naomi Long and Sylvia Hermon. They are already bent over a barrel with regards to Northern Ireland – why not go the full hog and get the DUP involved too?

    Northern Ireland is easy capital for the British government. We are cheaper to buy off than the Scots and the bargaining position is much lower to begin with because frankly England can do without us, where as despite all the huffing and puffing the English know deep down that Scotland are worth keeping in the union.

  • HarryJ

    Dundonald please show me where the DUP have advocated actual discrimination against gays – both the UUP and TOries have said not to let gays into B+Bs

  • Diluted Orange

    “The sole Green MP is an ultra Keynsian”

    She’ll fit right in then with a government that has spent money like it’s been going out of fashion for the past 13 years.

  • Ciaran

    I saw this report on the BBC News website-


    The section at the end says that the Stormont party leaders (excluding the DUP and UUP) met to discuss forming a common position to adopt in talks with London.

    What I find extraordinary about this is that the report states that Gerry Adams attended the meeting.

    Can anyone explain why he was present at this meeting given that he can’t offer the Lib-Lab group any seats in the possible coalition? Or can he…? [insert unfounded speculation about Sinn Fein abandoning its abstentionist policy]

  • Diluted Orange

    I’ll bet whatever wager you like that Labour and the Libs will take the DUP over the SNP any day of the week.

    In fact the only 2 things stopping them is the possibility of using Plaid Cymru – but then why would they want to buy off Northern Ireland AND Wales when just NI will do? Secondly the DUP are rudderless – without Robinson; who negotiates for them? This might be an issue but then it might not be – they might get the DUP for cheap without Swish Pete there, as we all know that he drives a hard bargain.

    Whatever the outcome the SNP have frozen themselves out through their own pig-headedness. Labour despise them – there is no way they’ll ever deal with them, the price is far too high.

  • dundonald voter

    HarryJ says:10 May 2010 at 8:56 pmDundonald please show me where the DUP have advocated actual discrimination against gays – both the UUP and TOries have said not to let gays into B+Bs

    one person comes to mind harry you numpty paul berry
    end of that wasnt it harry when all he got was a massage. now what happened to him harry because he got a massage from a gay man?? oh thats right he was put out. now let me guess why. oh yes because the massager was gay and berry was getting rubbed by him. now i will leave you to decide wether that was discrimination against a confused gay

  • pinni

    Amazing times we live in. All NI`s MP`s cooperating together for the benefit of the province. Is it really peace in our time??

  • dundonald voter

    vile acts abominations and your asking me how any dup person evr discriminated against gays. is the above mentioned not enough? bit like your party leader who called on everyone else to fight for ulster but couldnt do it himself. as mentioned a 100 times the man was eligible to fight in the 2nd world war but was found wanting in that department. then he calls the protestant people to fight and when young men do he says i never told anybody to do that!! calling gays abominations and vile is discrimination and an infringement on their human rights. even more of an infringement than not being able to walk down the garvaghy road harry

  • dundonald voter

    and to quote the dup favourite book you chew at a gnat and swallow a camel

  • dundonald voter

    and answer me one thing harry how many gays are in the dup? (should rephrase that how many open gays are in the dup?)

    answers on a postcard

  • slug

    Berry was not well treated.

  • lamhdearg

    The Dup would be mad to back Lab/Libs.The English will get the tory gov they want sooner rather than later and will want revenge. Better to take the long term view and stay out of it.

  • Diluted Orange

    “What I find extraordinary about this is that the report states that Gerry Adams attended the meeting.”

    Maybe they needed his advice on how to steal an election?!

  • RepublicanStones

    Won’t the Dupes will be in the firing line from any Tory govt over the 42 days thing?

  • abucs

    Knowing politicians, “progressive” will probably mean any party that can progress the overall MP numbers to a majority. 😮

  • lamhdearg

    At the time it was said the dup sold their votes, But they sold them and got what they would have wanted anyway. 42 day i think some of them would like 42 years, Smart on there behalf.

  • Diluted Orange

    I don’t understand why. This is a once in a generation bonanza for the DUP – this is only time when their presence at Westminster will actually mean something.

    Is there an issue with the SDLP though? Can they work together at a national level?

  • Diluted Orange

    It already shows Labour that the DUP have form about being bought too. I’m surprised that they don’t have anyone at the current negotiations though – maybe they are still licking their wounds in EB.

  • RepublicanStones

    Well it was and it wasn’t, because even back then it looked like the Tories were a shoo in for the next govt, so they seemed to have opted for the short-term view then….

  • dundonald voter

    slug says:10 May 2010 at 9:17 pmBerry was not well treated
    so can we now safely say slug that in answer to the resident dilusionist harry j that this was an occassion of positive discrimination?

  • lamhdearg

    Even the Torys wanted 42 days. sure they wanted to embarrassed labor with a defeat but the people in the papers made sure labor were embarrassed by their need of Dup support, Also that was two years ago a long time.

  • joeCanuck

    Did anyone else see the report last week that a leading anti-gay pastor in the USA who believes that gays can be cured, has been caught on a fortnights holiday with a rentboy? He says that it came as a total surprise to him that the guy he hired to carry his bags turned out to be a beautiful young blond male prostitute. He hasn’t explained why he went to a gay rentboy site to hire this bag carrier.

  • RepublicanStones

    Well they do say a week is a long time in politics, so 2 years, might be a bit longer, but i’d say theres a few elephants in the Tory party.

  • RepublicanStones

    Im trying to think up a bag joke here Joe, but I keep making a balls of it….

  • AR

    Probably not. A lot of the DUP MPs have generally toryish voting records anyway, it would be idiotic of the Tories to blow away people who are, on some things, natural allies just because once upon a time in a vote they stopped you humiliating the government.

  • copenhagentheory

    Oh and while we’re at it, I’m pretty sure that the tories haven’t made Grayling’s comments official party policy. He was rebuked by cameron, was he not? Did Peter rebuke Iris, or Edwin or IPJ?

    For all its faults, the Conservative party does not draft its policy positions based on the musings of a solitary, isolated bigot.

  • aquifer

    Westminster will use the coalition to first bring in PR, and then the LabDems have a natural majority from then on. The DUP will want to vote against to keep the UUP out.

  • dingdong

    Clearly the Lab/Lid coalition will need all the supporters they can get, so clearly the DUP et al will hang around the lamposts of Downing St like 2 bit hookers waiting for Nick and his new mate Gordon/David/Harriet – whoever for the politial threesome they have been fantasing about.

    All in all bad for the economy bad for the country and bad for politics – I don’t like Adam Boulton or John Reid, but they have a point labour lost – go figure

  • dingdong

    Amazingly like any group of people from this side of the water, immediately they arrive in England they are regarded as Irish, even the DUP so the sight of all the “irish” MPs working together to screw the British exchequer will surprise no one at Westminster

  • CatinHat

    Absolute nonsense. Saying that B&B owners should be free to choose to decline custom from gays without being subject to the law of the land punishing them financially on pain of eventual imprisonment is not advising “people to discriminate against gays”.

  • Framer

    Brown does not need the DUP nor the Scots Nationalists. If he gets the SDLP’S 3 votes, Plaid’s 3, Naomi and Sylvia he is home and dry and he need not resign as PM when the new Labour leader is elected.

  • madraj55

    Brian Walker. 329 seems not too bad , by taking SDLP, who already take the labour whip, SF could be added in if they took their seats. ironically, i believe liblab could count on their votes. and leave the DUP out in the cold. Voters in Britain seem more vociferously against unionists in general, rather than any NI MPs.

  • dundonald voter

    dundonald voter says:11 May 2010 at 3:12 pmthe problem we are facing is that the dupers wanted a hung parliament even prayed for one. as the punt said on election night be careful what you wish for. listening to wee jeffrey on nolan to day still carping on about cuts was shocking to say the least. if the tories and lib dems get in there isnt a problem. if theres a lab lib dem scottish nat and welsh nat and dup alliance and sdlp then you have the irish scots and welsh holding everybody to ransom (it could not last) but they will all look after their own ends. (no cuts) now the problem with that is how could you sell that to the english? it would be very difficult indeed and the probaly the beginning of the break up of the union. the dupes and their ploy will come back to haunt them as the great strategist punt has no foresight or even brain to consider were we all are at this present time. one thing the english might just not want anything to do with us and the rest of the nats. then when the whole grant is gone 200 million will seem like very small change!!!

  • Bulmer

    All a hypothetical now. By not taking any public role, the DUP have lived to fight another day.

  • Bulmer

    You’re too young to remember Maggie I assume?

  • dundonald voter

    the way i see events now with cameron as prime minister, its beeen a disaster for northern ireland. we needed 2 maybe 3 cu’s in place from here to give us a voice. they could have spoke to cameron on our behalf. the dupes gamble has failed now we are helpless, powerless, friendless (camerons party hates the dupes) and voiceless in westminister basically a total irrelevance. the scaremongering of the dup about cuts and the tories has backfired and backfired badly. now wait for the consequences. so the next dupe who tells me that the punt is the most able politician and great strategist i know were i will tell them to go on that one

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    ” voiceless in westminister”

    Naomi is yer girl with a seat and a sister party in power just like Wee Reggie thought he would have.

  • dundonald voter

    i was thinking more of a unionist voice, though very glad that voice aint the punts

  • smellybigoxteronye

    time for Labour to enter NI politics fully. I’m sure they can absorb the SDLP and quite a few members from the DUP to form a true cross-community party.

  • madraj55

    Regressives.? Repressive at least. The DUP haven’t even got a leader to negotiate with Cameron. Their follower Robbo is now holed below the waterline. As Feeney said, Unionists are on their last legs in Belfast. Anyway, it’s epidemic now as Del Trotter would say since Clegg has taken the tory shilling for a ‘ha’penny worth of tar’.