UUP’s very public contest for leadership…

There are two striking differences between the UUP’s leadership campaign and that of the SDLP’s is its the current campaign’s brevity and the very public nature of this one versus the party only meetings of the minor nationalist party. Both main contenders have already racked up to public interviews, one each for the BBC’s Sunday Politics and then UTV on Monday

Here’s John McCallister speaking to Paul Clarke:

And Mike Nesbitt:

It has already had an interesting effect, not least because it has unearth what had previously been internal narrative, the whole issue of opposition… It has at least got people talking about it…

Though Eamonn is far from sanguine about what the results likely to be… Alex Kane tells UTV that the party has no choice but to put up and get behind which ever one wins… otherwise it will continue to lose seat…

What’s interesting is that we are now into the third leadership contest since David Trimble stepped down nearly seven years ago… The SDLP their third since John Hume stepped more than ten years… and the two incumbents have leaders who have been at or near the top for getting on for 30 years…

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty