Lacking in policy, distinctiveness, professionalism … and votes

unionist vote share

When former UUP deputy leader and now crossbench peer Lord Kilclooney spoke to the BBC’s Gareth Gordon he said:

I think in recent years the Ulster Unionist Party has failed to show what it stands for … First of all, I can’t think of any policies it really has promoted strongly in the last five years or so; secondly it has failed to show a clear distinction from other parties and thirdly (it has failed) to stop rowing within themselves.

Another interviewee, Bill White – a former Ulster Unionist constituency chair who is no longer in the party – commented on the state of the UUP’s political machinery:

I think when Reg (Empey) then took over and Tom (Elliott), I think the party in all that period of time wasn’t really concentrating or looking at the party itself and how it performs in elections and planning for future elections thoroughly enough.

I was involved in seven election campaigns in my time. They certainly have an image of unprofessionalism, lack of organisation and doing everything at the last minute. I always had this feeling that if there was an election in May, the Ulster Unionist Party would start preparing for it in mid-March.

Having read that, look back at the graph.

What kind of up-hill struggle does tomorrow’s new UUP leader have ahead?

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  • wild turkey

    “They certainly have an image of unprofessionalism, lack of organisation and doing everything at the last minute.”

    Of the few, very few, people I know who are self-identify as Ulster Unionist, there seems to be a lingering aroma of an entitlement lingering from long ago when the party felt it was self-evidently the party to govern.

    the sample upon which the above statement is based is small, unscientific. in no way to i mean to trash or dismiss any individuals or a wider group.

    the UUP on its good days, well everyone does have an occassional one yeah (?), is reminiscent of another political animal which once stood tall, often ruled the nest, and is now approaching, or has experienced, extinction:- the old american East Coast Waspish “liberal” wing of the Republican Party.

  • FuturePhysicist

    Ken McGuinness’s words here were constructive criticism, his work on the cross-benchs, often in the faces of Trimble and of Empey.

    No other politicians from these parts has been a vocal critic of the treatment of Gary McKinnon, something all parties here from whatever background should be critical of.

    The other quote has an axe to grind, if he wants to use a blunt axe to cut wood, let him.

  • “What kind of up-hill struggle does tomorrow’s new UUP leader have ahead?,

    The first thing he has to do is focus on sorting out the professionalism. To do that, he needs the chairman to be replaced with a new one that will carry out that brief but how ‘removable’ is Mr. Campbell?

    I dont know the answer because I am not familiar with UUP rules but if, as has been said often, this is a “bottom up” party, Nesbitt may need, firstly, to focus on changing UUP rules to concentrate power in the leader.