Is nuance starting to break out underneath Northern Ireland’s politics?

Interesting observation from Anton McCabe in a piece for the Village magazine (which is ten years old this year)…

The DUP source was careful not to exaggerate the support from Catholic social conservatives. “It may be only a handful”, the DUP source said. “But in an election, a handful of votes can make a difference”. He pointed out that, while all the Churches have sought DUP support on social issues “only one Church ever backed that up with a statement – that’s the Catholic Church”.

A priest in a nationalist rural area has said he has been surprised at a number of parishioners telling him they were voting DUP. They were former SDLP voters, who saw that party as standing for Catholic principles – but have lost faith in it. Certainly, with constitutional issues and controversy over flags and marches having retreated, the DUP is no longer as toxic to a section of Catholics. Its difficulty may be that the issues which attract these Catholics are increasingly toxic to the majority of the North’s Protestants.