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.
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