DUP and UUP fail to agree formal pact

From the BBC’S Mark Devenport;

DUP leader Arlene Foster and UUP leader Robin Swann said they would continue to discuss better unionist co-operation beyond the election.

But they could not agree on an overall pact, despite the parties already deciding against splitting the unionist vote in some key constituencies.

The report continues quoting both leaders;

“Both of our parties want to see the strongest possible vote for pro-union candidates standing in all of the 18 constituencies across Northern Ireland,” they said.

“While our parties have not concluded any formal pact arrangements on this occasion we are resolved to continue discussions in the interests of better unionist co-operation beyond this election period.”

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  • mac tire

    Ah, so those who don’t vote UUP. TUV. DUP are “the rest”. So someone who votes Green or Alliance but who support the Union are not of the Unionist family? They’ll be delighted to know you excluded them.

    *Rolls eyes*

  • Nevin

    mt, I had parties in mind.

  • mac tire

    “Many UUP MLA’s and Councillors would have to swallow an awful lot of words and indigestible amounts of humble pie (and in many cases I suspect deep dislike) to go cap in hand to the DUP.”

    In fairness, the UUP already do that. As the UUP cosy up to the DUP they have forgotten about Red Sky, Nama, RHI, and the DUP’s emerging links with Cambridge Analytica and AggregateIQ.

    Those things matter not when ‘themuns’ are mentioned.

  • Madra Uisce

    Not to mention he still active Loyalist paramilitaries.

  • Mike the First

    He did say “respectively”.

  • Nevin

    In a wider context, pacts have proved to be something of a damp squib. The UUP and SDLP currently hold 5 Westminster seats between them. What are the chances of that falling to zero?

  • Nordie Northsider

    Don’t let them know – they’ll start arguing for it!

  • Robin Keogh

    Looking at the numbers from the Assembly election It is difficult to see how the UUP can hold onto FST. The combined nationalist vote is almost 5000 votes ahead.

  • Robin Keogh

    Holy God, a vanilla latte in Dublin is nearly four Euro!!

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Or how long after the exit from Europe will it be before we need a cart load of fivers to but a Vanilla Latte…….

  • mjh

    Yes, Robin. The combined nationalist vote was 4,551 higher than the combined unionist vote.

    But the SDLP was 5,134 of that combined nationalist vote.

    And therein lies the uncertainty.

  • Robin Keogh

    Regardless of how the seats actually fall, arguably the most interesting result will be that of the pro-union vote. In that, the non pact might be of assistance. The Assembly result delivered 44.5% to Unionist parties and individuals. The lowest result ever. However some have commentated that a lot of Unionist/Loyalist areas had very low turnout. The non-pact might deliver voters to the polls who might have otherwise been turned off by a pact. My own view is that there is not much left in the tank and that the Unionist vote will remain all but static, any increase will be very small indeed. If that is the case, we will most likely see Unionist Unity coming pretty soon.

  • Robin Keogh

    Yes but in the last Westie election, the SDLP managed only 2700 votes in the face of a Unionist Pact. Compare that to the 4,000 votes in the 2016 Assm election and 5,100 in the 2017 Assm election. This suggests that almost half of SDLP voters are willing to swing to SF for Westminister. That gives SF a potential lead of approx 1,000 ahead of a combined Unionist vote.

  • mjh

    Sure, Robin. That is the most likely path to victory for SF. However it is not a foregone conclusion.

    Firstly, the SDLP vote may not collapse with 50% going to SF. In the recent election only 52.6% of the SDLP’s 1st Preference voters were willing to transfer to SF – even though all 3 SF candidates were still available. (22.5% actually preferred to transfer to a unionist.) That suggests that the proportion of any SDLP March voters switching tactically to SF could well be far below 50%.

    Secondly, as you will have noted, the cross community vote has been rising. We do not know if this will continue at this election, or if there will be a squeeze. We do know that while the transfers of eliminated or elected cross community candidates go to both nationalists and unionists, very few go to either the DUP or SF. So if there were a squeeze it might be more likely to benefit the UUP candidate above the SF candidate.

    Thirdly, we do not know the effects of turnout. The majority component of the March unionist turnout was the DUP. The DUP had a poor election which therefore supressed the total unionist share. But will this be replicated in this election? If it is not the unionist vote may be higher than the 43.0% in March and nearer to the 49.5% of 2016. (It was actually 50.7% at the last Westminster.)

    In truth it is hard to see that the outcome is not highly uncertain, as it was in 2015. On that occasion I thought Gildernew would probably just hold on due to the benefits of incumbency. I was wrong – and I could be this time when I call the outcome as finely balanced.

    But I still fail to see how it is possible to take the March vote as a certain indicator of an SF victory.

  • Robin Keogh

    I agree that it’s not definite of course. But on balance I think SF are in a far stronger position than previously.

  • grumpy oul man

    Where did you hear this gnashing of teeth James.

  • Fear Éireannach

    Pearse is a proud Ulsterman.

  • Nordie Northsider

    I don’t doubt it, but Donegal isn’t in the Six Counties.

  • Tochais Siorai

    It’ll be back to the cup of instant for you and your Euro Elitist ilk after Brexit.

    You might still need a cart load of fivers though……

  • SeaanUiNeill

    “Euro Elitist ilk”???

    An impoverished artist, living on a rather overgrown acre smallholding? If I’m the elite, economically speaking, then a few tens of millions qualify too……..

    I’d assumed I was simply pointing out how the world will almost certainly react to Britain’s exit from the big safety blanket they have so taken for granted. Mind you, I don’t think the vote would have gone as it did if the voters actually evaluated what the exit will actually do to their economic well being. Someone else told me I was a Unionist a few weeks back! My shorter comments must be getting too cryptic…..

  • Tochais Siorai

    Mine must be as well……..;-)

  • Robert ian Wiliams

    The Swann song of Ulster unionism.

  • Robert ian Wiliams

    Are Alliance the step child of that family..when push comes to shove?

  • Granni Trixie

    Some members might self identify as that, others definately don’t.
    Bob Cooper who set up Alliance was one of those in Young Unionists asking why Catholics were not welcomed as members or candidates and he was expelled around 1966. Oliver Napier the other founder of APNI was a Labour supporter and a few others in the founding group,Liberals.