Open Unionism


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“Unionists Unite”

The Times have an excellent resource for this election. They have based statistics on the new Parliamentary boundaries. Under the new boundaries using the 2005 election data they give Alasdair McDonnell a majority of just 188.

McDonnell would be right to worry in this election as the statistics show (using the 2005 result), given the fact that the DUP is only 189 votes away from victory.

Michael McGimpsey standing for the UUP back in 2005 polled just under 8,000 votes. According to the Times calculation with the new boundary changes the UUP would poll just over 8,000 votes (remember based on 2005 election figures). However this time round the now Conservatives and Unionists are running a little known candidate Paula Bradshaw whereas the DUP are running Jimmy Spratt again. The choice is therefore clear in South Belfast. If two Unionist candidates remain in the contest the DUP are the party most likely to win. Let that be clear.

However should South Belfast follow the news tonight (brief and unclear as yet) that a single Unionist will run in Fermanagh South Tyrone the chances of a Unionist coming through this election victorious would increase significantly!

A few comments on the Conservatives and Unionist campaign – does it appear very ‘Alliance’!? – Woman, shared future etc? Furthermore does it appear too Tory? Given the fact that the Tories have stood in NI elections for some years and not done very well will this marketing strategy backfire on them?


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One Response

  1. st etienne says:

    Granted McDonnell hasn’t been a bundle of energy and when he does speak in public seems to have a fondness for coming out with downtrodden Nat rhetoric which is a bit ironic considering the demographics of the people who would have voted him in in South Belfast.

    But as a South Belfast voter myself I’m not sure what Spratt has accomplished as an MLA. As other commenters have alluded to it would be nice to think the constituency could offer up someone more dynamic then either of the two.

    As regards the CU – it’s ironic for a DUP advocate to label it shared future having witnessed the cringeworthy love-in between SF and themselves since the last election.

    ‘Shared Future’ is a meaningless NIO PR construct delivered by SF/DUP – I find Trimble’s analysis of what the Tory link up is about to be of greater substance – it’s about giving Roman Catholics a better choice than voting Sinn Fein whilst reasserting our franchise in the national parliament. To attempt to reduce it the role of a ‘unionist’ Alliance is missing the point – which is ultimately to end the self-created schism unionism has created between itself and a massive proportion of the population in NI.

    Whether you think it’s doable or not is irrelevant – it needs to happen to both give political unionism some much needed direction and to advance the desperate state of ‘politics’ here.

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