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Positive, progressive and forward driven…

Positive, progressive and forward driven: that’s how I would summarise the message coming from the DUP’s Annual Conference today at La Mon, South Belfast.

Official figures put the attendance at 920 people, plus many other observers and stall holders. Some senior members remarked that it wasn’t so long ago that turnout at a DUP party conference would have been no more than 50.

For what has been a tough year for the party, despite winning 8 out of 10 Unionist seats in the Westminster election, the mood amongst members and supporters was positive.

Peter Robinson’s speech was the icing on the cake and the highlight of the day focusing on the future.

Eamonn Maillie tweeting from the conference had this to say about Peter Robinson’s speech:

“This is the most forward looking speech given by a Unionist leader for a long time.”

His speech can be read in full here.

Peter Robinson demonstrated himself to be in buoyant mood. It was remarked that his UUP equivalent, Tom Elliott, could not put up a similar performance. I appreciate that may be harsh, but that was the feeling coming from many observers.

Andrew Charles


Filed under: conferences, DUP

7 Responses

  1. Progressive Unionist says:

    It was certainly a progressive minded speech from the First Minister, and builds upon his previous call for integrated education.

    It seems more and more that the DUP are moving on to the middle-ground to take moderate UUP voters – I’m sure Robinson would be quite happy to see Tom’s UUP vacate the centre and squabble with Jim’s TUV over the narrow political ground to the right of the DUP.

    In fairness to Tom he did have a productive meeting with the GAA head this week – he really just should bite the bullet and go to a local GAA game though (something like a local GAA match in his home county of Fermanagh – it would just lance the whole issue if Tom did so, and would show he was flexible and that he recognised that leadership implies reaching out to other communities in a way that just being local unionist MLA may not)

    Certainly the DUP are moving very effectively onto the solid, middle-Ulster, non-sectarian political ground that has traditionally been the heartland of the UUP – Tom needs to respond if he doesn’t want to see the UUP consigned to the sidelines like the TUV have been.

  2. Ed Simpson says:

    It was a good speech by Robinson and surely now it must leave more and more people wondering if there is any need left for the current UUP when the DUP are the UUP of old? Why not just bite the bullet and unite?

  3. Sam says:

    Who wrote this? A site with lots of writers should automatically make clear who has written a particular piece (as Slugger does)

  4. Andrew Charles says:

    This article was written by myself.

  5. Andrew Charles says:

    Yes sorry.

    Only realised when saw comments.

    Template change.

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