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.