Open Unionism


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Are non-DUP unionists now Alliance voters?

(Image via niassembly's flickrstream)

That header would have beggared credulity prior to May. It might even have been provocative afterwards.

But since then, Harry Hamilton and Paul Bradshaw have signed up too. Whilst not a flood, it’s significant.

David McClarty is no fan of Alliance, and yet the chatter continues that he may run under the APNI banner. Even if the ideological combine isn’t there, the extra resources and support of an established party would be welcome. The colour of the rosette is not the first consideration for McClarty. He feels compelled to run – if Alliance can assist him, would he demur?

Alliance would say that they are attracting folks from all sides. That they are a cross-community vehicle for anti-sectarian politics etc… and yet, considering the balance of defections, it would seem that Alliance are becoming more progressively unionist in its personnel.

Yes, the UUP has enjoyed better times. But are moderate Unionists really going to back Alliance? Where are Alliance positioning themselves?

And sandwiched between a more progressive DUP and a progressively more Unionist Alliance Party, is the UUP in danger of a double envelopment?

UPDATE: Well, at least one part of this post has now been answered. David McClarty is to stand as an independent.


Filed under: DUP, UUP, , , ,

2 Responses

  1. David Vance says:

    Look, the alternative to the failed unionism of the DUP does not lie in the no unionism of the Alliance. End of.

  2. Progressive Unionist says:

    As I understand it, Alliance welcome members from both the nationalist and unionist traditions.

    The idea is of building a bridge – no need to renounce either one’s nationalism or one’s unionism. But there is a clear need to commit to anti-sectarianism, to a shared future etc.

    I wish there was a Unionist party clearly committed to a shared future (within the Union) but with Tom Elliott’s UUP running over to the TUV there seems little chance of that – recently it seems that Robinson’s New DUP is more centrist and more moderate than Tom’s orange UUP.

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