Speaking to a public meeting in Castlederg on Saturday 7 March, Jim Allister MEP,leader of the Traditional Unionist Voice and its candidate for the European Parliament election in June, said:
“Dromore was the classic catalyst, when in consequence we saw a radical, panic-driven change of personnel at the top of the DUP, abandonment of the Maze Stadium and now the jettisoning of several intended judicial powers for OFMDFM. If this is what 800 votes can achieve, think what tens of thousands of traditional unionist votes will do. We will shake this iniquitous regime to its very foundations."
"… a vote for TUV puts the brakes on. Remove TUV and its full steam ahead for the DUP/Sinn Fein coalition. Hence, the logic and sense of unionists insuring against such by voting in their tens of thousands for TUV".
So Allister has seen the writing on the wall (of the betting shop) and has realised that he will not be re-elected in June. He is settling for the "tens of thousands" of votes that the bookies think he will get, and is re-positioning himself as the 'brake' on the DUP vehicle – stealing just enough of their votes to stop them claiming massive support, perhaps even robbing them of their intra-unionist majority – maybe even causing them to lose their position as largest party in Northern Ireland.
But as for his own seat in the European Parliament, he seems to have accepted that it is already lost.