Tuesday 28 April 2009

UUP in the British Cabinet?

David Cameron wants Northern Ireland MPs from the Ulster Unionist Party serving in a future Conservative government at Westminster, he said on Saturday.

But who could he have in mind?

The Ulster Unionists' only MP, Sylvia Hermon, has again failed to clarify her stance on the party's new links with the Conservatives.

There are no constituencies other than Hermon's North Down where the UUP has much chance of winning a seat next year. Only in Newry and Armagh does the UUP sometimes outpoll the DUP (in the 2007 Assembly election, for example), and Newry and Armagh has a safe nationalist majority (66%) so there is simply no chance of ever seeing Danny Kennedy MP in the British Cabinet. In fact, even in Hermon's own constituency her situation is precarious. The DUP outpolled the UUP in 2007, and there is no certainty that she will be able to hold her seat in 2010. South Belfast and South Antrim are the UUP's best hopes, but the DUP outpolls them in both, and in South Belfast they must both fight against the SDLP's incumbent advantage.

So David Cameron is either a fool or an optimist. Or perhaps just an attention-seeking ambitious politician. In any case, he faces the prospect of governing a territory in which his party has no elected representatives at Westminster.


Dewi Harries said...

Don't have to be an MP to be in the Cabinet. Lord Trimble probably the only contender.

Horseman said...


I know that, but Cameron said precisely this: "I want MPs from Northern Ireland serving in a Conservative government at Westminster" (see the video on the UUP web site at www.uup.org.uk).

Frankly, if it is just Trimble, then Cameron would look foolish, as it would emphasise the lack of any Tory MPs in NI.

hoboroad said...

The unionists will set back the Tory party back years they are like the distant cousins nobody wants to admit being related too