The silence from the TUV since May 6 has been deafening.
The resounding rejection of the party by Northern Ireland's voters appears to have stunned them. They had been mislead by a small number of earlier contests to believe that they would attract about a quarter of the unionist vote – with luck and a split vote this might have even delivered them a seat or two. But the main intention, presumably, was to put in a strong performance that would position them for next year's Assembly elections.
But the paltry 26,300 votes that they received (admittedly in only 10 constituencies), puts them in a pretty poor position.
The TUV's score of the vote in the constituencies that they contested ranged from 3.5% to 16.8%, with an average of 7.3%. This is simply not enough to win seats in the Assembly. On the basis of the Westminster results the TUV would win one Assembly seat – Jim Allister in North Antrim. His hope of forming a block to bring down power-sharing would fail.
In the TUV's 10 contested seats the DUP won 49.2% of the unionist vote. Even UCUNF won 29.6%. The TUV won 11.6% of the unionist vote! Unionists rejected dissident unionism, and voted for participation in the power-sharing Executive.
So where does this leave the TUV?
Politics is ruthless, and failed parties rarely last long. The TUV has failed – twice now. Allister lost his European soap-box in 2009, and his party failed to make much impact in 2010. Will the TUV bother to wait around for its almost inevitable humiliation in 2011? Will it continue to attract members, supporters, or donators?
These are obviously the thoughts that are going through the heads of the TUVs band of loyal supporters. But on their own website there is no evidence of any activity whatsoever, and the TUV's Duracell bunny, David Vance – so willing to blog on anything and everything – seems to have little at all to say on the future of his brand of unionism, apart from trying to fold it into the other brands that he was so gleefully criticising before the election!
Is this the last hurrah for rejectionist unionism, or will it return like a zombie to scare us all again next year, and the year after that, and on and on until it finally gets the point?