Tuesday 11 May 2010

The TUV in 2011

In June 2009 Jim Allister revealed his cunning plan for world domination – well, Assembly domination anyway, but to flat-earth unionists the world probably only extends to six counties anyway.

Allister revealed that:

“... he hopes to topple power-sharing by using a boycott plan that would likely see a nationalist majority in a Sinn Fein-led Executive. This would be intolerable to most unionists, and might scupper the prospect of republican-led rule of the Province”.

Depending on how many MLAs Mr Allister enters Stormont with, any boycott by him could mean unionists are in the minority at the Cabinet table.

He said “his party would field candidates in every seat at the 2011 Assembly election, hoping to take enough seats to qualify for at least one Executive seat”.

In a situation where Martin McGuinness would probably be First Minister and unionists a minority in the Executive, Allister hopes that the entire Executive would "implode" because it would be unrepresentative of unionism.

Cunning, no?

However, Allister’s hopes for Executive implosion in 2011 may have taken a small knock last week. His party stood in 10 seats, and received less than an Assembly quota in nine of them. Only Allister himself in North Antrim would have been elected for certain if last week’s election had been an Assembly election. Obviously transfers are important, but since the TUV are sworn enemies of the DUP, and hardly best buddies with the UUP, it is hard to see where their transfers might come from.

The TUV would have an outside chance of taking Assembly seats in East Derry and Lagan Valley, but beyond these three seats, their chances are remote. Even with three Assembly seats Allister and the TUV would neither win an Executive seat nor be able to ‘implode’ the Executive. 2010 showed quite clearly that his appeal to unionists is limited, and he is increasingly only picking up support from unionism’s extremist fringe – the hoped-for defections from the DUP simply haven’t happened, and the DUP (apart from Robinson) came out of the Westminster election in fairly good shape, so a melt-down between now and the Assembly election is unlikely.

As the Assembly election approaches, and as it becomes clearer that the TUV is only a fringe party, its appeal may diminish further, perhaps leaving Allister all alone in opposition in the Assembly.

1 comment:

Faha said...

I doubt if the TUV will be in existence for the Assembly elections next year. Their whole purpose of existence is to elect a suffcient number of MLA's to put an end to mandatory power sharing. They received less than 4% of the vote. Even adjusting for the fact that they did not contest all constituencies, their vote would not have exceeded 5% if they stood in all 18. With only one MLA from North Antrim, they would be irrelevant. The Westminster election was their last chance. The DUP was tainted by the Robinson financial and personal scandals and there was a general disillsion with MP's due to the MP expenses scandal. Iris Robinson will be long forgotten next year and Peter Robinson may not be the leader of the DUP next year. There is no reason to believe the TUV will improve on their poor showing in the Westminster election and they are certainly aware of this. The big question now is what will their voters do. Will they return to the DUP ? Defect to the UCUNF ? Or will some stay home and refuse to vote ?