Having been pleasantly surprised by the media and public reaction to the announcement that the Ulster Unionists were in talks with the Conservatives about a possible merger, Sir Reg Empey, the Ulster Unionist Leader has started to sell the idea with two opinion pieces – one in the News Letter and one in the Belfast Telegraph. Apparently there has been little dissent amongst UUP members about the idea but confusion still reins amongst the Democratic Unionists.
Some of their MLAs have rushed to attack the Tories and the UUP. Interestingly, however, their MPs have not said a word in recent weeks. Nigel Dodds had originally said that the likely outcome of the next General Election was a ‘hung’ Parliament. Perhaps they have had time to read up on the more recent opinion poll evidence and that might explain the silence of the MPs.