Monday, 10 May 2010

Running on empty

CRUEL pundits and satirists have said that the Conservatives and Unionists 'project' is now running on empty...Reg Empty that is!

By the time you are reading our next Northern Ireland Political Update, there may be an empty chair where there once was an Ulster Unionist leader, as pressure mounts for the party to find a direction that won’t see them disappear into political oblivion.

One joke doing the rounds asks: What is the difference between an Ulsterbus and the Ulster Unionists? The answer, of course, is that the Ulsterbus has seats.

Which is more than a little nasty. Reg in South Antrim came close to taking the seat off the DUP. But his fate was much like his big brothers in the Conservatives. Close, but not close enough.

The 3.6% swing from DUP to Reg meant he was still more than a thousand votes shy of toppling the Rev William McCrea. The gamble didn't pay off.

While the Conservatives huddle in corners discussing whether they need a (C)legg up to achieve power, thoughts at Central Office have yet to turn to the failed New Front. When they do, will they be comforted by the thought of a few Assembly seats to build on for the future, or will they wash their hands of the whole thing?

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