AS far as one party systems go, the idea of one, single unionist party is an old one: dating back to the early years of the creation of this ‘wee country’ of Norn Iron. But back in the day it must have seemed a remote possibility to have the UUP making cow eyes at the upstart DUP.
Whatever the rights, wrongs or maybes the DUP are now in the proverbial box seat and able to sit back and await the amorous advances of what appears to be a trickle of UUP MLA suitors.
And there is no doubting that David McNarry is weighing up the options of moving his stock into the DUP.
Added in to the mix is the reported easy relationship between the UUP regional development minister Danny Kennedy and his DUP colleagues on the Executive.
Of course the leadership of the UUP must be getting rightly miffed over the whole thing. It detracts from trying to rebuild the crumbling edifice that remains after the last election, and there appears to be all sorts of splits and factions: one lot looking at the Alliance Party, another lot looking at the DUP, while a rump appears to be just that, a rump.
Peter Robinson’s position of Mr Reasonable on some issues will of course help sow further seeds among those within the UUP who are unhappy with their party leadership’s tone.
However, we have one tiny, wee word of caution - actually two.
First: have a look at the electoral figures from last time out and think whether you are in with a chance of selection on the list and how many of the oft-talked about quotas are up for grabs. Would the sitting DUP MLAs and potential candidates gift you a slot on the ballot paper.
But most importantly, UUP MLAs must consider this: whether it is worse to sit in a UUP old folk’s meeting (a.k.a constituency branch meeting) or the wide-eyed stares at a DUP Constituency meeting?