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Sorry Ed, typo. Your fingers wrote 'force' instead of 'farce'!

Easily done early in the morning.

With a Scottish Conservative party, Welsh Conservative party , now the Ulster Unionists , there remains one area left that needs representation in the Conservative party, ENGLAND!

A good model here for the Scottish Tories. They can become an autonomous, patriotic, right-of-centre Party defending the Scottish interest in Holyrood elections, whilst fighting Westminster and European elections on a joint ticket with UK Conservatives.

Could someone tell me why the Tories didn't just set up in NI as a non-sectarian party and why the UUP didn't just close down? Members could move to the Tories if they wished.

This is ridiculous. Some of my best friends are Catholics (only joking Dave!).

The Conservative Party was long known as The Conservative and Unionist Party. Was it not the egregious traitor Heath who removed the word Unionist from it#?

Broadly supportive of this but with one major concern!

My specific fear is that should it happen we could open ourselves up to be directly linked with the actions (specifically retrospectively) of any of the extreme Unionist Paramilitary organisations still very much active in the Province.

Any link would of course be absurd and incorrect - but mud staicks!

Conservative is really an outdated term that translates to 'baddie' when used in any context by the BBC i.e. Iran, Church of England etc

I've always considered myself a Unionist rather than a Conservative. The latter implies that one is against change - hardly a credible phrase given our party's policies since the 1980s. We'd be more honest to brand ourselves the Radical party.

Many candidates in the late 40s and early 50s ran under the moniker of 'Conservative and National Liberal.' Perhaps one for those fighting the yellow peril at the next general election.

Warhawk shows his ignorance of the Conservative Party. If my memory is correct, the Conservative & Unionist Party is still the party's official name and is registered as such with the Electoral Commission. The "Conservative Party" is its brand name.

The "Unionist" in Conservative & Unionist Party had nothing to do with the Ulster Unionists. The name resulted from the merger of England's Conservative Party with Scotland's Unionist Party.

In the 1950s, the Unionists had more than 50% of the vote and MPs north of the border. Before the merger, there was co-operation between the two parties in Parliament. After the merger, the Conservative vote and electoral performance has declined steadily.

The Scottish Conservatives should divorce their English counterparts and rebrand, e.g. as the Unionists or a new name. They could then have another alliance in Parliament, like the German CDU and CSU.

Alas there is already a Scottish Unionst Party registered with the Electoral Commission.

This is a great move, but what happens at the next General Election? Will there be some Norn Iron candidates labelled "Ulster Unionsts", some "Conservative & Unionist", others something else? Is this what the committee will report on?

This is good news - up to a point. The UUP has been eclipsed by the DUP and this will make little difference to the situation in the UK Parliament.

‘The "Unionist" in Conservative & Unionist Party had nothing to do with the Ulster Unionists. The name resulted from the merger of England's Conservative Party with Scotland's Unionist Party.’
Oh dear, the Unionist bit refers directly to Ireland, the Irish Question and has, historically, nowt to do with Scotland other than the Protestant NI population largely being descended from Scottish settlers (who were largely descended from Irish settlers).

I would rather David put the same effort into the English Question but it seems we are but the granted to be taken.


The name Conservative and Unionist originated in 1912 when Joseph Chamberlain's Liberal Unionists joined the Conservative Party (they split from the Liberals over Irish Home Rule). Throughout the debates on Home Rule I think it was common for Conservative politicians to refer to themselves as Unionist first and foremost. As far as I know the merger with the Scottish Unionists came far later.

So 'Conservative and Unionist Party' owes a lot to Ulster Unionists!

Dorian, all the points that I made earlier were correct. The party's official name remains the Conservative & Unionist Party. The Unionist part relates to the merger with Liberal Unionists in Scotland.

The Liberal Unionists in Scotland were opposed to Irish Republicanism. Their support came from Protestants. Labour's vote came from the Irish Catholic immigrant population. Until the 1980s, that sectarian divide, i.e. the Glasgow Rangers vote, helped the Conservatives hold on to many seats.

I believe that the Scottish Unionist Party is linked to the DUP in Ulster. It could be a significant force in Scottish politics, especially in seats targeted by the Conservatives. East Renfrewshire immediately springs to mind. Fortunately, the PPC, Richard Cook, is a staunch Unionist.

Liam in Preston
No Ulster Unionists candidates there will be one joint name in all 18 seats

Eurorealist - "Unionist" was actually a UK-wide moniker for the Conservative-Liberal Unionist alliance even before the formal merger of 1912. In Scotland the Liberal Unionist element was proportionally larger than in England, hence one of the reasons for the name surviving there for longer. But "Conservative and Unionist" was used in many associations across the UK (and some were still just "Unionist" into the 1940s - Birmingham for one).

The "Conservative and National Liberal" label (and many other variants) comes from the Liberal National Party, a product of the Liberal splits of the early 1930s over the National Government. The Liberal Nationals (who renamed themselves National Liberals in 1947) formed a pact with us in 1947 which saw joint local associations and candidates using both labels, whilst retaining a separate national National Liberal organisation and grouping at Westminster. By the 1960s the National Liberal element was increasingly fading (and for some younger MPs and candidates, such as Michael Heseltine, who stood on the label it was just a historic relic, not a separate identity) and in 1968 the last few National Liberal MPs wound up the party.

"This is good news - up to a point. The UUP has been eclipsed by the DUP and this will make little difference to the situation in the UK Parliament."

Has been are the key words there. The DUP have peaked.

This is good news, but I, too, confess to wondering how effective this would be as the UUP have largely lost out to the DUP, and therefore if it would have been better to work with the latter. Also many true Conservatives might find common ground with the Christian traditionalists in Ulster - is this better represented by the DUP, than the UUP?

But the obvious drawback with the DUP would be they identify with one of NI’s two traditions, which would make them difficult for a ‘mainland’ party of Government to form with. However the same could be said for the UUP, but perhaps less so than the DUP. It remains to be seen if sufficient NI people would vote for the UUP in order "to participate fully in political life... throughout the United Kingdom."

A new poltical force...i'm amazed at the brashness of this redrafting of old deals.
Never mind lets pretend its new...duh !!! We should be proud of political traditions.
I'd love to see the proud tradition and buntings of ulster, brought back into unionist politics. We have a Crown we should be proud of God save the queen.

The DUP will lose ground to the UUP/Conservatives next time major elections come around, believe me.

They are nothing without Paisley and they will have difficulty promoting themselves as the most Unionist party when news of this move spreads. The chuckle brothers incident won't exactly help them either.

The new arrangement has the potential to attract people who are essentially unionists away from the SDLP and Alliance as well.

Putting Northern Ireland at the heart of British political life has to be promoted as the way forward. This way we can wrestle back control from the political pygmies of the DUP.

There isn't a great deal of sectarian based voting in Glasgow now. The people who participate in that kind of behaviour aren't the type to engage with politics and turn out and vote.

If there is any divide, I'd say it's between those who view themselves as Catholics voting SNP and those who view themselves as Protestants voting Labour. Hence the SNP view on abortion, which is out of kilter with their typically left-wing views, and hence the Labour affiliation with the Union although that is becoming inconvienient for them politically.

It's good to see us getting proper representation in Northern Ireland, and if two parties can see eye to eye I don't see any reason why they shouldn't co-operate.

I don't think it will do much to reverse the UUP's misfortunes though. The DUP are a bit more populist, and that will appeal to the working classes more than an affiliation with ourselves. What this does do though is give the non-sectarian, moderates in Northern Ireland a decent party to vote for.

Non sectarian moderates will vote Alliance. Moderate sectarian protestants can now vote Cameron.

Philip - The DUP is a rare example of a successful "flash party" that contains some rather incompatible elements bound together by a few mutual goals. You're thinking of the "rural preacher" wing of the party, that of Paisley, Willie McCrea et al, when there is also an urban socialist tendency, represented by the likes of Peter Robinson. The DUP's adherence to a leadership driven agenda and some adroit management, along with not having had many occasions when they've actually had to do anything (which traditionally devastates flash parties), has largely covered up the tensions but they do occasionally emerge.

Whilst "true Conservatives" is one of the most meaningless terms going, I don't think many British Conservatives would want to be associated with the DUP extremism on a lot of social issues. And as Eurosceptic as we (nearly) all are, I've never met a Conservative who gives as a reason for opposing the single currency the fact that they can see the Devil's face in the banknotes.

Tim Roll-pickering, "Extremism on a lot of social issues". What do you mean by this?

Well where do we begin?! The DUP's position on homosexuality alone (remember Iris Robinson's recent narrow minded remarks? She hasn't won Stonewall's Bigot of the Year award for nothing) is enough to make many in our party want nothing to do with them at all.

Do the UUP have a policy on homosexuality?

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