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Ulster Conservatives and Unionists

Ulster Conservatives and Unionists
Ulster Unionist LeaderSir Reg Empey MLA (2009-10)
Tom Elliott MLA (2010-12)
Conservative LeaderDavid Cameron MP (2009-12)
Founded2009
Dissolved2012
Ideology
Political positionCentre-right
International affiliationInternational Democrat Union
European Parliament groupEuropean Conservatives and Reformists
Colours  Light blue
Member partiesUlster Unionist Party
Conservative Party
Website
www.voteforchangeni.com

The Ulster Conservatives and Unionists, officially registered as the Ulster Conservatives and Unionists – New Force (UCUNF), was an electoral alliance in Northern Ireland between the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) and the Conservative Party.[2]

2009 European Parliament campaign

The alliance was launched in 2009.[3] Conservatives and Unionists candidates were first selected for the 2009 European Parliament election.[4] The first candidate to stand for election using this description was Ulster Unionist Jim Nicholson,[5] who polled 82,893 votes, 17.0% of the total, and was elected as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP).

2010 UK general election campaign

On 24 February 2010, the alliance announced 9 of the 18 candidates who were to run in the 2010 United Kingdom general election.[6] The UUP's sole Member of Parliament (MP) from the 2005 general election, Sylvia, Lady Hermon for North Down, had expressed public dissatisfaction with the arrangement since early 2009,[7] and left the UUP in March 2010, deciding to contest the forthcoming general election as an Independent.[8] As such, the alliance had no incumbent MPs. On 7 April 2010 the candidate for Fermanagh and South Tyrone, Tom Elliott, withdrew in favour of Independent Rodney Connor, leaving that constituency without a Unionist Party candidate.[9]

'As things stand, Northern Ireland MPs need to be involved in decisions about their lives that are not devolved. I want the most talented people to form my government and that will mean people from all corners of the UK. Why are there great Ulstermen and women on our television screens, in our boardrooms and in our military but not in our Cabinet? The semi-detached status of Northern Ireland politics needs to end. This is not true representative democracy and it has got to change.'

— David Cameron[10]

The Conservative and UUP alliance failed to gain any seats in the election. The UUP lost their only seat in North Down to Hermon's independent campaign, and Connor also lost Fermanagh and South Tyrone. Across Northern Ireland, the joint share of the vote was 15.2%.

End of the alliance

After failed calls for the UUP to disband and join the Conservatives, the Conservatives in Northern Ireland were relaunched as NI Conservatives on 14 June 2012.[11]

In October 2023, Ulster Unionist leader Doug Beattie attended Conservative Party conference in Manchester.[12]

Electoral results

European Parliament

Election First Preference Vote Vote % Seats
2009 82,892 17.0%
1 / 3

Westminster

Election House of Commons Share of votes Seats +/- Outcome
2010 55th 15.2%
0 / 18
Decrease 1 No seats

Stormont

Election Body First preference votes Vote % Seats Outcome
2011 4th Assembly 87,531 13.2%
16 / 108
Coalition

Footnotes

  1. ^ a b Nordsieck, Wolfram (2010). "United Kingdom". Parties and Elections in Europe. Archived from the original on 3 November 2014.
  2. ^ "Can rebranded Northern Ireland Conservatives deliver?". BBC News. 14 June 2012.
  3. ^ NI, BBC (6 March 2009). "Conservative quits over UUP pact". The BBC. London. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
  4. ^ "UUP / Conservative talks – What it means for you?". Ulster Unionist Party. 12 January 2009.
  5. ^ "European Election 2009 results" (PDF). Electoral Office of Northern Ireland.
  6. ^ "Tories and UUP agree candidates". BBC News. 24 February 2010.
  7. ^ "Hermon: why she rejected Tory deal". Belfast Telegraph. 14 May 2009.
  8. ^ "MP Lady Sylvia Hermon quits Ulster Unionists". BBC News. 25 March 2010. Retrieved 14 April 2010.
  9. ^ "Unionists agree NI constituency pact". RTÉ News. 7 April 2010.
  10. ^ McDonald, Henry (7 December 2008). "'I want Ulster Unionists in cabinet', says David Cameron". The Guardian.
  11. ^ Polley, Owen (14 June 2012). "NI Conservatives launch as fresh, centre-right party, in Belfast". NI Conservatives. Belfast. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
  12. ^ "Staying out of Stormont for 18 months has achieved absolutely nothing, says Doug Beattie as he attends Tory conference". Yahoo News. 3 October 2023. Retrieved 7 October 2023.
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Ulster Conservatives and Unionists
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