I AM not sure why the Ulster Unionists and the DUP are congratulating themselves on losing Mid Ulster with a reduced vote. Their percentage of the vote might have gone up, but I thought the strategy was about bringing out unionist voters who no longer bother to vote. On this point the unity candidate strategy was a total failure.
Compare the total pro-Union votes in this election and the 2010 election and you will see that it declined by 509 votes from 13,777 votes in 2010 to 13,268. (If your definition of pro-Union doesn’t include parties that support the Union but not the compulsive flag-flying, the drop in the pro-Union vote was even greater at 599, because the Alliance Party was the only pro-Union party who managed to raise its support.)
Perhaps rallying around the flag is not the answer. The Union will be safer under an agreed shared future.