Unionism has suffered a disastrous decline under the stewardship of the DUP

A letter from Colin Methven:

By Letters
Wednesday, 11th May 2022, 3:25 am
Updated Wednesday, 11th May 2022, 3:28 am
Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

Emma Pengelly’s lengthy and desperate attempt to put a positive spin on the election results (‘There has been no increase in the nationalist vote in 25 years,’ May 9, see link below) really stretches credulity to breaking point.

Her focus on the nationalist vote is done no doubt to distract from the disastrous long term decline in the unionist vote throughout the DUP’s stewardship since its foundation in 1971.

Most recently the decline from the assembly election of 2017 when unionism secured 398,921 votes to the 349,099 votes secured in 2022 is a loss of over 50,000 votes in just five years.

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If we go back to 1969 unionists secured 493,286 votes from an electorate one third smaller than now.

If unionists had maintained the same electoral share today they would be looking at 702,000 votes today — twice what they actually got.

That is the true story of the unionist debacle under the stewardship of the DUP, who promised to do better than the old Ulster Unionist Party.

Colin Methven, Co Fermanagh

• Other commentary:

• Owen Polley May 9: Unionists have an issue with sectarian SF, not with nationalism

• Ben Lowry May 7: Unionism now faces a considerable challenge in how to go forward