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.
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
• Emma Little Pengelly: There has been no increase in the nationalist vote in 25 years
• Other commentary:
• Ruth Dudley Edwards May 10: The nationalist vote is nowhere near enough for border poll
• Editorial May 10: If Irish language gets pledge today so must an overhaul of protocol
• Owen Polley May 9: Unionists have an issue with sectarian SF, not with nationalism
• Henry McDonald May 9: A few facts are in order amid breathless reportage about SF
• Editorial May 9: It is clear that unionists need to have option of voting for a liberal party
• Ben Lowry May 7: Unionism now faces a considerable challenge in how to go forward
• Henry McDonald May 7: Sinn Fein’s day in the sun but no new dawn for Irish unity
• Editorial May 7: Unionism more than ever needs London’s help on the protocol
• Ben Lowry May 7: Unionist overall vote stays ahead of nationalist total, albeit narrowly
• Brian John Spencer: Unionism was given no wriggle room by nationalism