Recent informed contributions from both Richard Cairns (‘Unionism is lacking a centre ground, weakening it,’ May 29) and Samuel Morrison (‘If unionists don’t know who they are, how can they know where they’re going?’ May 31) of the TUV have intelligently dissected and analysed the electoral performance of Northern Ireland parties during May’s elections.
There is a serious problem arising from elections to the European Parliament, and to which both alluded.
Four of the main parties (Alliance, Sinn Féin, SDLP, Greens) specifically campaigned to remain in the European Union and won two of the three available seats.
However, all three designated unionist parties (DUP, TUV, UUP) collectively and specifically chose instead to turn this European election into a campaign to support ‘the Union’, and they lost that campaign — big time.
And so when given a choice between supporting ‘the Union’ with Great Britain, or supporting continued membership of the European Union, the Northern Ireland electorate overwhelmingly chose Europe over Great Britain.
And this explains why Michel Barnier and Leo Varadkar have subsequently hardened their position on the backstop, ie. thanks to political unionism they now have hard evidence that the Northern Ireland electorate favour Europe over Westminster.
This doesn’t bode well.
Dr Bernard J. Mulholland, Belfast BT9