Yesterday morning I re-iterated the firm pledge that at the next general election the Conservatives will be the only party contesting every seat in every part of the United Kingdom. We’ll be demonstrating that the Conservative Party is a national party and a unionist partyThe Conservatives, but not necessarily the Conservatives and Unionists fighting every seat?
Apparently them too:
The Conservatives and Unionists are dedicated to ending the semi-detached status of Northern Ireland and bringing it back into the mainstream of United Kingdom politics by standing in every one of the 18 seats.Right you are then.
Of course, it is not only the more "traditional", for want of a better word, wing of the party who may be having problems with the Conservative link-up- this from Jenny Muir’s East Belfast Diary:
There was general acknowledgement from the speakers that the Left remains fragmented, although McGimpsey, in the most interesting contribution, said wryly that left-wing unionists are in the biggest mess.That McGimpsey was Chris McGimpsey speaking at the Northern Ireland Regional Conference of the Workers’ Party and although his views are not really news, he reiterated the drawbacks from his point of view as a socialist Unionist:
McGimpsey thought the UUP’s new link with the Tories would cost the UUP working class votes in areas like the Shankill, and might open up opportunities for other parties. He advocated a broad Left alliance based on specific issues, an idea which was supported by many speakers from the floor.
How that "broad left alliance" would sit with his position with a party now theoretically singing from the same hymn-book as the Conservatives is an interesting question.