Thursday, November 4, 2010

Bradshaw joins Alliance? NI Conservatives impatiently tapping their figures?

Not good news this Thursday morning for Tom Elliott:
ONE of the Ulster Unionist Party's most high-profle candidates in the Westminster election earlier this year is set to join the Alliance Party, it is understood.

Community worker Paula Bradshaw represented the Ulster Conservative and Unionists in South Belfast in May and polled almost 6,000 votes.
A high profile capture for Alliance certainly but I can't imagine it would result in Alliance running more than one Assembly candidate in S Belfast next year.

More important cloud on the horizon surely is the fact that Cameron's deadline given to Elliott, re the future of the two parties' relationship is now past. Or as an anonymous commentator put it more poetically on here, the 3 weeks to 'sh*t or get off the pot' has now expired.

9 comments:

Chekov said...

Disappointed that Paula has chosen to step into that particular political vacuum.

Dilettante said...

Shame she's not joining the Conservatives. Still, nice to have a high-profile Alliance character who is explicitly unionist to counter-act Long.

thedissenter said...

She's already left the UUP so why should Elliott care? If you knew the Conservative Party you would understand the nature of the earlier 'come back at end of month' as being hugely flexible.

Chekov said...

Diss - I suspect you might be right. Despite some very senior and influential Tories indicating that procrastination would not be tolerated, Elliott's homework will arrive either very late or eaten by the dog.

O'Neill said...

"She's already left the UUP so why should Elliott care?"

Dissenter,

Well, theoretically, she could take votes from his party?

Also, the UUP isn't exactly overflowing with capable, under 40 year old (which is defining "young" in UUP terms:))talent at the minute, I'd say she's a loss to the party, the fact that she has actually defected, compounds that loss in my opinion.

Apart from that, I found it difficult to imagine her as a Conservative, but like Chekov, I'm disappointed she's opted for Alliance. It won;t be through Alliance that any meaningful change is achieved in NI.

thedissenter said...

Um. Don't think Elliott will lose a night's sleep over a theoretical possibility. She didn't exactly bring a huge personal vote to the Westminster tally - didn't Alliance gain in South Belfast 2010? Politically, and that word is used in its strictest sense, exactly what does she bring to a Party?

Anonymous said...

Alliance has its faults, but no meaningful change?!

It was the first party to advocate power-sharing within the UK, the first to elect a Sinn Fein Lord Mayor (albeit waiting nine years after the UUP had put a terrorist into that position), and is now leading the education discussions having been central to the resolution of the justice devolution gridlock.

What has the UUP achieved since Trimble, precisely?

O'Neill said...

Politically, and that word is used in its strictest sense, exactly what does she bring to a Party?

Dissenter,

I think she did relatively well, considering the mess the UCUNF made of the whole concept; if there was any constituency where the electorate would see the contradiction between promising a new type of Unionism on the one hand while talking of a Pan-Unionism front (Hatfield) and communalist candidates on the other, then it was surely S Belfast. I can't imagine any of the other probable suspects from the UUP would have outpolled. Politically what does the UUP lose from her departure- her involvement with working-class issues and yes, image.

O'Neill said...

What has the UUP achieved since Trimble, precisely?

I'll get back to you on that one;)
Maybe a member of the UUP redaing could oblige.