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Why a unionist pact is as likely as a merger of the Blues and the Glens

Jon Tonge


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Proposal: from far left Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, Billy Hutchinson, Doug Beattie and Jim Allister at Stormont. Credit: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Proposal: from far left Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, Billy Hutchinson, Doug Beattie and Jim Allister at Stormont. Credit: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Proposal: from far left Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, Billy Hutchinson, Doug Beattie and Jim Allister at Stormont. Credit: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Unionist pacts, accommodations, alliances, understandings. It wouldn’t be a proper election without such calls, followed by the backlash, would it? But will Sir Jeffrey Donaldson’s love-bombing of Doug Beattie and Jim Allister work?

Self-evidently, transfers matter. Some 72 of the 90 MLAs required them at the last Assembly election to get over the line. Just six DUP MLAs and no other unionists were elected on the first count. But whose votes got the other 33 unionists elected?


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