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Unionism needs a radical approach to voters

What's the difference between the Ulster Unionist Party and a bicycle? The bicycle has got at least one seat.

Not very amusing, but neither were the overall results in the Westminster election for unionism. The total unionist vote has dropped by 5% and 6% in consecutive UK elections - that's a net loss of some 150,000 votes.

Perhaps people are no longer duped by the sabre-rattling tactics of 'let's save Ulster, not an inch or no surrender'. Neither are voters prepared to be taken for granted or beguiled by stunts.

Now Sir Reg Empey has decided to relinquish his duties as UUP leader, an honourable decision from a man of integrity and intellect, but unfortunately without a political mandate.

Pity Peter Robinson couldn't have been as pragmatic and followed his example of exiting the political stage, but then the DUP are always right and it's everyone else that's out of step.

Strange, then, that this same DUP are advocating some form of unionist unity.

Is this the same DUP that, for more than 30 years, had a hidden agenda to damage and destroy the Ulster Unionist Party?

Or perhaps the fear of a possible Sinn Fein First Minister at the next Assembly elections has precipitated these hugs and handshakes towards the UUP.

As for the Ulster Unionists - the game is up. Not only do they need a new party leader, more importantly they need a new, radical approach to unionist voters - both past and present.

As for unionist unity - that's bottom of most people's wish list.

BILL KERR

Newtownards, Co Down