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Unionist deals do not suggest a bright dawn

Owen Polley (December 8) is correct to refer to indications by senior Ulster Unionists that they are in open discussion with the DUP about electoral arrangements as "having the unpleasant whiff of a sectarian headcount".

This is because this is precisely what it is. That is what you get with the Ulster Unionists, however much the Conservatives would wish to differ.

Mr Polley is right also that for the UUP to stand down in favour of a "DUP free-run" cannot be entertained "if the Tories and UUP are serious about winning over new voters to the unionist cause".

At least he was frank enough to admit that his cause is a "unionist" one as opposed to the spin that the new electoral arrangement between the two parties is somehow a "post-sectarian" one.

What he presumably means by this is to persuade voters who do not currently vote for unionist parties to vote for the UUP/conservative ticket.

Talk of deals with unionist candidates of various parties standing down in favour of another unionist does not suggest a bright new dawn and will be very familiar with weary local voters.


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