The final outcome of the Northern Ireland European Election poll is not that much different to that anticipated by thedissenter in early May. Even so, the election has has the potential to shake the consensus on which the Belfast Agreement stands or falls. It was a better than expected election for Jim Allister of the TUV.
The UUP presents its link with the Conservative Party as a way of being at the centre of UK politics. At the same time that link is likely to push the UUP to the margins of Europe.
The UUP alignment with the Conservatives is presented as part of a wider vision for ‘The Union’, and for the UUP to be at the centre of national discourse. As we edge towards the European Election, should Jim Nicholson win one of the three Northern Ireland seats he will return to Europe as part of a Conservative led group at the margins of European discourse.