Below is an interesting, although, hypothetical scenario by Paddy Reilly. It reflects his thoughts on what may happen in coming days, which is, of course, what this blog is all about.
I don’t agree with all of it, notably, I would disagree on one point. I think Unionism will realign, as suggested, but will coalesce into a single strong block in a new Ireland, probably around the DUP. As such it will exercise considerably more influence on a National level than it does currently in a UK context.
Anyhow see what you think.
“As I see it, somewhere in the middle of this decade Nationalists will begin to outnumber Unionists, at least in the second preference vote.
After this, politics will assume a 32 County orientation. Sinn Féin already has a 26 County equivalent, (and so have the Greens) so we know where they will go; the SDLP is obviously suited to Labour. The sister party of Alliance in the Republic is Fine Gael, and I always assumed that Alliance will eventually be subsumed by it, but Alliance insiders inform me that some Alliance voters may prefer to go with Labour. As these two 26 county parties never achieve power without being in coalition, it doesn’t make a lot of difference.
By this time the UUP will have largely been swallowed up by Alliance and the DUP, so that only leaves DUP and TUV unspoken for. Obviously these parties will persist till the very moment that partition is ended, and possibly even after, but I imagine that DUP/TUV voters, in a United Ireland, will be accounted for in a variety of different ways.
1) There are those who will withdraw from politics altogether. I imagine the Free Presbyterians will refuse to recognise the Irish state and go the way of the Reformed Presbyterians, making voting sinful and recognising no king but Jesus, no Republic but the Senate of the Elect. Equally sects such as the Brethren and Jehovah’s Witnesses will take off, catering for the same politics free stance.
2) There are those who will withdraw from Ireland altogether and will move to Scotland or England, by now different countries.
3) There are those whose employment, in a United Ireland, causes them to relocate to Killarney or Kilkenny: they may remain DUP voters in their hearts, but they will be unable to elect a T.D.
4) The fourth option is the strangest: I looked up South African history to find out what happened to the apartheid dealing National Party. First it renamed itself the New National Party: then, after getting nowhere, it joined the African National Congress! The very people it had most opposed and characterised as terrorists! Their reasoning was that they so desperately want to be in power, they are prepared to drop all other requirements in order to secure this advantage.
Of course the DUP and TUV could just soldier on as effective Independents in a 32 county Oireachtas; but this would involve them turning into a party whose purpose was not achieving power, which is unusual in politics.”