Tuesday, 10 May 2016

1,2,3 DUP: Why The DUP Retain Their Popularity.

The 2016 Assembly election took place last Thursday and the results indicated in large the DUP maintained their status as the most popular political party in Northern Ireland, - achieving 29.8% of the popular vote and retaining all 38 seata in the Northern Ireland assembly.

Arlene Foster - DUP leader and First Minister of the Northern Ireland's Assembly.

For those not from Northern Ireland -  Who are the DUP?
The DUP are a unionist party (they want to remain part of the UK) whose members are often very Christian and due to this are socially conservative and oppose contested issues such as gay marriage and abortion.  Their opinions and policies are perceived by some as controversial and even “bigoted”.

After the election result came out I noticed numerous young people on my Facebook complaining about the result. One pointed out that she believed that the DUP only received their support due to being unionist rather than due to their tendentious policies.  The opinion she expressed is one that is held by many young people who refer to the DUP as “Dinosaurs” as they believe their socially conservative views are antediluvian. They are left frustrated by the amount of power they have in Northern Ireland as they believe they do not accurately reflect the populations consensus.

However, this opinion  could not be completely true as the DUP are not the only unionist party in Northern Irish Politics: UUP, NI Conservatives, TUV and PUP are just a few other unionist parties. It also could not be due to the party being economically conservative as most of the unionist parties are also economically conservative -for example I am a unionist (purely due to the belief that we are more economically prosperous remaining in the UK) and capitalist however my social views are more moderate so therefore I would vote Conservative or UUP.

Past DUP leaders and First Ministers: Peter Robinson and Dr. Ian Paisley

1,2,3 DUP! : 3 Reasons why the DUP are so popular.
Why is it then that the DUP remains such a popular party? The reasons for that can be explained briefly in 3 points:

  1. Social Conservatism - DUP are the most socially conservative party in Northern  Ireland. They are similar to the Republican Party in the USA as they are pro-life and anti-equal marriage. We live in a democratic state, which has not apostatized (45% of the population still regularly attend church) and thus it is likely these people vote for them as they feel the DUP represents their social views most accurately. The nationalist parties are normally more liberal and some strong Catholics do not feel their views are represented by them and thus some vote for the DUP because of this.
  2. Reputation - DUP have a reputation as hard workers and being attentive to their constituents. On top of this the candidates they choose are often highly qualified and experienced.
  3. Image - DUP members are always immaculately presented. When I watch the Nolan show for example the DUP compared to other parties e(specially nationalist) appear smart and professional. Their campaign photos are another example of this as they are very eye catching.

Hence although Northern Ireland (in particular, the capital - Belfast) is becoming more eclectic and multicultural; socially conservative attitudes are still popular and democracy holds that these views will be represented and thus until that changes DUP will perennially retain its popularity.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank-you for your opinion!