Then to UCUNF's chances of survival. Sadly, I'm sceptical.
The Conservatives and Unionists intermittently emphasised their cross community pitch to voters, but Sir Reg Empey’s failure to unseat a divisive figure like Willie McCrea, in South Antrim, indicates that the approach failed spectacularly.UCUNF’s tardiness in assembling a slate of candidates, a lack of Catholic hopefuls in the final list and the mixed signals it sent, by contracting a sectarian pact with the DUP in Fermanagh South Tyrone, all contributed to the New Force’s downfall. It is unlikely that the Conservative link-up will survive to fight another election and Sir Reg’s leadership will almost certainly fall with it.Hard-line UUP Assemblyman, David McNarry, wasted no time calling for Empey’s head, delivering his verdict as part of a BBC panel which watched as the result from South Antrim was declared. He is known to favour a close relationship with the DUP.And a call to realign in the interests of ‘unionist unity’ will be hard to resist for any new UUP leader, in advance of Assembly elections, particularly with grassroots unionists vehemently opposed to Martin McGuinness becoming First Minister.The rationale of the UCUNF project was that it was supposed to make unionism look outward, towards mainstream UK politics, and Northern Irish MPs in government. Its failure gives the whip hand to inward looking unionism, focussed on traditional community divisions, and based around a single identity.