What now? Will Elliott stick to his promise to reject 'unionist unity' or does his careful definition mean that we're in for the whole depressing charade of agreed candidates, shady back-room deals and a hand in glove relationship with the DUP? Will he really try to attract pro-Union voters from across the communities in Northern Ireland, or will it be back to the Orange Order and the 'unionist people'?
It's worth remembering that David Trimble was considered the hardline candidate when he was elected leader in 1995, defeating John Taylor. But the trajectory of his campaign was very different, as were the talents he brought to the table.
We'll have to wait to see where Elliott will take the party, or whether it is actually his hand which is on the rudder at all. Perhaps he will surpass expectations. Perhaps he will conform to the worst fears. Whichever is the case, there should always be an electoral vehicle for moderate, outward looking pro-Union politics, whether it is the UUP or another party.