TUV’s year of success

tuv conference 2013 For one of Stormont’s smallest parties, the TUV has had a year of substantial success. The party gathered at the Royal Hotel, Cookstown, after seeing its Bill on special advisers being enacted and working with the UUP and UKIP to halt work on the Maze project.

“The passage of Ann’s law was a huge win for innocent victims and the first significant political defeat for Sinn Féin since the Belfast Agreement,” Jim Allister told members in an unscripted address. “We look forward to the elections in the incoming year, confident that our message of standing up for victims and against the republican agenda will resonate with the voter.”

Party President William Ross called for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU – the same message as UKIP – and rejected the DUP’s “scare tactic” that voting TUV would benefit Sinn Féin. NI21’s policies were “a house of cards built on quicksand.”

Ross stated: “We can say that in these dark days, when truth and honesty have been so deeply buried in a flood of pious platitudes and downright moral cowardice, that this party has been the voice of reason and hope.”

The TUV polled 16,480 first preferences at the last Assembly election and also received 13,079 voters in the council polls, delivering six seats. It particularly wants to build up its support base in North Antrim.

The European poll is more of a dilemma, with Allister teasing the DUP and UUP but not yet announcing his intentions. Allister’s 2009 performance – 66,197 first preferences – was a considerable achievement but is unlikely to be repeated. The main argument in favour of running is that it would keep up TUV’s profile at a time when it is competing with an increasing number of other small parties.

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