Traditional Unionist Voice announce electoral partnership with Reform UK

TUV leader Jim Allister and Reform UK leader Richard Tice today formed a partnership to contest the upcoming general election, signing a 'memorandum of understanding'.

Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV) has today outlined an electoral partnership with Reform UK which will see the parties run ‘agreed candidates’ in Northern Ireland in the upcoming general election.

The TUV leader Jim Allister announced the partnership today at their annual party conference. Reform UK leader Richard Tice was also present at the conference and gave a speech to delegates.

Reform UK was formed in 2018 by Nigel Farage, originally known as the Brexit Party. Their only current MP is Lee Anderson, who defected from the Conservatives on March 11.

The TUV are against the DUP’s decision to return to power-sharing, and today Jim Allister said that the DUP had no mandate for it’s return to Stormont.

In the 2019 general election the TUV did not have any candidates – with that changing in this year’s general election – what will it mean for the DUP?

In January the TUV said that if the DUP were to return to Stormont then “unionists who disagree with such folly must have a candidate to vote for.”

This clearly implies that the TUV will contest seats currently held by the DUP, almost certainly splitting the unionist vote and could result in losses for the DUP and gains for parties such as Alliance and Sinn Fein.

David McCann, a political commentator and Irish News columnist, has said that it will “keep North Down in Alliance hands and make Lagan Valley (currently held by DUP) more competitive”.

However, the TUV also said back in January that they support a single unionist candidate in constituencies currently held by non-unionists.

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