Northern Ireland’s two main unionist parties, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) have undergone divergent fortunes since the 1998 Good Friday Agreement (GFA) as the DUP has prospered whilst the UUP has struggled. This article draws upon recent studies of the memberships of both parties to explore their perceptions of the change in respective electoral standings and to examine the extent to which the parties now converge or differ in their membership composition. Examining three aspects in particular–identity, religious make-up and gender balance, we assess whether the two main unionist parties are largely similar or if significant intra-unionist differences are evident.
- Department of Behavioural and Social Sciences - Professor
- School of Human and Health Sciences
- Centre for Citizenship, Conflict, Identity and Diversity - Core Member