Same but different? The Democratic Unionist Party and Ulster Unionist Party compared

Jonathan Tonge, Maire Braniff, Thomas Hennessey, James McAuley, Sophie Whiting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


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.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIrish Political Studies
Early online date20 Sep 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Sep 2020


  • Unionism
  • unionist parties
  • identity
  • religion
  • gender
  • elections


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