Ulster Unionist Peer Lord Empey has said that the DUP record in government is so bad, that the only tactic they have left is to try and scare the electorate into voting for them.
Lord Empey said:
“The supreme irony is that it is only thanks to the DUP’s negotiations at St Andrews in 2006 that the possibility of a Sinn Fein First Minister ever emerged. Prior to that the First Minister would come from within the largest designation, and as long as the Assembly had a Unionist majority, the First Minister would be a Unionist. Following St Andrews, the First Minister would come from the largest single party.
“The DUP are not trying to persuade voters to support them because they can deliver a first class health service; tackle educational under-achievement; help create high quality jobs or tackle social inequality. That is hardly surprising given that the DUP record in government is so dreadful that they don’t want to draw attention to their failures and the consequences of NAMA, Red Sky, Social Investment Fund and of course the RHI debacle.
“Given a record like that, it is no wonder the DUP has abandoned all pretence of normal campaigning and resorted instead to the politics of fear.
“The dire warnings from DUP Chairman Lord Morrow are particularly noteworthy because he actually voted for the St Andrews Agreement in the House of Lords.
“This was a monumental tactical blunder in terms of Unionism, but it suited the DUP to a tee. They have played up the prospect of a Sinn Fein First Minister for three successive Assembly elections, and they were wrong every time.
“Unionists voted for Ian Paisley and they got Sinn Fein. They voted for Peter Robinson and they got Sinn Fein. Last May they voted for Arlene Foster and they still got Sinn Fein and a whole lot more besides.
“It should be remembered that Ian Paisley and the DUP promised to smash Sinn Fein. Now the DUP are using their failure to do so, to threaten voters! It shows the contempt they really have for the electorate.
“We do not believe there will be a Sinn Fein First Minister, but it is still a convenient bogeyman for the DUP to wheel out to detract from their own pitiful record. On Thursday it is essential that the people of Northern Ireland reject fear. The only thing to fear is another five years of DUP/Sinn Fein government. This time, it’s time to vote for change. The Ulster Unionist Party is that change.”