Explain the problems that the DUP face in Northern Ireland.

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Explain the problems that the DUP face

It could be argued that the rise of the TUV has inadvertently helped the UUP because they are taking votes from the DUP. This has lessened the DUP’s dominance of unionism. It was formed by Jim Allister - an ex DUP MEP. Allister has formed the party to oppose Unionist compromises since the GFA. His party has had wide media coverage and has threatened to shred the unionist vote even further - challenging the DUP in its heartlands. In reality however the TUV has in fact polled badly in the recent 2011 Assembly election and many considered it a spent force. However, Allister is proving a very capable politician in the Assembly. He is the MLA who has asked the most questions and he has proved highly effective in holding parties and ministers to account. He has frequently talked about other parties forming an opposition to make the Assembly more accountable.  He has also relentlessly pursued DUP scandals to the limit - causing Sammy Wilson to create an outburst at a committee meeting. The unionist vote is being spread thinly by the amount of unionist parties – TUV, UUP, NI21, PUP and so forth. This is a threat to the DUP’s dominance.

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Furthermore, the DUP’s dominance of unionism has been challenged by various scandals, mainly centering around Peter Robinson. Iris Robinson was embroiled in a sensational tabloid scandal which rocked the party and damaged the vote in 2010 – It seems to have come back from this stronger however. Peter Robinson was also deeply and dangerously entwined in serious anti Islamic comments in support of a North Belfast pastor when leader of the party and First Minister. Peter Robinson has also been accused of financial wrong doing regarding the NAMA loans. Critics accused him of helping work a property deal with the ...

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