Ernest Baird
Ernest Baird was a politician
A politician, political leader, or political figure is an individual who is involved in influencing public policy and decision making...

 in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

. Baird was born in County Donegal
County Donegal
County Donegal is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Border Region and is also located in the province of Ulster. It is named after the town of Donegal. Donegal County Council is the local authority for the county...

in the Irish Free State
Irish Free State
The Irish Free State was the state established as a Dominion on 6 December 1922 under the Anglo-Irish Treaty, signed by the British government and Irish representatives exactly twelve months beforehand...

 but moved with his family to Belfast
Belfast is the capital of and largest city in Northern Ireland. By population, it is the 14th biggest city in the United Kingdom and second biggest on the island of Ireland . It is the seat of the devolved government and legislative Northern Ireland Assembly...

 at an early age.

A pharmacist
Pharmacists are allied health professionals who practice in pharmacy, the field of health sciences focusing on safe and effective medication use...

 and political unionist, Baird became the deputy leader of the Vanguard Progressive Unionist Party
Vanguard Progressive Unionist Party
The Vanguard Unionist Progressive Party , informally known as Ulster Vanguard, was a unionist political party which existed in Northern Ireland between 1973 and 1978...

. He was elected at the Northern Ireland Assembly election, 1973
Northern Ireland Assembly election, 1973
-Seats summary:-Source:*

 for Fermanagh and South Tyrone
Fermanagh and South Tyrone (Assembly constituency)
Fermanagh and South Tyrone is a constituency in the Northern Ireland Assembly.The seat was first used for a Northern Ireland-only election for the Northern Ireland Assembly, 1973...

, and won a seat in the same constituency on the Northern Ireland Constitutional Convention
Northern Ireland Constitutional Convention
The Northern Ireland Constitutional Convention was an elected body set up in 1975 by the UK Labour government of Harold Wilson as an attempt to deal with constitutional issues surrounding the status of Northern Ireland....


When William Craig, the leader of Vanguard, proposed forming a coalition government
Coalition government
A coalition government is a cabinet of a parliamentary government in which several political parties cooperate. The usual reason given for this arrangement is that no party on its own can achieve a majority in the parliament...

 with the nationalist Social Democratic and Labour Party
Social Democratic and Labour Party
The Social Democratic and Labour Party is a social-democratic, Irish nationalist political party in Northern Ireland. Its basic party platform advocates Irish reunification, and the further devolution of powers while Northern Ireland remains part of the United Kingdom...

, Baird led the majority of Vanguard in leaving to form the United Ulster Unionist Movement.

Baird became the leader of the new grouping, which initially pursued a policy of uniting all unionist groups to form a new party. When this proved impossible, it instead constituted itself as the United Ulster Unionist Party
United Ulster Unionist Party
The United Ulster Unionist Party was a unionist political party which existed in Northern Ireland between 1975 and 1984.It emerged from a division in the Vanguard Progressive Unionist Party in the late 1970s...

 (UUUP), again with Baird as leader. He then became a key member of the United Unionist Action Council

Baird stood for the UUUP in Fermanagh and South Tyrone
Fermanagh and South Tyrone (UK Parliament constituency)
Fermanagh and South Tyrone is a Parliamentary constituency in the British House of Commons. The current MP for the constituency is Michelle Gildernew of Sinn Féin....

 at the 1979 UK general election, but won only 17% of the vote, taking fourth position in the poll. At the Northern Ireland Assembly election, 1982, he fared even less well, taking only 2,022 first preference votes.

Some time after this poor performance, the UUUP was dissolved. Baird then confined his politics to the Orange Order, while building up his "Baird's Chemists" chain.
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