Northern Ireland Unionist Party
The Northern Ireland Unionist Party (NIUP) was a small political party
Political party
A political party is a political organization that typically seeks to influence government policy, usually by nominating their own candidates and trying to seat them in political office. Parties participate in electoral campaigns, educational outreach or protest actions...

 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...

. It was formed in January 1999 as a splinter party from the UK Unionist Party
UK Unionist Party
The UK Unionist Party was a small unionist political party operating in Northern Ireland from 1995 to 2008. It was nominally formed by Robert McCartney, formerly of the Ulster Unionist Party, to contest a by-election the North Down by-election, 1995 and then further constituted to contest the 1996...

 (UKUP). This split was caused by disagreement between the five UKUP members of the Northern Ireland Assembly
Northern Ireland Assembly
The Northern Ireland Assembly is the devolved legislature of Northern Ireland. It has power to legislate in a wide range of areas that are not explicitly reserved to the Parliament of the United Kingdom, and to appoint the Northern Ireland Executive...

. Four of the members disagreed with UKUP leader Robert McCartney
Robert McCartney (politician)
Robert Law McCartney QC is a Northern Ireland barrister and former leader of the UK Unionist Party.He was initially a member of the Ulster Unionist Party but was expelled in June 1987 when he refused to withdraw from the general election of that year...

's policy of resigning from the Assembly should Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin is a left wing, Irish republican political party in Ireland. The name is Irish for "ourselves" or "we ourselves", although it is frequently mistranslated as "ourselves alone". Originating in the Sinn Féin organisation founded in 1905 by Arthur Griffith, it took its current form in 1970...

 become part of the power-sharing executive. Cedric Wilson
Cedric Wilson
Cedric Wilson is a politician in Northern Ireland.Born in Belfast, Wilson became the director of a private nursing home. In 1981, he was elected to Castlereagh Borough Council for the Democratic Unionist Party, a post he held until 1989...

, Patrick Roche
Patrick Roche (politician)
Patrick Roche is a former Unionist politician in Northern Ireland.After working in banking, Roche studied Economics and Politics at Trinity College, Dublin, followed by Political Philosophy at the University of Durham...

, Norman Boyd
Norman Boyd
Norman Boyd is a former Unionist politician in Northern Ireland.Boyd was born in Belfast and attended Belfast High School and Newtownabbey Technical College before working in banking....

 and Roger Hutchinson
Roger Hutchinson
Roger Hutchinson is a former politician in Northern Ireland.After attending Larne Technical College, Hutchinson became a religious minister. He also joined the Orange Order. He moved into business in 1990....

 disagreed with McCartney, wanting to remain in the Assembly to challenge unionists in favour of the Belfast Agreement
Belfast Agreement
The Good Friday Agreement or Belfast Agreement , sometimes called the Stormont Agreement, was a major political development in the Northern Ireland peace process...

. McCartney disciplined these members in their absence and, in response, they left the UKUP and formed the NIUP. Led by Wilson, the new party argued that it had the support of the grassroots membership of the UKUP, but McCartney disputed this.

Subsequently, Hutchinson left the NIUP on 30 November 1999, sitting as an independent Unionist for a period before joining the Democratic Unionist Party
Democratic Unionist Party
The Democratic Unionist Party is the larger of the two main unionist political parties in Northern Ireland. Founded by Ian Paisley and currently led by Peter Robinson, it is currently the largest party in the Northern Ireland Assembly and the fourth-largest party in the House of Commons of the...

 (DUP). He then left the DUP and unsuccessfully contested the 2003 Assembly Election
Northern Ireland Assembly election, 2003
The second elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly, which at the time of the elections had been suspended for just over a year, were held on Wednesday 26 November 2003. Six members were elected by Single Transferable Vote from each of Northern Ireland's eighteen Westminster Parliamentary...

 as an independent Unionist.

The NIUP opposed the Belfast Agreement and the reformation of the Royal Ulster Constabulary
Royal Ulster Constabulary
The Royal Ulster Constabulary was the name of the police force in Northern Ireland from 1922 to 2000. Following the awarding of the George Cross in 2000, it was subsequently known as the Royal Ulster Constabulary GC. It was founded on 1 June 1922 out of the Royal Irish Constabulary...

 to the Police Service Northern Ireland. They described their position as "principled unionism."

In its first electoral test, the party polled very poorly in the 2001 General Election
United Kingdom general election, 2001
The United Kingdom general election, 2001 was held on Thursday 7 June 2001 to elect 659 members to the British House of Commons. It was dubbed "the quiet landslide" by the media, as the Labour Party was re-elected with another landslide result and only suffered a net loss of 6 seats...

 and in local elections held on the same day, winning no Westminster or council seats. In the 2003 Assembly Election
Northern Ireland Assembly election, 2003
The second elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly, which at the time of the elections had been suspended for just over a year, were held on Wednesday 26 November 2003. Six members were elected by Single Transferable Vote from each of Northern Ireland's eighteen Westminster Parliamentary...

, the NIUP won no seats at all.

The NIUP consistently a low level of support and mainly contested the constituencies represented by its four Assembly members. In 2001, it received 1,794 votes in the general election and 1,818 votes in the local elections
Northern Ireland local elections, 2001
Elections for local government were held in Northern Ireland on 7 June 2001 along with the 2001 general election across the entire United Kingdom.-Overall:-Belfast:-References:...

. This fell to 1,350 in the 2003 Assembly election. Its share of the vote across Northern Ireland was around 0.2% in each case.

The party's submission of accounts for 2004 stated that the party was "inactive" during this period and there is no evidence of subsequent activity. Wilson stood as an independent
Independent (politician)
In politics, an independent or non-party politician is an individual not affiliated to any political party. Independents may hold a centrist viewpoint between those of major political parties, a viewpoint more extreme than any major party, or they may have a viewpoint based on issues that they do...

 candidate in the Strangford
Strangford (Assembly constituency)
Strangford is a constituency in the Northern Ireland Assembly.The seat was first used for a Northern Ireland-only election for the Northern Ireland Forum in 1996...

 constituency at the 2007 Assembly Election
Northern Ireland Assembly election, 2007
The third elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly were held on 7 March 2007 when 108 new members were elected. The election saw endorsement of the St Andrews Agreement and the two largest parties, the Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Féin, along with the Alliance Party, increase their...

where he polled 305 votes (0.8%), thus finishing last out of the fifteen candidates.

The NIUP voluntarily deregistered as a political party on the 10th March, 2008.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.