Ulster Popular Unionist Party
The Ulster Popular Unionist Party (UPUP) was a unionist political party 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 founded in 1980 by James Kilfedder
James Kilfedder
Sir James Alexander Kilfedder was a Northern Ireland unionist politician.-Early life:...

, independent Unionist
Independent Unionist
See also Independent .Independent Unionist has been a label sometimes used by candidates in elections in the United Kingdom, indicating a support for Unionism, retaining the unity of the British state....

 Member of Parliament
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 for North Down
North Down (UK Parliament constituency)
North Down is a Parliamentary Constituency in the United Kingdom House of Commons. The current MP is Sylvia Hermon, elected as an Independent in the 2010 General Election. -Boundaries:The county constituency was first created in 1885 from the northern part of Down...

, who led the party until his death in 1995.

In 1981
Northern Ireland local elections, 1981
Elections for local government were held in Northern Ireland in 1981.-Overall:-Belfast:...

, the party took three seats on North Down Borough Council
North Down Borough Council
North Down Borough Council is a Local Council in County Down in Northern Ireland with an overall population of around 80,000. Its main town is Bangor, 20 km east of Belfast with a population of approximately 55,000. The Council is headquartered in Bangor. Its secondary centre is the former Urban...

 and two seats on Ards Borough Council. Two of these were in North Down 'Area B', where sitting councillor George Green
George Green (politician)
George Green was a unionist politician in Northern Ireland.Green was the chairman of the Ulster Special Constabulary Association , a group which focussed on opposition to the Irish Republican Army...

, a former 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...

 member who had been elected to the 1975 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....

, had joined the party. The other, Gladys McIntyre, was Mayor of Ards in 1985-86.

Kilfedder won a seat for the party in North Down
North Down (Assembly constituency)
North Down 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...

 at the Northern Ireland Assembly election, 1982. Only a minority of his votes transferred to his running mate, George Green, who missed out on taking a second seat by just 6 votes. Kilfedder was subsequently elected Speaker of the Assembly.

Kilfedder held his seat in the UK Parliament at the 1983 general election with a large majority, but fared less well when he stood in the 1984 European election, taking only 2.9% of the first preference votes. A unionist pact enabled Kilfedder to easily win a by-election in 1986, when he joined the other unionist MPs in resigning in protest at the Anglo-Irish Agreement
Anglo-Irish Agreement
The Anglo-Irish Agreement was an agreement between the United Kingdom and Ireland which aimed to help bring an end to the Troubles in Northern Ireland...

. A challenge from Bob 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...

, standing as a "Real Unionist", led to a close election in 1987, but Kilfedder held on, and beat a Conservative Party
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

 opponent in 1992.

The party was reduced to three councillors in 1985
Northern Ireland local elections, 1985
Elections for local government were held in Northern Ireland on 15 May 1985.-1981 elections:The previous elections had been fought in the middle of the hunger strike and the H-Block Prison Protest...

, and remained at this level until Kilfedder's death in 1995. George Green had defected to the Conservative Party before 1989
Northern Ireland local elections, 1989
Elections for local government were held in Northern Ireland in 1989.-Background:The elections took place after a turbulent period in Northern Irish politics. The signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement in November 1985 had been followed by widespread protests by those in the Unionist community...

 but the party compensated by gaining a seat in the Dundonald
Dundonald is a large settlement in County Down, Northern Ireland. It lies east of Belfast and is often deemed to be a suburb of the city. It includes the large housing estate of Ballybeen, and many new housing estates have emerged in the past ten years....

 area of Castlereagh. Following Kilfedder's death, the three UPUP councillors went their separate ways, Valerie Kinghan to the newly formed 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...

. Thomas Jeffers to the DUP and the Cecil Braniff setting up a short lived independent DUP. No party member contested the North Down by-election
North Down by-election, 1995
The North Down by-election, in the North Down constituency, was held on 15 June 1995, following the death of James Kilfedder, who had represented the constituency since the 1970 general election...

resulting from his death.
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