United Unionist Coalition
The United Unionist Coalition, formerly known as the United Unionist Assembly Party, was formed by three unionist 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...

 who were elected as "independent unionists" in 1998
Northern Ireland Assembly election, 1998
-Seats summary:-Details:Although the SDLP won the most first preference votes, the Ulster Unionists won the most seats in the Assembly. This has been attributed to several reasons, including:...

. They were Fraser Agnew
Fraser Agnew
William Alexander Fraser Agnew, known as Fraser Agnew, is a politician in Northern Ireland.After growing up in Ballyclare, Agnew studied at the University of Ulster, Jordanstown, Belfast Technical College and the College of Business Studies...

, Boyd Douglas
Boyd Douglas
Albert Boyd Douglas, known as Boyd Douglas is a politician in Northern Ireland.Douglas attended Strabane Agriculture College before working as a farmer...

 and Denis Watson
Denis Watson (politician)
Denis Watson is a former politician in Northern Ireland.Watson worked as a financial consultant and became the Grand Master of the County Armagh Orange Lodge. He was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly in 1998 as an independent Unionist representing Upper Bann...

. Once sitting they decided to form themselves into an official grouping inside the assembly and chose the title "United Unionist Assembly Party". As such they are more a coalition of political expediency rather than a coherent 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...

. Also, as a consequence they have not contested elections as a party though some local government candidates have used the label.

They are formally registered with the Electoral Commission
Electoral Commission (United Kingdom)
The Electoral Commission is an independent body set up by the UK Parliament. It regulates party and election finance and sets standards for well-run elections...

 as the "United Unionist Coalition", a name which recalls the anti-Sunningdale Agreement
Sunningdale Agreement
The Sunningdale Agreement was an attempt to establish a power-sharing Northern Ireland Executive and a cross-border Council of Ireland. The Agreement was signed at the Civil Service College in Sunningdale Park located in Sunningdale, Berkshire, on 9 December 1973.Unionist opposition, violence and...

 coalition of Unionist parties in the 1970s, the United Ulster Unionist Council
United Ulster Unionist Council
The United Ulster Unionist Council was a body that sought to bring together the Unionists opposed to the Sunningdale Agreement in Northern Ireland.-Formation:The UUUC was established in January 1974...


Watson subsequently joined 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...

. In the 2003 Assembly elections
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...

 no independent Unionists were elected at all and the party's local elected representatives thereafter adopted the current "Coalition" designation.

The party currently has two elected councillors: Agnew on Newtownabbey Borough Council
Newtownabbey Borough Council
Newtownabbey Borough Council is a Local Council in County Antrim in Northern Ireland. Newtownabbey has a population of over 80,000 and is on the north shore of Belfast Lough just immediately north of Belfast. The Borough was founded in 1958 as a result of an Act of Parliament passed in 1957 and...

 and Douglas on Limavady Borough Council
Limavady Borough Council
Limavady Borough Council is a Local Council in County Londonderry in Northern Ireland. Its headquarters is in the town of Limavady. The Borough has a population of over 32,000 with 63% of the population living in a rural setting. It covers an area of 586 square kilometres and includes the valley...

. The party subsequently gained three new councillors by defections, one in Limavady and two in Ballymena, losing one of the latter seats on the imprisonment of councillor William Wilkinson in June 2010 following his conviction for rape.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.