Spare a thought for Basil McCrea. Having been defeated heavily in the UUP leadership election, the immediate fallout was that his allies in the UUP were unlikely to secure candidacy for representation at Stormont. This has already happened to Paula Bradshaw. More of his allies look set to fail selection procedure and Trevor Ringland has now left the party. So what are his options?
He will surely be right to lie low and “appear” loyal to Tom Elliott until the elections next May. But it would not surprise me if he sent a flow of coded signals about where he wants to take his followers in the future. The first post on his website since his election was in connection with the Policing Board’s approach to Gay, Lesbian and Transgender rights. Is his post just incidental or is he sending a signal of his determination to keep the flag flying for civic and pluralist unionism within the UUP?