Tame Tory Hacks’? The Ulster Party at Westminster, 1922-72

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While the historiography on Ulster Unionism after partition has grown considerably in recent years, there has been no extended investigation of Unionism at Westminster (‘the Ulster Party’), its structures and effectiveness. This article uses new archival material to shed light upon the Party's membership, governance, coherence, and wider engagement. The later sections of the article review the nature of the ties binding the Party to Stormont and to Conservatism, unravelling some of their complexity, and placing a particular emphasis upon the relationship between Westminster Unionism and the fall of the devolved government in 1972. Here, new evidence is adduced from several underexploited or fresh sources to shed light upon the workings of the Party in the years immediately before this debacle. It is argued that the Westminster Unionists' (at best) highly ambiguous reaction to direct rule was a fitting culmination to fifty years of often jealous and defensive interaction with Stormont.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-475
Number of pages21
JournalHistorical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2011


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