Ulster Unionist Party leadership election, September 1995


Ulster Unionist Party leadership election, September 1995

The September 1995 Ulster Unionist Party leadership election began on August 28 1995 when James Molyneaux resigned as leader of the Ulster Unionist Party following a year of political setbacks for his party. Lee Renyolds, a Young Unionist had contested the leadership at the Ulster Unionist Council AGM in March 1995, receiving a small but significant number of votes. It was widely speculated that David Trimble was one of those behind Renyolds's candidature, although Trimble, his aides and Reynolds's supporters all denied this at the time and subsequently.ref|goodson1

The UUP has held a leadership election every March since at least the Ulster Unionist Council constitution was altered in 1973, however it is rarely contested.

Molyneaux's successor was elected by delegates to the Ulster Unionist Council met on September 8 1995. After three rounds of voting the election was won by David Trimble.

Candidates

* Ken Maginnis, MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone
* William Ross, MP for East Londonderry
* Martin Smyth, MP for Belfast South and Grand Master of the Orange Order
* John Taylor, MP for Strangford and a former minister in the Government of Northern Ireland
* David Trimble, MP for Upper Bann who had recently received strong attention for his role in a dispute Orange Order march at Drumcree

Results

At the meeting delegates to the Ulster Unionist Council voted in a succession of ballots until one candidate had an absolute majority.

Round 1

Votes were cast as follows

* David Trimble - 287
* John Taylor - 226
* Ken Maginnis - 117
* William Ross - 116
* Martin Smyth - 60

No candidate won an outright victory and Martin Smyth, as the lowest placed candidate, was eliminated.

Round 2

* David Trimble - 353
* John Taylor - 255
* Ken Maginnis - 110
* William Ross - 91

William Ross, as the lowest placed candidate, was eliminated. Ken Maginnis also withdrew.

Round 3

* David Trimble - 466
* John Taylor - 333

David Trimble was elected.ref|goodson2

References

#Goodson, Dean "Himself Alone: David Trimble and the ordeal of Unionism" (London, Harper Perennial, 2004), page 127
#Ibid, pages 146-155


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