Following the election last Thursday, the DUP members (Democratic Unionist Party) were made kingmakers after Theresa May failed to get the majority she needed in the House of Commons. Along with the announcement of the coalition, much uproar and speculation followed.
Who are the DUP?
The DUP (Democratic Unionist Party) is a Centre Right/Right Wing, Northern Irish Unionist Party. It was founded in 1971, making it 45 years old. It is currently the largest party in the Northern Irish Assembly, but only by a narrow margin. In the latest General Election, the party managed to gain two seats, bringing it to an all-time high of ten seats of the possible eighteen in Northern Ireland.
The party is currently led by Arlene Foster who became the party leader in late 2015. Its Westminster leader (now the Deputy Prime Minister) is the RT. Hon, Nigel Dodds.
What is all the uproar about?
The DUP has a number of policies which many of the British Public disagree with profoundly. One of these is being against Gay Marriage. The Scottish Conservative Leader, which was the only Tory leader to be successful in this election, has warned PM Theresa May of the consequences of a DUP coalition.
The DUP also want to restrict abortion, and this is thought to be high up on their priority list with their new acquired power. This has proven to make the coalition highly unpopular and has caused an outcry amongst many women voters.
Another issue is that the Tory and DUP manifestos differ in many ways, which will likely cause disagreement between the two parties. For example, The DUP favor a soft Brexit to ensure that there is an easily closable border between the ROI and Northern Ireland. The DUP also differ on Abortion regulation and on Gay Marriage. Not to mention, the DUP have repeatedly been branded as creationists, which has not gone down well at all with the general public. They have even been described as Climate change deniers, which is a very unpopular view within the United Kingdom.
Now that the DUP has more political power than ever before, it remains to be seen how they will use it. Will they be a party of principle? Or will the DUP instead be willing to compromise? Only time will tell.