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Northern Ireland

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The United Unionist Coalition, also known as the United Unionist Assembly Party, was formed by three unionist members of the Northern Ireland Assembly who were elected as "independent unionists" in 1998. They were Fraser Agnew, Boyd Douglas and Denis Watson. 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. 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 as the "United Unionist Coalition", a name which recalls the anti-Sunningdale Agreement coalition of Unionist parties in the 1970s, the United Ulster Unionist Council.

Watson subsequently joined the Democratic Unionist Party. In the 2003 Assembly elections no independent Unionists were elected at all.

The party currently has two elected councillors: Agnew on Newtownabbey Borough Council and Douglas on Limavady Borough Council. The party has since gained three new councillors, 2 in Ballymena and another one in Limavady by defections.



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