Irish Academic Press (9 November 2005)
The 2005 Westminster general election has left the Ulster Unionist Party politically decimated in what is its centenary year. This historic party of the union has but one remaining seat in the House of Commons, and as was predicted, Northern Ireland's electorate has abandoned the centre ground in favour of the extremes.
So how did the UUP lose touch with mainstream Unionist opinion? What could the party have done to hold its vote in the 2005 general election? Why did the British government abandon Trimble after he led Ulster Unionism from international isolation to being the driving force behind the Belfast Agreement?
In Transforming Unionism, Michael Kerr answers these questions, telling the inside story to the UUP's electoral meltdown and the last days of Trimble as the party's historic leader. Seen through the eyes of the campaign team, Michael Kerr's diary journal, and interviews with all the key players, this book dissects the 2005 campaign and the end of the Trimble project.
Michael Kerr's controversial evaluation of the UUP's decline opens up a new debate over the future of Unionism. Transforming Unionism challenges the Ulster Unionists to rethink their political strategy as they enter the post-Trimble era and offers a constructive analysis of what Ulster Unionism must do if it is to survive the fallout of the DUP's 2005 landslide victory.
Michael Kerr is a tutorial fellow from the International History Department at LSE.
More details will be online at Irish Academic Press nearer publication date: http://www.irishacademicireland.com/catalogindex.html